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New dog eating habits. Help please

1572 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  MagicRe
We adopted a new girl almost 3 weeks ago from the local shelter. She came home with a sinus infection and not yet spayed. Because of the sinus infection, we had to put off getting her spayed and of course the silly girl went into heat on us (seriously 2 days after we brought her home). When we first brought her home, she was not overly interested in eating much. Now that her cold is gone, she is acting like a starved dog. She scarfs down any amount we put in her bowl and then starts looking for more.

We are not used to this. We have always put out a cup of food for our other dog at night and in the morning sometimes she has eaten, sometimes she hasn't, but she grazes all day and it is gone by the evening. This isn't working out well as the new dog goes hunting for her food. We are having to pick up her bowl and put it down only when she is in her room (while we are gone or at night) or if she looks like she is looking for it.

We thought maybe if we put a crazy amount of food out for the new dog in her kennel, she would realize she wasn't going to starve. She ate one whole cup before she finally stopped. About an hour later, she went for the other cup (they were in different small bowls). She did eat the second cup slower, walking away and coming back several times, but in the end she still finished it all.

I do not know if the fact she is in heat is coming into play with the starving dog act. She is not pregnant, as she won't go outside without one of us standing there so we know there have been no suitors mating through the fence.

Is it normal for a dog to finish their entire bowl of food in the matter of minutes? Should we just give her 1/2 cup of food 3 times a day and know that she isn't actually starving between the meals? How many hours apart should we space these meals? Any tips would be appreciated.
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I had a dog who ate so fast he almost choked to death three times. Not all dogs know when to stop eating! Yes, they can inhale their food. :) I would only give the amount that is the proper daily required for her breed and age ... give or take a smidge depending on her weight ... whether she is over weight or at a good weight. You could space them out into three meals and it would be good IMO. A dog can over eat and have food bloat ... which is serious. I just had something similar happen to one of my little dogs two weeks ago. He ate a bunch of " stuff " and landed in the hospital. Part of that was a massive pile of vomited food. Don't know what happened other than he must have ate his brothers dinner too! ( and maybe some pillow stuffings )

Sometimes smaller dogs seem to need smaller spaced out meals to prevent hypoglycemia. ( low blood sugar )

For dogs in heat ... I have no answer. Mine is spayed. I usually have male dogs.

Also, worms and other medical conditions can cause ravenous behavior. If the vet says all is normal ... I would space out the pups meals.
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Minutes? Sassy could scarf down her kibble in seconds and even slow poke Max vacuumed 10 ounces of ground raw in a couple seconds. It is within the normal range of behavior for dogs to do so. Some have strong scavenging instincts.

Since food was so very important to my dogs I would use food puzzles or train with the food so meals lasted longer and there were more interaction between dog and food.

It is possible she needs more food. I put my hands on the dog rather than using weight as a guide. I want to easily feel ribs, hips, shoulders and chest bones but not see more than the last couple of ribs when the dog is moving.

I did work to feed my raw fed dog bigger and bigger meals until he didn't finish it all in one go but that isn't a good way to feed kibble as far as I know. If you do go for it I would be adding an equal amount of water so the dog is taking in enough water with that dry kibble. Might try moistening the kibble now, might slow her down a bit.
I would say it's more likely for a dog to eat their entire meal in within a couple minutes than it is for a dog to graze throughout the day. But it really depends on the dog.

How old is your new dog? How much does she weigh? What breed or mix is she?

What are you feeding?

It's possible she needs more food but don't let the sad starving act fool you either.
I would say it's more likely for a dog to eat their entire meal in within a couple minutes than it is for a dog to graze throughout the day. But it really depends on the dog.

How old is your new dog? How much does she weigh? What breed or mix is she?

What are you feeding?

It's possible she needs more food but don't let the sad starving act fool you either.
She is right at a year old (vet guessed). She is a Boston Terrier mix and weighs in around 15 pounds. According to the side of the Kirkland's small dog formula bag, she should get between 1-1.5 cups a day. She is very active so I am leaning towards the 1.5 cups for the day, plus a couple of treats. It sounds like my older JRT is the odd one and that I just need to know she is getting the right amount.
The instructions on the dog food bags usually suggest overly generous portions.
I would think 1 cup is plenty for a dog her size. It might be that you just have a vacuum dog ie. a dog that will always act hungry and will pick up any food they can find (or what they think is food...). You can try breaking her food up into several meals so she isn't always anticipating that one big meal and will help her feel full longer.

I have a dog like this. He will act hungry no matter how much he eats. If I fed him as much as he wanted I would have a bowling ball for a dog.
What are you feeding her? Maybe a more nutritionally dense food would help her feel fuller on less food?

Also, minutes sounds normal to me. All my dogs finish their food within 5 minutes, most times more like 3. My older dogs don't go nuts over their food so much anymore as they're accustomed to regular meal times and a steady supply of food so they no longer feel that frenzy. My puppy though..she eats in the garage right now so the other dogs can have time to eat their food without her hounding them and every time I open the door from the kitchen to the garage she thinks it's food time and runs right out to her bowl.
My 4 month old Toy Fox Terrier is raw fed in his crate. He almost always finishes his meal before I can even lock his crate door. So for my little guy we are talking seconds not minutes!
My 3 month old pup sucks down his kibbles at breakneck speed. I'm thinking of getting him a "slow bowl" to get him to slow down a bit, though I tried using the cat's slow bowl with him one night and it didn't really seem to make a difference! Might be worth a shot for you, they're a cheap option anyway.
there are people who eat to live and people who live to eat....i think that can be applied to dogs, also.

i have two dogs....when we kibble fed, i could leave a bowl down and she would free feed...

i have a pug now who can't get enough. ever. so no free feeding for him.

he is so fast, that one time, i wanted to feed him bigger than his head, since he's a stupid eater.....and he had the better part of a whole chicken gone before i could get to him.

a chicken weighs what, four pounds or so? he is supposed to eat 6 oz per day.

no matter how much i were to feed him, he'd want more. i just had to get over it.
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