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My Hound Acts Like He Is Starving


rossfox
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We recently adopted a 2 year, 3 month old retired racer and we love him. He is so sweet and calm EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD! We have had him for 2 weeks and he is settling in nicely. We feed him 2 cups of dry food around 6:30 in the morning, about 1/2 cup or so around noon, and 2 cups around 5:00 to 5:30 pm. There are a few snacks here and there also during the day. However you would think he was starving to death. If we just move towards the kitchen, he is up off of his bed in the living room and into the kitchen with his nose cruising the top of the counters. He goes in the kitchen at least once every 10 minutes to see if some food has magically appeared, and is just exactly at the right place for his taking. He is at the right weight now, based on all we have read and researched. Will he eventually settle out of this and maybe not be searching all the time for something to eat? I am sure this has been brought up before on the forums, but thought I would post it anyway. Thanks

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4.5 cups a day sounds like a lot of food, but it does depend on the dog, the brand and type of food, total calories etc. Most larger greyhounds (big boys) eat somewhere between 3 and 4 cups total per day, with smaller dogs eating a little less. Check the package to see what their suggested amount is for your dog's weight. Remember, it's only a guideline.

 

Your dog may just be highly food motivated, or there could also be some underlying issue. Assuming his vet check was normal and there are no known problems, you might ask the vet's advice at your next appointment if it continues. Also, many dogs off of the tracks now do test positive for worms or parasites of some kind. Be sure that he was dewormed by the adoption group, and if the hunger continues, maybe take a stool sample or two at random to your vet to re-check. A negative fecal check only means it was negative that time. It sometimes takes a couple of tests to be sure the he is clear of worms. I have seen a dog with worms be ravenous like that, but usually there will also be some other sign like loose poop or some bloody poop or diarrhea, so keep a check just to be sure.

 

It's all new to him, but you need to reinforce that counter surfing is not allowed with training. Over time he should figure out that there's no magic food dispenser.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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My advice is much the same as above. Though I tend to focus not so much on "how much" and more on maintaining a healthy weight at his level of activity.

 

So if you are walking him every day for potties and exercise, he *may* very well need more food. But I doubt it! Puppies ALWAYS think they are starving, and your dog is still basically a puppy in an adult size body.

 

So discuss this with your vet and see what you want to do.

 

And congratulations on your adoption!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Have you ever given him a treat while you've been preparing food, either your own or his from the counter?

Grace (Ardera Coleen) b. 18 June 2014 - Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 - Going grey gracefully
Guinness (Antigua Rum) b. 3 September 2017 - Gotcha Day 18 March 2022 - A gentleman most of the time

 

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OK on all and thanks everyone. We have been feeding him the Costco dry dog food - Natures Domain - salmon meal and sweet potato. Several of the adopters use it, and they say it is good. He is settling down little by little, and we understand that he is a very young dog. He raced in 28 races, won 2, and placed 2nd seven times. Yes we have given him treats from the counter and we will stop that now - still learning. He doesn't put his paws on the counters, just runs his nose back and forth on the front edge.

 

Another question, do they get bored? We take him out for walks a couple of times per day for about 15 minutes each walk. But past that he is on his bed, not necessarily sleeping, but just hanging out. Of course he still follows us from room to room, but he is gradually slowing down on this, as he sees there probably isn't nothing interesting going on there. He walks wonderfully on the leash staying right by my side.

 

All n all, we love him!!

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Boredom is a big factor for a young dog. Not so much as they get older, but right now he is looking for ways to disperse energy and is curious about everything. Try some clicker training (bonus - he gets a treat when following commands) and maybe try some of the puzzles or toys that dispense a treat but they also make him work for it. The more occupied he is, the more settles he will become. Several 15 minute walks are good, but you might also try one longer walk as well if you are up for it. Tire him out.

 

You should be able to find references to clicker training and dog puzzles using the search feature here on the site and on a google search.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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For the first two weeks or so my grey also acted like he was starving-it was to the point where I was having difficulties cooking dinner because he would be glued to my side, trying to poke his head into the oven. I stayed consistent and NEVER gave him any people food, or any food in the kitchen/around the area we eat in. Now after two months he's content to hang out on the sofa while I cook dinner, unless he hears me preparing his food- in which case he'll be up in a flash.

 

We've also been training "place" which has been helpful. His "place" is the couch ottoman, as that's where he naturally likes to hang out and is most comfortable, and it keeps him out of the way for cooking/cleaning.

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My dogs would be happy to eat every minute or every day if allowed. They are always hopeful when I stand up that it's either dinner time, snack time, or training time. Kili would happily surf counters all the time if allowed. Having a food motivated hound is a blessing - it makes for a very trainable dog who is lots of fun to work with and who is likely to always be willing to work. Try giving him an outlet to earn his food and snacks - puzzle toys, training, etc.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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My boy was a chow hound for the first 6-9 months. Once he understood he wasn't going to starve to death, and leveled out his weight (as he was underweight in the beginning), he calmed down and stopped eating when he was full, even walking away from the food bowl... if you had told me he would EVER walk away, or stop eating, in those first 6-9 months, i would have told you you were crazy, but it happened... some days now, 4 yrs later, i have to beg him to eat... he's 85 lbs, the perfect weight for him, and he stops when he's full... it may happen to yours as well... in due time...

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Yes we have given him treats from the counter and we will stop that now - still learning.

