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When your schnauzer behaves like they’re always hungry it can be alarming. No matter how much you feed them they seem to always want more..
Is it normal for schnauzers to always be hungry or is something wrong?
Why Is My Schnauzer Always Hungry:
Oftentimes when a schnauzer is behaving as though they are always hungry it is because they have learned acting this way gets them more food. Other more serious reasons why schnauzers are always hungry are poor nutrient absorption, an intestinal worm or underlying health issues.
In this post you’ll discover:
- 8 reasons why your schnauzer is always hungry
- When your schnauzer always being hungry becomes something to worry about
- 6 tips to help stop your schnauzer from always being hungry (Tip #4 is the simplest solution!)
- And much more
Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
Top 8 Reasons Why Schnauzers Are Always Hungry
1) Growth Phase
If your schnauzer is still just a pup the reason they’re always hungry could be that they aren’t finished their growth phase quite yet.
During your pup’s first year they’re going through a major growth spurt.
Their bones, joints, organs, everything is growing so quickly.
And the only way to fuel that growth is to be eating lots of food!
Some schnauzers may not completely finish growing until they’re 18 months old.
All to say, if your schnauzer is a young pup it’s totally normal for them to always be hungry.
They need more food during this phase of their life and won’t be hungry as often once they’re fully grown.
2) Getting Lots Of Exercise
Just like people, if your schnauzer is getting a lot more exercise each day than what’s considered ‘normal’ they’ll need more food to refuel.
To use an extreme example, this is why a professional athlete needs to have a higher daily calorie intake than someone who has a desk job.
Since they’re using more energy throughout the day, they need to eat more food to allow them to do what they need to do.
So if you give your schnauzer lots of physical activity but haven’t increased how much food they’re getting, they might need more.
Which is why they’re always acting hungry.
3) Poor Digestion
This reason is a bit less common but it’s still possible.
If your schnauzer isn’t digesting their food properly it could be coming out the other end too quickly.
Which means they’re not getting all the nutrients and calories from their food that they should be.
As a result, they stay hungry because their body isn’t getting what it needs.
There are a few different things that can cause poor digestion such as gastritis, pancreatitis, food allergies, or even just eating too fast.
If you think this might be the reason your schnauzer is always hungry, you should speak with your vet about it.
4) Treat Overload
This one is particularly common in puppies since they’re often given lots of treats.
While treats are great, too many of them can throw off your schnauzer’s hunger cues.
When they’re constantly being given small snacks throughout the day it can be hard for them to realize when they’re actually hungry or not.
And as a result, they’ll start begging for food more and more.
The best way to avoid this is to only give your pup treats as a special reward and not as an everyday, multiple times a day thing.
And if you are going to give them treats, make sure it’s something healthy that won’t throw off their diet.
5) Unintentionally Trained To Behave This Way
If your schnauzer is always begging for food, it’s possible that you’ve unintentionally trained them to do so.
How? By giving in every time they beg.
When your pup begs and you give them what they want, even if it’s just a little bit, you’re teaching them that this is how they get what they want.
Which means they’ll keep doing it because it’s working!
If this is the case for your schnauzer, more often than not, they likely aren’t even hungry.
They’re either just bored or want to enjoy the taste of their yummy treats.
6) Potential Worm
This one is a little gross but it’s something to consider if your schnauzer is always hungry.
If your pup has an intestinal worm it could be the culprit behind what’s causing them to always be hungry.
Worms steal nutrients from their host, which in this case would be your pup.
So if they have worms, their body isn’t getting the full benefit of the food they’re eating which is why they’re always feeling hungry.
The best way to tell if your schnauzer has worms is to take a look at their stool.
If you see any worms or evidence of them in their stool, you’ll need to take them to the vet for treatment.
Related Reading: 8 Reasons Why Schnauzers Get So Skinny + 4 Helpful Tips
Schnauzers were bred as hunting dogs and as a result, they have a very strong prey drive.
This means that they’re constantly on the lookout for their next meal which can often lead to them appearing hungry even when they’re not.
It could also be instinctual from your schnauzers’ much more distant relatives, wolves.
Today your pup always has access to food and doesn’t have to worry about getting their next meal.
But your schnauzers’ wolf ancestors did.
They never knew when their next meal would be.
Which means they’d eat until they were completely full because they never knew when their next meal would be.
So your schnauzer could be acting always hungry for a couple instinctual reasons that’ll need to be trained out of them.
8) Underlying Health Issue
Finally, the last reason your schnauzer might always be hungry is because they have an underlying health issue.
Some common health problems that can cause a dog to be constantly hungry are diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, liver disease, as well as intestinal tumors.
Each of these affect your pup’s body in unique ways that affect their body which creates unnecessary hunger.
Unnecessary meaning the conditions make them want to eat even though they’re already full.
6 Tips To Help Your Schnauzer Not Be Hungry All The Time
1) Change Up Portion Size
One way to help your schnauzer get used to not needing to feel completely full is to feed them less food, more often.
So the amount they’re getting everyday stays the same, it’s just spread out more over the course of the day.
If you’ve been giving your pup 2 big meals a day, try changing it to 4 meals.
For example, if you give your schnauzer 2 cups in the morning and 2 in the evening..
Do a full cup 4 times a day.
This will help them get used to not needing to feel so full all the time.
*Important note: Be sure to feed them during a time when they aren’t begging for food.
2) Dog Food Test
If your schnauzer is unknowingly allergic to one of the ingredients in their food it will affect their ability to absorb their food’s nutrients.
Which will result in them acting hungry all the time because they’re trying to give their body the nutrients they’re missing.
A quick way to test if your schnauzer is allergic to their food is by switching them to a limited ingredient diet or a hypoallergenic dog food.
If you see an improvement in their hunger levels, then you’ll know it was likely because of an allergy.
But if there’s no change, it’s not likely that their food is to blame.
If you do switch your pup’s food, be sure to do so slowly over the course of a week or two.
Sudden changes in diet can cause stomach upset which you’ll want to avoid.
3) Don’t Give In To Their Begging
This one might be the hardest because it’s so tempting to give in and just feed them.
But if you do, you’re only reinforcing the behavior and making it harder for yourself to train them out of it later on.
It’s important that you don’t give into their begging until they’ve been calm for at least 15 seconds.
This way you’re not rewarding them for being pushy and bothersome.
It can be challenging to say no.
And your pup will likely push harder because they’re used to you giving in and treating them.
But the longer you stay strong and don’t give in the less likely your schnauzer will act like they’re always hungry.
4) Slow Eater Food Bowl
Making your schnauzer eat slower can help train their brain to realize that they don’t need to eat so fast.
As well as help them start to feel full during their meal.
Instead of scarfing down their entire meal and asking for more food because it hasn’t digested quite yet.
One way you can do this is by using a slow feeder food bowl.
Which are bowls that have obstacles in them so the food has to be moved around more before it can be eaten.
This makes your pup take their time while they eat and gives their brain a chance to realize they’re getting full.
This Outward Hound Slow Feeder Dog Bowl is one of the best I’ve been able to find.
5) Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys that dispense treats as your schnauzer plays with them are helpful to stop them from always being hungry.
One, because they’re getting food throughout the day as they play.
And two, because they give your pup a little mental stimulation.
Which tires them out a bit and will make them less likely to beg for food.
Related Reading: 13 Best Mind Stimulating Dog Toys
6) Take Them To See a Vet
Whenever your pup is acting differently it’s never a bad idea to have a vet take a look at them.
While your schnauzer could be always hungry for harmless reasons, it could also be something more serious.
Which is why it’s always good to speak with a vet to know for sure.
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