Does anyone else love watching their dog eat? There's something supremely satisfying about the experience. (Even when yours has quirky eating habits, like flipping food bowls or chomping on socks. 🤪)
From gulpers to grazers, which of these personalities is your pup?
The Finicky Eater
Hard to imagine, but some dogs are fussy eaters. They sniff and pick at their food. Eat a bit, and then ignore the rest. Move kibble around, but leave their meal untouched.
This behaviour may frustrate you, but in most cases, your dog's choosiness is likely your fault. 🙃 For example:
- You're extra generous with treats, so your pup always feels full.
- You frequently slip Fido some table scraps. (Flavourful human food beats bland doggy kibble!)
- Maybe you keep changing food brands when your dog has ~clear preferences~.
⚠️ If you notice changes to appetite or eating habits that last more than 24 hours, contact your vet. Your dog may be ill.
The Messy Eater
These guys eat without a care in the world. For your home, that is! 😆 Habits include moving food from the bowl to the floor. Tipping bowls for "better access". And sloppy munching. That is dropping bits and pieces—and slobber—all over the place!
Priceless tip: Get the Grubby Paw Feeding Mat (in neutral grey or a stylish mocha brown) to keep your floors clean and dry. Dogs love it, but you'll love it even more! It's highly absorbent (for pesky spills), non-slip (keeping bowls firmly in place), and machine-washable (for all-around good hygiene). This mat makes life so much easier.
The Aggressive Eater
Does your dog growl, glare, bark, or bite when you or fellow pets come near? Meet The Aggressive Eater. These dogs are particularly mindful of—if not downright possessive over—resources. Anything that looks or feels like a threat will be warned. And it can be scary!
This is among the most problematic behaviours on our list. Seek professional help before this habit escalates into dangerous territory.
Feel like you're watching a doggy eating show? Say hello to The Overeater. He devours as much as possible, whenever possible—and there's always room for more! 😁
Causes of overeating include:
- Extended hunger (taking too long between meals)
- Hormonal imbalances
- Stress (we meet again, unwanted friend)
While chonky may be cute, obesity in dogs has serious health consequences. Practice portion control, give fewer (and healthier) treats, and squeeze in more exercise.
The Speed Eater
Blink, and you’ll miss it. 👀 The food, of course, because that’s how fast your doggo is!
Speed eaters gulp their food down—large amounts, all at once, fast. Was there chewing involved? Who knows. But this eating style is not ideal. It can cause stomach discomfort and be life-threatening. Think choking on food and gastric dilatation and volvulus, a vet emergency.
Try hand-feeding, slow-dispensing, or puzzle feeder bowls.
The Slow Eater
This one takes his time, savouring every last bite like a true foodie. He may eat half now, do something else, and finish his meal later. Maybe your dog is easily distracted. Perhaps you give way more food than Fido needs. Either way, The Slow Eater prefers grazing over a big meal in one or two sittings.
PSA: Slow eating can be due to pain (dental issues, neck pain, etc.), old age, or other health problems. Consult your vet for more information.
The Shy Eater
Wondering when, where, or if your dog has already eaten? 🤔 If your only evidence is an empty bowl—but you rarely see your dog chowing down—then chances are yours is a shy guy.
Shy Eaters appreciate privacy and enjoy their personal space. They may even wait until their human leaves before digging in. That’s just how they roll.
Reasons? Doggo may be an anxious eater, feel vulnerable, or want a distraction-free environment.
The "Strange Foods" Eater
Ah, the eccentrics. These canines have a penchant for the disgusting (poop), odd (sand), or downright disturbing (rocks).
While your pup could be curious, bored, attention-seeking, or stressed, he may also have pica. That’s when dogs ingest non-food, non-nutritive items. Keep your doggy safe by storing choking and household hazards out of reach. And stick to PetLab's non-toxic cleaning products while you're at it!
The Food Thief
This dog needs a lawyer on speed dial. 😅 A stealthy one, The Food Thief can't be trusted around food. He's opportunistic and will grab whatever he wants off the counter (or plate) when you're not looking! Bye, Scotch fillet.
While some human foods are safe for pets, much of what we eat is too rich, too salty/sweet, or toxic to dogs. Basically, don’t leave the good stuff unattended.
The Regular Eater
Last up is the average Joe of eaters. He's generally easy-going about meals and eats what he’s given when he’s given it. There's no mess, hiding, nipping, or pilfering of hotdogs when you're not watching. But who are we kidding? He will still beg for bacon. 🤤 (Who doesn’t, right?)