When it comes to feeding time, dogs go crazy. In general, they love food time and go ballistic! However, some dogs eat fast, prompting the question, “why does my dog eat too fast?”
Thiss habit is something you should address and try to rectify. It is not a good thing if your dog eats its food by virtually gulping it down. It can cause problems, some of which may be serious. As a habit, try to make it get out of this habit.
Why does my dog eat too fast? Let’s look closely at the causes and consequences.
Competition from other dogs
Do you have two dogs or more? This could explain why one or more of your dogs eats too fast. It comes down to competition. Let’s say you have two dogs. One may normally eat while the other is done in the blink of an eye. This may be because they are trying to prevent the other dog from eating their food.
It could also go back to puppies competing with their littermates. It somehow developed into an instinct, so now the dog that eats fast may view others as competition, even if the other pet was not a dog but a cat.
Underlying health conditions
It is quite possible that your dog eats fast because of an underlying health issue. Sometimes, these medical issues can cause excessive hunger in your dog. For example, if your dog has Cushing’s disease, it can impact their metabolism, thus increasing their appetite. They may also be drinking more water than normal.
Similarly, a dog’s metabolism may be affected if it has diabetes. This, too, can cause an increase in appetite and make them eat quickly. Dogs are also prone to getting parasites, worms and other things that can trigger this excessive hunger and overenthusiastic appetite, where they scoff down their food quickly.
Dogs need proper nutrition. It is best to ask the advice of your vet, who will know the history of your dog. Poor nutrition means that your dog’s food is not properly balanced. This could also be a reason why your dog eats quickly.
Your vet can recommend a change in diet to ensure your dog eats a well-balanced and nutritious meal. Sometimes, your vet may have specific foods stocked in their clinic and can recommend one based on your dog’s medical history. You can also consider exploring other dietary choices like natural raw dog food, which are excellent options with health benefits.
Perhaps you just adopted a dog from a shelter. The people looking after the dog may not have been feeding the dog regularly. It is never a good idea to feed your dog at different times. Believe it or not, dogs, when fed regularly, know almost like a precision quartz clock that it is time to eat. They have this in-built mechanism that tells them it is time to eat (or time for a walk or a treat, when done regularly).
If the previous people fed the dog at different times, the poor dog might not realize when to get its next meal. As a result, they may eat as quickly as possible because they never know when they will be fed next. So they make the most of the chance they are given. As the new owner, you can now add a bit of structure into their lives and feed them at regular times or intervals. Your dog will soon realize that it will be fed at a certain time and, therefore, slow down.
We’ve touched on some of the reasons why a dog eats too fast. Now let us look at why this is not a good thing. It can be quite dangerous. As mentioned, eating too fast may signify an illness as yet not detected. Eating fast can cause your dog to get sick. They gulp in too much air when they eat fast. This can lead to vomiting regurgitation and cause digestive issues.
Another concern is choking. By not chewing, your dog may end up choking on its food. There is also another life-threatening condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus. Your dog’s stomach can rupture as a result of becoming twisted. This is why it is also advised never to play with your dog just after it eats.
If you’ve wondered why my dog eats too fast, you can help slow things down. You could use slow-feeder bowls. You could (and perhaps should) feed your dog smaller meals several times a day. You could also ask your vet for advice on feeding your dog so it does not eat too fast and swallow too much air. Always talk to your vet and make sure that there are no underlying illnesses.