Updated at: 18-01-2022 - By: petstutorial

Once you own a dog, you’ll want the very best for them and hope they lead a long and healthy life. Overeating can damage your dog’s health and extra calories from overeating may lead to health issues as your dog gets older.

Many dog owners look for reasons behind their aasssdogs’ greediness to control it.Why-Is-My-Dog-So-Greedy-1.jpg

In general, dogs love food and will eat just about anything put in front of them, especially tasty human food. It is important to control their overall food intake if they have weight or health issues.  Dogs have an instinct to eat as much as they can in case they don’t have the next meal.

Sharing a little treat with your dog may seem harmless but it can lead to serious health problems if they eat too many calories and become overweight.

Read on to find ways to determine if your dog is greedy or hungry. We also examine the behavioral and medical reasons that could be behind your dog’s greediness.

It is quite natural among dog owners to observe greed for food among their pets. We will not address this attraction for food as greed; instead, we want to designate this issue as an inborn inclination of your dog towards food. Sometimes this can make the owners worried. For this reason, today, we will discuss this topic descriptively and want to make clear the possible effects of this inclination towards food on the health of your dog.

Is My Dog Hungry or Greedy?

When your dog first begs for a little bit of what you are eating you don’t think much of it. Maybe the poor fella just built up an appetite after that last game of fetch.

Not many dog owners know about how many calories a dog is supposed to consume in a day. All dogs are vastly different in size, weight, muscle mass, and health conditions. Active dogs, especially, have a huge appetite and require an ample and well-balanced diet.

Non-working pets, on the other hand, not so much.

When your dog starts to make a habit out of begging for extra food, it is entirely possible that they are just being greedy and have developed a taste for human food. To be on the safe side, though, how can you tell the difference?

Here are some tell-tale signs that will confirm that your dog isn’t greedy, just hungry:

  • There was an increase in her energy levels.
  • They get too excited when the meal is served and finish it in a few seconds.
  • Your dog keeps licking the bowl even after finishing the food.
  • She exhibits food aggression.
  • Her ribs have become more visible over time.

Why Are Dogs So Greedy? Behavioral Reasons

Here are some of the major behavioral reasons explaining why dogs are so greedy.


1. Scavenging Instinct

Our domesticated canine friends were once mighty wolves— hunters and scavengers. Before forming an alliance with human hunters and scavengers, these ancestral dogs never had a steady supply of food.

Instead, they functioned with the knowledge that each meal could be their last for a while. Hence, it seems that that survival instinct never went away.

2. They Love The Taste

Or, rather, they love the smell.

You see, dogs only have around 1,700 taste buds while humans have more than 9,000. However, dogs have 125 million sensory glands compared to a human’s 5-10 million. This means that the moment they catch a whiff of food, their nose goes into hyperdrive.

This is why dogs enjoy eating weird-tasting (and often weird-smelling) food and treats.

3. Changes In The Environment

Stress eating is just as common in humans as it is in animals. In fact, the reason we stress-eat is that we are overly anxious. This anxiety triggers a survival response in our body to consume as much food as possible.

Similarly, dogs also respond to stress by going into this eating overdrive mode.

One of the main sources of this stress is a change in their home environment. For example, when someone leaves, your dog could develop separation anxiety and start digging around in the trash.

Or, maybe a new pet poses a threat to your dog’s food security, making the anxious pooch hog up all the food.

Why Are Dogs So Greedy? Medical Reasons

If you’ve ruled out all behavioral reasons for your dog’s greediness, it might be time to consider medical and physiological reasons.

In this case, you’re not underfeeding your dog; but your dog isn’t being greedy, either.

Instead, something is preventing your dog from absorbing all the energy and nutrients that would otherwise make her feel full.

This could be because of various medical reasons, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Aging
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Bacterial overgrowth in the intestines
  • Reaction to medication
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • Hyperthyroidism

Is Your Dog Greedy Or Hungry?

Sometimes, by mistake, you can end up giving your dog a smaller portion than he needs. Do that consistently, and you get a food-obsessed dog, and for a good reason.

If you’re not already feeding your dog based on what is printed on the dog food bag, please start doing so.

Alternatively, if you’re not feeding your dog kibble, you may have to consult a dietitian for dogs. A dietitian for dogs should be able to figure out your dog’s energy needs and tell you approximately how much you should feed him.


That being said, all dogs are slightly different.

If you feed your dog the right amount per day, you can try increasing it slightly to see how it affects his food greediness or hunger signs.

The Ribcage Is Clearly Showing

While a slightly showing ribcage is fine, there could be a problem if it’s too well defined.

Try touching your dog’s rib cage. You should be able to feel the ribs quite easily. But, if you can feel the full definition of the rib, it’s a bad sign.

On the other hand, if you cannot feel the ribs, you may have overfed your dog.

Dealing With a Greedy and Food Obsessed Dog

Food greediness is not always a bad thing.

Yes, it can cause particular problems if you’re letting it go wild. Still, your dog’s food obsession is a highly effective tool you can leverage for training.

Without the food obsession, it would be much harder to train dogs. In fact, we may have actually selected and bred dogs specifically to be more food greedy for that very purpose.

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