How to Stop Dog From Pushing Food Out of Bowl

How to Stop Your Dog From Pushing Food Out of the Bowl

Does your dog have a habit of pushing their food out of the bowl and making a mess? This behavior can be frustrating and messy, but fortunately, there are ways to curb this habit. Here are some tips on how to stop your dog from pushing their food out of the bowl:

1. Use a heavier or non-skid bowl: Switching to a heavier bowl or one with a non-skid base can make it more difficult for your dog to push their food around.

2. Elevated feeding: Elevating the food bowl to a more comfortable height can discourage your dog from pushing their food out. This can be achieved by using a raised feeder or placing the bowl on an elevated surface.

3. Slow feeder bowls: Consider using slow feeder bowls that have built-in obstacles or patterns to slow down your dog’s eating pace. This can reduce the urge to push food out of the bowl.

4. Train your dog to eat calmly: Teach your dog to eat calmly by using positive reinforcement techniques. Reward them for calm behavior during mealtime and discourage any pushing or pawing at the bowl.

5. Feed smaller meals more frequently: If your dog tends to push food out of the bowl because they’re overexcited or hungry, try feeding them smaller meals throughout the day. This can help regulate their appetite and reduce the urge to push food around.

6. Provide mental stimulation: Engage your dog’s mind by providing interactive toys or puzzles that dispense food. This can divert their attention from pushing food out of the bowl and keep them entertained.

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7. Consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist: If your dog’s food pushing behavior persists despite your efforts, it may be worth seeking professional advice. A veterinarian or animal behaviorist can help identify any underlying issues and provide tailored solutions.


Q1. Why does my dog push food out of the bowl?
A1. Dogs may push food out of the bowl due to excitement, boredom, or seeking attention. It can also be a sign of food-related allergies or dental discomfort.

Q2. Is it normal for dogs to push their food out of the bowl?
A2. While it’s not uncommon, it’s not considered normal behavior. It’s essential to address the issue to prevent mess and ensure your dog is eating properly.

Q3. Can a slow feeder bowl help?
A3. Yes, slow feeder bowls can be effective in reducing food pushing behavior as they slow down eating pace and engage your dog’s attention.

Q4. How long will it take to stop this behavior?
A4. The time it takes to stop the behavior varies from dog to dog. Consistency and patience are key, and it may take several weeks or longer to see improvement.

Q5. Should I punish my dog for pushing food out of the bowl?
A5. No, punishment can lead to fear and anxiety. Positive reinforcement and redirection are more effective in teaching your dog appropriate behavior.

Q6. Can food allergies cause food pushing behavior?
A6. Yes, food allergies can cause discomfort or itchiness, leading to pawing or pushing food out of the bowl. Consult your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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Q7. Is it necessary to consult a professional if the behavior persists?
A7. If your efforts to stop the behavior have been unsuccessful, consulting a veterinarian or animal behaviorist can provide valuable insights and tailored solutions for your dog’s specific needs.