How to Stop a Dog From Tipping Food Bowls

by Judith Willson

Try using heavier bowls.

A kitchen floor covered in dog kibble is not an especially pretty sight and neither is a yard with little bits of dog food all over the place. Aside from the nuisance factor of having to constantly sweep up dog food, the local rodent population, inside or outside, might well decide that you are feeding them. A combination of practical tricks with a bit of training should sort out your dog’s annoying habit pretty quickly.

Step 1

Spread old newspapers under the food and water bowls. This makes any accidents much easier to deal with and helps with training.

Step 2

Establish defined mealtimes rather than leaving a bowl of food out all day, so he can't tip the bowl when you are not looking. How often you feed depends primarily on your dog’s age. Puppies need about four meals a day while adult dogs just need two. If your dog is used to having free access to food, begin with frequent, small meals and gradually work towards fewer, larger ones.

Step 3

Feed your dog and remain in the same room, keeping a close eye on him. If he makes a move to tip the food bowl, say “no” or distract him. If he does tip it over, remove it and the food on the newspaper. Wait for about an hour before replacing it. After a while, he should learn that if he tips the bowl, he loses the food.

Step 4

Replace the food and water bowls with bottom-heavy, tip-proof ones or use a solid, raised bowl-holder. This avoids the tipping problem altogether.

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