Your Dog’s Appetite
An examination of the way that the wild ancestors of dogs hunted and consume foods provides insight into the normal eating behaviors exhibited by domesticated pets. Although both dogs and cats are classified in the order Carnivora, only cats are true carnivores. Dogs are more omnivorous in nature. The dogs’s wild relative, the wolf , or the Timberwolf, obtains much of its food supply by hunting in a pack. Cooperative hunting behaviors allow the wolf to prey on large game that would otherwise be unavailable to a wolf hunting alone. As a result, most wolf subspecies tend to be intermittent eaters, gorging themselves immediately after a kill and then not eating again for an extended period of time. Competition between members of the pack at the site of food leads to the rapid consumption of food and the social facilitation of eating behaviors. Wolves are also known to exhibit food hoarding behaviors. Small prey or the remainder of a of a freshly made kill are buried when food is plentiful and is later dug up and eaten when food is not readily available.  Although the dog’s ancestry suggest that an intermittent feeding schedule would be best, dogs. are capable of adapting to a number of different feeding regimens. These regimens include portion controlled feeding, time controlled feeding, or free choice feeding.