Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 3 years old terrier mix that i just adopted last January from the shelter . They said , he was abused , and left matted everywhere , long nails etc with other 29 dogs .

Ever since we adopted him , he's been scared of his bowl . We thought he just didn't like the plastic bowl , we switched to stainless steel bowl and he's still scared of it and wouldn't even want to eat his own food unless we handfeed him and spread his food on the floor .

We've been doing this since January , if we didn't handfeed or spread the food on the floor he would not eat even if he's starving . He loves seeing us getting his bowl and when we ask him if he's hungry and wants food , he wags his tail .. but no way he eats from his own bowl .

Other than this .. his personality is really good , he is a happy go lucky dog , just scared of the bowl and his food . Any suggestion ??? i wonder why he's so afraid of his bowl !!!

I need any ideas what to do with him , i want him to be able to eat from his own bowl !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
Does he have tags that dangle and clink against the bowl?
Can you try a raised surface, in case an old injury makes it painful to bend over?
Paper plate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
Does he have to be fed from a bowl? Can he eat from a plate? I don't really have any advice. You probably could, with time, teach him that it's okay to eat from a bowl, but if feeding him from something else isn't a problem, then why not?

If he's the dog in your avatar he looks like a cutie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,075 Posts
Maybe he had a really bad experience with the bowl in the past. There are some real abusers out there that could have used it as a sort of punishment. Maybe they would fill it up and take it away to be mean or maybe they even threw it at him .... I have heard and read all sorts of horror stories about abused dogs. I would take a nice washable ceramic plate that I personally ate off of and offer it to him with his food and your scent still on it .... see what happens just for the heck of it .... I am curious. :) Just an idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
I've tried giving food using my own plate , our regular plate but he wouldn't touch either .. Maybe i should try paper plate . He would drink just fine from the bowl , the same kind of his food bowl . But if he sees food , he would try come very closely to the bowl , then backing away without even getting any food from it .

I might try to raise the surface next time , when i spread food on the floor , or handfeed him , he likes to lay all the way down while eating it . We call him lazy .. but who knows . Keep telling him it's okay to eat from the bowl , maybe he was hurt by a bowl before .. don't really know .

@Avery thanks , she's my first baby , she died last christmas , miss her always !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
@Abbylynn

Well first few weeks after adopting him , i thought he's just wanted to be spoiled or something , but after a while i wondered maybe he was hurt by a bowl , and he got scared ever since .. or maybe there were plenty dogs and he didn't get to eat from the bowl and only got what's left on the floor .. don't know . At least he is a happy little fella , i have no complain whatsoever with him , i just hope he will learn that it's okay to eat from a bowl . What so strange is .. if i put ice cream in the bowl .. he eats them just fine !!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,075 Posts
That is very odd! Lol! :) I believe he has a hankoring for ice cream! I am glad he is ok otherwise ... poor guy. He could as spotted nikes suggested ... have an old injury which makes it difficult to bend to eat. Maybe the yummy ice cream is worth the pain? Our animals never cease to amaze me! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,393 Posts
When I got my dog a metal food bowl, he was initially tentative about it, because it made funny sounds as he ate dry food from it.... ???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
Wally got scared of his bowl for some reason. I still don't know what caused it, but he eventually got over it (again). This happened one time before, no idea what it is.

The last time it happened, it was because the food was dry - he didn't think it was his I guess and given his temperament, he "ran away" from the food. When I wet it, he took to it like...well, a dog. Seems kinda silly to wet dry food, but...whatever works, I guess!

The first time it happened, he was eating just dry food, so it wasn't the wet food/dry food thing. I would think it was the tags thing, but he got over that when I fed him out of a white corningware bowl, so it wasn't the sound? I put it on a towel and he scarfed it up. I also played "find it" with it and when he found it the first few times, he devoured the food, but then that didn't work again. So it went back to the food bowl and he ate it up...

The only time I have an idea is when I tried to feed him from a bigger bowl I had bought (because his little dark blue bowl is too little...but we still use it anyway since he loves it) - I think the bigger bowl might have been TOO big and he felt uncertain sticking his head inside it (He'll drink water from it, even when it's near the bottom though...and the his old water bowl is much smaller, so...I don't know - Wally is neurotic lol)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
This is just a completely random suggestion, but could it be he doesn't completely like his food?

My dog Wally has always eaten out of his food bowl, but a couple of months ago he started approaching it, sniffing at it and turning away even though he would come running when he heard the kibble hit the bowl. He wouldn't eat unless I hand fed it to him or if my other dog accidentally spilled some on the floor. After changing his food, he went back to eating out of the bowl again. Admittedly, Wally is pretty goofy, but since Tigger is eating ice cream and drinking out of similar bowl, it might be worth a shot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
This is just a completely random suggestion, but could it be he doesn't completely like his food?

