Tips for Handling Hungry Dogs

My hungry dog pesters me until I feed her. Any suggestions?

We’ve all done it. We give in and feed our dogs treats because it’s easier to feed them than to deal with the constant begging. Don’t worry, you are not alone!  Our dogs have trained us well and know exactly which buttons to press when it comes to getting their way.

Here are some tips for handling hungry dogs and pleading pups:

  • Do not use a self-feeder. While this seems obvious, auto-feeders are nothing more than unlimited candy machines to a dog.
  • Pet your dog or play with them when they begs for food. Many dogs substitute food for affection so flip the equation and you may find that playtime displaces mealtime.
  • Go for a walk with your dog when he begs – Fort Collins is perfect for it! The distraction and interaction may be just enough to make it forget its desire for food.
  • Feed small meals frequently – give a later  feeding, or “second dinner,” for  those dogs that like to wake you up in the wee hours begging for more goodies – divide the total volume or calories into four to six smaller meals – whatever you do, don’t feed extra food.
  • When the bowl is empty and your dog is pleading, add a few kibbles to the bowl. A few means only a few – not a handful.
  • If more than one person feeds the dog, you should measure out the total daily food into a separate container such as a covered food storage container. Then, everybody knows how much the dog has been fed, and how much is left for the day. If you enjoy giving treats to your dog, feed her several kibbles from the container rather than giving her high calorie dog biscuits.
  • Give a couple of pieces of vegetables such as baby carrots, frozen sliced carrots, broccoli, green beans, celery or asparagus. Most dogs love crunchy treats so make it a healthy – and low-calorie choice.
  • Offer fresh water instead of food. If your dog is eyeing the empty food bowl, a drink of cold, fresh water may satisfy the craving.


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