Are you constantly finding pieces of kibble all over your house? Your dog is probably keeping his food stash away from the food bowl. This behavior is common among domesticated canines and is usually harmless. But why does my dog leave food around the house? If you’re also wondering, I discussed the reasons below and what you can do about it.
Why dogs leave food all over the houses?
Dogs can develop a slew of weird behaviors. If your pooch seems to be spreading its food in the house, the following might explain why:
1. Your dog is protecting its food.
In the wild, dogs hide their leftovers so other animals won’t snack on them. This way, they will have enough food supply for the pack. It’s a pack instinct that still lingers even after domestication.
Also, subordinate members of the pack would often piece out a morsel and eat it away from the more dominant canines. This prevents dogfights within the pack while allowing all members the chance to eat.
In a household, this can happen if you have multiple canines eating at the same place. It becomes more prevalent if one of the doggos is resource guarding or showing aggression toward another canine during mealtimes.
This is the reason why your dog will try to seek a hidden spot to eat. Sometimes, they may have leftovers you’ll discover at the back of the couch or the small spaces between furniture.
2. Your dog hates the food bowl.
Some dogs will spill their food and just eat it on the floor. In the process of tipping the bowl, the kibble can be thrown in different directions. It can go under the couch, the kitchen table, and everywhere in the house. The mess will spread if your dog loves dragging and clattering its bowl empty. please read here how to stop a dog from tipping a food bowl
Dogs do this when they don’t like the food bowl. Metal bowls are notorious for sudden noises as the collar tag clinks to the rim. This will scare off a nervous dog, which leads the pooch to paw and spill the food instead. This will lead to a kibble mess all over your floor. please read here Everything you need to know about dog collars
3. Your dog wants company.
Do you hate eating alone? So is your dog! Velcro canines crave company, even during their mealtimes. This is why you’ll see your dog dragging its bowl wherever you are, causing the food to spill around the house.
Some dogs will also want to eat near their fellow pets if the owner isn’t around. It’s a family dynamic that will inadvertently result in food scattered in your home.
4. Your dog doesn’t like being watched.
On the contrary, some canines don’t like being watched while eating. The doggo will decide to drag the bowl in a quieter and more discreet spot in the house where it can finish the meal in peace.
Dogs with this behavior will grab a mouthful then run to a hidden spot where they can eat. In the process, food pieces could drop on the floor and be left on different spots of your house.
5. Your dog is understimulated.
Another possible reason is that your dog has too much energy, causing it to play with the food. Some dogs will toss around their food bowl aggressively even if there’s food in it.
This happens a lot to high-energy breeds that have been left alone for long periods. Take note that this can be a precursor to a bigger behavioral problem, so you have to act fast.
6. Your dog finds it fun.
Lastly, it’s probably fun for your dog to leave food around the house. Some dogs just enjoy tipping their bowls and seeing kibble all over the floor.
However, this can also be a reinforced behavior. You might be rewarding your dog inadvertently whenever it spills food around the house. Such reward can be the attention your dog receives, the sound of your voice, or the physical touch as you try to stop him.
How to stop my dog from leaving food around the house
If you’re facing this problem with your dog, you can do the following to stop it from leaving food all over the house:
Take your dog to a walk before mealtimes
If your dog’s hyperactive behavior leads to a messy mealtime, you should burn the extra energy first. Take the pooch to a short walk or a short playtime. This will help the doggo tone down while making them hungrier. Instead of spilling the food all over the house, your doggo will be more likely to devour the food right on.
Stick to a feeding schedule
Sticking to a feeding schedule will get your dog used to eating at specific periods. This will help the pooch get accustomed to the food. It will also teach your canine that food is only supplied at specific times of the day, and wasting will not do any good. please read here what impacts how much to feed your dog
Aside from that, a feeding schedule will stop your dog from grazing around the house for leftover food. It will also help your dog realize that there’s no need to hide the food because a new serving will be provided regularly.
Feed your dog on a quiet spot
Choosing a new feeding spot in the house can help your nervous dog eat in peace. This will stop the pooch from dragging its bowl around just to find a safe spot for his meals.
It’s important to choose a feeding area with a quiet atmosphere and minimal foot traffic. Keeping your dog in a secluded area will give it the confidence that no predator is around. Some dogs would also appreciate the company of their owners while eating.
After your dog is done eating, you should remove the leftovers to stop it from hiding the food somewhere else. This will save you from the mess in case your dog tips the bowl once it’s done feeding.
Doing this will also prevent ants and insect pests from targeting your dog’s bowl. Make sure that you wash the bowl properly to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Consider switching to a new dog food.
There are picky dogs who will tip their bowl out of disgust. Some would even try to bury the food under the carpet to hide the repulsive smell. This is an instinct of canines in the wild because a strong smell may give away the pack’s location to a predator.
Get a new dog bowl
Lastly, consider getting a new bowl for your dog. If you’re using stainless steel pet bowls, consider switching to plastic ones and see if it will stop your pet from leaving food all over.
However, you should wash plastic pet bowls rigorously. Unlike stainless steel, plastic materials can easily sustain scratches where bacteria can proliferate.
How do I know if my dog doesn’t like his food?
You’ll know if your dog doesn’t like the food if it refuses to eat. Being sick after the meal is also a tell-tale sign that you need to switch your pooch to a new dog food product.
Tipping the bowl or gagging after sniffing the food may also indicate your dog’s dislike of specific food products. Try switching to another option and see if your pet will like it. When it comes to your dog’s diet, it requires trial and error.
Why does my dog leave one piece of food all the time?
There are dogs that will leave a solitary piece of kibble on the bowl for no reason. Some pet owners say that canines do this to lure a mouse or other animals that feed on their bowls. This is possible, especially if your pooch is notorious for catching mice or birds. However, there’s no clear reason as to why a canine will leave a piece of food instead of finishing everything.
Why does my dog spit out his first bite of food?
Spitting out the first bite is probably due to your dog’s hasty eating. Some dogs will chomp a large bite only to spit it out after gagging. This is nothing to be worried about as long as your dog isn’t choking on its food.
However, if your dog is spitting its food all the time, it might be a sign that the pooch doesn’t like the food product.
Why does my dog bring her food to me?
If your dog brings its food to you, it means that the canine considers you a ‘safe place’. The doggo knows that you’re going to protect him against predators.
In the wild, dogs guard each other’s backs during vulnerable moments like eating. At home, your dog is looking for someone who can do it for him. It’s also a sign that your dog trusts you.
Also, canines leave their food somewhere safe. So when your pooch comes up to you with its half-filled bowl, it’s probably saying, ‘hey hooman, can you keep this for me?’.
Why does my dog leave food around the house? It can be due to the canine’s wild instincts of hiding food from predators and other dogs. Also, your dog may not like eating with other pets, or it’s looking for a safer place to enjoy the meal (please read my article is it okay if my dog only wants to eat once a day).
Dave Bryan is an experienced editor with a passion for animals and writing. With a degree in journalism and years of experience in the publishing industry, he has honed his skills in crafting engaging content that informs and entertains readers. As an editor at Petcosset, Dave brings his expertise to ensure that the content produced is accurate, informative, and compelling. He has a keen eye for detail and is committed to maintaining high editorial standards. Dave is also a dedicated pet owner and loves spending time with his furry companions.