Why Your Dog Will Only Eat from Your Hand and Not from the Bowl

Sometimes, dogs can feel like kings and queens due to how picky some of them are with their food. It’s not just the pickiness, however, that troubles some dog owners. Some dogs might simply refuse to eat their food unless they are fed from the owner’s hand. Here are some reasons why dogs may do this.

The Dog Doesn’t Like the Food Bowl

First, check that the food bowl isn’t what’s causing this behavior. For example, dogs might refuse to eat from the food bowl if it’s really unclean or they smell something from the bowl that doesn’t make them want to it. Some dogs might also not like eating from their bowl if their collar or name tag, for example, clinks against the bowl surface.

An easy way to check this is by either serving your dog food from a different bowl or by laying a bit of food on the floor next to the bowl. The bowl height could also be a factor, especially for older dogs. Some dogs might find it really uncomfortable to eat from a low bowl as it puts some strain on their joints. That’s why they prefer to wait until you start feeding them using your hands.

A Stressful environment

Some dogs may suddenly prefer to eat food from your hand if the environment is too stressful. For example, there might be a lot of noise and movement in the room and that’s preventing your dog from being able to eat in peace. You may want to try moving the dog’s food bowl to a quiet and calm environment and see if that encourages your dog to start eating food from the bowl.

Your Dog is Spoiled

The reality is that some dogs are spoiled and that could be the reason why they only like being fed from your hand. This could happen gradually, especially if you have a tendency to give them tasty treats with your hands. Over time, the dog might come to realize that he will get his favorite food from your hand and not from the food bowl.

If you are certain that it isn’t a sickness that’s causing this behavior and there’s no issue with the dog food itself then you may want to temporarily “starve” your dog so he starts eating food from his bowl again. No healthy dog will starve himself just because he isn’t being hand-fed.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


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