Top 7 Secret Reasons and Tips: Why Does your Dog Play With his Food While Eating?

Do you worry about” Why Does my Dog Play With his Food” or your dog playing behavior with his food? It will take you a lot of time to discover a wide range of unusual behaviors in your dog the more time you spend with it. Most pet owners find that their dogs behave very strangely while eating and one of them plays with their food. Dogs need playtime to relieve boredom and release mental energy, but sometimes dogs don’t eat, they just mess around.

There are many owners who are puzzled by this and looking for a solution. In this article we will explain why dogs do this and provide some tips on how we can deal with dog behavior in general.

The Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Play With His Food

Because of Natural Instincts

It is in the nature of dogs to be curious, and love to explore new thing around them. Humans rely more on sight, while interacting with their surroundings, whereas dogs utilize their sense of smell. For example If you recently changed your dog’s food, he may sniff and push the food instead of eating it. Especially at an early age, It is usual for your dog to behave like playing with his food. So this is a common behavior among your dogs.

The Root of the Behavior

Dogs naturally suffer from hunting behavior; therefore, they do not care about a specific meal time, and they like to eat freely. Because of this creation ability, most of your dogs might start to play with their food whenever dog owners feed them frequently. Moreover, your dogs without proper exercise are more likely to play with their food for enjoyment. So, your dog will be able to release his energy with appropriate exercise or training and will no longer be able to play with his food while eating. In addition, Your dog may become less inclined to play with food if you provide him with a diet plan.

Because of Overfeeding

Your dog will probably play with food if you excessively feed him. You must follow the proper feeding guide according to your pet’s age and size and give the appropriate amount to eat. Like Humans, Animals also require the right balance of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients so their bodies function properly. Without proper balancing in diet, there could be a lot of problems like Health and Behavioral issues in which playing with food is conspicuous activity.   

Because of Anxiety

A dog with anxiety may start playing with his food to control its anxious mood. Like humans, water and food are essential things to survive pets. So an eating disorder may refer to your dog’s non-behavioral activity. Anxious dogs tend to act restless and destructive. To initially aid this problem, adjust proper feeding time, regularly practice walking and playing activities, and ensure a particular place for your dog while eating. But if your dog’s anxiety level is out of control, you must consult a veterinarian for treatment.  

Because of Boredom 

Boredom can also be the primary cause for your dog to play frequently with his food while eating. Dogs are naturally social pets and want to live with you like a family member in your home. But leaving your dogs alone for long periods affects their behavior, and they start chewing furniture, digging holes in the living area, and often playing with food. Your dogs need daily physical activity such as exercise to stay healthy and happy; otherwise, they will try different ways to entertain themselves, which can be annoying for us as dog owners.

Try the following ways to relieve your dog’s boredom

  • Use food dispenser toys when feeding your dog. These toys help keep the dog entertained.
  • Puzzle toys help keep your dog’s mind calm. Cool-tempered dogs do not exhibit any behavior or aggression.
  • Take your dog to social circles such as doggy day care and you can even hire a dog walker when your dog gets lonely.
  • Get your dog used to daily walks or runs. A tired dog behaves positively.

Because of Food’s Scent

One possible reason for playing with food for your dog could be the scent of the meal. After smelling food, your puppy’s cognitive level is heightened, which encourages your dog to start playing for more enjoyment. Dogs in the wild depend mainly on their sense of smell as they use it to identify whether their food is suitable or not. Therefore they differentiate between foods using smell sense; if someone finds it vicious, they avoid it and possibly can start playing with food. Your dog gets this behavior from its ancestors. 

Because of Food Guarding Behavior

Some dogs fear opponents or enemies who will take away their food. Therefore, fearful dogs plan to protect their food, so they appear to be playing with it rather than eating it properly.

Protective behavior can appear in any dog ​​, and primarily fearful dogs are prone to this. Dogs with food-guarding behavior could act like snapping and growling at someone who approaches them while eating. If neglected a lot, this behavior can result in serious aggression problems.

The exact causes of protective behavior in dogs are unknown, but experts believe it comes naturally from the ancestors. The domestic dog may still have this aggressive behavior. If you are concerned about your dog’s resource-guarding behavior, you should consult a behaviorist to get a training plan.

Here are possible tips to stop your dog from playing with food

Generally, dogs are a playful breed, so naturally, they can play while eating. Basically, as a new dog owner, you may be concerned about the process of feeding a dog. Here I provide some working solutions that your dog can’t play with his food. Here I have mentioned some techniques which may be helpful for you.

Feeding after exercise

It is useful to feed your aggressive dog after exercise. After running or exercising, the dog’s body expends its energy and it will be unable to engage in immoral activities while eating. It is naturally good to exercise earlier in the day and feed your puppies later. By scheduling your feed plan in this natural way, you can control your dog from playing with his food. 

Socializing and Affectioning

Establishing social and physical interaction with your dog is vital to address disruptive and aggressive behavior. It should vary with gaming or playing time. As you bond with your dog, they become more willing to follow you, and It will be more needed when changing the puppy’s behavior. If you spend more time with your dogs to bond, it will help prevent playing with his food.

Set Specific Meal Times

To instill a sense of stability in your dog, you need to feed them in a specific daily routine. It improves your dog’s emotional and mental health, which helps him avoid the activity of playing with his food. Dogs usually feel good and happy after their owner regulates the diet plan. Some dogs may like to eat frequently throughout the day, but not all do. Adopting a diet plan with a specific time frame will make your dog more serious about his food. 

Including Tasty Food

You need to include delicious food in your dog’s diet plan. Your dog can refuse because of untasted food, and it is possible to start playing with his food. Make sure to feed your dog healthy and delicious food to prevent it from playing.

Help to Feed

If you have a small puppy who can not eat properly, you can feed him by hand. It helps your dog avoid to play with his food. Thus you will see your dog typically eating after a few days.


Sometimes your dog’s unnatural behavior can make you nervous. You may be concerned about the strange behavior of dogs or about” Why Does My Dog Play With His Food?”. You must know your dog’s behavior. I recommend reading the entire article in which I covered possible solutions and reasons for your dog’s strange behavior. You will be able to understand the root causes and answers for your dog’s unruly excited behavior.

Dog play with his food is primarily routine unless he has a biting problem. But when you see this type of aggression in your dogs, you need to consult a dog expert.

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