Oh, he is never going to forget this. You can train him out of it, but he will never, ever forget. :lol I had to deal with this with my first grey. She was a "bounce," adopted and then given up by her first family. They fed her from the table. OMG! Eating in front of her was like swimming with a shark. We did train her out of it, but she Never Forgot. I like the strategy posted above of training the dog to go somewhere else. I like to substitute a desired activity for an undesired activity.

 

He doesn't put his paws on the counters, just runs his nose back and forth on the front edge.

Dog snot on your kitchen counters -- don't you just love having pets?

 

I was having difficulties cooking dinner because he would be glued to my side, trying to poke his head into the oven.

 

 

Congratulations -- as epitomized by the late, great Seamie here on GreyTalk, you have a sous chef!

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Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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OK on all everyone and thanks for the input. We are learning how to have a greyhound - some good moves and some bad moves. All n all we are very happy with our new toddler's progress, and think that it will be OK. Just a few rough patches here and there.

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  • 1 month later...

I just adopted my first grey 1 year ago. I feed him 2 cups of science diet "advanced fitness" twice a day. He acts like he is starving as well. He will check his bowl 1 or 2 times after eating to lick the crumbs. He gets treats and some people food during the day. He is at 85 pounds, he gained about 5 in the last year. He also drinks a ton of water. I don't want to overfeed him because then he'll throw up.

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I have noticed that when they first came to me some of them were super ravenous as you described. They all did 'settle down' though and while many still had NICE strong appetites which we want, the extreme type of behavior did go away. Your guy could always be different but I would bet he will settle down to a less feverish attitude toward his food. :beatheart Regardless be sure you don't overfeed him and get him fat. That would be sad and unhealthy.

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My grey is like this. She's five years old and we've had her three and a half years. The only thing that's changed since we first got her is that she now wont eat green things! Still pretends she's not had her breakfast/dinner to me and my boyfriend when we're not both there at feeding time, and tries to get fed twice. She is glued to me when I'm cooking in the kitchen, staring at the floor and generally getting in the way, hoping I drop something. I put a sofa in the kitchen just so I could banish her to it while I was cooking, now she sits there balefully waiting to be given permission to lick the floor.

 

Her weight has been completely steady despite her very healthy appetite, so I don't worry about it.

 

The advantage is she has been pretty easy to train. She knows if she doesn't harass our cats she will get to lick their bowls afterwards. She does all the tricks you could get a proper dog to do - sit, paw, down, up, fetch the ball, etc. And her recall is pretty good too. I'd be more than happy to get another food motivated dog! We've learnt not to leave any food based presents wrapped under the christmas tree, and to keep everything out of reach when she's home alone. She's pretty good at not eating any food on our table although I left my breakfast sardines on toast for a few seconds too long recently and she couldn't resist those. To be fair, sardines are usually her food, not mine, so I understand her confusion :)

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Just make sure the kibble is locked away. My first greyhound dragged a 30# back of kibble out of a closet and binged. The same dog flipped the lid of the feeder that was also a storage bin. She felt that anything not locked up under lock and key was fare game. She ate the cover off of a Nupro container to open it and then the 2# of Nupro. So, some are hungry creatures no matter what. She never missed a meal even the day she was euthanized due to osteo. Some dogs are really live up to the term chow hounds!

And yes, she was a dream to train!

Edited by cleptogrey
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I have a similar question. We just adopted our grey, she's 6.5 years old and weighs about 58 pounds. Our adoption agency gave their guidelines 1.5 cup in the morning with some protein sprinkled on top and then 1 cup in the evening again with some protein added. We also give her at least 3-4 treats during the day (greenies, jerky, peanut butter kong). Are we feeding her the right amount of food? Her weight seems stable and the vet said the weight was good, but sometimes I feel like she looks a bit skinny (though it's hard to tell with a greyhound, especially compared to other breeds). Thoughts? Thank you!

Edited by ArrowOwner
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I have a similar question. We just adopted our grey, she's 6.5 years old and weighs about 58 pounds. Our adoption agency gave their guidelines 1.5 cup in the morning with some protein sprinkled on top and then 1 cup in the evening again with some protein added. We also give her at least 3-4 treats during the day (greenies, jerky, peanut butter kong). Are we feeding her the right amount of food? Her weight seems stable and the vet said the weight was good, but sometimes I feel like she looks a bit skinny (though it's hard to tell with a greyhound, especially compared to other breeds). Thoughts? Thank you!

The answer really depends on what food your using (calories/other percentages) as well as the other protein you're actually giving. Kibble can vary up to 100 calories per cup! But if your vet isn't concerned you probably don't need to be either. Ours looks really skinny to me and the vet wishes he was even lighter than he is!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Food obsession is 100% normal in some new greys. Not all of them do it - but the ones that do try to convince you that they're dying of starvation!!!! Don't fall for it! I had one of my own, and several fosters that acted exactly as you're describing.

 

Just make sure all food is NOT accessible. I can tell you horror stories (or you can look up my old posts) of all the mistakes I made that let my food-obsessive dog get into WAY too much stuff he shouldn't have. Food-proof your house.

 

Feed a reasonable amount of dog food. Don't fall for the "I'm Starving" eyes. This WILL pass. It may take months, but be strong. Your dog IS NOT starving (although those eyes try to convince you).

 

Good for you for asking!!! Greys are quirky! And, and issues you're having - we've had. Keep asking questions!!!

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