How to Stop a Dog From Scattering Food From the Bowl

Cleaning up kibble can be a thing of the past.
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You can stop your dog's meal scattering; food flying around the kitchen isn't the picture of a peaceful mealtime, although your dog may love it! If you're sick of stepping on kibble, don't worry -- there is help for your dog, and it won't take a lot of time.

Divide Your Dog's Food and Conquer

Step 1

Giving him new ways to eat his meals may satisfy his primal need to play with his food.

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One way to try to end his food-fight days is to place your dog's empty food bowl inside the large bowl. Fill his bowl with half of the meal's worth of kibble. Fill the larger bowl with the other half of the meal's worth of kibble, taking care that his food bowl sits at the bottom of the larger bowl so that no kibble is trapped underneath it.

Step 2

Physically divide your dog's chow into a few piles which he can hunt down. While this seems counter-intuitive to preventing floor mess, it may have the opposite effect -- focusing his mind at meal times so that he can eat in one place and doesn't miss eating any of his food. Dinner may become more interesting for you both if your dog has to look for it and you have to hide it!

Step 3

Call your pal to come and eat his dinner. If he successfully eats his meal without a floor-flinging, congratulations! If he keeps flinging his food bowl like an impatient toddler eating peas, then you will need to try something else.

Make His Food More of a Game

Step 1

Bored dogs create their own games, but you can keep your dog food focused

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Fill the large bowl with his meal's worth of kibble. Place the rubber toy ball into his food.

Step 2

Observe. He may eat slower with the ball in the way, naturally stopping the chucking of his chow. If he does, great job!

Step 3

Try having him work for his food by solving a dog puzzle game or treat ball. Take your dog's treat toy or puzzle game and open it according to its packaging directions.

Step 4

Fill his toy with dog food and close back up according to the toy's packaging directions.

Step 5

Let your dog play with his toy until all of his meal is inside his tummy and not inside your favorite pair of oven mitts or keeping the dust bunnies company under the fridge. When your dog's mind has been given a workout, the food-flinging that can result from boredom will be banished!


  • Do not use tennis balls. Their fuzzy outside will wear his teeth down as if he's brushing them with a nail file. Tennis balls, ingested in pieces, can cause serious health problems.


  • It's always a good idea to rule out medical or behavioral issues with your dog. Your veterinarian can provide a wealth of information specific to your dog and his needs.

  • Using puzzles and toys that can be stuffed with treats is a great way to give your dog much needed mental stimulation.

  • If he's dumping his water dish, the dual-bowl method with water only in the smaller bowl may also work.

Items You Will Need

  • Rubber toy ball, sized for your dog as per instructions on the packaging
  • Plastic boot tray
  • Toy or puzzle game, the type you can put treats into -- preferably big enough for your dog's bowl
  • Bowl three to four times larger than your dog's bowl
  • Dog food, a meal's worth