How to Manage the Feeding Frenzy

Question:

My 4 year old pug is obsessed with food. She turns into the Tasmanian devil. I tried just filling up the bowl and she gobbled down five bowls and was totally miserable. She would eat herself to death.  I have gone back to 1/2 cup morning and night.  My pug is a good normal weight. How can I stop the feeding frenzy?

 

Dr. Nichol:

Managing food intake is important. Overweight pets live less active lives because their joints break down from the extra load. Obesity also affects the heart, kidneys, and liver.

 

As domestic dogs evolved from their wild cousins they transitioned from group hunters to scavengers. Despite an abundance of food in our homes there is a continuing canine conviction that all resources are scarce. A famine could occur in 20 minutes, driving your dog and mine (the svelte Miss America) to devour whatever they can find as fast as possible. Only the aggressive eaters will survive the impending apocalypse.

 

They’re not all food fiends. Some solitary dogs can free feed and maintain thriving careers as lingerie models. Most are uninterested.

 

Feeding your pug two measured meals per day is smart for another reason. You want to know if her appetite drops off, often the first sign of illness. Owners who free feed may notice too late that their pets are sick. We need to watch for every clue.