If your dog likes to eat from your hand instead of their bowl, you’re probably wondering why this is. The most likely explanation is that your dog views you as a food source and feels more comfortable eating from your hand than from their bowl.
This behavior is often seen in puppies who were weaned too early or who didn’t have enough opportunities to eat from their mother’s bowl. However, it can also be seen in adult dogs who have developed a strong bond with their owner.
There can be various reasons your dog would not eat from his food bowl but have no trouble eating directly from your hand. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common reasons why this might occur.
Reasons Why Your Dog Prefers Your Hand Instead of Their Bowl
Your Dog Views Your Hand as Safe
If your dog only eats from your hand, it’s likely because they feel safer that way. In a multi-dog household, there can be a lot of competition for food. In addition, eating from their bowl can be stressful for some dogs, so they prefer to eat from your hand instead.
Hand-feeding is also a great way to bond with your dog and build trust. They know that you’re the one giving them food, so they feel comfortable and safe around you. If your dog won’t eat from their bowl, try hand-feeding them for a while.
They may eventually come around and start eating on their own again. Either way, there’s nothing to worry about – your dog views your hand as a safe place to eat!
Your Pup is Not Feeling Well
There’s nothing quite like the bond between a human and their furry best friend. We share our homes, our beds, and our food with them – and they love us unconditionally in return. That’s why it’s so heartbreaking when our dogs are not feeling well.
One of the ways they may express this is by eating from your hand instead of their bowl. Just like humans, dogs can become nauseous when they’re not feeling well. And just like humans, one of the things that can help make them feel better is to eat small amounts of food frequently.
By eating from your hand, your dog is telling you that they need some extra TLC – so be sure to give them plenty of love and attention (and maybe a few extra treats) until they’re back to their usual selves.
There is Something Wrong with the Dog Bowl
Do you have a dog that always seems to be eating from your hand instead of from their bowl? If so, there might be something wrong with the bowl. Here are a few things to consider:
- The size of the bowl. If the bowl is too small, your dog may not be able to get all the food they need. They may try to eat from your hand to get more food.
- The type of bowl. Some bowls are made of materials that dogs don’t like to eat from (e.g., plastic). If your dog doesn’t seem to like their bowl, they may try to eat from your hand instead.
- The location of the bowl. If the bowl is in an inconvenient area (e.g., too far away from where your dog likes to eat), they may try to eat from your hand instead.
- The food in the bowl. If the food in the bowl is not fresh or not appetizing, your dog may try to eat from your hand instead.
If you think one of these might be the reason why your dog eats from your hand, try making some changes and see if they start eating from their bowl more often.
Your Pup is Bored
Dogs are intelligent creatures that need mental stimulation; if they’re not getting it, they can get restless. Eating from their bowl is probably just too boring for them. So when you offer them food from your hand, it’s a chance for them to bond with you and feel more engaged.
So next time your dog begs at the table, think about whether they might just be looking for some excitement. A little bit of attention could be all they need.
Your Dog is Already Full (Maybe From Snacks You’ve Given Them All day)
It’s happened to all of us: we’re minding our own business when suddenly our dog is staring at us with those big, pleading eyes. And before we know it, we’re hand-feeding them bits of our lunch even though they already have a full bowl of food at their feet.
But why do they do this? According to experts, there are actually a few possible explanations. First, it could be that your dog is already full from all the snacks you’ve been giving them throughout the day.
Every time you reach into your pocket for a treat, they learn that food equals love – so they may be expecting (and hoping) for a constant stream of snacks.
Alternatively, your dog may simply enjoy the experience of eating from your hand more than eating from their bowl. After all, who doesn’t love a little attention and affection?
Whatever the reason, next time your dog starts begging for food, take a moment to ask yourself if they’re really hungry – or if they’re just trying to take advantage of your good nature.
Your Pup Wants to Interact with You
If your dog is eating from your hand instead of their bowl, it may be because they want to interact with you. Dogs are social creatures, and they may see mealtime as an opportunity to bond with their favorite human.
By eating from your hand, they can be closer to you and enjoy some quality time together. If this is the case, simply enjoying some quality time with your pup is likely all that’s needed to remedy the situation.
How to Get Your Dog to Eat From Their Bowl?
Add a Tasty Topping to Their Meal
If your dog is refusing to eat from their bowl, try adding a tasty topping to their food. One option is to mix wet food or canned pumpkin into their dry food. This will add flavor and moisture, making the food more appealing.
You can also try adding a small amount of chicken broth or bone broth to their bowl. Another trick is to top their food with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh herbs. Just a little bit of these toppings can go a long way in making mealtime more enjoyable for your dog.
The added flavor will make eating from their bowl more appealing, and they’ll be less likely to beg for food from your hand.
Change the Location of Their Bowl
If your dog is always begging for food at the dinner table, it may be because they’re trying to get closer to you. In this case, simply moving their bowl to a location near you may be enough to get them to start eating from it.
Dogs are creatures of habit, so if they’re used to eating from the floor, moving their bowl to a different spot may encourage them to investigate. You could also try putting their bowl in a quiet corner or away from any distractions.
Some dogs prefer to eat in peace, so this may be all it takes to get them to start using their bowl.
Swap Out the Dog Bowl for a New One
If your dog is still refusing to eat from their bowl, you may need to invest in a new one. Believe it or not, the type of bowl you use can actually make a difference in how much your dog enjoys mealtime.
For example, plastic bowls retain smells, making the food inside them less appealing to your dog. Stainless steel bowls are a good option because they’re easy to clean and don’t hold onto odors.
If you’re using a traditional bowl and your dog is still refusing to eat from it, changing to a different type of bowl may be all it takes to get them to start using it.
Make Mealtime More Exciting
If your dog is bored with eating from their bowl, try making mealtime more exciting. This could involve anything from adding new toys to their food to playing fetch with them before they eat. Making mealtime more fun will help your dog see their bowl as a positive experience.
Be Consistent With Your Training
If you want your dog to start eating from their bowl, you need to be consistent with your training. Every time they beg for food from your hand, simply ignore them – no matter how difficult it is. Over time, they’ll learn that begging doesn’t get them anywhere, and they’ll be more likely to eat from their bowl instead.
Change Meal Time
If your dog only begs for food when you’re eating, it may be because they’re feeling left out. In this case, try changing mealtime so your dog eats before you do. This will help them feel like they’re part of the pack, and they’ll be less likely to beg for food at the table.
There are several reasons why your dog may eat from your hand instead of from their bowl. It could be that the bowl is uncomfortable, that they’re bored, or that they’re already full from snacks. Alternatively, your dog may just enjoy the experience of eating from your hand more than eating from their bowl.
Whatever the reason, next time your dog starts begging for food, take a moment to ask yourself what they might really be trying to say. A little bit of attention could be all they need.