Most dog lovers and dog owners will tell you that most pet dogs always seem to be hungry.
They get well fed, given some snacks and chews, and still beg when they see humans eating their food.
When they get fed, they wolf down their food as if it were their first meal in weeks!
Why is this? Why do dogs always want to eat more food? Why are they always hungry?
Let’s find out why and then look at what to do about it if this sounds like your dog.
Why Are Dogs Always Hungry and Want to Eat More Food?
The reason why many dogs always want to eat more food is due to their evolution.
Way back in time, their evolutionary ancestors would have always been trying to get enough food to stay alive.
So when they found food, they would gorge on it because they didn’t know when they would get their next meal.
How Evolution Affects Your Dog’s Appetite
Dogs have evolved from an ancient species of wolf called the Late Pleistocene wolf.
The species is now extinct but is very similar to wolves around today.
Your dog’s ancestors would have had to work very hard to survive.
They would have had to hunt for many hours, often falling and going hungry for days at a time.
So, when they managed to kill their prey or stumble across some fresh carrion, they would eat as much as possible.
They would do this to take as much advantage as possible of the meal because it might be a long time until their next, and they would need as much sustenance as possible to survive.
So it could be that your dog never seems to get full because the ancient wolf part of their brain still thinks they need to gorge on food in case their next meal is days or weeks away.
If you think about it, humans are the same to some extent. Many of us struggle not to overeat, especially high-calorie food such as sugar and fat.
This is because our ancestors never knew when their next meal would be, so they also would gorge themselves to store up calories for a later day.
NOTE – You might also enjoy this post looking at the question: Why do dogs like human food?
Could You be Underfeeding Your Dog?
While some dogs have a strong drive to eat more food than they need, it could also be that your dog always wants to eat because it is underfed.
You should be able to figure this out quickly. If your dog looks thin or is losing weight, you might need to feed it more.
If you are unsure how much food they need to eat, please consult your vet for advice.
NOTE – You might also be interested in this post asking the question: Why is my dog eating slow?
How to Deal with a Dog That is Always Hungry
Firstly, you need to ensure they don’t get fat as this can harm their health.
So, no matter how much they beg or whine, please do not give them more food than they need.
You should also set some good habits to make this easier.
- Only give them meals in their bowls.
- Never give them food if they beg while you are eating.
- Only give them snacks as a reward for good behavior and only limited amounts.
What Can You Give Your Dog to Make Them Feel Full?
To try and reduce the problem caused by your dog always being hungry, try the following steps:
- Work out how much food they should be eating each day.
- Avoid foods that are filled out with air and water.
- Give them high-fiber food.
- Add vegetables to their meals.
Work out how much food they should be eating each day – The most reliable way is to have the dog weighed by your vet and then ask them how much food they should eat each day.
Avoid foods filled with air and water – Some cheap kibbles are filled with air and water.
It would be best to avoid these as your dog won’t find them satiating.
Give them high-fiber food – High-fiber food will keep your dog feeling fuller for longer.
Add vegetables to their meals – Vegetables are very low in calories but high in satiating fiber, so mix some with their regular food to help fill them up.
NOTE – You may also want to read this post looking at the question: do dogs like their food?
Should You Be Worried If Your Dog Always Wants to Eat?
Some medical conditions can cause dogs to over eat.
Diabetes, pancreatic disorders, Cushing’s disease, hyperthyroidism, intestinal cancer, malabsorption, and inflammatory bowel disease can all increase your dog’s appetite.
If your dog shows signs of being unwell or you are worried about them, please take them to the vet.
If you are in financial difficulty and are worried about vet bills, this website lists helpful resources for charities to help you pay your bills.
(If you don’t live in the US, you can use Google to find similar help in your country, there is a lot of support out there for dog owners who are in difficulty).
You might also find this video about canine hunger helpful to watch.
Click on the video, and it will start to play:
Final Notes On Why Dogs Always Want to Eat More Food
Many dogs have a natural tendency to overeat due to their evolutionary nature.
They have the instinct to store calories for survival.
In most cases, this is perfectly natural and nothing to worry about.
But you should always do your best you keep your dog’s body weight healthy, and if you are in any doubt about your dog’s health, take them to a vet.
So, that is the end of this blog post looking at the question – why are dogs always hungry?
We hope that it gave you the answers you were looking for.
If you have any more questions for our team, please feel free to comment below.
And thanks for visiting The Factual Doggo.
Tim is a proud, vetted, and experienced dog foster carer for a charity helping dog owners escape domestic abuse.
He has years of experience training and caring for dogs, both his own and other people’s.
He is an expert in canine behavior and is highly skilled in dealing with all dogs but specializes in the difficult ones that other people may struggle with.
When he isn’t fostering dogs, he is making friends with other people’s pups!