My dog doesn't chew his food!

Our newly adopted mutt - Dodger - who is supposed to be about two years old will not chew his food! He will chew on my wooden chairs, he grabbed a battery the other day (with not so good results) and all other sorts but will NOT chew his dog food. As a result of swallowing it unchewed, he generally throws up at about 4am every morning. I know his teeth are good as he chewed right through the dining room chair...its a "rushing" issue - trying to get done fast. Any suggestions??


Asked by Member 347249 on Jan 18th 2008 in Other Food & Nutrition
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Dogs don't chew food like humans do. They're not equipped to do so. Their teeth are made to rip and crush food into pieces small enough to swallow. Since kibble already fits that criteria, many dogs swallow it whole.

Some dogs who are resource guarders (afraid you'll take what they have away) tend to eat faster. If he is a resource guarder, I would definately look into getting that fixed, ASAP as it can lead to other problems. Dogs that resource guard may growl if you get too close to them when they have food/valued possession. If allowed to go too far, it could escalate to biting. Many rescue dogs can have this because of lack of food/resources in their prior lives.

If he is just eating fast, you can try making it more difficult for him to inhale his food by placing a ball in his dish (he has to eat around it) or feeding him from an angel food cake pan. Both methods require the dog to slow down when eating.

Risa W-FDM/MF RE RL1 CA CGC answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Marlowe, CGC

Is he throwing up food, or bile? If what he's throwing up is just kind of yellowish foamy liquid, that is bile and is a result of having an empty tummy. Some dogs will throw up when they are very hungry, and the solution is to move back his feeding time, or to feed a small "midnight snack" before bed.

Both my dogs have totally different "chewing their food" styles. Marlowe inhales it, he doesn't chew at all. Conrad chews each mouthful very daintily. I'm fine with however they want to eat. If you look at a dog's teeth, they are more really built for ripping a carcass apart, not chewing kibble. But if you do want to slow Dodger down when he eats, there's a few things you can do. You can hand feed him kibble by kibble-this is actually a great thing to do with new dogs, it helps in bonding enormously. Or you can put something heavy and that is too big for him to swallow in the center of his food bowl so he has to eat around it.

For the extra-curricular chewing: more supervision!

Marlowe, CGC answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


As the above posters said, lots of dogs won't chew their food properly. Here are the things I have tried (and that have worked)for dogs who have this problem:

- Float the food in warm water. This will help slow down his eating. And lapping up some of the water will help keep him better hydrated.

- But a few LARGE, HEAVY rocks in his food dish. I'm talking the size of a coffee mug. MAKE SURE he cannot swallow the rocks. He will have to eat around the rocks more slowly.

- Have him earn his food through obedience practice every day. Instead of having two individual meals, keep a small food pouch or fanny pack with kibble inside it on your waist. Throughout the day, reward him for all the good little things he does with a kibble or two. This will keep his mind focused on good behavior and at the same time he won't be scarfing up each of his meals.

Good luck!! And thank you for adopting! You've saved a life :)

Member 409208 answered on 1/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer