Animal Doctor

Animal Doctor: Water Dog's Appetite Is as Boundless as the Ocean

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dear Dr. Fox:

I have a 3-year-old female Portuguese water dog. She is extremely bright and full of energy but she cannot stop eating.

After she is fed, she still seems ravenous. She had gained a lot of weight, but then she lost some after we changed to Nutro diet food. Also, she eats dog feces in the yard. Do you have any suggestions?


Gainesville, Tex.

Your dog must be miserable being in a state of constant hunger. This is not uncommon in dogs fed various brands of manufactured dog food. Most often, dry foods are high in carbohydrates and fiber. Your dog's hunger, putting on weight and eating feces seem to indicate nutritional imbalance or deficiency. Putting her on "diet food" will only make things worse.

Part of the problem could be malabsorption: She might not be digesting food properly. Giving her probiotics and glutamine (250 milligrams twice daily, without food) might help. Of course, she should be taken to a veterinarian and tested for internal parasites, especially roundworms and tapeworms, which can infest dogs and absorb food nutrients.

Dear Dr. Fox:

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