The Most Common Eating Disorders in Dogs

Dog Health

It is possible to encounter different types of eating disorders in dogs as well as in humans. Eating disorders in dogs can occur with different characteristics for different reasons. It is very important to raise awareness about eating disorders, which can prevent them from getting the calories they need daily and cause developmental problems or affect their general health. As soon as the signs of eating disorders in dogs are noticed, consultation with veterinarians becomes a decisive necessity for maintaining their health. In this article, you can find information about the most common types of eating disorders in dogs.

Labrador Retriever dog sitting in front of empty food door

Binge Eating

Overeating is one of the most common eating disorders in dogs. Excessive food consumption is an important factor that increases the risk of heart diseases, liver diseases, kidney problems and joint disorders in dogs that can occur both from obesity and obesity. We have previously prepared a content for you about obesity in dogs. You can reach our content called Causes and Harms of Obesity in Dogs here. Binge eating disorder is common in dogs who usually have access to food whenever they want. At this point, awareness of dog parents is of paramount importance. Dogs are more likely to have symptoms of eating disorders, as many people who live with dogs offer generous non-meal food as a result of dogs waiting for food and looking innocent. However, when the causes of these eating disorders are examined, it is not correct to say that only the relationship between human and dog is effective. Hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease may also be behind dogs’ overeating and weight gain. Aging is also an important risk factor. For this reason, it is considered a necessity for dogs that consume excessive food to undergo general health checks.

Anorexia

Anorexia, which is characterized by not eating as a result of mental suppression of appetite despite feeling physically hungry, is among the types of eating disorders seen in dogs. Two different types of anorexia can be seen in dogs; true anorexia and false anorexia. In the case of false anorexia, dogs want to eat but are unable to perform physical actions such as chewing and swallowing. In both species, a deficit occurs in food intake because dogs cannot eat. Anorexia is an eating disorder that can cause serious health problems in dogs, so it should be taken seriously. The causes of an eating disorder called anorexia may differ depending on the type of problem. Systemic diseases, stress, poisoning, immune system problems, appetite suppressing pain, cancer, gastrointestinal blockages, nausea, extreme heat and side effects of drugs can be found behind true anorexia. Pseudo anorexia can occur for different reasons such as advanced dental and gum diseases, problems in chewing muscles, diseases in the salivary glands, neurological diseases that prevent chewing or swallowing, pain and abscess formation behind the eyes.

brown, blue-eyed dog sitting next to bowl

Eating feces

Eating feces, also called “coprophagia” in dogs, can be classified as both an eating disorder and a behavioral disorder. Medical problems that reduce your nutrient absorption and cause discomfort in the digestive system can be among the causes of stool eating disorder in dogs. In such a case, dogs should undergo a complete physical examination. It is important to evaluate the feeding plan and defecation frequency within this problem, which can be seen frequently in puppies. Additional examinations may be necessary if the dog’s stools are very soft or if the nutrients in the stools are expelled from the body without being digested. Treatment of fecal eating disorder in dogs may result in diagnosis and treatment if there is an underlying medical cause. However, if this eating disorder is of a behavioral nature, it is important to prevent the contact of dogs with feces.

Eating Too Fast

Eating disorders in dogs are not limited to eating too little or too much. Some dogs may encounter the problem of overeating. Eating too quickly means swallowing food without chewing, resulting in an increased risk of vomiting, stomach ache, bloating, choking, and digestive system diseases. Care should be taken when trying to prevent fast-eating behavior in dogs. Taking food in front of them can lead to aggression. Eating too quickly is a problem that often carries over from infancy to adulthood. This problem can be encountered in dogs that are the only pets in the house and those who live with more than one pet. It is useful to keep in mind that there may be medical problems that cause the behavior of eating too fast. When dogs have internal parasites, since the food consumed cannot enter the dog’s body, dogs may feel hungry all the time and eat fast food. For this reason, as with all other types of eating disorders, fast-eating dogs should be checked by veterinarians.

Rottweiler puppy sleeping on food

Pica

An eating disorder characterized by the consumption of non-food objects, objects or substances is called “pica”. Although pica is usually a psychological problem, it can also occur as an indicator of malnutrition or various health problems in dogs. The symptoms of pica in dogs may vary depending on the type of object or objects eaten. Pica, which can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath, drooling, black stools, abdominal pain, shock, coughing, poisoning, infection, weakness and constipation, can also cause diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, vitamin deficiency in depression and lack of socialization. It can also be caused by health problems such as malnutrition, hyperthyroidism. Considering the fact that there may be very serious reasons behind it and the dangerous situations that may occur as a result of consuming objects that do not have a nutritional quality, we can conclude that the pika absolutely requires the control of veterinarians.

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