Dear Labby: Why Doesn’t My Dog Eat Without Me?


Dog examining bowl of dog food

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One in all our DogTime readers needs to know why her canine received’t eat when he can’t see his human. She writes:

Dear Labby,

My canine loves his meals and is often a fantastic eater, however as quickly as I go away the room, he goes on a starvation strike. Most days this isn’t an issue as a result of I give him meals whereas I’m consuming breakfast or dinner, and he’ll simply fortunately eat on the similar time whereas I sit within the kitchen.

However generally my pup has to spend time at his grandma’s home whereas I’m out of city, or a pet sitter must feed him after I can’t be house in dinner time. He’ll refuse to eat. Not solely does it damage his grandma’s emotions, however I’m certain he’s additionally going hungry.

Why received’t he eat if I’m not round? Can I do one thing to make him extra snug consuming with out me? Is there one thing his pet sitter ought to do to make him eat? Please assist!


When Consuming, Remoted Rover Denies Dinner Curiosity Each Time

Dear Labby Has The Reply!

Portrait Of White Pomeranian By Pet Food

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Dear W.E.I.R.D. D.I.E.T.,

Most canine like to eat, so it may be regarding once they resolve to go on an sudden weight loss program for unknown causes.

It’s particularly troubling when you already know that your canine is often all too desperate to gobble up meals as quick as you may put it down. Why would your pup want you to be current for them to eat if they’re given the identical meals in the identical bowl that they all the time get?

Properly, there are just a few causes your pup could refuse to eat once you’re not round, and you are able to do some issues to assist get them to feast when you’re distant.

Perhaps He’s Lacking You

One purpose your pup might not be prepared to eat with out you is that he’s used to you being there throughout dinner time. Canine are social animals, and he may even see consuming as a social occasion the place you share your time and bond.

This occurs within the wild, too, when canine be taught to eat with their pack. It gives a way of camaraderie and security.

If that is so, it’s best to begin making an attempt to coach your canine to really feel snug consuming once you’re not round.

Begin by standing within the doorway of the room whereas he’s consuming. Regularly again out of the room and out of sight for just a few seconds at a time, then come again in. You might wish to put a deal with in your canine’s bowl once you come again to distract him.

Proceed this course of, staying out of the room for longer intervals of time till your canine feels snug. It can take some time to coach your canine this manner, however maintain at it till he’s snug consuming a full meal when you’re out of sight.

Perhaps He’s On Watchdog Obligation

candid photograph, beagle bitch, teenage girl, sharing, England 2011,winter,country home

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Another excuse your canine could also be uncomfortable consuming with out you is that they really feel the necessity to defend the house when you’re gone, and that may be a supply of stress.

Many canine are territorial, and once you’re not round, all the guard canine obligation falls on them. They could really feel a way of imminent hazard, and each odd noise, sight, or odor can put them on edge, making it troublesome for them to let their guard down sufficient to eat.

A method to assist your canine on this state of affairs is to make the atmosphere really feel safer and extra protected. Draw the curtains closed, flip off something that makes noise similar to televisions and radios, and ensure their atmosphere is as free from thrilling stimulation as doable.

You may additionally strive an extended stroll or vigorous play session earlier than you allow to alleviate a few of the nervous power.

Perhaps He’s Anxious

Hispanic businesswoman feeding dog

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One of the crucial widespread causes canine don’t eat with out their people is separation nervousness. This mainly signifies that your canine relies on your presence and doesn’t really feel snug with out you round.

Canine expertise separation nervousness individually, and it may manifest in numerous methods. Some canine truly eat extra, as chewing can generally be a type of stress aid. Different canine solely eat at sure occasions, and a few refuse to eat in any respect till their human has returned.

Separation nervousness could be very tough to take care of. There are some things you are able to do to scale back separation nervousness, similar to exercising to cut back anxious power, giving your canine sure meals or dietary supplements that encourage rest, or utilizing medicine in some circumstances.

Earlier than you make choices on how one can deal with your canine’s separation nervousness, it’s best to seek the advice of your veterinarian or an expert behaviorist. Many canine that suffer from separation nervousness take years to get better, and a few don’t reply to any efforts to cut back signs in any respect.

However earlier than you lose hope, speak to an expert and skim up on methods to cut back separation nervousness. Your canine could reply nicely to therapy and step by step grow to be extra snug once you’re not round.

Hold At It!

So, W.E.I.R.D. D.I.E.T., hopefully you may take steps to verify your canine is joyful to gobble his dinner once you’re not the one serving it. It might take a while, therapy, and coaching, however it is going to be well worth the effort when grandma calls you to inform you what a superb little eater your pooch is.

Let’s simply hope you aren’t too profitable, or your pup may eat every little thing in sight!

Does your canine refuse to eat once you’re not round? What do you do to assist them? Tell us within the feedback beneath and go away your questions for Dear Labby!

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