It can seem strange: After putting food into your pup’s bowl, it takes a bite, goes across the room, places the food on the carpet, and then eats.
Dogs are intelligent animals- they know when it’s mealtime. Sometimes they will do a little dance, go around the bowl, and even drool incessantly. But the next thing you notice is your dog methodically carrying its food away from the bowl.
It must keep you wondering, why do dogs bring their food to the carpet. Does it not like the bowl you specifically picked out?
The answer depends on various factors- preferences, personality, and sometimes, even fears. However, another aspect partially responsible for this behavior is the dog’s roots and ancient mentality.
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The possible root cause of bringing food to the carpet
There’s evidence that our furry friends descended from wolves. So, it’s only understandable that dogs still carry some characteristics of their ancestors that may sometimes startle us.
When a pack of wolves or dogs catches prey in the wild, the leaders naturally jump in and begin to fight for the biggest pieces. However, the weaker or less dominant ones aren’t likely to enter the brawl. Instead, they seize whatever they can and take it to someplace secluded where no one will compete with them.
Oftentimes, wild dogs will take what they gathered to a secret spot to hide it away from the rest of the pack and other animals and save it for later.
If your dog has a habit of taking food off the bowl and keeping it in a corner or on the carpet, chances are it is saving it to eat later. It might also be camouflaging its food in another place or burying it in your carpet fibers, so the other dogs in your home don’t see it.
You might wonder why a domesticated animal behaves like a wild one. Note that protective instincts and fears are deeply rooted in all animals. You might have two or more dogs in your home that are best friends, but mealtime can prove that they are a threat to one another. Regardless of your pup’s age, it will feel safe on its own during mealtime.
On the other hand, some dogs prefer eating with their group and not in hiding. Such cases are particularly true when humans eat in one place and dogs in another. Your dog, which is a pack animal by nature, will bring its food to where you are.
So, if these are the reasons you think your dog doesn’t eat in its bowl and takes food to the carpet or another place, there are quick solutions for them.
You can stay near and wait for your pup to finish eating, or place its bowl in a secluded area so it can enjoy it’s meal in peace.
Why the carpet in particular?
Sometimes it might just be because your dog loves the warmth and softness of the carpet.
As you might already know, dogs have keen senses. The sound of food on a ceramic or metal dish might be bothering its hearing. So the carpet becomes the most appealing place for your dog to eat.
Also, the reason your dog brings its food to the carpet might be the bowl’s taste or smell.
Why not the floor? If you have a hardwood, tile, or ceramic floor, it doesn’t quite make the cut as the right dish for your pup to eat from.
Some older dogs find it easier to notice their food on the carpet, hence, making them return to the spot every time you feed them. If the bowl color is similar to their food, it can be harder to see.
How Do You Prevent Your Dog From Bringing Their Food To The Carpet?
How we wish we could talk to our dogs so that we can ask them what the issue with their bowl is! Since that’s never happening, the only solution is to offer possible solutions and see if they work.
So, what do you do to stop your pup from carrying food around and enjoying it on your favorite carpet?
First, you should know that eating on the carpet does no harm to the dog. You can let your dog continue the behavior if it doesn’t bother you. It’s an opportunity to even take some cute pictures for your dog’s social media!
However, you’d want to discourage the habit if you have a hard time cleaning the carpet every time your dog eats. Finding food crumbs on the living room carpet can be an annoyance, especially when you have guests coming.
Find Out Whether Your Dog Needs Privacy
You can keep an eye on your dog during mealtime and figure out why it carries food away from the bowl.
Is it because it doesn’t like to eat alone? If so, you can place the food bowl in a room that’s not empty. It might be because your dog wants to eat with its pack/family members.
Dogs love company- they are meant to be companion animals. So, it’s their nature to want to be around humans, even when they eat. If your dog follows you around, even during mealtime, they might simply want to spend time with you and gain attention.
You can start spending more time with your pups, take them out on walks more often, and keep them near you more often so that they don’t consider mealtime a time to spend near you.
Dogs that take their food to the carpet corner or isolated areas might be feeling some competition from the other pets around the house. Or it could mean they want some privacy. Try placing its bowl in its crate or an empty room.
Get A Different Dog Bowl
Your dog might be taking its food someplace else because it has a problem with its bowl. It could be the smell, taste, or just how it looks! We know dogs aren’t likely to complain about not having a fancy bowl, but at this point, you won’t want to leave any stone unturned.
Get a different bowl color or material and see how your pup responds to it.
Replace The Food
You can also try replacing your dog’s food- something harder for it to carry to another spot. The dog wouldn’t want to grab wet food and take it to the carpet.
However, veterinarians recommend changing dogs’ food gradually and not at once. You can begin replacing 20% of the old food with the new one and work it up slowly.
Dogs with delicate digestive systems might face stomach problems if you suddenly change their food and diet.
Consult with your vet before taking this step to ensure that there’s no problem with it. They can provide the best alternatives.
Shut The Door!
One of the simplest solutions to this problem is to simply shut the door to the room where your dog takes its food. It will prevent it from accessing the area and eventually make it forget about its once favorite spot.
More Things To Consider
If your dog finds something in the dish that it can grab and take to the carpet, it likely won’t return to the bowl to finish the rest of the food. This can lead to malnutrition in the long term. Ensure that your pup is eating enough and healthy by checking whether it finishes its food. You can prepare a more palatable meal to see that it’s getting proper nutrition.
If the habit is getting out of hand, and your dog isn’t eating properly, you might want to consider letting it eat in its crate and let it come out only after the meal is finished. However, make sure to still be lenient and loving during the process. Showing love and compassion works better than giving punishment.
If your dog just started bringing its food to the carpet, it can help to find out what started this behavior. It might be because you introduced a new pet to the family or because there’s a new member in the house that your dog isn’t familiar with.
Regardless of the reason, keeping your dog comfortable and happy is the key to normal behaviors. Your dog will resume eating normally if you ensure that it feels safe and happy.
Seeing your dog carrying food to the carpet can be cute or annoying. But the most important thing to know is that it is healthy and happy.
There’s a reason why dogs bring their food to the carpet. It might be simply because of its ancestors’ habits or because there’s an underlying issue you still need to detect.
Find out whether your dog behaves so because he hates the bowl, wants solitude, your company, or just loves to hang around your carpet.
Once you find out the cause, you can provide an effective solution to the problem. And if it doesn’t bother you, we say let your dog be!