My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.
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Thread: My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.

  1. #1
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    My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.

    I have a 5 month old mix breed dog. She is a healthy weight for her size and is gaining weight steadily. She has been seen by my vet and has no health problems. She has always been obsessed with food but I am starting to wonder if there is something wrong with her. I have a special bowl for her to force her to eat slower but she still eats her entire 3/4 cup of dog food in about 30 seconds without chewing any of it. Even with this bowl I have to pull her back when she's eating to prevent her from choking. We have never given her table scraps from our table yet she is constantly trying to jump up and steal our food no matter how many times we tell her no. She is pretty well behaved (for a puppy) except when it comes to food. She has actually knocked stuff out of our hands to eat it, which of course reinforces the behavior when she gets a snack by stealing our food. She obsesses over the cat food which she can't reach and constantly tries to knock their bowls over and eat their food. If we leave a glass of any sort of liquid we're drinking out she will immediately jump up and start drinking it until we physically pick her up and move her away. She even does this with water in a glass just because it's something we were drinking. She responds to "no" pretty well unless there's food involved then she totally ignores us. We feed her 4 times a day and give her snacks throughout the day and like I said she is a healthy weight. I was just wondering if anyone thought she could have a medical issue or if it was just a behavioral/training issue. I thought about calling my vet but I feel stupid calling and saying "my dog likes food" so I thought I would get some opinions first. Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.

    It may be a medical condition - the vet could run a blood test for you if you wanted some assurance. But some dogs just have very high food drive. I suggest a few things:

    Ditch the food bowl and buy a couple of good toys for meal times. I love the Tricky Treats Ball (got mine on Amazon) and/or a wobbler-type toy. Kong makes one of those. For hours of peace and quiet, try Busy Buddy's Squirrel Dude. It's like a kong, but with rubber prongs facing inward to hold in food. I use it for feeding treats, and it is a doGsend, because kongs don't last long here, even when frozen.

    Institute NILIF (nothing in life is free). My dog once knocked her dinner out of my hands, scattering kibble everywhere. She got tossed outside while I cleaned it up, and went to bed hungry that night. Never did it again, either.

    Consider doing something extra fun with your dog. A highly food-motivated dog is a trainer's dream! Mine enjoys agility, disc (frisbee), and learning all kinds of crazy tricks, none of which would be possible without her food motivation.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.

    It wouldn't hurt to have a vet look at her. They could check for worms and things like that.

    Some dogs are insanely food motivated, though. Kabota is one of them. He would try to get food out of our hands when we first got him, and I know he's medically fine. So I only feed through toys that force him to work for it and through training. Luckily, a food motivated dog is really easy to train as long as you use food. I could probably get him to do calculus if I promised enough food in return.

    As for the knocking food out of our hands, we do give him scraps- after he has sat and waited patiently until we are done eating. Only after a meal spent not actively bothering us does he get a little piece of something tasty. His mealtime behavior is beautiful now. We started in increments, though. Just a sit would get a teeny piece of chicken. Then a sit and wait for a few seconds, then a sit and wait for 30 seconds, then 60, etc.
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    Re: My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.

    She has been to the vet and checked for worms and everything else when she got her puppy shots. I didn't ask the vet about it at that time because it wasn't quite as bad then although that was probably mostly because she was smaller and slower. I do use NILIF methods like making her do a trick before giving her any food and making her stay until I release her for meal time. I have a few of those toys that make dogs work for their food. It's mostly just the stealing food that is a problem. I keep thinking I've put something out of her reach and then she figures out how to get it. I kept moving my cat food farther and farther back on the table so she learned to jump on the table. My husband keeps forgetting and leaving his drinks out for 2 seconds when he gets up and she goes straight for it and gets a few licks in before we can catch her. I say no and put her in her cage if she gets anything she isn't supposed to but she likes food so much I'm pretty sure she is totally fine with going in her cage for a while if she gets even 1 small piece of food she isn't supposed to first. I'm thinking it probably is just a behavioral issue I was just wondering if anyone knew of any possible medical issues before I call my vet.

  6. #5
    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.

    Soon after I got my dog, she realized that the garbage was full of delicious things. So I put it in a cabinet and thought I'd solved the problem. Well, she figured it out and got into the cabinet, despite a magnetic closure. So I put a baby lock on the cabinet, pretty sure that would solve the problem. Nope! She went in thru a different cabinet and weaseled her way past dozens of pots and pans until she accessed the garbage. Now I just crate her when I can't watch her. She has the nose of a pointer, but the brain of a BC.

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    Re: My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.

    some dogs are just VERY food obbessed, I have one that is just awful about it, she is ALWAYS looking for food, no matter how tired she is or how much she has eaten, she is jumping on cupboards, trying to get any crumb she can manage..at work on my break, when all my other dogs are passed out around my feet, she is snuffling non stop, prying lids off of food bins, jumping onto shelves and opening food containers etc.. once I found her INSIDE..like her whole body.. in one of the food bins! she will walk past kennels, shove her paw between bars and scatter the other dogs food dishes so she can snatch up whatever she can, she climbs in the garbages, if she cant access anything she will sit there and cry incessently and will NEVER stop. I too was convinced there had to be somthing wrong with her..I spent several hundred dollers having her tested for everything and there is nothing wrong with her. hours upon hours of exersize a day helps with her whining about it..mostly though because she doesnt have time to cry about it lol, sometimes I have to physcally restrain her, and chewies help..nylabones, rawhides etc anything that takes some effort.
    Shayna(me) and my crew Happy-14 yr BC, Paisley-2 yr Aussie, Rusty-11 yr JRT X, and Gem and Gypsy- 3 yr Heeler/GSD's

    Baby, Misty and Ladybug waiting at the bridge

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    Senior Member sizzledog's Avatar
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    Re: My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.

    I have a few very food-obsessed dogs. I don't think they've ever *not* been hungry. But they're healthy, in good condition and weight. I feed with special bowls and soak the food in hot water for a few minutes before feeding. Slows them down enough to not choke on their food.

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    Senior Member Abbylynn's Avatar
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    Re: My dog acts like she's starving no matter how much we feed her.

    Leeo is food obsessed ... always has been. He is taking pheno for seizures and it is even ten-fold the craziness... constant whining and crying and pawing! uuugh!!! The vet sees nothing else attributing to it either ... the vet just keeps saying ... he doesn't need to eat ... "find him something to do in place of it!" .... guess that means more exercise and games!


    ~While you were busy judging others your closet door came open and a lot of skeletons fell out.~

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