This is a 10 year-old dachshund, male. For about a month now, he seems to have excessive appetite. We give him dry Eukanuba topped with canned dog food. He was never excited to see his dry food. Ate only we "sweetened" it with canned food. Now he is so hungry that he literally attacking the dog food bin. His weight seems about the same. His stool was checked against parasites. Is this normal? We had him since he was 8 weeks old. He's never been like that. As far as I can tell, he acts normal otherwise.
This is what's in Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Formula:
Chicken By-Product Meal
Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
Ground Whole Grain Barley
Fish Meal (source of fish oil)
Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E, and Citric Acid)
Natural Chicken Flavor
Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed)
I happen to know that Brewer's Rice and Beet Pulp are junk ingredients. They provide bulk but no nutrients. The good part of this is that chicken is at the top of the list. But who knows what the actual quality of this chicken is?
I am not the best nutritional advisor here. I happen to know that Misfits4Me knows a heck of LOT more than I do about canine nutrition. Maybe you would like to send her a message. I am sure she would help if she can.
It could be that your dog is not getting as much good nutrition as he needs.
Now, -there may well be other reasons for this voracious hunger. Firstly, how cold is it right now where you live? And does he spend quite a bit of time outside? If he exercises a lot in cold weather, he will need more food than he would need when it is warmer. (Pets need extra food anyway in cold weather)
Also he could possibly have a health issue going on. A thyroid imbalance, or some other thing. To be 100% certain this is not a physical problem, I would take him to your vet and have a "Senior Blood Panel" run. This is a pretty comprehensive screening, and is a good idea anyway for an older dog.
My dog gets well fed. She always loves her food, and has some past history (before she came to live with me) of being fed when her "owners" remembered, or weren't too drunk or too high....etc, so she used to get what she could when she could, and it sort of stuck with her. Anyway now she would eat until she bust! I am sure!
She's healthy, and has a good two meals a day with little snack at night. But she's an active dog, spends most of her time outside running around.
However the weather has been very cold lately, below freezing, and I have noticed she is wolfing that food down more than usual, like she's never going to eat again! So I have deliberately been giving her extra. I think she needs it, as she is not gaining excess weight.
I buy meat in and fish, and cook it up for her with some vegetables, and add that to her dry food. I buy a special healthy option dry food (that one is available only in UK) with good protein, and the carbs are brown rice, and it contains all the vits minerals, etc with omega oils. I also bake her oatmeal cookies with carrot (or apple)and sunflower oil for treats.
If he is cold you may want to try a sweater. A lot of dogs do eat more when they are cold, however you need to control this so they don't gain unnecessary weight. /my house stays at 55-60 but all my APBTs have jackets so they are not adversely affrected. They also bury under covers at night!
I don;r know if you have had to put him on prednisone for anything but that will also radically increase appetite.
Good luck and let us know!
For starters, Eukanuba (All Kinds) is a very low quality food......So, if your dog has eaten this his entire life or even a year, I'd lean towards a nutritional problem.....Yes, he's literally starving !
Dog Food Analysis.com rates this dry food as 1 star.....They rate 1-6 stars....1 being the lowest with improper nutrition for a dog....
Other resources to learn about what your guy needs in a food:
Dog Food Advisor.com
Dog Food Chat.com
Dog Food Project.com
Pet Food Ratings.com
There are many more......
Also, Eukanuba has had many recalls...The lastest being in July 2010 for Salmonella Poisoning! Many of their foods were suppose to be pulled from the shelves, but were they? Hum???? This company cannot be trusted to know what is best for our pets.....They have proved that many times! Your dog probably realizes that this is NOT food, thus he won't eat it without a topper....
Second.....Dog's DO need more food in the winter to maintain body heat.....Don't cut back on exercise, though...
Third...In my experience with a dog that acted like it was starving all the time & she WAS being fed "Real Food", it turned out to be an underactive Thyroid.
So again, everything that Ginger said, I agree with...I just wanted to add some insight on the importance of proper food, especially for your Senior guy......
Thank you Karla. He ate Eukanuba all his life. This is the first time he acts funny. Maybe he needs senior food. I am still giving him adult maintenace. He is active and healthy. He just had a checkup.
Hi Again.....Want to add that if he has not had a "Senior Blood Panel" done, he needs one.....There are many common diseases that lead to uncontrolable hunger....Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Cushings, and again Thyroid Disease....
You said he just had a check up, but didn't mention if he had bloodwork done.....Just trying to cover all bases here. ;) Karla
One more thing, I had a rescue that came to me with tapeworm. All her stool samples had been negative for parasites, and an additional one I had done was also fine. It wasn't until I actually saw the tapeworms crawling in her poop and took that in that we got it figured out. Apparently its not uncommon for tapeworm to hide and generate false negative samples!
And I agree w/Karla, don't switch to Senior food. It's mostly fillers and low protein source. Its much better to feed a high quality food and then feed a little less if weight becomes an issue.
The thing about the blood panel workup is that if there are any imbalances they can be addressed BEFORE they start to show serious symptoms, or before any issues become so big they are hard to treat. Forewarned is forearmed.
No doubt he will be OK and well. (I had one done for my dog last year and all her values were perfectly fine) But dogs are notorious at 'hiding' many symptoms, until they start to actually knock them off their feet! They are very stoical.
So even though it may cost a little bit to get this done, I always do feel it is a very good idea.
Thank you for thoughtfull advises. We had the same vet for all his life. I would think/hope the vet would/should have suggested the blood test knowing his age. He also had a bladder infection recently. That and the annual check up together cost a bunch holding me back for another visit to the vet. I'll wait a bit before deciding what to do. Thank you.
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