Accidentally Fed Your Dog Twice? [Double the Trouble?]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Have you ever found yourself in a rush to feed your dog, only to realize later that you accidentally gave them a second meal?

It can happen to the best of us – maybe you were distracted by a phone call or simply forgot that you had already fed your furry friend.

But what are the consequences if you accidentally fed your dog twice?

Overfeeding can lead to serious health problems, including obesity, digestive issues, and even pancreatitis. If this is a one-off event, you do not need to worry too much, but if you or your family are constantly doing so, you really need to cut back and make some changes.

In this post, let’s explore the consequences and how you can prevent it from happening again.

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Dear Dog Owner

What Happens When You Accidentally Overfeed Your Dog?

What Happens When You Accidentally Overfeed Your Dog?

Overfeeding dogs is a common occurrence in a house filled with loving dog parents and adorable pooches.

Sometimes you overfeed your doggy because you’ve lost track of how much they have already eaten.

Other times you just want to make your fur baby happy by showering him with too many treats to result in overfeeding.

If it’s only one to two times that you accidentally overfeed your dog, there won’t be any serious effects.

Bloating and diarrhea are the only usual outcomes when you overfeed your dog on occasion, and they only happen if your dog has an underlying health condition.

But if your dog has no digestive issues, he’ll just poop it out later most of the time. And honestly, he’ll think of you overfeeding him as a reward.

However, if overfeeding has been constantly happening, prepare for something serious that’s gonna happen to your pup.

Health problems may arise such as obesity and diabetes thanks to the improper amount of food your dog has been receiving.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Cocker spaniel not eating?

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What Happens if You Always Overfeed Your Dog?

Vomiting

If you always overfeed your dog, the most usual thing that can happen is for him to vomit all the excess food. 

Your doggy’s tummy will feel distended, and that causes him nausea. 

His little body will try to remove that excess food from him in an attempt to get rid of such an uncomfortable feeling, leading your dog to vomit.

Bloating

When you give too much food to your dog, his natural instinct is to slurp all that food even though he already has enough.

When he overeats, his tummy will expand to accommodate all the food he ate. Gas will then accumulate, leading to bloating.

You might be thinking that it’s nothing to worry about since your dog will just fart the gas out.

Well, if overfeeding has been happening all of the time, bloating can turn into a life-threatening risk as it can cause Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV).

GDV happens when your dog’s tummy is always filled with gas causing it to twist and turn each time he moves.

Obesity

If you always overfeed your dog, he will become chunky. I know having a chunky pup is such an adorable sight but it might mean obesity.

Obesity is the effect of too much fat or calories your dog has been getting from his food.

He gains too much weight that he is unable to shed the calories he consumes. The imbalance between the number of calories and exercise your dog is getting is too great.

Joint problems

Always overfeeding your dog will gain him lots of weight, which in turn adds stress to his little joints.

Carrying excess weight on those four short joints can cause inflammation, which will bring pain and uncomfortable feelings to your doggy.

These seemingly small joint problems can pose more serious threats to your dog as they can lead to osteoarthritis.

Diabetes 

Overweight dogs have trouble producing insulin, and it’s this hormone that helps your dog regulate his blood sugar level.

This is why overfeeding your dog all the time causes diabetes since his blood sugar level is no longer regulated properly.

Consider reading this too: Boston Terrier not eating?

How Do You Know If Your Dog Ate Too Much?

How Do You Know If Your Dog Ate Too Much?

Bloated abdomen

Knowing if your dog ate too much is an easy task.

You’ll just have to look at his tummy, and if he has a bloated abdomen then he has most likely overeat.

If you’ve got a naturally chunky pup, you can determine if he indeed has a bloated abdomen by standing over him and looking down at him.

If his belly is tucked up behind his ribs, he isn’t bloated.

You can also try listening for any sound in his tummy.

Gurgling or rumbling sometimes means that he is filled with gas.

Diarrhea

Overeating will slow down your dog’s digestive system in processing all the food he has eaten.

When this happens, diarrhea occurs since his little tummy is struggling to digest all the food he consumed.

Lethargy

Overeating overworks your dog’s system in an attempt to digest all the food you gave him.

This is why overeating is usually followed by lethargy among dogs.

Your dog will become too tired from all the energy needed to process the food in his tummy.

Changes in appetite or behavior

Changes in appetite due to overeating vary from one dog to another.

Some dogs become more enthusiastic when they see food after overeating. Other dogs might only eat half its food or none at all since they are too full.

Overeating can also change the behavior of your pup. He might become aggressive when he sees food as he got used to eating a lot.

Food guarding or begging for food is just an example of negative behavior your dog may exhibit when your dog gets used to eating too much.

The sugar that some of his food contains can also contribute to his hyper behavior.

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How to Avoid Accidentally Overfeeding Your Dog?

Establish a feeding schedule

Establishing a feeding schedule for your dog helps you avoid forgetting whether you’ve already fed him or not.

This feeding schedule lets your dog adjust to the only time he is allowed to ask for food.

It encourages healthy digestion by letting your dog’s body adjust to a routine you’ve established.

Use the same measuring cups

A measuring cup is a great tool to have at home if you wanna accurately measure your dog’s food. Measuring the food before giving it to your dog helps to prevent overfeeding.

If you will be using the same measuring cups and giving your dog the same portion of food, you’ll be helping him stick to a consistent diet.

His body will adjust to the amount of food he eats, and won’t have the urge to beg for more which may lead to overfeeding.

Avoid feeding table scraps

No matter how much your dog begs for food when you’re eating, AVOID feeding him table scraps.

If you give in and feed him some, he’ll come back, again and again, each time he sees you eating.

Human food usually contains higher amounts of fat, calories, and sodium, which will add excess weight to your dog right away.

Monitor your dog’s weight

Monitoring your dog’s weight lets you estimate the food you should be giving him.

If he is a bit underweight, you can feed him more portions. But if he’s on the verge of being overweight, it’s time to stick to a strict diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it cruel to feed a dog twice a day?

It’s not cruel to feed a dog twice a day. In fact, it’s the ideal feeding schedule. Vets usually recommend feeding your dog twice a day about 12 hours apart. More than 12 hours and your dog will already suffer from hyperacidity.

Can food bloat in dogs resolve itself?

Simple food bloat in dogs may resolve itself within a few hours or a day, especially after they farted. However, if the food bloat is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, it’s best to bring him to the vet.

How long do dogs bloat after overeating?

Dogs’ bloat can last from a couple of hours to a day. A gentle massage might help, but it if does not go away, you need to check in with your vet right away.

In Conclusion: What to Do if You Accidentally Fed Your Dog Twice

It’s not uncommon for pet owners to accidentally feed their dogs twice, but while it may seem harmless, you shouldn’t make this become a recurring theme.

Overfeeding can lead to health problems like obesity and digestive issues, so be mindful of your dog’s diet and portion sizes to ensure they stay healthy and happy!

Check out other dog care tips such as why your dog won’t let you cut its paw hair, accidentally bought puppy food, what to do if your dog ate a toilet paper roll, and many more on our blog.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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