Can I Change Where My Puppy Eats?by Elle Di Jensen
Puppies are skilled at locating their food dish.
Many puppy care experts advise you to designate a permanent spot for your puppy's food and water. But the spot where you initially choose to locate Sparky's food might not work out in the long run. He may outgrow it or it just might not be convenient any longer and you may end up wanting to change where your puppy eats.
Puppies Are Flexible
Sparky is adaptable and smart -- plus he has a great sense of smell that is highly attuned to things that smell good to eat. If you started out feeding him under the cabinet and he's grown too big, or if his food dish was originally in the hallway outside the kitchen but your puppy now blocks the flow of traffic because he's so large, don't feel bad if you end up moving his dish. He'll quickly adapt to the new location of his dining room and you'll no longer have to step over or around him while he's eating.
Choosing the Ideal Location
Even though you'll want to find a spot for Sparky's food and water that is close enough to the action of the household so that he can still hear what's going on, too much commotion while he dines will distract him. High-traffic areas like hallways and open areas aren't ideal because they can be too busy for your pup, and he could easily be in the way of the foot traffic. Corners are perfect spots for food and water because a lot of the time they are out of the way, and they keep the dishes from sliding around. Look for an empty corner in your kitchen or laundry room and put Sparky's food there.
Moving the Dish
You can move your puppy's food dish gradually, sliding it a few inches toward the new spot each day, but that shouldn't be necessary. Usually all it takes is showing Sparky his new dinner spot once. There's a chance that he'll head for the old spot out of habit once or twice, but when he sees the food is gone, he'll let his nose take over and he'll soon sniff out the new location. It shouldn't take your puppy more than a day to learn his food dish's new spot. Even though your little guy is a quick study when it comes to food, try not to make a habit out of moving his food dish around. Pick a spot and let that be the dish's final resting place.
No Crated Feedings
If you're crate training your puppy, you might be tempted to put his food and water inside with him so he can have a little nosh when he gets peckish and a drink if he gets thirsty. Although food can provide a positive association for your puppy with the crate and the crate may seem like a convenient place to feed him, Sparky's little digestive system works quicker and his stamina isn't as good as an adult dog's. That might be OK if the crate is open, but if he's trapped inside when he has to "go," you'll have an uncomfortable pup or, worse, a mess to clean up. Find a location other than the crate for your puppy's food.
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