Why does my dog take food out of his bowl and put it on the floor?

dog food out of bowl

Many dog owners have likely encountered a strange behavior of their furry companions — i.e., taking out kibble from their food bowl and placing it on the floor before indulging in a meal. 


While it may seem puzzling at first, this behavior is not uncommon among dogs. And it’s got its reasons.


Understanding those reasons can provide insights into your pet’s instincts, preferences, and well-being. In this post, we’ll explore the intriguing question: Why does my dog take food out of his bowl and put it on the floor?


Let’s get started!


3 Reasons Dogs Might Put Food on the Floor

Usually, dogs might put food on the floor because:


1. Ancestral Instincts

The act of taking food away from a communal area and placing it elsewhere echoes the behavior of their wild ancestors. In the wild, canids often carried prey or scavenged food away from the site where it was found. This instinct served multiple purposes, such as avoiding potential competition from other animals and protecting the food from scavengers.


In the domestic setting, your dog might be expressing an instinctual urge to create a secure eating environment. This behavior could be an attempt to mimic the natural order of securing a meal away from potential threats. 


2. Picky Eaters

Another reason your dog may be transferring food from its dog bowl to the floor is related to their taste preferences. Just like humans, dogs can be picky eaters. Your dog might be inspecting and selecting specific pieces of food they find more appealing or interesting. 


Placing the food on the floor allows them to have a closer look, evaluate, and possibly even play with their meal before consuming it.

This behavior is more common in dogs that have a sensitive palate or specific dietary preferences. If you notice your dog consistently picking out certain pieces or types of food, it might be worth experimenting with their diet to find options that better align with their taste buds. 


Trying different brands, flavors, or even incorporating fresh and nutritious ingredients can make mealtime more enjoyable for your discerning pup


3. Discomfort

In some cases, the act of taking food out of the bowl and placing it on the floor could be an indication of discomfort during mealtime. Dogs may associate their feeding area with a negative experience, such as a noisy environment, proximity to other pets, or even the type of bowl used. Some dogs may be uncomfortable eating from deep or narrow bowls, as it can cause strain on their necks or faces.


To address this issue, consider experimenting with different feeding setups. Try changing the location of the food bowl, using a different type of bowl that accommodates your dog’s size and breed, or providing a quiet and peaceful environment during meals. Observing your dog’s behavior and making adjustments accordingly can contribute to a more comfortable and enjoyable dining experience.


Final Thoughts on Why does my dog take food out of his bowl and put it on the floor?

Although observing behavior, trying different food options, optimizing the feeding environment, and establishing a routine are crucial, here’s an additional tip: introduce interactive feeding toys. These toys not only engage your dog mentally but also slow down their eating, promoting better digestion. 


Consider optimizing your approach to your individual dog, embracing the journey of discovery, and incorporating interactive elements can make mealtime an enjoyable and fulfilling ritual for both you and your canine companion.


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