Why does my dog push his food with his nose? – 10 Reasons

There is no definite answer as to why dogs push their food around with their noses, but there are many possible explanations for this behavior. Some pet owners might assume that the dog is simply trying to be messy while they eat, but in reality it could be a sign of something much more serious going on with your dog’s health. Before making any assumptions about what may be causing your dog to push his food around, talk to your vet about possible problems or conditions that he might have and see if you can find ways to help to correct these issues so that you can make sure that your dog stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Table of Contents

  1. Why does my dog push his food with his nose explanation
  2. How Can I Keep My Dog From Pushing His Food With His Nose
    1. Method 1: Do Not Encourage the Behavior
    2. Method 2: Use Appropriate Feeding Bowls
    3. Method 3: Adjust Your Dog’s Diet
  3. Conclusion
  4. FAQ

Why does my dog push his food with his nose explanation

There is usually more than one reason for this behavior. Here are 10 of the most common reasons:

  1. Dogs can be messy eaters, and pushing food around helps them keep from making a big mess on the floor or in their dishes.
  2. Dogs can be picky eaters, especially when they are young puppies or if their diet has recently been changed. Pushing food around helps them to sample the food and decide whether it is something that they want to eat.
  3. Some dogs are simply attention-seeking animals who enjoy distracting their owners with funny behavior so that they can get more attention. Pushing food around helps them to gain that attention.
  4. Dogs who experience some degree of separation anxiety may push their food around the floor in an attempt to find a way out of their crate or kennel or off of the leash if they are outside on a walk. This behavior may also be a sign of other nervous or anxious behaviors that your dog is exhibiting.
  5. Some dogs may act in this way because they are simply bored and looking for something to do during mealtime. This behavior can sometimes develop if you leave your dog with little to no stimulation for long periods of time during the day. If a dog is left unsupervised in an area without toys, bones, or playmates, he may start engaging in this type of behavior as a way to occupy himself when he’s not resting.
  6. Dogs who have separation anxiety may be trying to escape the kennel or crate and run toward their owners when they see them approaching so that they can reunite with them again. Pushing food around may be the dog’s way of trying to get out of his kennel so that he can escape and join you.
  7. Also, it may simply be a habit that he formed because it is a behavior that gets him attention from his owners or provides other stimulation. This behavior can sometimes become more ingrained over time, but if the dog pushes food around consistently every day at feeding time, it may be an indication that there are some underlying issues or problems with your pet’s diet and health.
  8. Dogs who push their food around when they eat might have nutritional deficiencies in their diets. Over time this could lead to serious illness or disease if left untreated. Talk to your vet about what your dog’s diet should consist of and how to correct any deficiencies or health problems.
  9. Some dogs simply love food, so they may push it around out of excitement or just because they enjoy the feeling of their noses rubbing against the floor when they’re eating. This can sometimes be a sign that your dog is overeating and needs to have his portions adjusted. Talk to your vet about proper feeding guidelines for your dog’s age, size, and level of activity.
  10. Dogs who are experiencing some kind of pain while they eat may push their food around in an attempt to relieve that pain by getting off of the hard surface on which it rests. If you believe that this might be the case with your dog, talk to your vet about helping you get him the proper care to help alleviate any pain that he is experiencing.

Dogs are curious creatures who like to explore and learn new things. Pushing their food around with their noses may be a behavior that they learned from watching other dogs, or it could simply be a natural instinct for them. If you notice that your dog continues this behavior even after you have stopped feeding him on hard surfaces such as wooden floors or cement sidewalks, consult with your vet to see if there might be something wrong with his diet or health. In any case, take steps to correct this behavior by finding alternatives for keeping his food off of the floor when possible and by remaining consistent in your training methods so that the problem does not become habitual.

How Can I Keep My Dog From Pushing His Food With His Nose

Pushing food around with their nose is a behavior that many dogs exhibit, but there can be many different methods to prevent it:

Method 1: Do Not Encourage the Behavior

The first step to preventing your dog from pushing his food around with his nose is to avoid reinforcing the behavior in any way, either intentionally or unintentionally. This can be done by simply not paying attention to the behavior when you see it happening, and by avoiding making eye contact or speaking to your dog during feeding time.

Method 2: Use Appropriate Feeding Bowls

There are many different feeding bowls that can be used. These bowls may include elevated feeders, bowls with raised edges, or bowls made of materials that are more slippery or harder for dogs to push. Choosing the right type of bowl will help your dog focus on eating his food without feeling encouraged to push it around.

Method 3: Adjust Your Dog’s Diet

If you suspect that your dog might be pushing his food around with his nose because he is experiencing certain nutritional deficiencies or health problems, it may be necessary to talk to your vet about adjusting your dog’s diet accordingly. This could include adding supplements or nutritional additives, changing the types of food you are feeding him, or even switching to a special diet that is tailored toward managing any health issues that your dog might have.


In all cases, it is important to remain patient and consistent when trying to correct this behavior in your dog. Whether by using one of the methods listed above or by simply choosing to ignore the behavior and wait for your dog to get bored of pushing his food around, you can work with your dog to help him overcome this frustrating habit. At the end of the day, it is important to remember that even though your dog might be pushing his food around, he is still a good boy who loves you very much and is just trying to do the best that he can!


Why do dogs try to turn their food bowls upside down?

Some possible explanations may include boredom or frustration, an attempt to explore and learn new things, or a reaction to something unpleasant in the food itself.

Why does my dog attempt to bury his face in my chest?

Reasons may include stress or anxiety, seeking comfort and reassurance from you, or simply trying to express affection for you through physical touch.

What Does It Mean When a Puppy Pushes His Bowl Away?

It can be a dislike of the food, lack of appetite, or even an instinctual desire to guard their food from other animals or people around them.