We all want our dogs to trust us and feel comfortable around us so when your dog won’t eat while you are around it is natural to feel confused or sad.
There are many reasons why your pooch might not want to eat while you are around.
Don’t feel discouraged, with a little bit of effort you can change this behavior and have the kind of relationship you want with your dog.
Below we will discuss some of the most common reasons for this.
My Dog Is Scared To Eat Around Me
There are 6 main reasons for a dog to be scared of eating near you. It could simply be that your dog is an anxious eater. You are considered to be the pack leader, lack of food training, aggression issues, psychological issues arising from abuse. Attention seeking behavior is one of the most common issues that I’ve personally encountered.
Why Is My Dog (Rescue Dog/Adopted/Puppy) Scared To Eat Around Me & Wait Till I Leave The Room?
Your dog may suffer from anxiety which causes him to feel vulnerable when eating.
You are the pack leader
Your dog might be domesticated but it won’t ever lose it’s instinct. In the wild, pack leaders eat first and your dog probably sees you as the pack leader. He or she might be waiting to see if you are going to try to eat first and thus only eat when you leave the room.
If you adopted your dog as an adult or got him or her as a rescue they might have been trained to eat at certain times or when commanded. This could be causing your problem as you might not be aware of this.
If your dog has food aggression they might not want to eat in front of you. It is possible that they think you are going to take their food away and are protecting it until you leave the room.
If you adopted your dog it is possible that they might have been abused, especially if they are a rescue dog.
Physical or mental abuse can cause a lot of damage to your pet. Maybe they got yelled at or beaten for eating something that they weren’t allowed to and now they are scared to eat in front of you.
It is possible that your dog is seeking attention by not eating in front of you.
As a concerned pet owner you are going to be worried about your pooch and spend a lot of time trying to get them to eat. They learn that not eating means attention and then keep on doing it.
If your dog refuses to eat completely it might be for medical reasons and you should take them to the vet to rule out any health problems.
Why Does My Dog Stare At Me Before Eating?
Your dog sees you as her leader and in the wild, the leader eats first. She might be waiting to see if you want to eat first.
There is also the possibility that she is staring at you to see if you will give her something else to eat, especially if you feed her right before you have dinner yourself.
If your dog is staring at you with a tilted head, she might be confused. If you are in the process of training, she might not understand what you want from her and is unsure if she should eat.
If your pooch is looking at you with big puppy dog eyes, while wagging her tail, she is happy and probably wants you to know that she loves you and is thankful for the food.
However, if it is a hard stare, your dog could be tense and might be scared that you are going to take her food away.
My Dog Is Acting Scared And Won’t Eat?
It is possible that your dog might be ill or injured. Your dog is not used to being in pain or feeling ill and this can scare him. This can also be the reason why he won’t eat.
There is also the possibility that your dog is scared of something in the room where you are feeding him. If there is something that is making a noise he doesn’t like it could be causing him to feel anxious.
My Dog Won T Eat Around Other Dogs
There are many reasons why your dog might not want to eat around other dogs. If you adopted or rescued your dog as an adult, it could be that he is intimidated by other dogs. Maybe one of your other dogs is dominant and he is being submissive.
It is also possible that your dog was bullied by other dogs before and feels anxious to eat around your dogs. He might need some time and encouragement from you to feel comfortable eating in front of other dogs.
Why Does My Dog Want Me To Watch Them Eat?
Your dog could be suffering from separation anxiety. This means that they have a very strong bond with you and feel anxious when you are not around. When you are watching them, they feel more at ease and will eat.
When eating your dog might feel vulnerable and having you watch over him gives him the confidence to eat.
Do I Need To Coax My Dog To Eat?
No, you should not have to coax your dog to eat. If your dog is not eating when you feed him it might be because you have spoiled him with too many treats or table scraps.
Your dog will get used to you giving him all these delicious things to eat and then when it is meal time he might be fussy because he wants to see if you will give him something else to eat.
If your dog refuses to eat and keeps on acting scared you should take him to the vet to make sure that he or she is not feeling ill.
