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Old 11-14-2013, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default Am I starving my dog?

My dog is not fat. He's perfect! In fact when I got him (he's a rescue), I thought he might be a little too thin, but the vet said he was perfect and to keep him there. So that's what I try to do.

However, my dog is a compulsive overeater. Also, HE thinks he's starving and might never be fed again, even though I have had him for five years of two meals a day plus some treats. He is a hungry puppy! So I can't believe him when he cries for more, because he does that when he has just gotten into the kitchen and eaten a bag of dog food and a box of cereal.

Lately, I've been exercising more. And he's my workout buddy, of course. So since he is not on a diet, when we do a lot of walking or running he gets a little extra food. That's been my system for years, and it's seemed to work. But I used to live near his vet, and I'd stop and weigh him once in a while and adjust accordingly. Now I don't, and I have trouble weighing him at home because I have to hold him in my arms on the scale and he squirms and it gives me an error message. And he's acting very hungry (but not really more than usual), and he is pooping less, and his poops are smaller. I'd run him by the vet here to weigh him, but I'd have to take time off work to do it, so... How else can you tell if you're starving your dog? I don't want him to suffer for my fitness.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:34 AM   #2
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There are some websites that let you calculate how much to feed by rough weight of the dog. Petfinder has a good article on it too http://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-nu...feed-your-dog/

If he's the only one, it might be good for both of you to put him on a feeding schedule, so he's not free to just graze at will.

I have four, including one that was nearly starved and clearly punished with food deprivation when we adopted her. We fill up their food in the morning and the evening, three bowls between them, and they're all getting what they need.

Have you changed foods? If so, that might be the reason for the smaller piles you're seeing. If not, it's likely just him not being able to eat everything he wants, especially if some of that involved people food.

Good luck
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:53 AM   #3
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My doggy acts like he never ate before even when he's had his bowl of dinner! I think it's just their instincts to eat, eat, eat.

My dog also lost a couple of pounds walking with me and we all impressed the vet the last time she saw us (she didn't make me and my DH get on the scale though ).

Our pet stores that we frequent all have scales (PetSmart and then a local family owned store) so maybe you could take him there one night or over the weekend?

I always worry if my dog is truly hungry or just being a brat (he never ever declines food LOL!).

My dog eats dog food twice a day (a half portion at lunch, a full portion at dinner) and then a couple of treats during the day.

I'm glad you are so concerned about your doggy. So many people in this world don't care or even think about their pets.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:44 PM   #4
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ShelBl, I do regularly feed him the amount he's supposed to eat per the weight ranges on his food bag. He doesn't get to graze because his good is gone 3 seconds after it hits the bowl! But that's always been true. Anyway, I'm confident in his routine food system being right got him to maintain his weight at a normal activity level, it's more what to do when his activity increases.

