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Woman feeding dog from a clean bowl

5 Eating Disorders That Can Affect Dogs

We all adore dogs, but we hate to see them suffer. Parents want them to have enough energy to enjoy themselves during playtime. However, dogs are continuously exposed to parasites, bacteria, and viruses, all of which can be harmful to their health.

While it would be simpler to lock our pets in homes to keep them safe, you can’t avoid going to the vet, daily walks, dog parks, and other equally necessary activities to keep them happy and healthy.

The aim is to keep their immune systems in tip-top shape with healthy eating habits, so they can fight sickness swiftly and effectively when it occurs. This blog will guide you on the importance of healthy eating habits and various eating disorders that might affect your dog.

The Importance of Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy eating habits can help enhance your immunity. A strong immune system acts as a protective moat surrounding your dog’s fortress. It’s the body’s first line of defense against germs, parasites, toxins, pathogens, and free radicals harmful to the body.

According to PetMD, a dog’s immune system also serves as a watchdog for appropriate cell function. The immune system assists the body in returning to a healthy equilibrium if cells operate abnormally or become ill for whatever reason.

If your dog is suffering from some eating disorder, it might lead to weakened immunity. When the immune system isn’t functioning optimally, the body is vulnerable to chronic diseases, infections, malignancies, and environmental pollutants.

A weakened immune system can cause sickness to spread like a snowball, as each poison that manages to get past the poodle’s defenses reduces their ability to fight infection.

Common Eating Disorders in Dogs

1. Eating Feces

Some dogs might often end up eating their feces. This condition is known as coprophagia. The feces of dogs or any other animals contains numerous parasites, germs, worms, giardia, parvo, and much more, which, when ingested by your dogs, can be harmful to them.

It’s a fairly common and difficult habit to break, therefore making it crucial for you to clean up your dog’s waste or any other animal’s waste as soon as possible to prevent your dogs from feeding on them. If you scold your dog for pooping in the house, they might start eating it up to hide the mistake.

This is one of the reasons why they might end up eating poop. Whatever the reason, this habit needs to be broken as soon as possible as the harmful bacteria and parasites might make them seriously ill.

a person petting a dog eating food

2. Under Eating

It’s common for dogs to miss their meals. While that’s not much of a concern, it does become a concern when they stop eating completely. This can have catastrophic effects on their health.

The condition where a dog stops eating is known as anorexia. It can cause changes in organ size, abdominal distention, weakened heartbeat and lungs, shortness of breath, jaundice, fever, and pain.

Undereating in dogs can be due to several factors, and it can be one of the early signs of sickness. If your dog refuses to eat, see a veterinarian immediately to avoid major issues later on.

Diseases that affect the neurological systems, endocrine, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and immunological systems might lead to a loss of appetite owing to obstruction or pain. Aberrant growth, consuming hazardous substances, various medications, cardiac difficulties, aging can also contribute to undereating.

3.Over Eating

Obesity can lead to several health concerns, such as kidney problems, liver and heart diseases, and joint stress. Just like in humans, overeating is also a typical feeding problem in dogs, especially when food is readily available as much as they want it.

Many pawrents believe that their dog pleading is an indication they’re hungry. However, that’s not always the case. Most dogs are opportunistic eaters and will eat whatever they get and whenever they get, regardless of whether they’re hungry or not. This means it’s your responsibility to limit the amount of food your dog consumes.

a dog eating their food from a white bowl

4. Not Giving Your Dogs a Nutrient-Dense Meal Tailored To Their Needs

Although your dog’s nutritional requirements may fluctuate over time, they must eat a diet rich in key nutrients to keep their immune system strong. This is because the gastrointestinal system houses roughly 76% of a dog’s immune cells, implying that immunity and food are inextricably linked.

Minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins all play a role in combating free radicals and preventing them from causing cell damage. If your dog isn’t getting all these essential nutrients in their diet, they’ll be more prone to diseases and infections.

Dried pinto, red, and kidney beans, as well as dog-friendly fruits and vegetables, are fantastic sources of nutrition for your dog. While there is a lot of information on the internet, with some pet parents recommending a high-protein diet and others recommending a balanced diet, the primary takeaway is that every dog is different.

In every scenario, a one-size-fits-all eating plan would be ineffective. To assess your dog’s individual nutritional needs, always seek assistance from a vet recommended by an experienced dog expert.

5. Dehydration

Hydration is important. Dehydration in your dog can lead to unconsciousness, kidney failure, and even death in extreme cases. Therefore, you must ensure that your dog has access to clean, fresh water in addition to a well-balanced meal.

Like humans, even dogs contain almost 70% water. The importance of hydration in maintaining a healthy body function cannot be overstated. Drinking water, in particular, helps with breathing and oxygen processing, body temperature regulation, nutrient digestion, flushing out dangerous bacteria and toxins from the body, and promoting healthy blood flow to the heart, brain, and muscles.

a dog eating a carrot

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