It can be concerning when your dog eats too much food. Overeating can lead to a variety of health issues, such as obesity, canine bloat, and other digestive problems. But it's not always easy to tell if your pup is eating too much or simply enjoying their food.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take as pet parents to ensure that your furry friend is getting the right amount of nutrition without overindulging and prevent overeating. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to control your dog's appetite and make sure they're not overeating. So read on for more information about what to do if your dog eats too much!
What Happens When Your Dog Eat Too Much Food?
When your dog eats too much, they can suffer from a variety of health issues. Here are some of the potential risks:
The most common problem associated with overeating is obesity. Eating beyond their needs can cause excess fat to build up in the body and lead to weight gain.
If your pup is carrying excess weight, this can put extra strain on their joints and lead to joint damage. This is why it is important for your dog to maintain a healthy weight.
Overeating can also lead to canine bloat, which is a dangerous and life-threatening condition that happens when the stomach is filled with gas, fluid, or food. If left untreated, bloat can be fatal.
Eating too much food at one time can also cause digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea. This can be uncomfortable for your dog and could also lead to dehydration or even malnutrition if not addressed quickly.
Excess calories or weight can also put strain on the cardiovascular system and increase your pup's risk of developing heart disease. This is why some pet owners choose to fed their dog smaller meals instead of a one large meal.
Eating too much can also affect your dog's blood sugar levels, leading to diabetes. If your pup has diabetes, it is essential to monitor their food intake and ensure they are eating the right amount of food for their size and activity level.
Oops! Your Dog Ate Too Much...What Now?
If you’ve caught your dog red-handed with his muzzle in the cookie jar, so to speak, take a deep breath. This is actually the best case scenario. If you know exactly when your dog helped himself to, you can take immediate action. Plus, you’ll know exactly what it is that your dog has consumed.
Now, if you’ve come home to an empty food bag or treat jar and a bloated dog, you’ll want to act quickly since you don’t know how long your dog has been sitting with a full belly. But don’t panic! In most cases, as long as your dog has consumed food or treats that are safe for pets to eat, he’ll be perfectly fine — albeit quite full!
Here’s what you should do if your dog overeats some of his normal dog food or treats:
- Keep a close eye on your dog: Monitor your pup for signs that he’s uncomfortable or otherwise in distress.
- Check the ingredients: Make sure that the food or treats your dog has gorged himself on contains ingredients that are safe for him to consume.
- Contact your vet immediately: If anything seems amiss, don’t hesitate to seek vet care immediately for help. You can give the office a call with questions, or if your dog is obviously uncomfortable, bring your dog to an emergency clinic.
When To Worry About Your Dog’s Overindulgence
Of course, there are some warning signs to watch out for and instances that are cause for concern if your dog ate too much. If they've accidentally overeaten, you’ve overfed them, or they have gotten into something that isn’t safe for them to consume, it is imperative to watch them closely for signs of distress.
Here’s what you should keep in mind to help you determine whether a little rest and relaxation is enough to help your dog recover or if you need to seek medical attention ASAP.
If your dog has consumed toxic ingredients
If you’re worried that your dog has consumed some or worse, large quantities of ingredients that aren’t safe for Fido, get on the phone with your vet immediately. Maybe your pup busted into a bag of grapes and ate them all, or perhaps he ate a bag of candy that’s made with artificial sweeteners. In any case, you should make sure they stop eating and induce vomiting to get rid of what’s left in their stomach, and head to the vet for help.
If your dog has consumed objects that can cause obstruction
Did your dog get himself into the garbage bin? Make sure all packaging and pieces that were present in your trash bag are accounted for. Dogs love anything that smells like food or once held food in it and can’t always distinguish for themselves what’s edible and what’s not. Because of this, your dog might have consumed something that he shouldn’t and that could get lodged in his throat, stuck in his gut or cause an obstruction in his bowels. If you suspect Fido has ingested an object that’s not digestible, make sure you bring him into the vet asap.
