I’ve always considered myself a dog person. I grew up with one and when it came time to purchase my first pet of my own, I knew that a dog would be perfect for me.
But what if your dog won’t eat when you’re in the room, no matter what you do?
How can you get your dog to eat, yet still gain their trust?
This article will cover some tips and tricks that will ultimately help you with this issue.
19 Reasons why your dog will not eat when your’e in the room?
1. The dog is not hungry
Your dog needs to be hungry enough to eat when you are in the room.
You are either not feeding often enough or are feeding the wrong food.
If you have a dog with a sensitive stomach, you will need to make sure that he is eating regularly.
Dogs can go without water, but they cannot go without food, so there is only so long they can go without eating.
2. The owner is a distraction:
You are a distraction
Don’t speak, don’t let them see your facial expressions or if you do, keep them happy and positive looking.
Give them something else to focus on other than you- a toy, bone, food bowl etc. Toss it or give it to the dog without saying anything and walk away silently (not obnoxiously).
3. The dog doesn’t like the food
Don’t force or coerce your dog into eating when he doesn’t want to.
And even if you do, it isn’t good for him. Don’t blame your dog for not wanting to eat because you are being annoying or aren’t giving him something he likes to eat of the moment.
Don’t tell him he will get treats later as a bribe to finish eating. He shouldn’t have to be bribed to eat.
4. The dog doesn’t trust the owner
Give the dog a chance to eat alone during meal times.
Make him feel comfortable with your presence in the room. He might not want to eat if he thinks you are monitoring his behavior or watching every bite that he takes.
Dogs can be picky about their food and won’t feel comfortable eating if they think you are watching them closely.
5. The dog was trained to eat privately
Train your dog otherwise by rewarding him for eating in front of you in small doses.
Reward him, give affection, praise and a treat for eating while you are there.
You want to show him that eating in front of you is the right behavior, but he needs patience with you now and then.
6. Dog has no access to water nearby
Leave the dog with a full bowl of water while you are gone.
If your dog has access to water at all times, he won’t struggle with eating even when he isn’t hungry and in the mood for food.
7. Owner is too anxious
This is hard to fix naturally, you have to work on it yourself and make small improvements day-by-day in your dog’s behavior and training.
If you are constantly yelling at your dog while trying to eat (which happens to us all), the dog will be afraid of you because he knows that nothing good will come from your interaction with him.
Having a calm, collected and confident attitude towards your dog will keep the dog from being afraid of you while trying to eat.
8. You invaded his personal space
This is a pet peeve of mine – owners who don’t ever stop talking while their dogs are eating.
I’m not saying that you should (or shouldn’t) be making conversation with the dog while he is eating, just simply stop talking for a few minutes and let him enjoy himself without feeling as if you are always interrupting him or looking down at him.
9. Dog is bored
Try leaving the room for a minute or two without completely shutting the door and let him eat without being interrupted.
Or if you catch him in the middle of eating, don’t distract him at all. Don’t try to make conversation or react when he looks up at you.
Let your dog eat in peace and stop being such a nuisance (to your dog).
If you want to go crazy, do it after or before he eats his food lol.
10. The food schedule needs changing
Your dog’s eating schedule can’t start and stop with you.
You need to find time in your day where you can leave him alone to eat, or at least have scheduled times when he eats without you being in the room.
Don’t give in to your dog’s right to be a pet- go outside for a walk or do some laundry or something and leave the dog alone while he eats.
If you are lucky enough to have 2 dogs, split up eating times between both dogs as well.
11. The environment isn’t inviting
Your dog shouldn’t be in a place that either forces him to eat (through lack of water or food) or makes him nervous.
If his time to eat is right on schedule, he should be in an environment that is relaxing and anything but stressful.
If your dog doesn’t like his surroundings, find an alternative place for him to eat that he will accept.
Your dog deserves the same amount of quality time you get every day so it shouldn’t be too hard to find the perfect meal spot for him.
12. There is someone else in the room
This is a tough one, but the best way to deal with this one is to keep that other person in the room quiet.
This is easier said than done, but if you can manage it without raising your voice or talking too much, you will be surprised how well this works.
Dogs don’t want to eat with a bunch of attention being focused on them.
13. He’s full or sick
If your dog has been eating for a while and is already full, he probably doesn’t want to eat anymore.
He might not let you know that he is uncomfortable and in pain but the signs will show.
Dogs can be picky eaters and will refuse to eat if they are full or sick.
They might not look sick, but the signs can still be there. You have to be careful and pay attention to your dog’s behavior and signs.
14. The dog has diarrhea
If your dog is suddenly refusing to eat, all of a sudden starts throwing up, or if his poop isn’t normal (watery, green or bloody) then he might be sick.
You should take your dog to the vet ASAP if you think he might have an illness.
If you catch him right before he might be sick, give him a few over-the-counter meds to help get rid of the problem or take a few in case he gets sick later on.
If your dog is sick, he might not always feel well so sometimes you will have to force him to eat.
15. Food left in the bowl for too long
If your dog refuses to eat his food at all, it could be because the food has been in the bowl for too long and is no longer appealing.
Offer fresh food and see what happens!
16. Food is new to the dog
If food isn’t his favorite food, he will enjoy eating it for a while and then will be upset that you want him to eat new food in a week or two.
If you change his food, most dogs will refuse to eat so quickly.
17. The owner is eating
This affects a lot of the other reasons on this list.
If you eat with your dog and watch him while he eats, you will make him feel uneasy.
If the owner eats with the dog, it also will make him feel upset if he doesn’t get to eat his food at regular times.
18. The dog isn’t getting enough exercise
If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, he may become less hungry than usual.
If he has a lot of exercise, he will eat as much as he can.
If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, he will be more likely to eat his food without being hungry.
19. Dog is in pain
If your dog suddenly stops eating, it could be because he is in pain and doesn’t want to eat.
If you find him constantly chewing on himself or licking at a certain area, there might be something wrong with his mouth or throat.
If you find him in pain, take him to your vet ASAP.
If your dog will not eat when you’re in the room, consider the points above and most of all make sure your dog is relaxed and comfortable.
If you can’t leave the room or find yourself always feeling the need to watch your dog eat, then you might want to try taking him for a walk or leaving him alone in his crate while he eats.
Don’t be a pest to your dog when he is eating.
You don’t want to make him feel unwelcome or like he is not good enough to eat with you.
Your dog doesn’t mind if you go watch TV or go do something else, he just wants his food.
Don’t be that owner that confuses your dog for attention.
You wouldn’t want your own parent or kid doing the same thing. Remember, “Dogs are not humans.