My Dog Is Obsessed With Food!

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  • #3347

    Question: We have a great Whippet. Wallice is all we could ever want in a pet! The problem is she is obsessed with food, eating and trying to eat. We do not feed her any table food or “people food”, except what she ‘snags’ from us while we are not looking or accidently leave on the kitchen counter not far enough away for her to reach. We have been feeding her according to our vet–1 cup dry Iam’s and 2 TBS canned Iam’s chicken with a supplement of 1/2 can green beans (she loves these)to fill her without making her gain much weight. She weighs about 28 now and we are constantly trying to help her maintain to about 27. She’s good at getting to food we never would think she could get to, e.g., flavored fruit tea. My question is: Is Wallice really starving all the time or is this just a continual behavior that is exhibited sometimes by neutered females? Is there any other diet that will help her feel more full? Is there anything we can do to get her focus off snagging food? It is worth the ‘punishment’ to her when she is caught eating. We both work and try to take her out at least once (sometimes twice) for a walk–our yard is not enough to run her in (townhouse). She has lots of energy when we do take her out and sleeps the rest of the time–typical whippet. Thanks for you help! She is getting worse at snagging food and we are now keeping things on top of the refrigerator!

    Sex: Female Neutered

    username: [email protected]

    Pet: Canine

    Breed: Whippet

    Age: 3

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    This obsession with food is fairly common in domestic dogs. It is often related to feeding dry dog foods with lots of fillers. It is not due to her sex or breed. Certainly the quantities of food which you are feeding are more than sufficient (though you may want to try feeding fresh instead of processed food), but she is using food both as a means of getting attention, and as a focus for her excess energy. Ideally, and I realize that this is not practical, she should be getting two hours of exercise everyday. This does not mean taking a walk with you, but rather running and playing, preferably with other dogs in a fenced in safe environment. The excess energy she has due to not receiving enough exercise is being diverted into her gluttony. Do you feed her twice a day? Have you tried supplementing her diet with raw meaty bones? These can help tremendously to expend her energy in a natural manner. They are available from your local butcher or online. She will love them, and hopefully this will be enough to get her mind off of eating all the time.

    In general, feeding a species-appropriate diet such as raw meaty bones (see the work of vet Dr. Tom Lonsdale) can eliminate this and many other diet-related problems.

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