15 Reasons Why Dogs Leave Food on the Floor & How To Avoid It

15 Reasons Why Dogs Leave Food on the Floor & How To Avoid It

Do you ever wonder why your dog leaves food on the floor? There could be many reasons why this happens, and in this blog post we will list 25 of them! Dogs may leave their food on the floor for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to boredom, anxiety, fear, lack of exercise, and more. If you are having trouble getting your dog to stop leaving food all over the place, read on for some helpful tips!

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The Top 15 Reasons Dogs Leave Food on the Floor

1. Boredom

One of the most common reasons dogs will leave food on the floor is because they are bored. If your dog is not getting enough exercise or stimulation, it may become bored and start to act out by leaving their food on the floor. Make sure you are giving your dog plenty of attention and providing them with plenty of toys and opportunities to exercise.

Dogs Leave Food on the Floor
Image Credit: Frank11, Shutterstock

2. Anxiety

Another common reason dogs leave food on the floor is because of anxiety. If your dog is anxious or stressed, they may not want to eat their food. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including separation anxiety, loud noises, and changes in routine. If you think your dog’s anxiety may be the cause of their food-dropping habits, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions.


3. Fear

Dogs may also leave food on the floor out of fear. If your dog is afraid of you, other animals, or loud noises, they may not feel comfortable eating their food in your presence. This is often the case with rescue dogs who have been abused or neglected in the past. If you think your dog’s fear is causing them to drop food, try to create a calm and safe environment for them to eat in and slowly desensitize them to the things they are afraid of.

Dogs Leave Food on the Floor
Image Credit: Mike Burke, Unsplash

4. Lack of Exercise

A lack of exercise can also lead to food-dropping habits in dogs. If your dog is not getting enough physical activity, they may become restless and destructive. This is often the case with young puppies who have a lot of energy but are not given enough opportunities to burn it off. Make sure you are taking your dog for walks or runs regularly and providing them with plenty of toys to keep them occupied.


5. Picky Eater

Some dogs are simply picky eaters and will only eat certain types of food. If your dog is a picky eater, try giving them a variety of different foods to see what they will and won’t eat. You may also want to talk to your veterinarian about possible dietary changes that could help your dog’s eating habits.

Dogs Leave Food on the Floor
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6. Sensory Issues

Dogs with sensory issues may have trouble eating their food if it is a certain texture, smell, or taste. If your dog is leaving food on the floor because of sensory issues, try giving them different types of food to see what they will eat. You may also want to talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions for your dog’s sensory issues.


7. Dental Problems

Dental problems can also lead to food-dropping habits in dogs. If your dog is having trouble chewing their food, they may drop it on the floor. This is often the case with older dogs who have dental issues. You may need to switch your dog to a softer food or give them smaller pieces of food to make it easier for them to eat.

dog teeth
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8. Poor Coordination

Dogs with poor coordination may also drop food on the floor. This is often the case with puppies who are still learning how to eat. You may need to give your dog smaller pieces of food or help them with their eating if they are having trouble coordinating their movements.


9. Digestive Issues

Digestive issues can also lead to food-dropping habits in dogs. If your dog has an upset stomach, they may be struggling to keep their food down and may drop it on the floor. This is often the case with dogs who have diarrhea or vomiting. If you think your dog’s digestive issues are causing them to drop food, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions.

Dogs Leave Food on the Floor
Image Credit By: A-photographyy, Shutterstock

10. Possessive Behavior

Some dogs may take a mouthful of food to another room, make a pile on the floor, then eat. This can be because they’re trying to guard their food from another dog. If your dog is displaying possessive behavior, you may need to feed them in a separate room or provide them with their own food bowl.


11. Exhaustion

Dogs may also drop food on the floor if they are exhausted. If your dog is sleeping a lot or seems to have no energy, they may not have the strength to hold onto their food. This is often the case with older dogs who are not getting enough exercise. You may need to increase your dog’s activity level or provide them with more opportunities to rest.

Tired Bulldog
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12. Diet Change

A sudden change in diet can also lead to food-dropping habits in dogs. If you’ve recently changed your dog’s food, they may not be used to the new taste or texture and may drop it on the floor. This is often the case with puppies who are being weaned onto solid food. You may need to slowly introduce your dog to the new food or make sure they are getting enough of the old food to transition smoothly.


13. Separation Anxiety

Dogs with separation anxiety may also drop food on the floor. This is because they are anxious about being away from their owner and may not be focused on eating. If your dog has separation anxiety, you may need to provide them with more attention or make sure they are getting enough exercise.

Tips for Crate Training a Dog With Separation Anxiety
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14. Change in Routine

A change in routine can also lead to food-dropping habits in dogs. If your dog is used to eating at a certain time and place, they may become confused or anxious if their routine is changed. This is often the case with puppies who are still getting used to their new home. You may need to be patient and give your dog time to adjust to the new routine.


15. Attention

Some dogs may drop food on the floor to get attention from their owners. Just like children, dogs who aren’t getting enough attention will try to get it in negative ways. This can lead to mischievous behavior, especially if your dog succeeded in getting a response from you.

Pawn pug sitting on beige floor
Image Credit: Steshka Willems, Pexels

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When To Talk to Your Veterinarian

If your dog is displaying any of the above behaviors, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing the behavior and help you develop a plan to address it. Remember, food-dropping habits are often normal dog behaviors that can be addressed with patience and training.

How to Train Your Dog to Stop Leaving Food on the Floor

If your dog is leaving food on the floor, there are a few things you can do to train them to stop:

  • Start with Small Pieces: If your dog is having trouble coordinating their movements, start by giving them small pieces of food. This will help them learn how to eat without dropping food on the floor.
  • Use a Larger Bowl: If your dog is leaving food on the floor because they’re trying to guard it from other dogs, try using a larger bowl. This will give them more room to eat without feeling like they need to protect their food.
  • Try a Different Food: If your dog is dropping food because they don’t like the taste or texture, try a different food. There are many different kinds of dog food on the market, so you’re sure to find one that your dog will like.

Change Your Dog’s Diet Slowly

If you think your dog’s diet is the cause of their food-dropping habits, it’s important to change it slowly. This will give your dog time to adjust to the new food and avoid any digestive problems.

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Conclusion

There are many other reasons why dogs may drop food on the floor, including but not limited to: teething, dental problems, gastrointestinal issues, and more. If you are having trouble figuring out why your dog is leaving food on the floor, talk to your veterinarian for help. They will be able to rule out any medical causes and give you some tips on how to stop the behavior.

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