When you sit down to eat, your dog appears at your side, begging for a bite of your food. Their sad eyes and whimpers may fool you, but how can you tell if your dog is actually hungry or just looking for a treat?
Your dog may appear to be hungry, but if they’re getting regular meals, they’re probably not. They simply want to eat, much as humans do when they aren’t actually hungry. But, just because they want the table scraps does not mean they should get them. It’s here that portion control comes into play.
How Much to Feed Them
Feed your dogs twice a day, around 8 to 12 hours apart, according to experts. The amount of food they require is determined by a variety of factors, including their:
- Activity level
- General health
Your veterinarian can figure out how many calories your dog needs each day. Then divide that by half, look up the calories in your dog’s food, and measure out a reasonable breakfast and dinner portion.
If you’re giving out treats, make them as little as possible. Treats should account for less than 10% of your dog’s diet. When giving their meals, make note of the calories in their treats and subtract them from their daily total.
When My Dog Eats Too Much
Obesity and other health problems can result from overfeeding your dog. Overweight or obese dogs account for around half of all dogs.
Overweight dogs may have the same health issues as overweight people, such as heart disease or diabetes. The increased weight might also put a strain on your dog’s joints. This might cause pain and even arthritis. All of the above could result in your dog living a shorter life.
How to Curb Begging
Here are a few things you can do to get your dog to stop begging for table scraps:
Feed your dog before you feed yourself: That way, you can be sure they aren’t hungry, and they will be more satisfied as you eat.
Ignore it: When your dog begs, don’t give in. Ever. Ensure that everyone who lives with the dog follows suit. Allowing guests to beg is indeed a bad.
Restrict access: While you’re cooking or eating, keep your dog out of the kitchen or dining area. Consider setting up a baby gate in the doorway. Put them in their crate if they’ve been crate-trained.
Use training commands: If your dog is begging at the table, tell them to lie down or go to bed. This teaches your dog to quietly wait nearby. Your friend is allowed to be near you, but they are not permitted to bother you.
Give them a treat if they make it through your food without pawing at you or your plate.
The key to any approach is to stick to it. It may take some time, but once your dog realizes that begging will not earn them what they want, they will quit.
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