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Dog Constantly Begging For Food: 7 Reasons + 3 Tips

Dog Constantly Begging For Food

And there it goes again…

Your pooch is giving you puppy eyes.

And every time they do this, they ask…

For more food.

You’re feeding enough.

And still, they seem hungry.

Is this something you should worry about?

Continue reading to learn:

  • What your canine’s meals should consist of.
  • 7 reasons why your dog is constantly begging for food.
  • Medical issues connected to a dog always asking for meals.
  • 3 effective tips to prevent this unwanted behavior in your dog.
  • And this is just the beginning…

Why is my dog constantly begging for food?

Dogs constantly beg for food because they are used to having access to it. The quality of a canine’s meals is also important. If they lack protein and fiber, they’ll feel hungry more often. Hyperthyroidism can also cause dogs to have a higher metabolism. And this can lead to frequent hunger issues.

Dog constantly begging for food – 7 reasons

#1: They have unlimited access to food

There’s such a thing as too much. And this applies to your dog’s eating habits.

Giving your dog food all the time is very tempting. Some fur parents may even see it as showing love. Do you do this, too?

If your answer is yes, then it might become a problem. You see, dogs can quickly adapt habits. They are smart creatures and will remember their actions.

A study conducted on dogs shows they can remember their past behavior.

The researchers trained the canines to do simple tasks. They found out that dogs can repeat their actions. And they don’t need humans to command them.

And if constantly begging for food is part of their memorized routine, they’ll do it again. It becomes more frequent if you give them meals all the time.

It’s like your dog will expect this to happen. Even if you already stopped giving them free access to food.

#2: They need more protein

Dogs used to live in the wild. They go out in packs and hunt animals. Because of this, their main source of food is meat.

That’s why dogs have developed teeth to eat meat. Their sharp fangs can easily penetrate flesh. And they have incisors that can quickly tear meat.

The AKC says that dogs have 12 pieces of these teeth. 6 on top and another 6 at the bottom.

Even though thousands of years have passed, dogs still need meat. Their bodies are built to survive mainly on protein. And that’s why the lack of it can make them feel empty.

“So should I give my dog protein-only meals?”

That wouldn’t be healthy, too. The VCA states that giving only meat to your dog isn’t good. This is because modern dogs are now omnivores. Meaning they eat both plants and meat.

And would need both to live healthily. Meat-only diets can cause malnutrition. The key here is balance.

Listed below are good estimates of how much meat dogs should eat:

Dog ageAmount of protein per 2.2 lbs of body weight
Adult Canines (1 year and above).005 lbs (2.62 grams )
Canines aged 14 to 51 weeks.027 lbs (12.5 grams )
Canines aged 4 to 14 weeks.021 lbs (9.7 grams )

These values are based on the MSD Manual.

#3: They want new food

Have you ever eaten the same food for a few consecutive days? It gets boring and a bit disgusting in the end, right?

It may be your favorite food, but the satisfaction dies down.

Now, look at the variety of your dog’s food. Do they have a lot to choose from?

If your answer is no, then you might need to add more food choices. Eating dry kibble can get boring, too. Your pooch may not be enjoying them anymore.

Some dogs can indeed go on eating the same food for a long time. And they need time to adjust to new food.

But, dogs who were raised with food variety may look for new meals. Your pooch may be looking for new food flavor, texture, and scent.

The AKC also says that having meal variety makes sense from a nutritional point of view.

Your pooch’s current food may be lacking in nutrients. Or maybe it has a low protein content as mentioned in #2.

There’s also another nutrient some dogs lack in their diet. I’ll talk about it in #4.

#4: They need more fiber

Dogs are omnivores. And because of this, they need to eat plants, too. But, sometimes, we might forget our dogs’ fiber needs.

This can lead to overeating and other issues such as:

  • Diabetes.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Loss of control of bowel movement (leading to accidents).

The AKC also says that fiber can make your dog feel full. And they don’t even have to eat a lot of calories.

The lack of fibrous food can make your pooch feel hungry. Which can lead them to beg for more food. Their bowl might be full, but it can’t fill their tummy.

Overeating in dogs can also cost you. Higher food intake means you’ll spend more money on food. Be smart when it comes to your dog’s food.

