Why Feeding Your Hungry Dog More Might Hurt Them

Does your dog whine and paw at you when you eat? Do they bring you their empty bowl after they have already eaten? Are they successful in convincing you that they are starving even though you’re feeding the “right amount”? If your answer is yes, then you are not alone. So many pet parents are convinced their dogs are starving and can’t help themselves but to give them a treat, snack, more at meal time, or even an additional meal during the day. Not only is this reinforcing negative behavior, but it is contributing to obesity, metabolic disease, and is likely unnecessary.

A 42lb dog has a stomach capacity of 64 ounces! It would take 29 slices of Pizza Hut Thin and Crispy Pepperoni pizza to fill that belly up! Could you imagine a 42lb child eating that much pizza? That is A LOT of food! You would never give your dog that many pieces of pizza. Dogs do not need to completely fill their stomachs to get the nutrition they need. That doesn’t stop some dogs from thinking that’s how much they need.

If you were feeding that same dog Solutions Beef Recipe, you would have to give 8 pounds twice a day to fill their stomach to capacity. If you are feeding the correct amount, though, to support their health and longevity, you would only give about 1.5 cups a day. Therefore, the amount of food your dog wants is likely nearly 10 TIMES MORE FOOD THAN IS NEEDED! Can you imagine what that would cost in a month?! … or how much poop you’d have to pick up?

Hopefully, understanding this fact helps you fight the urge to overfeed. There are consequences to feeding too much:

  • Extra weight on a dog can cause metabolic disease including cancer and diabetes.
  • When feeding a high protein food overfeeding can actually cause weight loss… we know it’s weird and we’ll discuss why in another post. It’s important to know that overfeeding a food like Solutions can actually make your pet too skinny, just like body builders which eat high protein in order to get “cut” for competitions.
  • Severe bloat or diarrhea, as well as, gas can be a result of overfeeding/obesity. Bloat is life threatening.
  • Obesity is extremely hard on the joints. As dogs get older, they need support in this area even if they are an appropriate weight. Extra weight can make for an uncomfortable way of life for your dog.

Please use our calorie calculator to find the right amount of caloric intake your dog should have each day. Try not to fall prey to the guides you see on bags and cans of pet food. They will undoubtedly tell you to feed entirely too much food.

If your dog is just a pest no matter how much you feed, consider trying these methods to increase the time it takes to eat instead of increasing how much you’re giving:

  1. Put the food in an enrichment mat (e.g. SodaPup, Messy Mutt Mat, Lickimat, etc)
  2. Put the food on a Mine Pet Platter or smear it over a cookie sheet
  3. Freeze a small amount of food into a marrow bone, dried or raw trachea, the bottom of a slow feeder bowl, in a stuffable toy (e.g. West Paw Toppl, SodaPup Can Toy, Tall Tails Pinecone, etc)
  4. Feed smaller amounts, more often
  5. Add low calorie, healthy, bulky additions such as broccoli (~8.5kcals/oz), organic oats (~100kcals/1cup, hydrated), Zucchini (~5kcals/oz), etc.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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