5 strange dog eating habits and what they mean about your pup

Getting to the bottom of weird dog eating habits and how you can help your pooch if they’re not feeling well.

It’s hard to not get a bit mushy when you start thinking about your dog at breakfast and dinner time. They are the happiest little guys or gals in the world and there’s nothing like cuddling on the couch with a pup who has a full tummy and is ready for a snooze.

If your dog has been a long-standing family member, it’s safe to say you know your dog better than anybody else. If you have a puppy, then you have the joy of learning about them from the very beginning. Perhaps you’ve done a beautiful thing and bought a shelter dog into your home in which case you will need to put in a lot of work learning about their anxieties, triggers, and fantastic personalities.

Because you know your dog the best, you’ll pick up when their dinner habits are a little different. When you notice some unusual dog eating habits in your pup, it mostly comes down to some discomfort they’re experiencing that can be easily solved. Other times it may be an indicator of poor health.

Discover: 4 Home Remedies for Your Dog’s Upset Stomach!

It’s always important to keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour and the is easy to keep an eye on because it’s in their everyday routine.

5 strange dog eating habits and what they could mean

1.     Moving the food bowl

Setting a routine is part of being a good pet parent. That includes where your dog eats. But what does it mean when your dog starts moving its bowl from one side of the room to the other?

This is perfectly innocent behaviour and is usually just indicative of a hyperactive or perhaps ADHD dog. It could be that your dog food is a bit too wet, and your dog is struggling to eat all of the food off the sides, making the bowl slide all over the place.

2.     Taking their sweet time

Are you noticing that your dog is less enthusiastic about its food? If you’re used to your dog wolfing down its food (which can also be a health hazard to look out for) it may be unusual when it suddenly takes more than an hour for them to finish up.

If they are eating a nibble, taking a stroll, and coming back to their food later on then that may be a sign that they are happy in their environment. Your dog may know that nobody is going to eat its food and that its meal will still be there when they come back!

If your dog is eating painfully slowly in one sitting, it could be a health issue. Any dental issues or stomach issues could be the cause and it’s a good idea to get in touch with your vet. Another reason could be anxiety or depression.

Read this: How Quality Nutrition & Pet Insurance Can Improve Your Pet’s Life

3.     Moving food to the floor

If you are both a pet parent and a human parent, you’ll be familiar with the food-to-floor cadenza. Dogs can be picky eaters too and if you see them moving their food from the bowl to the floor, it could be their way of trying to separate food they like from food they don’t like.

Remember that dogs are also very sensory creatures. If they are uncomfortable with their bowl, they’re going to try and eat off another surface. It could be the sound the bowl makes against the tiles or the sound their collar makes clinking against a steel bowl.

Be wary of what you wash your dog’s bowl with and that you rinse really well. Soap or bleach smells are unpleasant to eat around.

4.     Feeling afraid

All things take time and dogs can get skittish around new objects or skills. This will be more common for puppies or dogs that have been adopted – they’re just testing the waters! Sorting this out will be a process of trial and error until you find the right feeding bowl.

5.     Eating dirt

Have your dog’s digging habits gone a little too far? It isn’t unusual for dogs to eat dirt and there’s a simple reason: they are instinctively seeking nutrients their bodies may be missing.

Dirt is rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc and iron which are all vital to your dogs’ health. You either need to make a change in their diet and switch to dog food with the correct vitamins and minerals or chat to your vet about the best supplements you can give your dog.

Read next: 9 healthy human foods for dogs

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