What To Do if Your Dog Is Overeating?

Dog owners are often faced with problems like a dog eating too much food. 

When this happens, dog owners may be wondering if they should take the dog to the vet or not. 

The answer is yes! Taking the dog to the vet as soon as possible is important because it will help determine if there are any other health issues going on and what caused your dog to overeat in the first place. 

This blog post will answer all of your questions about how you can go about dealing with a dog who has eaten too much food.

Why Does My Dog Eat Like He Is Starving?

dog with a lot of food in front of him

Some dogs eat ravenously for a while but then develop a disinterest in food.

This is usually caused by a change of schedule which throws the dog’s appetite off-balance. 

This happens when the owner must work late into the evening, sleep in on weekends, or go to bed too early and so forth. 

All humans have natural circadian rhythms that control our lives and hormone levels (called “biological clocks”), whether or not we are aware of them. 

A dog has similar rhythms that should be considered as well when changing his mealtime schedules around.

Your dog might be so hungry because he is nervous, anxious, or stressed.

Or your dog could be eating to comfort himself in a tough situation.

Some people assume that dogs can’t recognize emotional stress like people can but recent studies have shown that they react to hard times the same way when choosing food as they would at any other time of day. 

In these cases, the person may not even notice that their pet has been acting low for some time and suddenly there are much more warning signs. 

When this is happening it’s much wiser to consult a veterinarian than just assuming you need to feed your pet more often. 

Like humans, pets also eat when bored and sometimes will eat out of boredom whether or not they are truly hungry.

The dog’s brain knows that food is a pleasurable thing and will do anything to get it, even if the dog isn’t hungry at all.

How Do I Know If I Am Feeding My Dog Too Much?

1. Does your dog have a pot belly?

2. Is your dog excessively thirsty or always urinating?

3. Are his stools bulky, infrequent, and smelly?

4. Are you feeding your dog an unlimited amount of food each day?

5. Has the quality of food you are giving him changed in the past few days (i.e., from high-quality to less-nutritious)?

6. Do you feel like he is typically hungry for more at mealtime even though he has been fed adequately over the past 24 hours?

7) Does your pet eliminate outside after each meal and drink lots of water within 3 hours after eating?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, then it is a sign that you are overfeeding your dog.

Can A Dog Get Sick From Overeating?

Dogs can get sick from overeating because they lack a stomach valve called the pyloric valve that acts as a cutoff switch to stop more food from coming into their system when they’ve had enough. 

This means that if your pet continues eating after they are full, they could experience pain and vomiting. 

This is referred to as “bloat” or “gastric torsion”, which requires surgery in severe cases. 

In some cases, dogs with chronic GI problems may only be able to eat small amounts of food at one time, rather than large meals without experiencing adverse side effects – this condition is often referred to as “small intestinal bacterial overgrowth”.

What Can Happen If A Dog Overeats?

dog looking up while sitting with a bowl of food

If you overeat, your body tries to metabolize the food and uses up some of its stored energy for that. 

Dogs are just like people – when they eat too much, it puts a strain on their metabolism because they have to use all their stored energy in order to digest and process the food. 

As a result of this metabolic strain, he will not feel hungry or thirsty anytime soon (until he’s finished digesting) and will just want more food and water to fill up his stomach again. When this happens repeatedly, the dog can become obese, diabetic, or hypoglycemic. 

It becomes harder for them to control their eating behavior which can lead an animal to similar needs as humans have through emotional eating which is why it may be hard for dog owners to notice that their pet is on a “binge eating” cycle.

The dog’s stomach can’t stretch as ours do, so if it eats too much in one sitting and the food isn’t fully digested yet – they could end up vomiting or having diarrhea as a result of overfeeding.

Can A Dog Die From Eating Too Much Food?

Let’s explore the basics of dog anatomy and metabolism. 

Canines (and all animals in the sub-order Carnivora) have a colon that is much longer than that of non-carnivores like humans or horses – this is what allows them to digest difficult foods like raw flesh without their stomach getting too full. 

