Feeding Time Excitment
If, every time you pick up the food bowl at your house, a feeding frenzy ensues, then it’s time to do something about it. Feeding time, just like everything else, should be a calm, controlled occasion, but for some doggy households this may seem easier said than done, especially in households with more than one dog.
Some dogs get overly excited at feeding time (even when they are on their own), and this can lead to problems. It is important that your dog (or dogs) learn to be calm at meal times, just as they should be calm when there is a knock at the door, or they hear your car pull into the driveway.
Some dogs get pretty heated up at mealtimes because food is essential for their survival (and can be so yummy), and pet guardians can often trigger this type of reaction completely unintentionally.
Control Feeding Time
So how can you go about controlling feeding time when you have one or more overly exuberant and hungry dogs? Follow the following tips on feeding your dog properly.
- Never put the food down until the dog has calmed down. They should never be rewarded for their impatience, that’s for sure.
- If your dog gets particularly excited while you are preparing the food, then it’s a good idea to prepare it well out of sight. It is, sometimes, the build up and anticipation that proves to be just too much for them to handle.
- If you have more than one dog, you should make sure there is ample space between their feeding bowls, even if the dogs stay relatively calm at meal times.
- Give a time limit for the dogs to finish their food, and don’t leave leftovers lying around to create potential problems later in the day. It is also a good idea to wash the empty bowls and move them out of sight until the next meal time, therefore avoiding any potential problems and territorial behavior over the empty bowls.
- If you have two or more dogs and meal times are really complicated affairs, then feed them in separate rooms to help keep the peace.
- Remember that meal times are meal times and not training sessions.
A dog that has been taught basic manners should be able to be controlled even when there is food in sight. If your dog has been taught the basics of “sit,” for example, then simply ask him to sit while you prepare or place his food. If this is a little too much to ask, then follow some of the above steps; prepare his food in a different room so he doesn’t know what is going on, call him into the room and then ask him to sit before placing his food bowl on the floor. If even this gets to be a problem as he anticipates dinner time, change it up by feeding him at different times of the day or in different rooms of the house – and don’t forget – always reward good behavior. When he sits quietly and waits for you to put his dinner down, don’t forget to tell him what a good boy he is!
Photo: Courtesy of cplbasilisk via Flickr (CC by 2.0)