I feed my dogs in their kennels and when one of my dogs eat he pushes a lot to the food onto the ground, but he won't eat the food he pushes on the ground. The food gets all over the place and I don't understand why he does it when he used to eat all the food in his bowl and now he only eats a fraction of it. Can anyone help me figure out why he does this and how to make him stop?

  • 1
    Have you tried a bigger bowl?
    – paparazzo
    Jun 13, 2016 at 23:45
  • I remember my dog used to do that when he was wearing a funnel after an operation. His bowl was to small for his head (with the funnel) to get in so I agree with @Paparazzi that maybe his bowl is too small or too uncomfortable
    – papakias
    Jul 1, 2016 at 11:49

4 Answers 4


As far as I know, Dog mostly does it when he/she is suffering from any ailment (fever or any injury, etc.) and he/she has a bad taste in mouth.

If this is not the case, I think he/she finds the food not pleasing in taste or odour.

Try to change the container you use to serve him food or make sure to clean it properly (odourless). Changing the container/bowl might help.

When nothing helped, an odd trick I used to follow was that I would put his food in the dark so as to prevent him from seeing his food, this would trick him to eat his food.

I hope it helps.


What is probably going on:

If the level of humidity in your house or the feeding area is high, the food on the surface gets less "crunchy." Some dogs prefer to have their kibble like humans prefer their chips... crispy.

The dog will dig deeper in the bowl to get the kibbles that haven't been soften by humidity and discard the less tasty parts. In other words, the dog is sorting his food. He could also do this if you use food that has a mix of flavored kibbles.

To avoid this, try giving smaller quantities of food at once but feed the dog more often during the day. Or change the "old food" and add fresh one. If the dog is a very fussy eater, you can always add a bit of new food on top of the bowl and mix it with the rest. Close your food bag properly to keep it fresh or buy smaller bags. You can also trick the dog by alternating with canned food (or real meat) and mixing some kibbles with it; it's a nice extra for the dog anyway and changes the routine.

Check the humidity level in that area and maybe install a dehumidifier to help this. Usually this isn't necessary, simply feeding smaller quantities and keeping the food fresh helps a lot.

Other factors:

As mentioned already, make sure to change the bowl sometimes or use bowls that don't retain odors as much as plastic does (eg. ceramic, stainless steel.) Plastic bowls need to be changed a few times a year.

Some dogs move their food around like little squirrels because the area where their bowl is has too much "activity", or when there's too much "competition" for the food (eg. other dog) or when they're very stressed; they'll move their food where they can eat in peace and leave some food here and there. That can happen more often with small breeds. Other dogs do the opposite; they want to be seen eating to show dominance (eg.like wolves.) That doesn't seem to be the issue here though and these things happen more often in households with lot of activity, young kids or other pets.


As a money-saving alternative, try sticking some water in the food dish and let it sit. The food will now be very mushy.

Perhaps this might help, it is a trick used when dogs won't eat their food otherwise. I know it sounds gross, but dogs like novelty, too.


My dog does this when he just doesn't like something. He sits next to me on the couch on his little sheepskin pad, and if I put something on there -- most recently a jerky-type treat -- and he doesn't like it, he will push it off the pad with his nose until it's gone. Your dog might not like the food.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.