Why Does My Dog Push His Food With His Nose?

Dogs have a tendency to push their food around with their noses before they eat it. This can be quite puzzling for dog owners, especially when the dog is not food motivated.

So why do dogs do this? There are actually several reasons why your dog might be pushing his food around. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common reasons and offer tips on how to address them.

Dogs push their food around with their noses because they want to “stash” it. This is also an inherited behavior. Some breeds of dogs are more prone to this, but all dogs have some degree of it. This may also be due to a weak sense of smell or sight. As long as your dog is eating and it’s not an underlying health issue, it is not a concern. In some cases, when it is age-related behavior and you will need to meet the vet.

Why Does My Dog Push His Food With His Nose?



Have you ever wondered what your dog is up to when he pushes his food around with his nose before eating it? It turns out that many dogs are “stashers” and will hide their food for later.

This in fact is a common behavior. Dogs actually push their food up against the bowl so that they can “stash” it away and come back to it later.

Foraging Instinct

As your dog pushes his food around with his nose, you may be wondering what in the world he’s doing. Believe it or not, your pup is exhibiting a behavior that is deeply rooted in his foraging instinct.

By pushing his food around, your dog is essentially trying to figure out what it is and how edible it might be. In the wild, this instinctual behavior helps dogs to identify potential food sources and determine whether they are worth eating.

While domesticated dogs no longer need to worry about finding their next meal, the urge to push their food around remains strong. So the next time you see your furry friend doing this at mealtimes, know that you’re witnessing behavior that is as natural as it is adorable!

Checking For Life

What if I am trying to eat and the chicken or whatever it is, gets up and runs away? Omg! Dogs have been hunting for generations and preying on hunted prey. So pushing around before beginning to eat is a way of dogs checking if the prey is still alive.

Dogs push their food around with their noses in order to get a good whiff! This is because dogs have an instinctual need to check for life in their food. By sniffing the food first, they can determine if the food is fresh too.

Inherited Behavior

Dogs have a tendency to push their food around with their noses and this behavior is actually an inherited trait that dogs have developed over time.

From the time the dogs evolved from wolves, this behavior has passed on through generations. In addition, this behavior can also help dogs to digest their food more effectively.

So next time your dog pushes his or her food around on the floor, don’t be too quick to scold them – just be happy that they are enjoying their meal!

Breed Specific

Dogs have a natural tendency to push their food with their nose. This behavior is specific to certain breeds and has a purpose that is related to their natural instincts.

Understanding why your dog does this will help you better care for them and keep them healthy. Breeds like Setters and Retrievers are more prone to this behavior.

Dogs have been bred over time to push their food around in order to uncover any hidden threats or prey.


If you’ve ever been puzzled by why your dog pushes its food around with its nose before eating it, you’re not alone. It’s actually a common behavior among dogs, and there are several reasons why they do it.

Dogs push their food around with their noses because they may be bored by the same food. By giving them a little variety, you can keep your pup’s diet exciting and interesting.

So next time you’re filling up their food bowl, mix things up a bit! Who knows – your dog may enjoy food even more. Try mixing some yellow pepper or yellow rice with the kibble.

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Another Animal Has Eaten

If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably noticed that your pup sometimes pushes its food around with its nose before eating it. You might have even wondered why they do this.

Turns out, there’s a pretty interesting reason behind this behavior: dogs suspect that another animal has already eaten from that bowl.

Dogs have an extremely good ability to smell. So if a stray cat or dog has been stealing bits, then your dog is going to know.


Dogs are animals that rely heavily on their senses to survive. Out of all the senses, the smell is the most important one for a dog. This is why dogs often push their food around with their noses before they eat it.

By doing this, they are able to smell multiple things and pick out the best-smelling piece of food. Although it may seem like strange behavior, it has a lot of logic behind it.

Here’s how it works: dogs have an organ in their nose called the Jacobson’s organ. This is what helps them smell things, including food.

When they push their food around with their nose, it spreads the scent around and makes it easier for them to identify and eat what they are looking for.


Dogs push their food around with their nose because dogs are naturally curious and enjoy nosing around. In addition, this habit also helps them to better smell and taste their food.

So if your dog is constantly pushing its food around with its nose, don’t be alarmed. Dogs push their food around with their noses before taking a bite.

There are several reasons why dogs do this, but the main one is that they’re curious about what they’re eating. Dogs also like nosing around in order to figure out where the food came from and who brought it to them.

Hurried Eating

If you’ve ever watched a dog eat, you may have noticed that they push their food around with their nose before taking a bite.

Many people think this is because dogs like to eat dirty food, but the real reason is much more interesting. Dogs can actually eat very quickly, so they use their noses to move the food and make it easy to grab.

This can more so in cases where a dog thinks that other dogs may claim its share.

Bowl Shape

Have you ever wondered why your furry friend insists on pushing his/her food around with their nose before eating it? Well, wonder no more!

Scientists have actually discovered that dogs don’t like the bowl shape of their food dish, so they push it around to make it more comfortable for them to eat. 

Some dogs can find round bowls uncomfortable because the food does not stay in a corner and keeps moving.

As against this, you can try triangular bowls which allow the food to lock in a corner making it easy to eat.


In case you haven’t noticed, your dog is pushing his food around with his nose. You’re probably wondering why he’s doing that and if it’s a sign of something wrong.

Well, according to some experts, this odd behavior may be a sign that your dog is becoming senile. If this is a new behavior you are seeing in your older dog then it is because your dog is getting older.

Senility can be explained as a related deterioration. You are which will probably be able to advise you on how to make your dog more comfortable during his older days.


Dogs have been known to push their food around with their nose before eating it, and many dog owners may wonder why their furry friend does this.

