This Is Why Your Goldendoodle Is Always Hungry


How can this dog be hungry again? I just finished feeding my dog, handed over a bite of my sandwich, and now I’m being checked over for crumbs. My neighbors and relatives must think that I’m starving my poor baby because their dog bowls all get emptied when we come to visit. Is there a problem?

Why does my dog seem hungry all the time? More often than not, it’s a learned behavior. One of the disadvantages of the Goldendoodle’s intelligence is quickly figuring out how to wheedle extra treats and snacks out of mom or dad. Competitive eating is also another factor if your puppy is a rescue and acts like every meal is it’s last.

Goldendoodles Ancestry

Let’s face it. Dogs are opportunistic eaters and will sometimes eat even when they are full. It’s perfectly normal and we’ve all seen the commercials that compare your dog’s ancestry to wolves in the wild. The survival instincts would tend toward eating as much as they can, whenever they can because the hard times are coming. The Golden Retriever lineage passed down to your Goldendoodle imprints them with the initiative “the quickest eater survives”.

Goldendoodle’s Metabolism

A Goldendoodle’s high energy burns through the calories at a higher rate. Gulping down the kibble may be the way your dog copes with the hunger. This is extremely unhealthy and can cause bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV) due to air being swallowed along with the food. In this state, excessive air, food, and liquid can cause the stomach to expand and twist along the axis. Nothing can pass through to the intestines causing destruction to the organs and permanent internal damage.

Competitive Eating

This can be a learned behavior from puppyhood when your pet was raised with littermates. Eating quickly ensured that the siblings didn’t get all the food first. If there are other pets in the home, this behavior may be more pronounced.

Ruling Out Health Issues

Many dogs are simply chowhounds and eat whenever the opportunity arises, but a sudden increased appetite could be a sign of a physical problem. If your puppy suddenly develops an insatiable appetite it could be a sign of a health issue such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancers
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Stomach disorders resulting in poor absorption

Check with your veterinarian to rule out any physical issues. If it’s a learned issue there are some steps you can take to get it under control.

Unlearning This Behavior

Several methods can be used to slow down your Goldendoodles eating. One way is to divide the daily intake into several small meals. This works well with the dogs that are high energy and dealing with intermittent bouts of hunger.

The next method is making it difficult to get large mouthfuls of food by placing obstacles in the food bowl, like toys or blocks. Your dog needs to eat around these objects thus slowing the pace down. You can try placing a smaller bowl upside-down in the larger food bowl making the kibble follow a narrow ring around the inside.

Timed automatic feeders are available that can portion out the food over the course of the day. This works well for the owners that can’t always meet a regular schedule dividing the meal into equal amounts.

After the dog leaves the bowl, remove it, indicating that mealtime is over. This will help reinforce the idea that there is a set time to eat and then no more.

What Your Goldendoodle Wants vs. Needs

By now you know your dog will eat as much as you can give him, but it doesn’t mean you should. Your dog’s caloric intake should be discussed with your vet and adjusted for age, size, and activity.

This guide is just that…a guide. Your furry companion will likely fall into these estimates for daily caloric intake and the amounts can be adjusted to match his needs. By measuring how many calories in a cup your dog food brand has, you can count up the amounts to measure out.

Dogs WeightLess ActiveActivePuppy
2 - 5 lb110-220 Cal150-280 Cal170-335 Cal
5 - 10 lb225-335 Cal228-450 Cal335-560 Cal
10 - 20 lb335-450 Cal450-560 Cal560-675 Cal
20 - 30 lb450-675 Cal560-785 Cal675- 900 Cal
30 - 50 lb675- 900 Cal785-1,015 Cal900-1,235 Cal
50 - 70 lb900-1,125 Cal1,015-1,465 Cal1,235-1,690 Cal
70 - 90 lb1,125-1,350 Cal1,465-1,575 Cal1,690-1,915 Cal
90 - 110 lb1,350-1,575 Cal1,575-1,860 Cal1,915-2,365 Cal
110 - 140 lb1,575-1,800 Cal1,860-2,140 Cal2,365-2,590 Cal

In Conclusion

You are the pack leader to your puppy and are the one to look to for permission. It isn’t easy to resist the pleading puppy eyes because we want our family members to be happy. Being stern with your dog is probably tougher on you than on the dog, but the starving animal behavior will be soon replaced with a patient (well, more patient) attitude toward dinnertime.

Chuck Wilson

I am a dog parent in Hot Springs Village, Ar. with over 45 years of raising and training dogs. I created this site to help fellow Doodle owners with up-to-date information and tips for raising your puppy right!

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