How to Make Your Dog Chew Their Food

How to Make Your Dog Chew Their Food

Chewing is an essential process for dogs to properly digest their food and maintain good oral health. However, some dogs tend to gulp down their food without chewing, which can lead to various health issues. If you’re struggling to get your dog to chew their food, here are some helpful tips.

1. Slow Feeding: Instead of placing all the food in your dog’s bowl at once, use a slow feeder. These specially designed bowls have obstacles that force your dog to eat slower and chew their food properly.

2. Food Puzzle Toys: Another effective way to encourage chewing is by using food puzzle toys. These toys require your dog to work for their food, promoting mental stimulation and encouraging them to chew.

3. Wet the Food: If your dog is eating dry kibble, try moistening it with some warm water. This will make the food softer and easier to chew, making it more likely that your dog will take the time to chew properly.

4. Smaller Portions: Instead of serving large meals, divide your dog’s daily food into smaller, more frequent portions. This will not only help with digestion but also encourage chewing.

5. Training and Reinforcement: Teach your dog the command “chew” and reward them with praise and treats when they chew their food. Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool in getting your dog to develop the habit of chewing.

6. Provide Appropriate Chew Toys: Give your dog safe and durable chew toys to redirect their chewing behavior. This will not only satisfy their natural instinct to chew but also help strengthen their jaw muscles.

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7. Consult Your Veterinarian: If your dog consistently refuses to chew their food or shows signs of dental issues, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian. They can assess your dog’s oral health and provide further advice and guidance.


1. Why is chewing important for dogs?
Chewing helps dogs break down their food, aids digestion, and promotes good oral health.

2. What health issues can arise from not chewing food?
Gulping food can lead to choking, digestive problems, and dental issues like tartar buildup.

3. Should I be concerned if my dog doesn’t chew their food?
Yes, it can be a cause for concern. Consult your vet to rule out any underlying health issues.

4. Can I feed my dog raw bones to encourage chewing?
Raw bones can be a good option, but consult your vet to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your dog.

5. Is it normal for puppies to not chew their food?
Puppies may have a tendency to gulp food initially, but it’s essential to encourage them to develop a chewing habit as they grow.

6. How long should it take for a dog to chew their food?
Ideally, a dog should take around 30 seconds to a minute to chew their food properly.

7. Can certain dog breeds be more prone to not chewing their food?
Yes, some breeds have a higher tendency to gulp food. However, these tips can be helpful regardless of the breed.