Food Obsessions

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by Myndi, May 16, 2011.

  1. Myndi New Member

    Let me start off by saying that Snickers is my first dog, so, naturally he's my first old dog. He'll be 10 this December and his behavior seems to have changed some and I'm not sure what to make of it.

    He's always been a bit of a pig when it comes to food, but its gotten much worse lately. In February I got sick and was in the hospital and just recently got to come home and I don't know if some of the stress from that could be causing this or what. He constantly acts like he's starving. He roots around all over the house for food all the time and inhales his food then runs to try and steal Ava's. We've gotten to the point where we feed him in one room and Ava in the other, but when you put food in his bowl, he's eaten all of it and is next to you begging for more before you can walk the 10 feet to Ava's bowl. There's so many other examples too...its really frustrating.

    I'm not sure if its a training issue or something where he's just getting older and changing. He's been checked at the vet for it several times as its been progressively getting worse and, aside from being overweight (go figure :rolleyes:) he's in great shape. I'm doing all that I can to curb him from being so obsessive - Ava's bowl is in her crate now, he gets dinner from a Kong that he has to work at, and I spend a lot of time just supervising so he doesn't get into stuff. I've even resorted to using a squirt bottle (just like with a cat) because he seems to have realized that I can't walk too well anymore and won't listen to any of my commands to "leave it" if I'm more than a few feet away from him.

    Are behavior changes like this normal-ish with him getting older? And, does anyone have any other suggestions on how to stop the obsession?
    tigerlily46514 and Jean like this.

  2. lyka_01 Well-Known Member

    Maybe he is just being jealous of your other dog Ava during mealtime. Separating them during meal times might have made him want to steal Ava's food more.
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    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  3. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Ok,this is a very uneducated guess,so dont take it personel or for defo:)
    Could it be that he may need a different food,as he s older now,and may not get the nutrients/minerals and his body may be craving more of something that is not in his current food? Is he still very active? Maybe he is just hungry:)
    I have seen two dogs being seperate for mealtime,and it worked really good for them,so not sure if it would be a jealousy issue,but again,just a guess:)
    Good luck for your old boy and that you will find the right solution for you:)
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ouch, an overweight senior dog is a death sentence. sorry to be harsh, but you have to cut his food back. Of all the things you do for this dog, getting weight off of him is your #1 priority.
    His hips, knees will blow, it is a strain on his heart, and all his organs. I'm not kidding. and once their limbs blow, that is often the beginning of the end.

    I learned this the hard way, cuz i once had chubby dog (was chubby when i met him) and i was stunned how difficult it is to get weight off of a dog, so start now if you do not want your dog to end up crippled.

    Do NOT use weight loss/low fat dog food, though, nope. That WILL ruin his coat and give him skin problems, dogs NEED a certain amt of fats. But do give him 'normal' nutritious dog food but LESS of it. Cut it back by 25%, after several weeks, weigh the dog, take him to the vets to do this, they do not charge to weigh your dog. If no weight loss, maybe cut it back by 30%. ALWAYS measure your dog's food, too.

    HInt---if you buy your dog food in a human grocery store, 99% chance that it is crap dog food.:poop:
    http://www.dogtrickacademy.com/members/forums/threads/i-love-to-talk-nutrition.3464/

    Walk your dog more, slowly increasing his activity. This is good for your own recovery, too.
    If your dog seems antsy/hungry, instead of giving him food, give him love. Loving a dog means attention, walks, training or play sessions, NOT food.

    Check over the treats you use for this dogs. Almost ALL store bought treats are pure crap, :poop:no matter what they are named, these store bought treats have no nutrition whatsoever, just rubbery globs of flour, toxic chemicals, salt and sugar.

    Good, healthy, economical, EASY TO MAKE dog treat recipe in this thread, scroll down this thread--->
    http://www.dogtrickacademy.com/members/forums/threads/project.3293/
    Give your dog carrots for snacks. Remove ALL flour from his diet, dogs do NOT need flour, at all, ever. nope.

    Also, they sell special bowls, with dividers, to help dogs slow down their eating. Go to your local pet store and ask to see one.

    GOOD LUCK!!! It is NOT easy to help a dog get fit again, *i* know, but, you have to try!! GOOD LUCK!!!
    Dodge likes this.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Also, your dog's behavior might not have ANYTHING to do with "food", at all, it *might* represent he is anxious, it *might* represent he is bored/unfullfilled. who knows? Nothing makes a dog a lil nutters faster than boredom.

    Myndi, unless you are superwoman, you probably had to recuperate from your surgery like any other mortal, and probably had to slow down to recover, etc etc. Most likely, it is easy to imagine, you slowing down, also impacted your dogs' activity level.
    Maybe they are not getting the same amt of activity they did before you had to slow down to recover from surgery??? Maybe on walks you are not yet up to walking as fast as they like to? (i am just guessing).

    but, worth examining your dogs' lives, to assess, are they being kept busy enough??? Are they getting a good chance to get worn out each day??
    If you are not yet healthy enough to give the dogs at least two good walks each day, well, Even teaching dogs tricks is very satisfying to a dog, helps relax them, make them feel they DID get a chance to figure something out, they DID get a chance to use their brain, and that awesome "we are important, and we are important to mom." feeling, too.

    I'd try making SURE my dogs got TWO good walks each day, teach them some tricks, play with them some game they love, each day, and see if THAT helps my dog calm down................worth a try.
    Dodge likes this.

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