Why Does My Dog Eat So Fast?

Written by Kelvin | Updated May 6, 2021

Why Does My Dog Eat So Fast?

The tendency to eat fast is present within many dogs. If your dog is one of them, you've come to the right post.

This is something that has an inclination to occur in young dogs, which is easier to treat. Nonetheless, it could lead to serious harm if untreated, especially if your pet already has digestive problems.

One big step to address the situation is by knowing the reasons why this happens.

Therefore, we structured this blog in 6 important aspects to consider:

  1. Why do dogs eat so fast?
  2. How fast is too fast for a dog to eat?
  3. How long should a dog take to eat?
  4. Is it bad for my dog to eat so fast?
  5. Can Dog Eating too fast cause diarrhea?
  6. How to stop my dog from eating so fast?

Why Do Dogs Eat So Fast?

Eating too fast doesn't mean that your dog is hungry.

Instead, this is an attitude related to a mental appetite rather than actual hunger.

One of the primary reasons behind this behavior is the fact that they needed to strive for breast milk when they were just newborns. Constant quarrels with their brothers and sisters have accustomed them to take prompt action before it is too late, even if this is no longer the case.

Other causes apart from competition could include:

  1. An outcome of living with other pets, which arises the instinct of protecting his food.
  2. Poor food quality - the food you've been supplying to your dog might not be the best as some brands sell imbalanced portions in terms of nutrition.
  3. Unscheduled mealtimes - this might be the most common cause on dogs that were strain and had to find food for themselves or their previous owners didn't feed them regularly.

How Fast Is Too Fast for A Dog to Eat?

You're the only one who can tell if your pet is eating too fast or not by monitoring his behavior. For instance, if he seems too agitated every time he eats, doesn't take his time to chew, and/or vomits right after, there's a high possibility that he may be a fast eater.

Since your dog is eating faster, the quantity he ingests is higher. As a result, the stomach's volume increases, leading to a deceleration of the digestive enzymes' liberation, which is essential for the absorption of nutrients. Moreover, this affects digestion and can direct to a tendency for weight gain and other health problems.

How Long Should A Dog Take to Eat?

There's not a standard period of time for your dog to eat a meal. However, if your pet takes seconds to finish a meal, it's definitely a fast eater.

This may make you wonder:

"Am I feeding him correctly?"

If you have a bowl full of food all day, the answer is No.

When establishing a good routine for feeding, you start to monitor how much food he's consuming and hold more control over his health.

Therefore, there’s an ideal time to feed your pet, according to his age:

  • 2 to 4 months old: 4 times a day.
  • 4 to 8 months old: 3 times a day.
  • From 8 months old: 2 times a day (for healthy dogs) - you can find him some snacks throughout the day as well.

If you still have doubts about the quantity, you can check if the food package has any instructions, as it happens in most cases.

Is it bad for my dog to eat so fast?

Eating too fast can lead to overeating if you don't restrain your pet's food portions. As a result, your dog could be developing food compulsion.

Here are 7 symptoms that your pet is going through this:

  1. Restless behavior.
  2. Abdominal distention, which is noticeable to the touch.
  3. He finds it hard to lay in a comfortable position.
  4. He gets more tired than usual.
  5. Wheezing.
  6. Nausea and vomiting.
  7. Excessive salivation.

Don't hesitate to take a trip to the vet if you frequently find yourself noticing these symptoms, as it can compromise your pet's health by complicating blood circulation and hydration.

Even though these are common signs of food compulsion, they could also be related to other severe cases, such as gastric dilatation-volvulus: a pathology that twists the pet's belly, trapping gases and food in the stomach.

Can Dog Eating Too Fast Cause Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a result of intestinal problems or ingestion of food that has gone bad.

Previously, we mentioned that continuously eating fast can lead to stomach issues. Moreover, we referred that it could cause lack of nutrients, which is one of the causes behind defecation difficulties.

If your pet has this problem, try these 3 solutions:

  1. Provide him plain yogurt as it contains good bacteria.
  2. Feed him boiled rice with chicken or turkey (without any seasoning).
  3. Keep him hydrated.

How to stop my dog from eating so fast?

In order to prevent your dog from having health issues, you must take action now. Here are some tips on how you can do it.

Don't give all the food of the day at once

Bear in mind that your dog is not aware that you'll not be giving him more food all day. Therefore, one of the reasons why he has been eating fast is due to actual hunger.

Having this said, split the food into two meals. You can give him treats throughout the day as well.

Implement food toys

You can use interactive toys, which allow you to put the dry or wet food inside. This provides entertainment and keeps him busy while eating. Thus, he will be eating more slowly.

Replace the bowl

To help the animals with this problem, a relatively new kind of bowl has come to help. It consists of a bowl with "obstacles" to eat, which has been proven to be effective.

You can find it at Amazon for $12.99 or less: https://www.amazon.com/Brake-Fast-Food-Slow-Feed-Bowl/dp/B000PE30MQ

Note that if you suspect that it’s becoming a critical situation, don’t hesitate to visit a vet.

You’re doing your pet a favor!

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