Controlling the Eating Behavior Of Your Pet


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A few weeks ago we had a post on controlling flatulence in pets where we talked about the eating behavior of some dogs where they gulp down food so fast that they swallow bellows of air with it. If your dog is eating his food fast, and exhibits obsessive behavior towards his food, don't worry. You can modify the behavior of your pet for the better.

Why is it bad to gulp the food down?

If your pet is a fast eater, then he won't chew his food properly and a big, unbroken piece can cause gagging or choking. It is also a sign of greedy behavior and can cause your pet to become aggressive if allowed to fester. If he thinks that anybody is competing for his food, he will become even more aggressive. The rapid gulping can also cause dilatation (swelling) of the stomach. As it expands, it twists around on the axis, thereby restricting the passage of food to the intestine. This can be extremely dangerous as your dog can go into a shock and die faster than you can do anything about it.

What causes it?

Although the exact reason is unclear, littermate competition can explain some of it. Puppies tend to compete for the mother's milk before it gets over. If you see a more markedly greedy behavior when other animals are around, it is a sign that your dog had some trouble during nursing. Also, there are certain medical conditions which can cause this behavior. Your pet could be infected with parasites which affect his ability to absorb nutrients properly. If the food is not nutritionally adequate, it would leave him hungry even after eating which can cause him to get greedy with it.

What can you do about it?

There are many solutions to this problem. You can try placing objects like balls or toys in the food bowl so that your dog is forced to eat around it, thereby preventing him from gulping it down too fast. You can also place a small bowl inside the large one to partition the meal. Pour food into the space between the bowls. He can only eat from the narrow space between the bowls. You can also try feeding him small meals at regular intervals through the day so that he cannot consume a lot in one go.You can also buy feeding bowls which are designed to slow down the eating speed. They have pegs embedded at the bottom, making it difficult for dogs to grab big bites at once. As far as the nutritional value is concerned, give only easily digestible and high quality food to your pet so that you can make sure that the nutritional needs are met.

How to Control your Dog's Eating Behavior?

Some dogs gulp down food. They do not even chew what they eat. The process of eating is much faster than what is required. It is apparent that the dog has an obsession towards food. This behavior must be changed. Eating quickly may result in bad digestion. As an owner, you should try to tackle any kind of competitive behavior when it comes to consumption. The aim is to slow down the eating pace of the dog.

Quick eating is really bad for your dog

Quick eating may result in your dog gagging or choking. This type of behavior indicates a greedy animal. The dog can turn feral if it sees another canine hovering nearby. The presence of another human may also trigger the same hostile response. In case your home has children, the dog can perceive them as competitors for food and may turn hostile.A medical condition may be responsible for such a hostile attitude in any dog. This is called gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV. This occurs when the rapid food consumption leads too excessive food, fluid and air filling the animal's stomach. The latter expands and twists around he axis. It is then impossible for any food to pass via stomach to intestines. In such cases, the dog falls into shock and die swiftly.

Behavioral causes

In case of a few puppies, mealtimes can be a competition to get an adequate quantity of food before it gets finished. A behavioral pattern is developed and this carries on to subsequent homes. It can continue even when there are no competitors for food.

Solving the problem

You must make sure that your dog eats slowly. Do this by giving it food in a different manner. Do not dump food into dog dish. Instead upturn the dish and spread food round the center. It will slow down the canine as it will be forced to circle the bowl while eating.It is an excellent idea to buy

special feeding dish

. Products made specifically for such kind of dogs are available. Grip rings are not present and thus may slide when the dog eats. The canine may have to chase its food. Another solution is to purchase a puzzle feeder. Your dog will be forced to work for its food.Another excellent idea is to demarcate the food of the dog into portions. Split food among a number of saucers. Spread them all over the room. You can also divide food among individual bowls or cupcake tins. Your dog must find every one of them before it completes its food intake. You can also raise food bowl. Place it on chair or on a low table. The dog will be forced to eat standing and food will go down from its gullet. It can also burp easier.

Stop Your Dog From Eating Nonfood Items

Stop Your Dog From Eating Nonfood Items

Stop Your Dog From Eating Nonfood Items

It's common for dogs to exhibit a few irregular eating habits when they're puppies. Some might chew on the legs of chairs, while others shred apart newspapers and drink from toilet bowls. However, the consumption of foreign objects and items not meant for eating may indicate a deeper health issue.The Oregonian reported that a 3-year-old Great Dane was admitted to the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Northwest Portland in February 2014. The pooch's symptoms included lack of appetite, repeated vomiting and retching. After being checked in, Ashley Magee, D.V.M, brought the dog into the back room for X-rays.Upon discovering a vast amount of "foreign materials" in the canine's stomach that couldn't be digested, the doctor opted to surgically remove the objects. During the two-hour procedure, Magee uncovered the source of the ailments: The Great Dane had eaten more than 43 socks.Due to the bizarre nature of the problem, DoveLewis entered into a contest run by magazine Veterinary Practice News called "They Ate WHAT?" The publication highlights pets' strange eating habits that land them in the animal hospital. The sock-eating fiasco netted the office a $500 prize, which they donated to a fund that helps low-income pet owners pay for vet bills.Although the Great Dane's story is unique, pets can suffer from a specific type of eating disorder that causes them to ingest things they shouldn't.

Learning about pica

When dogs consume nonfood items on a regular basis, they may be suffering from a condition called pica, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. While it might indicate malnutrition, puppies and younger dogs might ingest foreign objects out of boredom. However, if gone unchecked, it can develop into compulsive behavior that doles out considerable damage to a pooch's digestive system.Puppies typically outgrow chewing and eating nonfood items after roughly six months, but they might continue to consume strange objects and need your help to stop. One of the easiest ways to tell if your dog has developed pica is if he or she seems intensely motivated to find and eat bizarre items like rocks, plastic bags or clothing. In addition, dogs will often eat grass when they feel sick to make themselves vomit and improve digestion. Because grass and soil can serve as dietary supplements, this kind of pica doesn't usually cause much concern among pet owners.

Fixing issues with pica

The best option for interrupting your pooch's bizarre eating habits is to take preventative measures, Cesar's Way explained. This can involve simple steps such as moving items out of the dog's reach to investing in new locks and cabinets to store objects out of sight.Similar to how parents babyproof their homes for newborns by removing sharp items and padding table corners, pet owners can make efforts to impact their dogs' pica. Although investing in locks might not be ideal, it's considerably more affordable than expensive surgeries like the sock removal procedure that was conducted in Portland. Dog owners can also distract their canines with mental exercise to keep them busy, such as playing with a variety of toys that are safe to chew. They should keep a close eye on their four-legged friends as well and be ready to fish any nonfood items out of their mouths to discourage irregular eating habits.Another option is joining PetPlus, where owners can have access to discounted medications and veterinarian appointments that can't be found anywhere else. Visit the site today and learn why it's the best place to turn to for medical assistance and food supplements for the family dog.


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