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voracious appetite..


KrisK
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Sport ... (now known as Spark) has an insatiable appetite. He's very fit, weights about 39 lbs - but he is also the most hyper/anxious dog I've ever had. He is constantly hungry and I'm up to 4 cups of grain free kibble a day with him and he is still acting like he's starving.

He wolfs his food, so I've started feeding him in a 6 part container (similar to a muffin tin but designed for mini angel food cakes) It has slowed him down but he's still hungry.I feed him 4 times a day right now...

 

Could this be due to anxiety with the new environment, routines, etc?

 

He was just wormed (Revolution)

 

Any ideas/suggestions would be appreciated.

 

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All of the above. I have had rescue dogs and cats(and one horse) that had been starved that were like that. They never lost that notion that they better eat while the getting is good because you don't know what tomorrow will bring. If he is real thin then it could be anxiety or worms. Anxiety can cause digestive problems where they don't absorb all the nutrients in the food, so if you see any sign of loose stools, a bit of canned pure pumpkin helps slow down food passage in the intestines, so he has more time to get everything out of it. Feed for the weight he should be, because if it is psychological overfeeding won't cure it, it will only make him fat and bottomless. With time the anxiety should lessen.

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is he intact and what is his age? Ben was doing that and I was feeding him 4-5 cups a day, he was very fit, but thin. I had the vet do tests for worms, but turns out that just like people different dogs have different metabolisms and young, active intact males, in particular, can burn a lot of calories and may need more food. Just pay attention to his weight, etc. But if he checks out at the vet, it is likely either a bit of anxiety or just burns more calories.

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You might also try something that dispenses his food, like the Squirrel Dude or any other safe dispenser that will slow down his eating.

 

I think folks were spot in with the suggestion that some dogs have learned to eat now and eat fast or you lose your food to someone else and be grateful you got anything at all because you don't know where your next meal is coming from. And, in the nature of dogs' ancestors from long ago and not so long ago, that's the way they eat - gorge, sleep, hunt or scavange, repeat.

 

He may slow down with time and learning that he is not going to starve on your watch, and this behavior may be so ingrained that he's prone to it for the rest of his life. Keep an eye on his weight so that you don't overfeed him and, if you need more bulk in his food to satisfy him, try green beans or pumpkin or another high-fiber veggie "filler".

 

Good luck and kudos for working so hard with him!

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You may also want to consider switching food. Sometimes one food just isn't appropriate for a particular dog. I tried using Timberwolf Organics for my old Boy and he lost weight on that particular food (desptie the high quality of the ingredients). I ended up supplementing with oatmeal (the same stuff I eat) and he held his weight that way, but I stopped including TWO in his food rotation when it because clear it was that brand of food that he just wouldn't hold weight on. In fact, if I have a dog who won't keep weight on, I often add cooked oatmeal to the diet. For some reason it works (unless you're philosophically opposed to grains; my feeling is that this breed was likely developed by shepherds who didn't have much themselves and likely fed the dogs grains, so I don't think grains are entirely inappropriate, at least not oatmeal).

 

I add a lot of water to my gulper's food--think kibble soup. It does seem to slow them down some, and it has the added bonus of helping with hydration, lol!

 

Also, if Revolution doesn't cover tapes, I'd treat him for that as well.

 

J.

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I have slowed foster dogs gulping down by only feading small amounts of their meal at a time, a couple of gulps, then make them come up for air, then a couple of more gulps until their meal is done and gradually I could increase how much they got in their bowl, non of these have been long term fosters and they all slowed down within a few weeks.

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You really haven't had him long enough to know how much food he needs. I've had dogs that acted starving and wolfed their food despite being a perfectly healthy weight and full of energy.

 

I would rule out medical problems first (like parasites, for example). If that's all normal, weigh him once a week to make sure he isn't losing weight. You may also need to consider a different food. Some of my dogs will lose weight on 4 to 6 cups a day of kibble meant for working dogs, yet will maintain or even gain on 1.5 to 2 cups of a different working dog kibble. There is NOT a huge difference in calories per cup, but apparently they use the second one more efficiently.

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Some of my dogs will lose weight on 4 to 6 cups a day of kibble meant for working dogs, yet will maintain or even gain on 1.5 to 2 cups of a different working dog kibble. There is NOT a huge difference in calories per cup, but apparently they use the second one more efficiently.

 

I noticed something similar to this when I changed foods a couple of years ago. I went from a price-efficient food (a good food for the price but not a "premium" quality food) to a more expensive, "holistic" food with high-quality ingredients. While the foods had almost equivalent caloric content and very similar balances of nutrients as listed on the label, I found I had to feed about 50% more of the "better" food to maintain weight.

 

Now, after the dogs have been on the new food plenty long enough to adjust, I find that I am feeding a similar quantity of the new food as I did with the old. I think that, for one thing, they had to adjust to a new diet. And, secondly, I think that it often takes more of "better" food to maintain weight because it may have less of the ingredients that tend to be "weight-promoting" (think simple carbs, for instance).

 

Have him checked out for parasites as others have mentioned. Keep checking his weight regularly. Use management to slow down eating. Keep a close eye on his condition, not just weight - fat reserves, coat condition, etc. You may find that both behaviorally and physically that he adjusts with some time in his new home and new regime.

 

Good luck!

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I'm with Julie on this one as far as oatmeal. I feed Taste of the Wild, but all my dogs LOVE cooked oatmeal. I make a huge bowl of it ahead of time (kind of soupy), and add a big glop of it, stirred into their TOTW pretty much every day. I've found that some of my finicky eaters will eat most of their food when it is plain, but eat it ALL when the oatmeal is added. l also have a friend who says her dog was a bit thin until she started adding cooked oatmeal to his dinner. He is now at a much better weight.

 

A

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Thanks everyone..I'm not totally opposed to grains...really it mostly corn. I'll take him in to get weighed again and try some of the 'filler' foods. I happen to like oatmeal too...so maybe he and I will share :) He is gettling less anxious and there are good signs that he and Flint may start enjoying each other's company a lot more.

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