Why Do Dogs Bark at Their Food?

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Author: Tilly Walker

Dog’s barking is considered normal behaviour, but the question arises as to why he barks while food is being served. Many pet parents have this question, why do dogs bark at their food? It’s a bit confusing for them also. So, to clear all your doubts, we have done good research work, which will help you to know your pup.

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs mainly bark because they are hungry, there is a change in their food/schedule, the food bowl is not cleaned enough or suffering from dental pain.
  • It’s a good idea to pet your dog while he is having food, this gesture will give him assurance that you are there for him, and that he is safe.
  • In fact, if you train him repeatedly and give him the command not to bark while eating, there is a high tendency that he will stop it.
  • Clean his food bowl thoroughly with water and soap, and later on sanitize it. So, your canine doesn’t feel that his food is being served in an unwashed bowl.
dog barks at food
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Keep reading to know the reasons behind your dog’s barking behaviour while you serve him his food. Plus, we have also given suggestions, which will help you to prevent his habit of barking, while having his meal.

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Reasons Why Dogs Bark at Their Food

1. Your Dog Is Hungry

It’s her meal time, and you haven’t served him his food. If your pup starts barking loudly, and aggressively, it means he is hungry and wants to eat his food. After you served him food, he will continue to bark, because now he is excited about his meal and looking to satisfy his hunger.

dog hungry
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Tip: Do not frequently change your pup’s diet plan/time. Try to keep his meal time the same, so he can stay calm and his barking will go down because he will get food on time.

2. You Changed Your Dog’s Food

One of the reasons behind his barking is if you have changed your dog’s food. You shifted him to a new diet for a better reason, like he can get all the essential nutrients. But, that sudden change might not be acceptable to your furry pal. He didn’t like the food, so he barked to show his disappointment.

dog food changed
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While you serve him a meal, your pup will not wag his tail, has pinned ears, and will continuously bark at the food. It’s a simple body language, which indicates your dog is not happy with a meal.

Tip: If you want to change your dog’s meal, make sure you serve him both old and new food. Let him eat both, and observe his expression, whether he likes the taste and smell of the new food. Accordingly, shift him to a new food, do not force your furry pal.

3. Might Be Suffering From Anxiety

Well, eating alone can also be one of the reasons behind your pup’s barking. As per research, it has been observed that puppies do get insecure.

For instance, if you serve him a meal, and then don’t pay attention to him or start doing something else, he won’t eat. It’s like they are asking you to not leave while he is eating his meal. It’s mostly observed in puppies, and rare in adult dog’s behaviour.

dog suffering from anxiety
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Basically, he might get anxious eating alone, and have life threats that predators will easily attack him.

Tip: In such a scenario, firstly calm your furry pal, and assure him that he is always going to have your back, you won’t leave him. Secondly, unless he is ready to eat alone, pay full attention to him so that he can finish his meal.

4. Suffering From Pain

It’s also possible that your dog is suffering from pain while eating his meal. Like he might have dental issues or injured his jaw part. So, through barking, he is expressing his pain, and frustration, while showing up such behaviour he might be thinking you will pay attention and have look at his injury or dental pain.

Tip: If you encounter any such situation where your canine is having discomfort in eating, take him to the vet immediately, he will look after the matter. It’s suggested to follow the vet’s guidelines and feed him accordingly, not provide any solid food which is hard to chew and follow prescribe medicine for a speedy recovery.

5. Change in His Eating Schedule

If you have just changed your canine’s eating schedule, then he might get confused. This is because their body is already adjusted to a previous schedule, and by the time you are offering food, they might not be hungry.

eating schedule change
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Plus, his body needs time to adapt to the new schedule. So, he’s expressing his feeling via barking, just to give you a hint he is not happy with the new schedule.

Tip: Without any reason, if you have changed the schedule, then it’s better to get back to the old one. But, if you want to stick to the new one, then let your canine understand and give time to adapt it. For instance, calm him down, and give commands to eat his meal, do not scold or punish him.

6. Food Bowl Is Not Cleaned

One possible reason for your pup’s barking during mealtime could be that the food bowl isn’t properly cleaned.

Yes, you heard it right.

food bowl not cleaned
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Just like humans cannot eat in a dirty dish, similarly, dogs cannot have their food in an unwashed bowl. Dogs do mimic their owners, so they adapt eating habits also. If he notices you are eating in a clean dish, then how come he will agree to have his meal in a dirty bowl? They cannot say it, so barking is one of their mode of expressing anger that their food bowl needs to be cleaned.

Tip: Well, this problem can be overcome and prevent your dog’s barking behaviour. All you need to do is clean his food bowl thoroughly with water and soap, and later on, sanitize it. If you are serving dry food then also we will recommend you wash it, so that your canine doesn’t feel that his food is being served in an unwashed bowl.


How do I stop my dog from barking at his food?

It’s important to know the reason behind your dog’s barking while you serve him the meal. Once you know, instead of ignoring it, just focus on the issue and try to bring a solution. For instance, you can keep food under his nose and not let him eat, first calm him down, then give the command. In this way he will remember, and won’t repeat his mistake.

Should I pet my dog while eating?

Yeah, it’s a good idea to pet your canine while he is having his meal, or treat. Initially, he might get annoyed, but if you keep on petting, him and have conversations with him, he will surely like it. Your pup will get comfortable with your touch and feel secure while eating his meal.

Should I eat in front of my dog?

Many research theories, as well as the majority of pet parents, claim that dogs do copy their owners. Some experts believe that if you eat in front of your pup, he will adopt those eating habits and will follow the same. In order to improve his eating habits, it’s best if you give him a demo and then command him to apply.

Why does my dog act strange around his food?

Sometimes dogs act strange around their food because they might be getting bored, didn’t like the taste of the food, their bowl is not cleaned enough, etc. There could be many reasons behind your fido’s weird behaviour. It is advisable to look for solutions, which can help you with easy feeding.


  1. Teaching Your Dog to Stop Barking on Command | VCA Animal Hospital. (n.d.). Vca. Retrieved October 22, 2022, from VCA Hospitals
  2. Decoding Your Dog’s Excessive Barking. (2017, June 5). Veterinary Medicine at Illinois. Retrieved October 22, 2022, from College of Veterinary Medicine
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Tilly Walker
Tilly Walker is an avid animal lover and dog owner for several years. She owns a mix breed Cockapoo named Rio. She, along with her group of friends who wanted to help others learn more about the proper ways to take care of their pets, founded this website.

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