View Full Version : hungry dogs!

13th April 2012, 01:27 PM
hi all,

a little advice needed again!
my three have sucessfully lost a little weight each after a winter of ailments. walking now is for fun as daisy had her op for her collasping trachea and everytime we go very far from home macy always seems to have one of her seizures and we end up carrying her home very quickly. poppy thankfully is fine but she is the one to watch with the weight gain.
my problem now is how to keep the weight off as they seem to be always STARVING!
they are on burns fish and brown rice which agrees with their tummys but this morning they were awake before six looking for food. they have apples and carrots and broccoli and chicken as treats but is there something i could give to fill them up a bit more?
any help would be great, thanks.

13th April 2012, 02:44 PM
I think this is a fairly normal Cavalier trait. Sophie is always hungry. Giving them cooked green beans and/or pumpkin is a good filler without the calories & carbs. I've started adding some cooked green beans to Sophie's dinner, but she continues to act as if she has a hollow leg.

Kate H
13th April 2012, 02:58 PM
Try Burns High Oats - it works a treat with Aled, who apparently only has to look at food to put on weight, although he isn't actually greedy. The great plus with it is that you can give them their normal amount of food, so they don't feel hungry (or at least with your lot not hungrier than usual!). You're supposed to set a target weight and when they reach that move them back onto ordinary food (such as the Burns you feed now), but it might be worth checking with Burns whether you could keep them on it permanently (as you can with senior dogs who, getting less exercise, tend to put on weight).

Some dogs (my Oliver, for instance) are just born scavengers and seem to be always hungry. I presume you worm them regularly, as worms can also make them hungry. You could add some of the fresh vegetable to their food, not just as treats; as long as it doesn't affect their tummies, give them as much as they'll eat as 'filler'; cabbage and parsnips are good, too. When you put them back on the ordinary Burns, see if your supplier sells (or can get for you) Burns Alert - it's exactly the same as the usual Burns (fish/lamb/chicken and brown rice) with the addition of glucosamine, but because it's intended for working dogs carries no VAT, so saves you around 2 on a 7.5kg bag (this may not apply in Eire, I've just noticed!).

Kate, Oliver and Aled

13th April 2012, 03:10 PM
I had this problem with Pippin recently. I started feeding him 1/3 of his daily amount in the morning and 2/3's in the evening, I had being doing half and half. This seems to have stopped him looking for food too early, but doesn't stop him acting like he is half starved, this I just have to ignore:)

He also gets two small biscuits daily one at 11am and one after their walk and some days apple or banana.

13th April 2012, 03:21 PM
I'd actually look at this a different way: they are happily training you to give them food because they get rewarded for simply fussing about and acting hungry.

Mine look hungry all the time -- it is a cavalier 'thing' along with a handful of other breeds (labs among them) as most seem to lack, probably at genetic level, the ability to ever feel 'I'm full'. In humans this issue, which leads to gross obesity, is increasingly understood as a genetic change (there was a recent Horizon programme in the UK on this).

With humans, who can open cupboards or buy treats, managing obesity is more difficult. With animals, whose food is controlled by us, the answer is more one of -- yes, owner self restraint. I would never give my dogs extra foods to make them feel full throughout the day (though I do give them regular treats especially 'fillers' like carrots :) )and I certainly would not give them any type of treat in the morning in advance of a meal and especially not if they are beginning to wake earlier and earlier to actually demand food! That is simply had on you. :(

So I'd totally ignore that kind of behaviour. They simply do not need to made to feel full all the time by giving lots of low cal/co cal 'filler' treats -- which again only maintains the expectation of having full bellies all the time.

Every single cavalier I have owned is always ready for food, and is a 'problem' eater in that not one could eat what is needed and walk away, or avoid stuffing themselves to a dangerous level of risking bloat, given the opportunity. Lily looks constantly for food scraps on the ground while on walks. She was grossly obese when I got her out of a pound -- nearly twice her healthy weight.She went on a slow reduction/exercise programme, never was on a diet/filler food (though many find these helpful, but I just reduce the amount fed and add back in something like frozen green beans or grated carrot), and never got extra treats to compensate (and keep her wanting the same huge amount of food in her belly all day long...). She's been a heathy weight ever since, runs like the wind, and has learned to not pester for food because she and the others simply don;t get it for pestering as that trains them to pester and rewards such behaviour time after time. They do get a few treats throughout the day, fruit/veg or chews or the occasional dog biscuit, but not every time they look hungry or it would be all day long.

Obesity is the number one health risk for our dogs and has a severe impact on heart health, which will be an issue nearly every one of us will eventually face with a cavalier -- we all have to learn to ignore the normal and exasperating constant cavalier demand for food. For that matter they don't even 'enjoy' most treats anyway -- they inhale many without even chewing or tasting them. So I'd keep a light hand even with fruit/veg treats and certainly don't let the dogs start to shape when people wake up simply because they learn to expect food when THEY want it rather than when WE (sparingly!) give it. :)

It's great that the trachea surgery has worked so well. :flwr: What a change that will make in her life!

BTW if you have a dog having any kind of seizure on walks -- I would not walk them until they reach that state and need to be carried back; that really sounds alarming and a serious risk. Some dogs for heath reasons really cannot do long walks (often because of poor hearts for example) and sounds like she maybe needs a separate short walk?

Kate H
13th April 2012, 08:40 PM
Picking up on what Karlin says about walking Macy - why not get her a stroller? Then she could go along for walks with the others, while actually only having a very short walk herself, and then sitting enjoying the sights and sounds without over-tiring herself.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

15th April 2012, 01:10 PM
thanks for the replies and advice, i think karlin has hit the nail on the head and THEY are training me to react with food! :) so back to basics with feeding.the idea of a dog stroller might solve that problem even though my other half is convinced i am half mad!