Why doesn’t my dog chew his food?
Does your dog wolf down his meals without chewing them?
This is a common problem for dog owners that can lead to dogs getting upset stomachs or throwing up large pieces of unchewed meat. In the worst-case scenario, it can leave a dog choking.
Many dogs don’t savour their meals, they simply see them as food to be eaten as quickly as possible to fill up their stomachs. That leaves us asking: “Why DOESN’T my dog chew his food?”
What are the four key reasons for this behaviour?
1. It’s that pack mentality
In a dog pack, every dog has his or her place. So, to avoid fights and injuries, dogs would quickly grab their piece of food and move away. In the wild, with the threat from other predators, the instinct would be the same. Leisurely chewing wasn’t an option for your dog’s ancestors.
2. It’s also about biology
Dogs’ necks allow them to stretch and swallow at the same time – some things we humans simply cannot do. Their sharp canine teeth also allow them to tear off much larger pieces than humans can consume, though, so it isn’t always safe for them to do it.
3. It could be your other dogs
If you have several dogs in your household, you may find that this dog simply wants to get his food before the others grab it. He knows that if you snooze, you lose!
4. It could even be his dish
I know you’re thinking ‘really, his dish?’ However, if you have a dish that clanks against the floor when he eats, like a metal or glass dish, it might be stressing him out and making him want to eat and go as quickly as possible.
How can you get your dog to chew his food?
There are lots of things you can do to make him relax and eat more slowly.
You can make the environment he eats in welcoming and relaxing. You could space out all your dogs’ bowls to ensure he has enough space to eat without being encroached on, or you could feed him individually away from the rest of your dogs. This will also help prevent disputes over meal bowls and dogs getting protective of their food.
Wet food or dry food moistened with water takes longer to eat than dry food, so that will help to slow him down.
Get a larger dog bowl and put one layer of food in it, rather than have several layers in a smaller bowl. Smaller bowls encourage your dog to eat larger pieces faster, without chewing.
Cut down the noise from the bowl by swapping a glass or metal bowl for plastic and heighten it off the ground. Making it closer to his mouth will make him feel safer and feel less need to protect it.
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