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How to Stop Your Dog from Tipping the Food Bowl: 7 Steps

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

labrador retriever with dog bowl

There are many reasons why your dog might be tipping his food bowl over. From it not being sturdy enough, to him eating too quickly, to not liking what’s inside.

It could be a simple solution, or you may have to make a few changes. Either way, there are a few steps that you can take to prevent him from tipping his food bowl.

Let’s jump straight in to find out more.

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The 7 Steps to Stop Your Dog from Tipping their Food Bowl

1. Make Sure Your Dog is Eating in the Right Environment

This might sound strange, but the place that Fido eats can affect his eating habits. If he doesn’t feel comfortable where you feed him, either because he thinks that you or another pet might take his food away, or because it is next to a loud washing machine, he might be trying to wolf his food down. In the process of trying to inhale his food, he will probably knock his bowl over. Find a secluded and safe space that he can eat his food in peace, and you might find he slows down.

2. Train Him Not to Tip

It might be a simple case of him being naughty, and puppies often do this. If you think this could be the reason, keep watch as he eats. And if he purposefully tips it over, a loud and firm ‘no’ is needed. If he manages to tip it over, remove the bowl and the spilled food and leave him. Wait for around an hour and try again. Slowly he will learn that by tipping his bowl, he loses his food.

3. Use a Heavier Bowl

Image Credit: dogboxstudio, Shutterstock
Image Credit: dogboxstudio, Shutterstock

He might be tipping his bowl over on accident, and if so, he might need a heavier bowl. If this is the case, look for a ceramic bowl or a weighted bowl that he will not be able to tip over easily.

4. Use an Elevated Feeding Station

Alternatively, you could choose an elevated feeding station. This way, the bowl stays put in the stand, and he cannot tip it over. This is only an option for larger dogs unless you want to build a ramp up to the feeding station.

5. Place a Rubber Mat Underneath

Some owners find that placing a rubber mat is enough to stop their pups from tipping their bowls. This is likely only to work with smaller dogs who haven’t got a lot of power behind their nudging noses.

6. Use a Slow Feed Bowl

If your dog eats far too quickly or changing his eating areas didn’t calm him down, a slow feeding bowl is an option also. By squishing his food into the nooks and crannies of the bowl, he has to work harder to reach it, which in turn slows him down.

Or, if your dog is anything like this English Bull Terrier, Sid, he might not have the patience for it! But, thankfully, it works for most dogs.

7. Change His Food

It could also be because he doesn’t like what you are putting into his bowl. Although, if he is eating it off the floor, this probably isn’t going to be the reason. If you feed him human foods and spoil him throughout the day, he isn’t likely to eat his boring kibble.

If you are going to try this option, be sure to transition him slowly and buy a small bag of kibble just in case he doesn’t like that one either.

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The Wrap Up

Some of these simple steps will work, but some of them won’t. It’s a case of finding out which ones work for your pup. Often, the first three steps are the most common reasons for dogs tipping their food bowls over, so you should try these ones first.

Good luck!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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