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Some tips for dealing with a dog that is a messy eater

Some tips for dealing with a dog that is a messy eater

Food & Nutrition

While some dogs are very meticulous about eating carefully and not throwing their food all over the place, many more of them are rather messy eaters! By the end of their meal, you may find that their bowls have moved some distance across the floor, or that there are piece of kibble and smears of wet food all over the place! If your dog is very messy with their food, this can be rather time consuming in terms of clearing up after them every time they have finished a meal, but fortunately there are some things that you can do to help your dog to keep things tidy, and to minimise the spread of food and mess that can accompany feeding.

In this article, we will look at some tips on how to keep your dog’s feeding area cleaner, and minimising the mess that they produce when they eat. Read on to learn more!

Make it easier to keep things clean

  • Feeding your dog on a carpeted surface is a terrible idea in terms of cleaning up mess afterwards, and unless you don’t have any uncarpeted areas of the home, try to feed your dog on hard surfaces such as lino or tiled floors; the kitchen being the obvious place!
  • Use plastic place mats not only under your dog’s bowls, but also around the bowls too, as this means that you can simply lift them up to wash in the sink, rather than having to mop the floor every time your dog has finished eating!
  • Make sure that your dog’s food bowls are sturdy and relatively heavy, so that they will keep still when your dog is eating from them. Light plates or metal bowls will soon get pushed around by your dog’s nose, meaning that they will either move across the floor or come to rest against a wall, either way spreading the mess over a much wider area!
  • Your dog’s food bowls should also be rather larger and deeper than the volume of food that they are going to contain, as small, shallow bowls will almost certainly lead to food being pushed out or dropped out of them, and so, more mess!

Some other tips to minimise mess

  • If your dog tends to drop a lot of food from their mouth when eating or flicks his food about over a relatively small area, try placing the bowl that contains their food inside of a bowl with a larger diameter and greater depth. This way, anything that is dropped will end up in the second bowl and not all over the room!
  • Feed your dog small meals throughout the day rather than one or two very large meals; if they are less hungry and so, less excitable when they eat, they are likely to eat more slowly and so create less mess.
  • Slow down your dog’s eating speed by placing a large, hard rubber ball inside of their food bowl, so that your dog has to eat around it and concentrate more to find all of their food!
  • Don’t feed your dog when he is very excitable, and do not wait until he is very hungry to give him his meal, as the keener he is to get through his dinner, the more messy he is apt to be. Make sure that your dog is calm and quiet before feeding him, and that he is not in a hurry to get through everything.
  • Don’t feed your dog when the household is very active or a lot is going on, as this will split your dog’s attention between their meal and other things, meaning that they will keep looking up and turning their heads, and potentially throw their food around that much more.
  • If your dog feels threatened when eating or that if they do not eat fast enough, someone else will take their food, they are apt to try to gulp everything own quickly, which not only leads to a mess, but can give them indigestion.
  • Get your dog’s teeth looked at if they seem to have problems picking up their food or drop a lot of food that they do get into their mouths, as bad teeth or painful gums can make eating more challenging for your dog, and cause more dropped food and mess.
  • Keep your dog’s water bowl far enough away from their food that they do not pollute the water with food that they drop or throw around, adding another bowl to the cleanup.
  • However, don’t keep your dog’s water too far from their food, as they will then need to cover a greater amount of space while they are possibly still chewing, which might mean that more food is dropped along the way.