7 Dog Breeds with a Huge Appetite

Have you ever wondered which dog breed eats the most food? Here’s a hint: not all of them are big. Even the smallest pooches have an insatiable appetite.

Mar 18, 2024byLisa Szymanski
dog breeds with huge appetite

When I think of a canine food-guzzler, oversized St. Bernards and Great Danes come to mind. But you’d be surprised to discover that not all dog breeds with a huge appetite are monstrous in size. Some dogs are only big in personality, like the Daschund, yet they always seem to be hungry. I’ve raised dogs with stomachs like bottomless pits, and they take every opportunity to snatch a table scrap or steal food off your plate! Let’s get into the top 7 dog breeds that are truly food-obsessed.

1. Labrador Retriever

yellow labrador with sneaker in mouth
Labradors will eat just about anything including your socks and shoes.

I’ve heard many funny stories about Labrador retrievers eating virtually anything in their path! They’ll gorge themselves on treats, and they know how to work those puppy eyes to get the last table scrap. Even if they’ve just polished off a large bowl of dog food, they’re still looking for more. Some Labradors will eat rocks, sticks, plants, and sand while others have been caught swallowing socks, much to the horror of their families. Such an uncontrollable appetite may stem from boredom or after these dogs burn a lot of energy by running and playing.

Interestingly, Labradors with a high food drive might have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to obesity. This gene explains why certain labs just can’t stop eating. Unfortunately, Labradors who can’t seem to satisfy their hunger are at higher risk of life-threatening abdominal obstructions, especially if they’re eating plastic, rocks, and socks. Eating weird things is also a condition known as pica. If you can’t stop your Labrador from consuming oddities, be sure to speak to your vet about it.

2. Daschund

daschund puppy with grass in mouth
Little sausage dogs are food-driven!

Although tiny in size, Dachshunds are mighty in personality and appetite. These small dogs are driven by curiosity, and they like to explore new things in their environment. It’s this need to track, hunt, and explore that gets them into trouble because they pick up all sorts of scraps and objects. Most sausage dogs will beg for titbits. While some of us are guilty of feeding our dogs too many treats, it can be a serious problem for this elongated breed. Dachshunds suffer from back problems that can lead to paralysis, and being overweight can make this condition much worse. Keeping these slinky dogs at a healthy weight prevents strain on their tiny joints and keeps them mobile for much longer.

3. St. Bernard

St bernard from the beethoven movie eating burgers
St. Bernards love to eat.

There’s a scene in the movie Beethoven’s 2nd where the family enters the massive St. Bernard into a hamburger-eating contest. Needless to say, he makes quick work of the burgers and wins the competition. This type of food drive is what many St. Bernards are known for, and it’s attributed to their giant size. These powerful dogs can consume up to a pound of dog food per day. Puppies and young adults gain 3 to 5 lbs every week, so it’s not hard to see why these massive dogs are always hungry. If you’re considering the addition of this big dog from the Alps, be prepared for their voracious appetite.

4. Beagle

beagle sniffing the grass while walking
Beagles are always on a mission and that involves picking up treats.

Beagles are well-known trackers because they have the best sense of smell, but their desire to explore can get them into trouble. They tend to pick up whatever they come across, whether in the garden or out and about at the dog park. That’s because these dogs are driven by scent and will consume different foods or objects because it’s part of their nature. You’ll also find that they’ll eat a bowl of food but still have space for a second or third helping! Of course, this isn’t healthy, and instead of them going into food overdrive, they should be stimulated with games, including puzzles for dogs. They do well with daily walks, which will go a long way toward keeping their weight down.

5. Pug

fawn and black pug sitting on grass looking up
Pugs have one of the biggest appetites of all dogs.

Pugs have an incredible love for food. They will easily consume more than they need calorie-wise and always seem to be searching for a quick snack. It’s not uncommon to have an overweight pug because they’re constantly begging for food. Paired with their cuteness, it’s hard to say no to a hungry pug. But if they’ve received their daily quota of food, it’s important to stick to their diet plan because they tend to suffer from obesity.

Overweight pugs really struggle to get around, and combined with their flat muzzles, they find it hard to breathe with the added weight. You’ll have to be strict with their food, even if they desperately want treats. Don’t rely on exercise to keep them in shape, either. Pugs are plagued by high blood pressure, and they aren’t overly active dogs. It’s better to keep playtime simple and to regulate what they eat.

6. English Bulldog

english bulldog chewing on ball
Bulldogs keep themselves entertained by chewing on anything they can get their mouths on.

Bulldogs will gulp their food during mealtimes and get so excited about their kibble or treats that they’re prone to choking. These stocky dogs thoroughly enjoy food and will easily overeat if given the opportunity. Despite the perception that bulldogs are a lazy breed, they’re definitely motivated when it comes to food. Again, an overweight bulldog does this breed no favors, and they’ll suffer from joint problems over time. You can’t overexercise a bulldog either, and around 20 minutes of walking and games such as tug of war are enough activity for their size. This way, you protect their joints and help their respiratory systems by preventing overexertion.

7. Great Dane

spotted great dane face
Great Danes are enormous dogs with a massive appetite.

The gentle giants of the canine world have made it onto our list of dog breeds with a huge appetite because they eat so quickly. Great Danes don’t necessarily overeat, although it’s possible considering their size. The main reason for keeping tabs on their diet is their susceptibility to bloat. These dogs can appear ravenous when chowing down on a regular meal, and in doing so, they consume large amounts of air. If you’re looking to own a Dane, be prepared to feed them up to 10 cups or over 2 liters of food per day.

Every dog mentioned above has their quirks, but when dealing with food, you have to put boundaries in place. No matter how cute they look or how much they beg, if you’re giving them their daily portion of food, there shouldn’t be extras. There’s no harm in the occasional treat, but don’t make it a habit because it’s very hard to break. Give your canine companion the right amount of exercise and playtime, and you can keep their huge appetite in check!

Lisa Szymanski
byLisa Szymanski

Lisa is a wildlife enthusiast who enjoys hiking and gardening and has four years of experience volunteering at pet shelters. She is the proud mom of two dogs, a Pitbull named Ragnar, a Boerboel named Blueberry, and four feisty chickens, or as she calls them, the \"queens of the yard,\" Goldie, Gray, Peaches, and Brownie.