Your fur buddy gets the nutrients from mother’s milk during the first few months of life, but eventually, you will need to train your dog to eat from a bowl.
You can try to feed him by hand for a while, but eventually, he will need to mature and start eating from a bowl. This will not only make your life simpler, but it will also enable you to monitor your canine’s eating habits much more closely.
Although following the methods on how to train your dog to eat from a bowl can be difficult, it is a terrific discipline exercise for both of you.
Additionally, it provides you an opportunity to practice some of the simpler instructions, such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” If your dog has a tendency to run in a hurry to get to his food, it will also lower the likelihood that he will get hurt.
How to train your dog to eat from a bowl
Consider the following:
1. Create tasks
The main goal is to get your dog to understand that his bowl is the only appropriate area for him to eat. In addition, you will have to train your dog to eat from a bowl and that his food will be placed in front of him at specified times and not rush to get to it.
If at all feasible, you should teach your dog this vital general skill at the same time as he is weaning, or as soon as possible.
Although you can train your dog to eat from a bowl irrespective of age, the training sessions are likely to be simpler the earlier you begin.
To aid in the training, you could wish to pick and utilize a command term or phrase like “Come eat!” or “It’s supper time!” Whatever you do, make sure to follow the same instructions consistently and set his food dish down in the same location each time to prevent confusion.
2. Get going
Starting is rather easy because you won’t need much to train your dog to eat from a bowl. After all, it is a natural process and no matter what, your dog will eat when it becomes sufficiently hungry.
However, for the training to be successful, you will need a few things, just as with most sorts of training. These consist of:
- A hungry dog. Unless your dog is already hungry, you cannot educate him to eat from his bowl.
- Its favorite food. It’s not a good idea to try new and unfamiliar food.
- A feeding place. Give your dog a bowl made just for him, and decide where to put it every time he eats.
- Time. Time is of the essence because no training is completed overnight.
- Patience. Like with time, you must be patient with your dog or you risk discouraging him from eating from his bowl.
- Praise. Be prepared to shower him with lots of compliments whenever he performs well.
3. Try the new bowl method
- New beginning. If your dog has been avoiding eating from the bowl you already have, start by getting him a new one.
- Make good choices. The bowl he is using now might scare him, or if it is made of metal, it might slip about while he is attempting to eat. Additionally, try a smaller bowl; a larger one could be too much for him. When he’s ready, you can always switch to a bigger bowl.
- The proper place. He can eat his food quietly if you can find a quiet place for him to do so.
- Liven it up. To encourage your dog to eat from the bowl, try adding a little chicken broth or stock. When he decides to start eating, shower him with praise.
- Control mealtime. Reduce the amount of time that food is available, say for around 20 minutes before picking up the bowl. Try again until he begins to eat as soon as you set the bowl down.
4. Bring in the full bowl method
- Dish it out. Start by adding the right amount of food to your dog’s bowl.
- Invite him to the table. Bring your dog into the space where you’ll be feeding him, then take a position holding his bowl.
- Take a seat. Make him sit, then slowly lower the food bowl until it is on the floor in front of his face.
- Work on the manners. Whenever he gets up from his seat or approaches the food. He needs to sit down again, so raise the dish. Continue doing this until he stays seated as you set the bowl on the ground.
- Dig in! Send him a message using your preferred command, such as “Time to eat!” or “Chow down!” Until he consumes food each time you set his bowl down, let him enjoy his meal and keep doing this.
5. Try the separate mealtime method
- Dinner appointment. Separate from your own mealtimes, schedule meals for your dog.
- Pick a time and a cue. Create a feeding schedule and explicit instructions for him.
- Present the food. A bowl of food should be placed in front of your dog after calling him into the room where you intend to feed him.
- Be patient. Until you give him the order to eat, make him stay in his seat.
- Doggie bags. After five minutes, be careful to take up the bowl if, for whatever reason, he decides not to eat.
- Try again. Try it again in 12 hours; there’s a strong chance he’ll be hungry enough to eat.
- Repeat. If he doesn’t start eating when you set his bowl down, keep doing this. It won’t take long, so be patient.
Why Is your dog refusing to eat from the bowl?
Dogs have a variety of peculiar quirks that nobody, not even experts, can explain. They frequently act in ways like refusing to take their food straight from the dish.
Dogs will move to another part of the room with a mouthful of kibble in it, empty it on the floor, and then start eating. We find this ludicrous given that we are giving them a spotlessly clean and cozy dining area. In addition, they leave a mess of crumbs on your carpet.
There could be three causes for this:
- Our four-legged family members are descended from domineering dogs. Their forefathers had to draw their prey away from their fellow pack in order to enjoy a meal uninterrupted. It’s possible that your dog is simply acting on instinct.
- Some dogs find a metal food bowl’s loudness intolerable. If your dog has one of those, the sound may be causing them to worry or increase anxiety.
- Your dog may want to eat in a more private section of the house because he dislikes being observed. Let’s face it, that isn’t comfortable for people either. This could indicate that they are timid or that his inner ancestors are warning him to keep his food hidden, even from you.
How can you solve this eating pattern?
a. Don’t direct your dog away from a behavioral issue
Never try to direct your dog away from a behavioral issue without first consulting the vet. Their actions can be motivated by health issues, and it’s impossible to handle those issues on your own.
b. Consider your dog’s past
Consider your dog’s past before you start training. He may still be traumatized if he has had a negative experience with his feeding bowl. Has he ever been eating out of it when a loud noise startled him? Besides, an animal’s behavior is influenced by many factors like genetic predisposition, experience and learning, environment, and physiology.
He might have been startled by an alert, something toppling over, or thunder, for instance. It’s also possible that something occurred to his prior owners. We advise relocating their feeding bowl to an alternative area of the house. They should be able to manage their terror thanks to the change of surroundings.
c. Adapt his food bowl
It might sound absurd, but some dogs are plain finicky. Whether it’s the way it looks, feels, or scrapes the bottom of the dish, they won’t eat it until we fix it.
d. Special bowl treat
Every other night, try adding a couple of special treats to his bowl. He won’t be able to resist the wonderful delight inside with just one whiff of the grilled chicken.
Everyone can easily become distracted when they are watching their dog eat. Either they will worry too much about what their family is doing or they will be overly concerned with protecting their food and try to flee with it.
In this situation, relocate their dish to a more confined, private space. They will now be limited to thinking about their food.
Even though dogs differ in terms of their behaviour, it is important to know and understand these key steps especially if you want to train your dog to eat from a bowl.