My Dog Won T Eat By Himself?
There are many reasons why your dog won’t eat on its own. Maybe he is scared and only feels safe enough to eat when you are around.
There is also the possibility that your dog isn’t hungry at the times when you are feeding him or doesn’t like the food you are feeding him but will eat when you are around to make you happy.
It could also be that your dog is looking for attention. If you don’t spend enough time with him he might be refusing to eat by himself to keep you near him.
Make sure to spend some more time with your dog, he will love you for it and it might solve the problem you are having.
Why Will My Dog Eat Out Of My Hand But Not His Bowl?
It is possible that your dog does not like the sound the bowl makes when he is eating and thus prefers eating out of your hand.
Some dogs have allergies and could be allergic to the material of the bowl. Try buying him a new bowl and feeding him in a different area.
Dog Won T Eat Unless I Hold The Bowl?
Maybe you did this once and your dog liked it and by continuing to do it you are reinforcing the behaviour. It might take some time but with training you can teach your dog to eat by himself.
It is also possible that your dog simply enjoys eating his food at a higher than ground level. You get special stands that you can place your dog’s bowl on. This will put the bowl at the same height as when you are holding it and should solve your problem.
How Retrain A Dog To Overcome Food Anxiety? >> Please List And Briefly Explain Below
As humans, we tend to eat at least three meals a day. If you only get one meal a day, even if it is a big meal, you might feel anxious.
The same goes for your pet. Feeding your dog only once a day could be one of the reasons why they have food anxiety. Try feeding your dog smaller portions twice a day and keep to a feeding schedule to reduce their stress even more.
Make sure that you are feeding your dog the right amount of food as over feeding can lead to obesity and under feeding can cause malnutrition.
If you have more than one dog it could be helpful to feed them in separate rooms. This will help them to relax and prevent food aggression.
If you feed them in the same room, you need to make sure that each dog has their own bowl and that you keep a good distance between them while they are eating.
If there is a lot of foot traffic or noise in the area where you are feeding your dog, it could be the cause of his anxiety.
Feed your dog in a room where they can eat without distraction to help them to stay calm.
Make sure to feed your dog a well-balanced meal. This will help them to get all the vitamins and minerals that they need to stay mentally healthy.
Look for a meal plan that contains sufficient amounts of antioxidants, B vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium. These will all help to make your pooch feel more calm.
If you are not sure what to feed your dog you can ask your vet who would be able to help you create a meal plan that best suits your dog.
How To Get My Dog To Eat When I Am Around? >> Please List And Briefly Explain Below
If your dog is refusing to eat around you, it might be because he is feeling anxious. Try feeding him in a different room and see if it changes his behaviour.
Patience and training
If you adopted your dog as an adult they might not always have been treated well, especially if they are a rescue. Maybe your dog’s previous owner would yell at him for eating things he shouldn’t have or even physically abused him.
If this is the situation, your dog is afraid that he will be scolded and thus waits for you to leave the room before eating.
You will have to be patient, but with a lot of love you could get your dog to trust you enough to eat in front of you.
You can try these helpful tips to gain their trust.
Stay calm; this will help your pup with his anxiety.
Don’t reprimand your dog for not eating around you, this will only scare him more.
Be patient, give your pooch enough space and let him see that he can trust you.
Make playtime a priority, this will help your dog to trust you.
When feeding your dog, go to the opposite side of the room and don’t even look at him. Let him get comfortable with you being there. Once he is comfortable enough to eat, slowly move a bit closer every couple of days until he will eat in front of you.
Feed your dog healthy treats from your hand to help gain his trust.
Praise and reward your dog whenever you get the opportunity.
Some dogs are more anxious than others, they have their own personalities and that is why they are our best friends. Sometimes your dog needs a little bit more attention and encouragement than other dogs but sees it as an opportunity to grow your bond.
Gain your pooches trust and make sure to feed him or her a healthy balanced meal. A regular feeding schedule in a calm environment will help to reduce their anxiety.
With a lot of love and patience, you can help your dog overcome their anxiety and be more confident.