My dog Wally has always eaten out of his food bowl, but a couple of months ago he started approaching it, sniffing at it and turning away even though he would come running when he heard the kibble hit the bowl. He wouldn't eat unless I hand fed it to him or if my other dog accidentally spilled some on the floor. After changing his food, he went back to eating out of the bowl again. Admittedly, Wally is pretty goofy, but since Tigger is eating ice cream and drinking out of similar bowl, it might be worth a shot.
That's what i thought originally after i brought him home from the shelter . The shelter gave me a big bag of science diet , at home we have Fromm , and i thought maybe he just didn't like Fromm , i gave him Science Diet on his bowl and he didn't even want to touch it . And when i mixed the food , he would eat Fromm just fine and left out the Science diet on the floor . Then i gave him Natural Balance ( i think ) and he ate that just fine with Fromm , but when i put it on the bowl , he wouldn't eat it . He would sniff then backing away , but kept licking hsi lips . Just like last night i tried not to handfeed / spread the food on the floor , but eventually he kept going back and forth to the kitchen , circling his bowl but wouldn't want to eat it . Check out the video i posted above your comment .. and finally ate when i spread his food on the floor .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
891 Posts
Unless there's an issue with him eating on the floor, I'm not sure why it's a problem that he doesn't want to eat from a bowl. When Molly was kibble fed, she didn't care for the bowl either & she's never been abused. She just didn't like sticking her snout into the bowl, I guess. She's that way with water, too. She never drinks from the center of any bowl, always at the edges. Now she's raw fed and she eats her meals on a towel in the kitchen. Is it possible to provide a small towel for your dog & just put his food on it? Meal time should be pleasurable for dogs, not stressful. Bowls aren't mandatory by any means.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
My dog is a bit of a picky eater and sometimes acts just like your dog in the video you psoted. She will also eat if I spread it on the floor or hand feed. This is usually when I feed her dry food only, since we have spoiled her and usually mix in either a bit of wet food, or fresh veggies or meat.

I found the best way to get her to eat the dry food only is to stuff it in a Kong toy. Then meal time is like eating treats! If she rejects it from the bowl I just put it in the Kong, say "Have a treat!" and she eats it.

Might be worth a try! Or maybe my puppy is just a little dumb hah.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,075 Posts
One more idea .... the "reflection" in that bowl in your video? My two little dogs used to get scared of their reflection in the oven door and the dishwasher door. I had to move their bowls across the room. I did not use the stainless bowls. Just another thought. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
I would suggest just not putting the food on the floor. Put the bowl down for 15min, then put it up. Then put it down again at dinner time. Don't worry if he doesn't eat for the first meal or two. As long as he's drinking, you don't have to worry too much. Then see what happens. It's highly unlikely that he'd starve himself unless there's something really wrong. I'd bet by the time dinner rolls around or by next morning's breakfast at the latest, he'll be eating fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,634 Posts
As a puppy Buster wouldnt touch kibble in a bowl. Dump the food on the floor and he'd gobble it like he hadnt eaten in months. My best guess is he was either bullied by his litter mates (he's 1 of 10 puppies) and only allowed to eat what had fallen to the floor or his "breeder" (hes a BYB puppy) scattered food on the floor instead of bothering with bowls. Both fit his temperament and, since he was only 9 1/2 weeks when we first noticed this fear, I hate to think someone may have abused him.

When he was a little guy we'd just dump his food on the floor or hand feed...I still hand feed a good portion of his meals since its the perfect opportunity for a little training. It took about a year desensitizing him to a little toy dog sized bowl (that his face barely fit into to lick the bottom) before I was able to get him to eat from a gladware baking dish. About a year ago I was able to transition to a plastic dog bowl. Buster just turned 3 last month and still will not eat from a stainless steel bowl. He'll drink from them (I bought 2 intending one for food and the other for water) without a fuss but put kibble in it and he'll refuse to eat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
This is video of Tigger and his food bowl

http://youtu.be/xEvLCXeiBQs
That's exactly what Wally would do during those times he was scared of his food, except eventually he'd go somewhere away and lie down shaking and looking at the bowl.

It's like he WANTS to eat it, but isn't sure if he's allowed to or something - and all that encouraging you did, I did too - with the same (lack of) results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
Try laying a washcloth or dishtowel draped over the bowl and put his food on that. Eventually, uncover more and more of the bowl.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top