Dog Food (Canine Diet and Nutrition)/Hunger


This may sound like a straightforward question, but how can you tell that a dog is hungry or thirsty? What are the signs or behaviour that signal this?

Hope you can answer!

Hi Louis,

This is one of those things that only your dog knows for sure, and you have to try and figure out- cause he probably ain't talking!
But let's talk about thirst and hunger separately, since they are different issues.

A dog should always have access to clean, fresh water, and they usually only drink when they need to.  Signs that they may be dehydrated and need water include excessive panting and constipation.

Food is a bit trickier, because dogs have been hanging out with us for thousands of years. They are experts at manipulating us to get a bite of our cheeseburger, and in fact, some theorists believe that the reason dogs became domesticated to begin with was because of our leftover scraps.  There are biological reasons for a dog to always want to eat; historically wild dogs know food can be a limited resource and therefore eat whenever possible, AND/OR a rescued, previously stray dog may have been without food for a time and hoards because of that.

Pay close attention to your dogs signals and behavior. You can vary the type, amount and timing of meals, and see if they clean their plate or not. Do you have more than one dog? If so this will compound the confusion, but if you are concerned about excessive appetite or thirst ask your vet.

Hope this helps.  

Dog Food (Canine Diet and Nutrition)

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Karla Haas


Welcomes questions regarding cooking for dogs, and may be able to provide information regarding pet food quality and ingredients. Not qualified to answer medical questions.


Founder, Rudy Green Inc., manufacturer of a frozen, all natural "people food for dogs". I have been an animal rescue worker for over 20 years and have extensive knowledge of pet food and nutrition.

Bachelors degree in Social Sciences. 20+ years of active volunteerism within Animal Welfare organizations. Over 6 years of studies and hands on research in pet nutrition.

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Retail customers include Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Amazon and independent pet supply and grocery stores

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