If your pet is showing signs of dog bloat
While most dogs can handle an extra meal, or three, other dogs may experience a complication known as dog bloat.
What is Food Bloat in Dogs?
Food bloat occurs when your pup’s gut expands rapidly to account for a large volume of food that’s been consumed in a short period of time. Dogs that eat quickly are prone to bloat. The amount of food necessary to trigger dog bloat varies greatly, since all dogs have different tolerances and their stomach size spans a wide range.
Nonetheless, bloat is dangerous because it can cause your dog’s stomach to twist or flip, which can be fatal for pets. It’s always a serious situation that requires a trip to the vet, so watch out for these symptoms if you’re worried your dog might have developed bloat from overeating.
What Are Symptoms of Dog Bloat?
Many pets show obvious signs of distress especially if they experience dog bloat. Your pup will be visibly large and bloated, with a distended stomach that’s firm to the touch. Here are some other signs that your pup might be experiencing bloat:
- Uncontrolled Vomit: If your pup is vomiting nonstop, several times, especially in a row, take note. This is one symptom of food bloat.
- Restlessness: If your dog is pacing and just can’t seem to get comfortable, he’s likely uncomfortable...and this is another symptom of dog bloat.
- Panting or Dry Heaving and Excessive Drooling: If your dog is drooling all over the place and doesn’t normally have so much saliva, it could also be a sign that he has food bloat.
These aren’t all the symptoms that can signal concern for your dog, but they are some of the most common signs that your furry friend might be experiencing food bloat. As always, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discuss any potential health issues with your vet as soon as possible.
How to Prevent Canine Bloat and Help Your Pet Recover From Overeating
Once you know that your once bloated dog is now safe and doesn’t have a serious health issue, it's time to make sure that you prevent your dog from eating too much food or treats again.
- Give them plenty of potty breaks: You know your pup just consumed a whole lot of food, treats or other morsels...and what goes in, must come out! Your pup will likely need to ‘use the restroom’ more often than the norm in the time shortly after he’s overindulged. Be sure you’re taking frequent potty breaks to help your pet work through the extra food!
- Avoid taking them on frequent walks after every meal: The only physical activity that’s recommended in the immediate aftermath of an overfeeding is potty breaks. Other than that, it's best to avoid too much physical exertion.
- Reduce tomorrow’s food: While you shouldn’t by any means skip the next couple of meals, it might be a good idea to reduce your dog’s portion a bit and go for small meals, as long as he’s not showing signs of hunger.
- Avoid giving them lots of water: It’s always important to give your pup plenty of water, but after an episode with too much food, it’s best to avoid overhydrating your pup.
- Feed them a bland diet: If your dog’s stomach is extra sensitive, you might also want to feed a bland diet for a few days to help his GI tract to normalize again. Something like cooked white rice with chicken breast is a good option, and is generally thought to be a neutral meal that won’t add to the agitation that’s already going on!
- Add a probiotic to your dog’s diet: You can further support Fido by adding healthy bacteria to his diet with a probiotic supplement. It will help him have healthy digestion moving forward, but can also help ease gut discomfort from mild bloating, gas, and more.
Pet Honesty Products That Can Help When Your Dog Eats too Much
Worried about your dog after he’s eaten too much? Help soothe his sore tummy and help him get back to normal with probiotic support from Digestive Probiotics Chews. They’re packed with billions of healthy bacteria that help with uncomfortable digestive upset like mild bloating, gas, and irregular bowel movements. Probiotics also help with healthy digestive function, so your pup can work through all that extra food and get back to feeling his best, ASAP!
Few dogs are as determined as our furry friends when it comes to getting what they want. Although it can be funny at times, overeating is no joke, so if you fear your pup has gorged himself or is dealing with food bloat, take the situation seriously and get him the help he needs. With these tips in mind, you can ensure your pup stays safe and healthy, no matter how tempted he might be by those tasty treats!
Happy pet parenting!