Dogs also have special enzymes in their saliva which make it easier for them to break down proteins into pieces small enough for their body to be able to use later – a trait unique only to carnivores. 

These traits allow dogs’ bodies to extract more energy from food than if they were human, which means they need less food relative to us!

Now coming to the original question – yes, dogs can die from eating too much. The stomach can rupture or twist, causing a thoracic hernia which leads to pulmonary collapse and death. 

This is most common in deep-chested large breed breeds such as Great Danes or St. Bernards who greedily eat too much food too quickly- so beware of how you feed your pup! 

If they’re usually fed on an even and regular schedule but decide to binge for any reason, it could be fatal. 

There are other factors at play when it comes to this question but yes, throwing up after eating too much food can also kill them if they inhale the vomitus into their lungs.

But I would recommend you get your dog checked out by a vet because there are many other things going on internally and externally that could also cause vomitings, such as parasites or dental issues which can be life-threatening if left untreated!

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Too Much Food?

dog eating in presence of owner

If your dog has consumed too much food and they aren’t vomiting, you should monitor their breathing. 

If they gag, vomit or have trouble breathing then you should take them to the vet immediately.

Always watch what your pet eats, and follow instructions on dog food packages for appropriate portion sizes. 

Keep bones, rawhide chews, and toxic plants out of reach of pets; these can lead to intestinal obstructions. 

Consistent exercise is also recommended!

Bloat From Overeating In Dogs

Bloat in dogs can be a number of things, but it is most commonly associated with an accumulation of gas in the stomach (from belching to flatulence) or bowel. 

The stomach will fill with gas and become proposed.

Fatty food which is not chewed well and other types of food that takes a long time to digest tend to cause this type of bloat because the whole time there’s no natural pressure release. 

Sometimes people confuse bloating with vomiting, but they are actually two different things.

Symptoms could include signs such as extreme discomfort, pacing around due to pain, panting and drooling excessively, distended abdomen, or object protruding from the mouth if obstructed airway occurs.

Treatment Of Bloat In Dogs

If there is no other apparent cause of bloating or if there is an obstruction, then immediate emergency surgical intervention may be required to release pressure from under the diaphragm while removing any foreign material.

If a dog has been eating different food than normal and it’s not just a temporary change, this could lead to stomach upset and bloat. 

To help get rid of the bloat, your vet will probably recommend administering 3-4 ml (cc) per pound every 12 hours for 72 hours as long as your pet does not show signs of pain when pressing on their stomachs or having difficulty swallowing liquids., which usually helps relieve heartburn in people with indigestion. 

Your veterinarian may also provide Tylenol such as dog aspirin.

The vet will also check for any signs of obstruction or infection, and if the dog is not in pain then they may need to be monitored at home with a call back from your veterinarian if anything changes.

How Can You Prevent Dog Overeating?

For a dog, some of the best ways to prevent overeating are to provide enough food in one sitting and to avoid foods high in fat and carbohydrates. 

Some dogs will gulp their food down rapidly if given the opportunity, so it is important that owners read labels carefully (be sure not only to look for total calories but also fat content per serving) and keep an eye on your dog during mealtime. 

Playing with your pup before they eat can help them settle down during mealtimes too! 

Generally speaking, your pet should have access to fresh water throughout the day as being hydrated keeps kibble from drying out inside their mouths making the taste less appealing. 

This prevents overeating through the decreased interest in palatability. 

There are dog foods that have flavor enhancers, but these can be harmful if consumed in excess – always remember to read your dog food label for ingredients and nutritional information before giving it to them!

It’s usually best to give your dog high-quality food with water at regular intervals, but if they do sometimes overeat, you can make them feel icky. 

One way is to give them an ounce of milk or an egg white per pound of body weight. 

Not only does it keep their stomach full and content; it also bulks up whatever meal is left in their stomach for more time before the digestive process starts again. 

The other option is a teaspoonful of sugar mixed in with their food- something sweet keeps dogs from overeating too much as well!


I hope this article has given you some good advice on what to do after your dog eats too much food. 

If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section below and I will be happy to help!

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