Why Does My Dog Push His Food With His Nose? Learn Now!

By amelia 13 Min Read

Want to know why does my dog push his food with his nose? , no need to worry. As a dog owner, you will realize that this is normal and common practice to most of the dogs. However, as long as they feel happy while eating, you have no reason to worry about it. It is a good habit therefore for you to understand well why your dog push his food with nose to enable you to capture and improve their behaviour during mealtime.

Several parameters such as instinctual behaviours like hiding or saving food are some of the reasons as to why a dog push his food with their nose. Besides, some dogs like seeking unnecessary attention in order to be noticed, other dogs may push the food with their nose especially if they don’t like food. Therefore, whenever you notice such behaviour, try to respond quickly towards the same.

Reasons Why Dog Push His Food With His Nose?

At times, I sit back and watch my dog as it plays with his food by pushing it with its nose. However, I keep asking myself what could be the reasons. If you have a similar problem with your dog, you have no reason to worry, I will explain the reasons as to why any dog push his food with his nose.

  •     To get the smell of food

Some dogs prefer a certain smell on their meals thus making the dog push his food with their nose. This happens especially when you try to change the recipe or the flavour from the previous that it used to eat. If you are a fan of changing daily recipes, then you should actually expect your dog to push its food using his nose regularly.

  • Dental problem

Dental problems are one of the main reasons why your dog push his food with his nose. Usually, when this happens, dogs are capable of smelling the meal but unable to chew and eat them. Some are forced to smash the meal into tiny pieces in order to make them easier to eat.

Examples of such dental issues include gum disease or fracture teeth that may hinder your dog from enjoying his meals. To solve this issue, you can call for a veterinarian who can examine the dog fully by taking x-ray which will enable you to know if your dog has any medical conditions. This way, will ensure that no dog push his food at all.

  • Vision problems

If your dog push his food with his nose, the problem might result from difficulty in seeing. This makes it depend on some other sense like smelling and even hearing. Therefore, you should understand that pushing their food with their nose enables them to tell the type of the meal available which may make them eat without necessarily looking.

It is difficult to tell if your dog has vision problems since it may be gradual or sudden. However you can keep examining your by placing something in either direction and try to see if its reacting by moving head the direction of your movement. Although vision issues are sad, they can be managed easily by a veterinarian if you notice them earlier.

  •   Keep for later use

Most of the dog owners forget to serve their dogs the meal on time. Some might go hungry for even the whole day without eating. Therefore, this makes a clever dog push his food with his nose and keep them for use at later hours. Any dogs that push their food around with their noses usually have a caching instinct which makes them think that the food is safe at certain places unlike others.

  •     Lack of  appetite

Lack of appetite is also another major cause that may make your dog push his food with his nose. This reason also applies to human beings too and comes with an underlying cause. Lack of appetite may be as a result of stomach problems, illness, nausea, dental problem or even long distance travelling more so if they haven’t travelled thus making your dog push his food.

  •     Lack of hunger

Some dogs may tend to push his food with their nose especially when they are not hungry. However, if you want to investigate whether it’s not hungry, you can try giving them a smaller quantity of food or even treats every time. You can therefore be in a position of explaining why does my dog push his food with his nose.

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Medical Causes Of Food Pushing In Dogs?

A number of medical causes that may make your dog push his food using the nose include:

  •   Digestive issues

There are several ways in which digestive problems might present itself to dogs, such as regular vomiting and changes in behaviour which are somehow hectic to realize. These issues may occur suddenly or even more chronic. Some of the common causes that may bring digestive issues in your dog making it to push his food include dietary indiscretion, intestinal problems, stress diarrhea, toxic ingestions, intestinal blockages and even inflammatory conditions in the digestive tract.

  •     Dental issues

Normally, dental issues in dogs result from a wide range of causes starting from broken teeth to gingivitis. Therefore, it is essential these dental problems immediately start noticing them in your dog. If not well treated, then they may cause other infections, pain or even loss of tooth.

Dogs unlike human beings do not communicate whenever they feel pain, however you can observe them since they develop unique signs such as preferring very soft meals, chewing food or even dropping food from their mouth.

  •     Anxiety or stress

There are various reasons that can make your dog stressed. However, the main ones include creating fear which occurs as a result of new environments, loud noises, strange  or large objects or even a crowd of people gathered somewhere.

Besides fear, stress in dogs might occur from memory loss and confusion due to aging and finally separation from his family members to strangers. Researchers also shows that leaving your dog at home alone may results to stress making it to push his food with nose

  •     Loss of senses

Any symptoms displayed by your dog depends on which is affected or even the underlying conditions which may contribute to it. For instance, dogs that have difficulty in seeing always have trouble with various changes such as moving to furniture.

Those with hearing impairment tend to ignore everybody or even assume any greetings whenever you come back home from your work. Some of the behaviour you need to observe in your dog when they have loss of senses include changes in appetite, stumbling or even loss of hearing ability which leads to snapping or startling. All this makes you understand better why does my dog push his food with his nose well.

How to Stop My Dog From Pushing His Food Using His Nose?

If your dog push his food with his nose it is not an easy task unless you are always at a watch. However, you can easily avoid these habits by just following the measures below.

  •     Calling the veterinarian

If your dog push his food with his nose, don’t hesitate contacting the vet. The vet will be helpful and will prevent your dog from this obsessive addiction.

  •     Discourage the behaviour from your dog immediately

When your dog shows the behaviour of pushing food with his nose in order to seek attention from you, you should ignore them and do not encourage them anymore. Alternatively you can try using a very heavy bowl which makes it difficult to push the food.

  •     Positive reinforcement

This is one of the ways you can discourage this behaviour when your dog pushes his food. How to achieve this is simple, try using verbal praise whenever he eats all the food without pushing with his nose. Besides, you can also provide vitamin-enriched food or any nutritious snacks which might tend to act as a motivator.


  •         Why does my dog press his nose?

The main reason why many dogs press their nose simply implies that they are tending to say hi to the owner. Therefore any time you appear home from work and notice that your dog is nudging, then it means they are greeting you and welcoming you back home.

  •         How do you train a dog with bad manners?

You can achieve this by beginning with small things that are simple to change, if they start adapting you can move to more complicated things such as pulling on the lead. This way will make your dog change gradually.

  •         Do dogs judge humans?

You can agree with me that dogs are very sensitive to any human behaviour. They even judge us from third party perspectives and experiences. They usually pay attention to a variety of aspects from our actions which enables them to evaluate us in different categories.


From the above discussion you can find the reasons as to why does my dog push his food with his nose. Therefore, if you care for your dog, then it is good to contact and consult your vet. The veterinarian is able and capable of identifying such problems and even give your further recommendations on the cause of such problems.

However, sometimes such behaviours are just normal but you should not assume at all. I hope after reading this article you will be satisfied and enable you to monitor your dog perfectly.

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