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PostHeaderIcon Why Is My Dog Always Hungry And Unable To Lose Weight?

Do you have a dog that is always hungry and begging for food? Have you asked your vet more than once to test her for low thyroid?  Do you keep getting the same answer from him?  “Her blood work is normal.” Do you measure her food and she is still overweight?  Have you spent hours online searching for a possible answer to why your dog is so hungry all the time?  If this sounds like you and your dog welcome to my club.

I have three Pomeranians, two of them are about 6 or 7 pounds.  Bria my third Pomeranian was close to 23 pounds.  I like to think she is bigger boned but that was just a fantasy of mine. I know sometimes hereditary is involved but I don’t think she should weigh  more than 15 pounds. The problem is she eats her food and usually two hours later she starts begging for more. She barks and won’t stop until I give her something. Many people including my regular vet just told me to ignore her when she begs for food, but he does not understand how persistent she can be.

Things I’ve Tried To Help My Dog To Lose Weight That Didn’t Work.

I’ve tried giving her raw carrots in between meals, I’ve also tried to break her feeding down to four small meals instead of two. I’ve tried switching her to a grain free diet because I was told that rice is converting to sugar too fast in her system.

I read that if my dog was having poor absorption of nutrients  from her digestive system that her body would send out messages that say she  is still hungry. So I tried giving her vitamins and digestive enzymes.

I read many articles proposing the science between probiotics and weight loss. Acidophilus seems to have an effect on leptin  the hormone that controls your hunger, metabolism and long-term body weight. I started giving my dog probiotics.

When that didn’t work I tried switching her to canned food because it has more meat protein and fewer carbohydrates than dry kibble. While this seemed to fill her up longer this was not the answer either.

All or even a few of these changes may help your dog but it didn’t help my overweight constantly hungry Pomeranian Bria.  I decided to look for a holistic vet and see if we could get to the bottom of her problem.

How I Finally Got My Dog To Lose Weight.

Since I had recently started cooking for my dogs  he told me to put her on an Atkins diet.  He gave me a slip of paper that contained feeding guidelines for overweight dogs. Her food would contain 50% protein, 40% vegetables and 10% fats.

I started fixing her this diet and still would give her carrots in between meals. I would try to save a tablespoon of her measured food to give her a few hours later when she started begging for food again.

Luckily the weather was cooler and we tried to walk every day. When I went back to the vet a few weeks later for something else I don’t remember,  I couldn’t believe that she actually lost weight.

She continued to lose weight over the next month. When the scale read 19.9 lbs. I can’t tell you how happy I was. I don’t remember her weighing less than 20 pounds since she was two years old.

She continues to lose weight and currently weighs 18.5 lbs.  I hope that she can get down to 15 lbs. and then I will decide if she needs to lose more or she can just start eating an adult maintenance diet that my holistic vet recommended.

For those of you who would like to know the proportions of an adult dog maintenance diet it is 30% protein foods, 30% vegetables, 20% carbohydrates and 20% fats.

I hope this gives any overweight dogs and their owners some renewed hope for a healthier weight. I’ve included some more information on the protein, vegetables, carbohydrates and fats to help clarify this diet.

Preparing Home Food For  Dogs

Protein sources may be beef, chicken, turkey, lamb fish, pork cottage cheese eggs, soy foods or liver.

Vegetables may be celery, broccoli squash, kale, brussel sprouts, peas, green beans,  lima beans.  Fruits like berries and melon can be added in season. Avoid fruits if dog is overweight.

Carbohydrates include sweet potato, pasta, rice quinoa, and barley.

Fats can be olive oil, sunflower oil, flax oil or coconut oil which I prefer.  One teaspoon of oil per 2o lbs. of pet’s body weight daily.

I hope this helps with anyone who had an overweight dog and I just want to mention that I used beef or turkey that was 96 % fat-free as her protein source. Yes it was more expensive than the 85% fat-free ground chuck me and my husband ate but what the heck she is worth it.

The following is Bria’s before picture, I think I’ll wait until she gets down to 15 lbs. to add her after picture.  But trust me all my friends have noticed a big change in her.  She plays more than she did before also.


Bria side view 300x225 Why Is My Dog Always Hungry And Unable To Lose Weight?

As an added note puppies and dogs with cancer or kidney failure also have a different feeding guidline which I will be happy to share with anyone who would like more information.





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8 Responses to “Why Is My Dog Always Hungry And Unable To Lose Weight?”

  • stella says:

    Hi Sue,

    I have an overweight chihuahua and have tried everything without achieving positive results.

    Thank you for sharing this formula, I’m definitely going try it. However, do you have any information relating to the portion size by dog weight?

    Cheers stella

    • Sue Huss says:

      Hi Stella,
      While my vet never gave me a good answer to that question, I came up with the following formula from a book I purchased entitled Better Food for Dogs. They have several recipes in there they tell you how much to feed your dog according to weight. I added the amounts up and came up with the following. One and 3/4 cup of food is supposed to make 4 feedings for a 5 pound dog. That is a little more than 1/4 cup if you feed your dog twice a day. To add more confusion the book has different amounts of protein if you feed chicken or turkey. I believe because they have different calorie amounts. I assume you will want to use 96% fat free beef to help your baby lose weight. It’s a little expensive but they are worth it. I think you’ll have to use a trial and error at first, if your dog doesn’t lose weight give her a little less, and if he/she is still to hungry try some carrots sticks or saving a small amount for a snack. I don’t know how dogs can only be happy eating 2 times a day when people needs to eat every 4 or 5 hours. Remember to add vitamins and probiotics to home-made dog food. Let me know if I can be of any more help to you.
      I almost forgot, if you’re going to add vegetables like beets (it seems beets are the only vegetable my dog is not allergic to) always check the sugar content some cans have 6 grams of sugar while others have 2 grams of sugar. Always choose less sugar. Try to give your dog some exercise too if you don’t already.

      • stella says:

        hi sue,
        this is a great place for me to start. my chi is 5.7kg which is roughly 13 pounds. monster in chi terms. my baby has an auto immune disease called immune mediated poly arthritis. one of the medications side effects is an increase in hunger, making weight management so difficult. weight loss is critical as the extra weight is putting strain on the joints. poor little dog, always so hungry and i’m continually cutting his food. will be trying your formula and thanx again for sharing.

  • Shehila says:

    You should get him checked for diabetes. I had a dog that had those same symptoms and the tests he had said he had diabetes and had to have insulin injections twice a day. Also a sign of diabetes in digs is being very thirsty and urinating a lot and being tired.

    • Sue Huss says:

      I did mention that to my vet but she does not drink that much and is great at holding her urine for over 10 hours at night. Eventually I took her to a naturalpathic vet who put her on thyroid medicine even though her bloodwork showed normal. This along with her new diet helped her immensely.

  • Maggie says:

    That’s great advice and I’m starting today! I have a cocker spaniel and the only thing I haven’t tried is your successful advice – much appreciated from the highland of Scotland.

  • Anne says:

    Same basic anti-inflammatory diet described by Perlmutter in “Grain Brain”!

    At the risk of grossing everyone out, also consider FMT if a slim donor is nearby. There is a human clinical trial for this about to begin (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02530385), and there is one in progress for canines in the Netherlands (sorry but I can’t find an English language link). I do this regularly for my dog with ulcerative colitis, so I can confidently say it is super easy to perform at home! There are youtube videos that demo the process. But screen your donor for parasites first!

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