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My 7 year old dog has recently started grazing rather than eating all his dry food all at once. That isn't too surprising, but I noticed that he won't eat or touch his food unless someone is home.

We jokingly say that he has to make sure that the human has returned (from leaving the house) to feed him again, and that this won't be his last meal that he would need to ration.

But in all seriousness, I am slightly concerned about the behavior and am curious as to if there is a reason for this recent change in his food consumption.

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  • Welcome to pets.SE! Please have a look into this similar question. If you do not state, what is different in your case, your question will be closed because it is a duplicate. But if the linked question will not help you, please edit your question and let us know the difference. Nov 4, 2022 at 19:57
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    Does this answer your question? Why won't my dog eat on her own? Nov 4, 2022 at 19:57

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If there are no other signs of "trouble" (i.e., the dog being sick), it is most likely a social behavior. Everyone eats at the same time. This makes sense especially if the dog is not allowed (or does not want) to eat the same food that you eat. So he saves his food until you have yours, and then, just in a pack, you eat together.

We had a parakeet, and it was a kind of a strong rule. It did not matter how often or how much he ate throughout the day. When we ate, he did the following:

  • he came and tasted our food (we decided for him which "details" of the food were safe for him to taste, and he did not complain);
  • and then he went and ate his food, in parallel with us.

This behavior makes even more sense if he has no other companion pet.

If this situation really bothers you, a workaround would be to install a mirror at his level, where the food is, so he will have the illusion of not being alone. But if the dog is not malnourished while waiting for you, I would just let him be part of the pack.

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  • Do you really compare the social behavior of a bird to that of a dog? And do you think dogs eat together because they want to share? If there is not enough food they would fight and the less strong would need to eat what is left over from the strong... Nov 22, 2022 at 13:19
  • If there would be a source, strengthen your points, I maybe would have less concerns... Nov 22, 2022 at 13:20
  • @Allerleirauh: even wild wolves have no problem eating at the same time from the same corpse, so why do you assume that dogs will necessarily kill each other during eating time? While some pets tend to be more individualistic, others tend to be more social (just like humans). Also, I did not claim anything about "sharing". I just mentioned "eating at the same time". Additionally, my comment applies to lonely pets (no non-humans around) - as i already wrote.
    – virolino
    Nov 22, 2022 at 13:43
  • Please give sources... Nov 22, 2022 at 14:24

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