He just acts so deprived! I think he worries about getting enough to eat (and has for years), so while he can't have everything he wants, I want to be sure he does have what he needs. Elvislover, mine was a stray and I think it messed with his head in this area! Thanks for the tip about pet supply stores. I'll try that this weekend.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:11 PM   #5
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Some dogs are just natural overeaters!
With my dog now I just leave her a bowl of food out and she picks at it when she's hungry so when I was dogsitting once I learned the hard way that some dogs always want to eat and will eat anything they can get their hands on. Maybe talk to a vet and make sure he's being fed enough but I'm just it's just an instinct!
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:21 PM   #6
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Most of my dogs have been rescues that have starved at one point or another and therefore want to overeat for the rest of their lives. I simply monitor their weight and adjust their food accordingly. I like them to have slim figures but not see ribs, backbone or hip bones. If the bones start showing, they need more food. But if they start to lose their figure (waist should be smaller than ribcage) then they need a little less food. I adjust slowly and don't make it drastic. Usually I can figure out their perfect amount of food pretty quick. My current dog likes to have edibles in her kennel when I'm gone, so I give her treats in the morning and at lunch but cut back her breakfast and dinner accordingly so her weight maintains. I ignore the instructions on the dog food bag- they nearly always call for overfeeding. But if we do a big active day- such as a long hike or something, then I add food that day.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:28 PM   #7
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We've had our dog, a lab, since she was a pup so we know she has never been starved or deprived. It is just in her nature (and that of most labs according to our vet) to eat rapidly and to be very food focused. We have to be very careful about food portions or she puts on the weight quickly. This summer, we had relatives care for her for about a month while we were on vacation. She was so convincing to them that she was starving that she put on 13 pounds while we were away! They gave her more food because she always acted so hungry. The good news is that she lost it pretty quickly when we put her back on her usual diet. I think the advice to go by your dog's figure is pretty sound.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:44 AM   #8
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I know this is an old thread, but the thought is not old. I have had 6 dogs in my lifetime. Some have been purebred and some have been rescues. None of my dogs ever overate. They all would eat until satisfied and then stop. None ever finished everything in their bowl and none were ever overweight. I have always heard that it is an animal's nature to eat that way, but I know some dogs will continue to eat as much as you give them. Unfortunately, I never picked up their good eating habits! LOL
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:01 PM   #9
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My boy Chase will eat as much as we give him. We tried free feeding him once but stopped after the 5th cup of food disappeared as soon as we put it down. We've had him since he was 7 weeks (too young I know, a rescue) and he has never been starved or treated bad. The vet says he has super high metabolism and he's the perfect weight. He's also very muscled naturally which burns more calories. Had him at the vet a few weeks ago she said his weight is holding steady and his body condition is perfect. He gets lots of veggies which he absolutely loves and some pumpkin every day (helps with the poops!). He drools over his kibble and acts like we're starving him but is 13 years old, 63 pounds and perfectly healthy. Space fillers, like veggies and pumpkin are the way to go. Make them feel more satisfied and won't add weight.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:27 AM   #10
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Does your dog have sighthound (greyhound) in his genetics? If so, he will be naturally skinny, even with ribs sticking out, and will need to eat a higher protein diet than say, a pug. Some dogs need more fat/protein (ie "meat) in their diets because of their genetic make up. I have greyhounds and they tend to just nibble on a few pieces of dry food in the morning (aka they are not hungry) waiting to act like maniacs when I feed them "the good stuff" (canned food) in the evenings. They whine and cry as though they have never seen food before even though I leave a tray of food out for them. Also, as mine got older (9 and 12 years) they eat less. Puppies would want to eat more, especially high energy, and running around. The greyhound also used to only eat raw meat, and vegetables and walk 5 miles a day. (She hurt a leg and could not maintain this level of fitness). She was very skinny back then.

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Old 08-15-2016, 04:54 PM   #11
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This isn't limited to just dogs. My cat acts as if he is being starved to death - meanwhile he gets the appropriate amount for his age and body size. According to my vet, some animals, regardless if they are strays or rescue or brought up at a breeder, will eat until they vomit and then go back and eat more. There is just something off with their little brains.

My fat cat has to go on a diet and with being a bigger person, it's impossible to weight myself while holding him and see what the reading is. So I spent the $50 and I bought a digital pet scale. It is perfect. I leave it in a corner of the kitchen and once a week put him on it and I can monitor his weight down to the 100th of a pound. It sounds extreme to some folks that I do this, but after he had surgery a couple of months ago, the vet told me if he losses too much weight too fast he will go into kidney failure. This keeps us on track in a healthy way. So that is an option for you. I got mine on Amazon and it works great.
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Swan View Post
My dog is not fat. He's perfect! In fact when I got him (he's a rescue), I thought he might be a little too thin, but the vet said he was perfect and to keep him there. So that's what I try to do.

However, my dog is a compulsive overeater. Also, HE thinks he's starving and might never be fed again, even though I have had him for five years of two meals a day plus some treats. He is a hungry puppy! So I can't believe him when he cries for more, because he does that when he has just gotten into the kitchen and eaten a bag of dog food and a box of cereal.
Lately, I've been exercising more. And he's my workout buddy, of course. So since he is not on a diet, when we do a lot of walking or running he gets a little extra food. That's been my system for years, and it's seemed to work. But I used to live near his vet, and I'd stop and weigh him once in a while and adjust accordingly. Now I don't, and I have trouble weighing him at home because I have to hold him in my arms on the scale and he squirms and it gives me an error message. And he's acting very hungry (but not really more than usual), and he is pooping less, and his poops are smaller. I'd run him by the vet here to weigh him, but I'd have to take time off work to do it, so... How else can you tell if you're starving your dog? I don't want him to suffer for my fitness.
My 6 year old teri/poo is also a rescue. From day one, she was taught to get on the scale and sit still. She is weighed weekly, and that determines her intake. Obese dogs have both joint and cardio-vascular issues. They are hard wired to act hungry all of the time.
Resist the temptation, they will live longer and happier lives at a good wgt. We walk 3+ miles per day, on occasion I let her loose at a dog park.
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