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Bottomless Stomach: How to keep your pup feeling full longer

Hungry DogDoes this scene sound familiar: It’s an hour before your alarm and you’re woken up by a scratch or a whine at your door, or perhaps a furry body jumping up onto your chest. Or perhaps you fed your pup dinner an hour ago, but already your he’s pleading for food— running between you and his dish and making puppy-dog eyes. Is your dog really still hungry? Are you feeding him too little? Or is something else going on?

Check in with your vet about your dog’s weight

The very first thing to do if you notice your dog’s appetite is climbing is to check in with your vet. Different breeds have different standard weights and your dog will know if your pup is underweight and needs to be fed more, or if their increased appetite is a result of their personality or environment.

Avoid fillers

Not all food is created equal. If your dog is hungry again an hour after you’ve fed him, the answer may lie in the make up of their meal. If you notice that your dog’s kibble is “popped”, or filled with air to make it look fluffier or crunch more, that may be your problem. Popped kibble is filled with air, which will at first fill up your dog’s stomach only to then dissipate as they burp it up, leaving them feeling empty.

There is a similar problem with wet dog food. Initially, this food will fill them up, but as their bodies process the water, they may feel hungry again.

Check the ingredients

If you have checked for fillers in your dog’s food, the next step is to take a look at the ingredients. High protein diets are a great choice for many dogs, but if your pup is frequently hungry, your most important tool is going to be a high fiber diet. Find your dog foods that have whole grains and veggies. And if that isn’t working? Try feeding your dog raw veggies as a snack. They will love the texture and the high fiber content will keep them full longer.

Keep them busy

The final factor to keep in mind is boredom. Just like we humans sometimes eat when we are bored or stressed, dogs with nothing else to do or who are tense or anxious may turn to food to help. If your dog has a sudden uptick in appetite, find them something to do to divert their attention, whether that is cuddles, walks, or games.

If your dog’s appetite has suddenly changed, get in touch with your vet to see if a visit is in order.