Does your dog beg for food every time you sit down to eat? Do you spend most of your meals swatting your pup away from the plate? Food begging is a common problem for dogs of all sizes, but luckily, it is one that you can easily fix with proper training and patience. The guide below explains how to get your dog to stop begging for food so you can eat in peace once again.
Avoid Feeding Your Dog Human Food
One of the main reasons why many dogs beg for food is because they prefer the taste of human food over dog food. Whether you feed your pet raw dog food, kibble, or anything else along those lines, you should never feed your dog food from the table. If your dog does not know what human food tastes like, he is less likely to beg for it when it comes out of the kitchen. This may not prevent the begging entirely but it will certainly reduce the risks.
Of course, there are a number of human foods that are perfectly acceptable for dogs to eat, but deciphering what is and is not safe can be difficult to do on the spot. It is better to keep your dog on a strict diet of dog food only to avoid medical mishaps.
Make Sure You’re Feeding Your Dog the Right Amount of Food
Some food begging comes from malnourishment. If you’re not feeding your dog enough food throughout the day, it is logical for him to beg for food when he smells it. Check the recommended food amounts for your dog’s weight, age, and activity level so you can keep him feeling full. You may need to break this into multiple food sessions in order to sustain your dog’s hunger during the day.
Feed Your Dog before You Eat
If your dog has a full belly of food, he may be less inclined to eat the burger sitting on your plate. Try to schedule your dog’s feedings before your meal times and see if that makes a difference in the frequency of the begging. If your dog pecks at his food throughout the day, rather than eating it all in one setting, changing the timing may not make much of a difference.
Ignore the Begging
Try ignoring your dog when he begs for food. This will be hard to do if your dog is jumping on top of you, but it will not be as difficult if he is sitting on the ground looking up at you. Avoid eye contact during the begging, similar to what you would do for a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. Eventually your dog will learn that begging is not a way to get your attention and he will move on to something else.
Teach Your Dog to Sit or Stay during Meal Times
Another effective way to stop food begging for dogs is to tell your dog to sit or stay in a certain place while you eat. Ideally, this should be a dog bed or kennel where your pet feels safe and comfortable. If your dog refuses to sit still, you may need to put him on a leash and attach the leash to something stationary in the room, like a couch or doorknob. If this sparks a big tantrum, you can choose to put your dog in his crate and calmly leave the room.
Offer Your Dog an Alternative Treat or Chew Toy
If your dog is well behaved overall and is simply craving your attention, you may be able to distract him with a bone or chew toy. Give him something that he’s going to chew on for a while so you can enjoy your meal in peace. This is especially great for teething puppies who have tons of energy and a need to chew on everything in sight. With the right plan in place, you can keep your dog from begging for food at the table.