I am always hungry!

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


The Cow Dog
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '08 4:54am PST 
Hey everyone. I'm getting a little concerned about Kiwi. She is constantly hungry! She is always going over to where the food is put up and pawing at it. We can feed and her and she's ready for more. She's always begged for food and we just figured she was spoiled but I'm starting to wonder if she really is hungry. She has no other symptoms. I don't notice her drinking too much, she definetly has not lost weight and her mood is fine. I know diabetes can be a cause but are there other reasons for this? She's done this on both normal food and low calorie. shrug She recently took some steroids for an infection so we knew she would be hungry on that but it's been months since she's been off those.

Wanna play??
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '08 6:06am PST 
You didn't say if you feed her when she does this. If you do, then she probably figures that she's got some sort of "vending machine" happening. She paws at the food, and food appears in her bowl.

If you haven't been feeding her, how is her weight? Is she overweight or underweight? If her weight hasn't changed, is she on interceptor every month? Has she been exposed to any worms/intestinal parasites? If she plays with other dogs or walks in public areas, she's been exposed, and worms can make them hungry. Have the vet do a fecal exam- shouldn't be too expensive or take too long, but the parasites don't always show up on a fecal. If they do, you've likely got a definite cause. If they don't, you may want to deworm her anyway just to be sure.

If all else fails, I'd try feeding her 1/2 cup extra at each meal for 2 days and see if the behavior changes. If it doesn't, then I'd guess that it's behavior and not hunger.

Good luck!

I also answer to- 'Pretty Girl'
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '08 9:35am PST 
Definitely check for worms!

There are other medical things that could cause that but your vet could tell you more about it.


Barked: Wed Jan 23, '08 10:06am PST 
Ask your vet. As far as I understand there's a whole bunch of possible causes including the ones already given by other posters. Henry had something similar, and it was difficult to diagnose, but there were a number of disorders that are pretty easy to test for that were ruled out. I hope it's something really simple and easily dealt with! Good luck!
The Roo- Crew™- ©®

We go together- like peas &- carrots

Barked: Wed Jan 23, '08 11:49am PST 
I agree with what Toots said. If it is working for her, and she gets the food when she does it, then she has trained you very well.

Could she be bored?
Maybe try putting her kibble into this:
Busy Buddy

That is, if you feed kibble.laugh out loud

You can't help- it, you're just- a people.
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '08 6:39am PST 
If after ruling out some medical or behavorial issue, perhaps it could just be an empty calorie issue. She's eating calories, but it's not filling her up, not unlike the human issue of empty calories.
Sophie Sue

Check us out at- Dolittler.com!
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '08 7:06am PST 
Gita: Toots has the right idea but basic bloodwork, urinalysis and fecal examination are essential for these guys. Most dogs, however, act hungry because they've learned that you respond and food is fun and yummy--some dogs would eat all day if you let them. Dogs in the wild often don't eat every day so their GI systems are set up to gorge whenever food is available. This instinct is stronger in some domesticated dogs than in others. It's a good idea to keep in mind that Kiwi may be exercising an instinctive as well as learned behavior in her feeding. Another thought is that her high-carb diet may be sensitizing her to greater carbohydrate hunger, as has been postulated by some nutritionists. Trying a higher protein diet may well be of some assistance but check with Kiwi's vet first to make sure all her labwork is normal.
Dr. Patty Khuly
Lucy Louise

Just call me- Grandma.
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '08 5:35pm PST 
I don't have much advice, but I have one of these eataholics, too. Lucy's appetite NEVER diminishes. She's a regular dumpster diving, food sneaking, food snatching thief! And I know from veterinary tests that she's pretty healthy for her age. No problems that pinpoint an increase in appetite. And she's prone to put on weight pretty quickly, so I know she's not underfed. So, some dogs just eat and eat and eat. I think this may be especially common amongst dogs that have gone without for a period of time (like Lucy who is a rescue), not unlike people who've gone without and then eat everything they can. Good luck!

Angel Girl
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '08 4:05pm PST 
You mentioned she recently took steroids. They may have caused a problem, with her thyroid. I would get bloodwork done.