If you are the proud owner of a furbaby, you must know how much your dog loves food. Like canines really, really love food! You may sometimes ask yourself, “ Why do dogs love food so much?”. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why our dogs seem to have an insatiable appetite, almost willing to eat just about anything.
Why do dogs love food so much?
Imagine how you feel when you smell succulent, crisp bacon frying on the stove or fresh coffee brewing. You may not even be hungry, but these smells begin to set your taste buds on fire. We know that our sense of smell is connected to and enhances our sense of taste. This is why eating during a cold is not pleasurable for our taste buds. For your dog, the situation multiplies by thousands – no correction – tens of thousands!
Our dogs have an incredible sense of smell; it is tens of thousands of times as powerful as ours. They even have an olfactory system in their nose ( absent in humans) that can pick up different odors.
A dog’s sensory enhancement does not stop with its sense of smell. Canines also have special taste receptors that go beyond our five tastes. Sure, dogs can taste what we can in terms of sour, sweet, salt, and bitter. However, dogs have a special receptor reserved for meat. They don’t care if it’s grilled chicken, stewed fish, or filet mignon. Dogs love any kind of meat and can’t differentiate the different types of meat.
Since humans often eat meat (except for vegetarians of course), rest assured you are constantly giving your dog something to crave in the kitchen or when walking them past a restaurant. Our pups can even taste water in a way that humans are not able to. They have a specific receptor just for good old H2O. Dogs crave water so much they are willing to slurp it from a toilet.
Let’s not forget dogs are related to ancient wolves. Both their ancestors and current wild contemporaries are constantly and instinctively always on the hunt for food. Domestication has not killed this instant in our pet dogs.
Why do dogs love human food?
Considering all the variety in human food compared to a bowl of kibble, who could blame a dog for wanting to grab a bite off of our plate. However, the love for our food goes beyond being bored by their dog food. Our dogs have bonded with us so well over the centuries, they recognize and respond to human cues.
Several personal antidotes, YouTube, and TikTok videos show how dogs quickly respond to their owner simply appearing sad or in pain. Well, guess what? Dogs are also on the lookout for our social cues when deciding what should be on their dinner menu.
According to Scientific American, when a human displayed a preference for a smaller plate of food, the dogs in the study also went for the smaller plate. Bear in mind, the smaller dish only had one piece of food, but the bigger option had SIX items of food.
Regardless of how much a dog craves our food, be careful never to give them anything containing chocolate or onions. Those food items are poisonous to our pups. So be mindful of what scraps you throw from the dinner table.
Why does my dog act like he’s starving all the time?
Your dog may act like it’s starving all the time because it may truly be hungry. Even though you are feeding your dog a good amount of food, your dog may have poor absorption issues or underlying health problems.
Your ravenous dog may have a condition called polyphagia. This disorder may be a psychological condition or due to an underlying disease. The psychological condition could stem from a learned behavior of always going for food all the time. Symptoms of the disorder include weight gain, weight loss, increased urination, or increased thirst.
Some dogs become extremely hungry in old age, so aging is one common cause of the eating disorder. The onset of diabetes can also cause polyphagia.
If your dog is exhibiting signs of this eating disorder, take it seriously and go to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian can properly diagnose the issue and put your dog on a treatment plan. You may need to switch up your dog’s diet or give it oral medication. Like a human diabetic, you will have to give your dog insulin shots if diabetes is an underlying cause.
How can I get my dog to leave my food alone?
No matter how much you love your dog, you want to be able to enjoy a meal or a snack in peace. Who wants the smell of a juicy hamburger overridden by your dog’s breath right in your face? You may have to learn to wean your dog off of human food by using a couple of tricky methods.
Train your dog to lie down whenever you begin cooking or preparing a meal. Whenever it gets up, keep commanding to lie down. Start rewarding it with a dog treat ( not human food) when it lies down at this time.
Try reducing human food little by little, as you increase the dog food day by day. Canned dog food may be the best way to switch your dog back on to dog food. Canned dog food is harder to differentiate from the mashed meat a human may like.
You may also have to increase your dog food budget and invest in high-quality premium dog food. It is understandably tempting to get the big bag of kibble on sale, but it may not always taste good to your dog.
Try giving your dog enough time to eat its food. Set your dog bowl out at the standard mealtime and wait for your dog to eat it. Just keep up this regular habit until your dog eventually gives in. Avoid giving your dog any human food or human snacks. If you give your dog a treat, make sure it is a specific dog treat – not a piece of delicious bacon.