Purchase meals that have high value for money. This way, you’ll save some bucks without compromising your dog’s health.

#5: They don’t have an eating routine

Dogs Constantly Beg For Food Because They Don't Have An Eating Routine

Eating schedules give structure to your pooch’s day. And if they don’t have this, they’ll just eat whenever. 

Your dog may not have unlimited access to food like in #1. But a lack of structure can mess with your dog’s internal clock.

On top of that, your fur baby can feel stressed, too. They don’t know when food is arriving. And this can cause them to panic and wonder.

Your pooch might think, “Hey, I gotta hunt for my next meal. I’m not sure if I’m getting fed today.”

Sometimes dogs go out of their way to find food. They might go ask your neighbors for meals. Which can be embarrassing. And will sometimes cause problems with other dogs.

Jen Coates, a veterinarian, suggests giving a fixed meal schedule for your fur baby. You can start with this routine:

  • 1 meal in the morning.
  • 1 food serving in the evening.
  • 3 small treats scattered throughout the day.

Further reading: Feeding Schedule For 5-Week Old Puppy: When & What To Feed

#6: They have Hyperthyroidism

This condition occurs when there’s a hormonal imbalance in your dog. Specifically, thyroid hormones.

If this happens, your pooch will have an increase in their metabolism. To the point that it becomes dangerous.

Due to this, your dog will have an increase in appetite. And may cause them to beg for more food. But this is just one of the symptoms.

A paper even studied a dog diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. The canine was a 10-year old female Labrador Retriever. 

And they have been showing symptoms of hyperthyroidism for 8 months. If your pooch also experiences these, you might wanna get them checked:

  • Anxiety.
  • Weight loss.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Excessive panting.
  • Increased heart rate.

Here’s a list of other signs of hyperthyroidism according to the AKC:

  • Vomiting.
  • Peeing more.
  • Cardiomegaly.
  • Getting thirsty more often.

#7: They have high energy levels

Your dog’s diet should be based on a few factors such as:

  • Age.
  • Size.
  • Breed.
  • Weight.

Another aspect that you should into is your canine’s activity levels. The more active your dog is, the more fuel they need.

But, there are naturally active dog breeds. Some of them might even get hyper if you don’t take them for exercise. Examples of these dog breeds are:

  • Dalmatian.
  • Russell Terrier.
  • Siberian Husky.
  • Shetland Sheepdog.
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

If you are a fur parent to these canines, you’ll have to give them more portions. Especially if you frequently take them for activities.

Read next: 17 Hyperactive Dog Symptoms + 11 Tips To Calm Down Your Dog

How do I stop my dog from constantly begging for food? 3 tips

#1: Give them a balanced diet

Protein and fiber are some of the most important nutrients for a dog. These can lower their hunger levels. And eating them can provide a balanced meal

To help your pooch, you need to increase their fiber and protein intake.

Let’s focus on increasing their fibrous meals. Since I already mentioned in #2 the amount of protein needed for your pooch.

You can give them fibrous food like vegetables and fruits. Here are ones that are safe for dogs:

  • Apple.
  • Carrot.
  • Pumpkin.
  • Beet pulp.
  • Ground flaxseed.
  • Leafy vegetables e.g. spinach.

You can also use fiber supplements. The NaturVet – No Scoot is an excellent choice from Amazon. It contains a blend of beet pulp, pumpkin, and psyllium husk. 

All of which can help with digestion. And these can increase your dog’s fiber intake.

#2: Give them a fixed eating schedule

Getting your pooch a routine can help control their cravings. This way, they’ll know when they’re getting fed.

You can start by setting an alarm or a reminder on your phone in the morning so you won’t forget. Place food on their bowls even if they don’t go there.

Make sure that you don’t give more meals throughout the day. But, also, watch the amount of food you put in. Keep it within the recommended serving.

The easiest way to do that is to check your dog food’s packaging. Companies usually put the recommended amount to serve your pooch.

#3: Introduce slow feeding

Another way you can make your dog feel more full is by using a slow feeder bowl. This makes your canine ration their food.

Slow feeder bowls also make mealtimes more fun for your dog. They’ll exert more effort in getting their food.

And this will stimulate their brains, too. Check out the Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl from Amazon. They come in different sizes. And have a wide array of shapes.