Holistic Dog Care 101: My Dog Wants to Eat All the Time

Jean & Leslie Kessigner, Owners Three Dog Bakery

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If your dog wants to eat all the time, you’re not alone.  Many pet owners experience this and there could be a few reasons for it. According to Leslie Kessinger, co-owner of Three Dog Bakery in Franklin. “Either he’s actually hungry, he’s ‘got your number,’ or he may be showing signs of an illness,” she says.

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Like people, dogs metabolize their food differently. depending on their breed, age, activity level and general lifestyle. A food that might be right for Fido may not be right for Spot. “If your dog seems to actually be hungry, that’s usually a sign that he’s not getting enough of one key nutrient. Try upping the protein, which also increases healthy fat content, in your dog’s food. Protein takes longer to metabolize in the digestive system, so it provides energy for an extended period of time,” says Kessinger.

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On the other hand, Kessinger says dogs burn through carbohydrates quickly, which leaves them hungry if carbs comprise too great a portion of their diet. “You can increase protein by selecting a kibble with a higher protein content or by adding in a topper.  Wet food, frozen raw or freeze dried raw mixed in with kibble adds excellent meat protein without varying the diet too significantly,” she says.

On the other hand, your pup could be tricking you. “Dogs are smart, and if they’ve gotten you into a pattern of rewarding them with food every time they beg for it — they’re going to keep begging for it. If you think this might be the case, stick to strict meal times,” Kessinger advises. “Try going a week to 10 days without adding supplemental feedings and see if that makes a difference in behavior.”

Changes in your dog’s diet are clues that something more may be going on with your dog. “An increased appetite can be a sign that his body isn’t working effectively,” notes Kessinger. “If you think this is the case, consult your veterinarian. A physical exam and bloodwork can help identify what’s going on.”

Visit Three Dog Bakery, located on West McEwen Drive, adjacent to Whole Foods in the McEwen Shopping Center in Franklin for all your holistic dog food and dog treat needs.

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If you have health concerns about your dog, consult your veterinarian. This article is not meant to substitute or act as medical advice for pets.

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