Sometimes owners complain that instead of eating normally, the dog is “playing around with the food and the bowl.” Why is this happening and what can be done about it?
If the dog is healthy, but instead of eating food is playing with food and a bowl, there may be two reasons. And in such cases, they are most often interconnected.
- The dog is bored.
- The dog is overfed.
If the boredom is very severe, for example, the dog lives in a depleted environment and there is very little variety in his life, overfeeding may be minor. But if she is not very hungry, then she may prefer at least such entertainment to boring servings. Which, as the dog knows, is not going anywhere.
The solution in this case is to create an enriched environment for the dog and provide more variety. What is an enriched environment, we have already written. Variety is achieved by increasing the duration of walks, different routes, toys and games, training with positive reinforcement.
If the dog is heavily overfed, and the food is not of great value to him, then the dog can have fun with a bowl and food, at least in the hope that the owners will remove the boring food and give something tastier. And more often than not, they know from experience that this is how it happens. The way out is to normalize the dog’s diet, do not overfeed it, take into account the treats consumed by pets during the day. And do not leave food in constant access, remove the bowl after 15 minutes, even if the dog has not finished eating the portion.