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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
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
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
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
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
. 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
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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