It turns out that this behavior is caused by a dog’s weakening eyesight. By pushing the food around with their nose, dogs are able to better see where they are going to eat and how much they need to eat.

So the next time your dog starts pushing his or her food around on the floor, don’t be too alarmed – it’s just a natural way for them to adjust to weakened vision!

You can consult your vet for any possible solutions for your dog’s vision.

Weak Olfactory Senses

It’s no secret that dogs love food. In fact, they’ll do just about anything to get their mitts on a tasty morsel. But have you ever stopped to wonder why dogs push their food around with their noses?

Turns out, there’s a good reason for it! Dogs’ sense of smell is getting weaker as they age, so pushing food around with their noses helps them sniff out the goodies buried in their kibble. Clever little creatures, aren’t they?

Attention Seeking

If your dog pushes their food around with their nose, they may be trying to get attention. Dogs often push their food around when they are feeling anxious or insecure, which means that your pup is trying to seek attention.

Your dog may benefit from some training and reassurance. By understanding why your dog is pushing their food around, you can better help them feel comfortable and confident.

By pushing the food around your dog is capturing your attention. This could mean you are not spending enough time with your dog. However, I do feel this could be the reason only in extremely rare cases.

Reinforcing Behavior

Dogs love to push their food around with their noses. It’s a cute habit that they get into, and it seems to make them happy. But why do they do it?

Well, the answer is actually quite simple – they do it because you are reinforcing the behavior.

When you give your attention to the dog, asking it if doesn’t like the food, he is enjoying the attention and you are reinforcing the behavior. So, he will continue to do it in order to please you.

Lack Of Appetite

Chances are you’ve seen them push their food around with their noses before eventually eating it.

Well, the answer to that is that dogs sometimes toy with their food when they’re not hungry as a way of playing or investigating their environment.

There’s no set rule on why every dog does this. So the next time you see your pup pushing its kibble around like crazy, just know that she’s probably just goofing off and isn’t actually starving. 🙂

Your Dog Wants What You Are Eating

A lot of people think that when their dog pushes its nose into their food, it’s not hungry. In reality, dogs do this because they want what you’re eating.

If your dog is near you when you are eating your meal, then the dog is trying to find the food with the waft that it is getting from elsewhere (your plate) in its bowl.

By pushing their nose into their food, they are actually trying to find a morsel with the same smell as that of your plate. This is why it’s important to always feed your dog first or feed your dog away from the table.

They Want A Different Place

If you’ve ever watched your dog shove its food around with its nose before eating it, you may have wondered why.

Contrary to popular belief, your dog is not trying to bury its food – it’s actually trying to change its location! Dogs can be fussy too and they are trying to push the food elsewhere by using their nose.

You can try changing the location to check if this is the reason.

Dental Issues

Dogs push their food around with their noses for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common reasons is that they have dental issues.

If your dog has problems with his or her teeth, it can be difficult for them to chew their food, so they will resort to pushing it around with their nose instead.

Fortunately, there are ways to help your dog get over this issue and your vet will be able to help. This is why it is important to brush your dog’s teeth.

When Is My Dog Pushing His Food With His Nose A Concern?


Dogs are known for their adorable quirks, like when they tilt their head to the side or give you a big dog smile.

But one habit that can be concerning is when they push their food around with their nose instead of eating it. Dogs are known for pushing their food around with their nose, but when they don’t eat it, that’s when it’s a concern.

This means they’re not getting the food that they need, and, it could lead to health problems. This could also be indicative of an underlying medical issue.

You may want to take your dog for a medical examination. Of course, if you find the dog is not eating because of dental issues or lack of appetite as explained above, then it’s important that you reach out to your vet.

Also, other factors related to old age must prompt you to reach out to your vet to help your dog be more comfortable during old age.

What Can I Do To Stop My Dog Pushing His Food With His Nose?


Get A Triangle Bowl

If you’re like me, you probably love spending time with your furry friend. But when it comes to mealtime, his or her adorable antics can drive you crazy!

If your dog pushes his food around with his nose instead of eating it, he might benefit from a triangle-shaped bowl. A triangle bowl allows the food to stay in a corner making it easier for the dog to eat.

Make Food More Difficult To Push Around

There’s nothing funnier than watching a dog try to figure out how to eat his food when it’s in a jigsaw bowl. Most dogs will push the food around with their noses until they manage to get a piece into their mouths.

This can take a long time, and it’s not always easy for them to do. If you want to stop your dog from pushing his food around, get him a jigsaw bowl! He’ll be able to eat much more quickly, and he’ll love the challenge of getting his food out of the puzzle bowl.

Since each portion has little food and less space, he won’t be able to nose around.

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Add Some Wet Food To Dry Food

Dogs will often push their food around with their noses, even after they have started to eat. This can be annoying for owners and guests, but there is an easy solution: add some wet food to the mix.

By adding a bit of wet food, the dog will be more likely to eat the dry food, and he will stop pushing it around with his nose.

Add Some Yellow Peppers Or Yellow Rice

Pushing his food around with his nose is a common habit among dogs, but it can easily be fixed by adding some yellow peppers or yellow rice to their diet.

By adding these, your dog will get more of the nutrients he needs from his food, and he will no longer feel the need to push his food around since he gets a tasty meal.

Change The Dog’s Diet

If your dog insists on pushing his food around his bowl with his nose before he eats, you may need to change his diet.

Some dogs do this because they are trying to figure out whether the item in their bowl is something they should eat or not. Changing their diet can help stop this behavior.

Feed Your Dog In A Different Place

If you’re like most dog owners, you’ve probably had to deal with your pooch pushing his food around with his nose.

While this can be annoying, there are ways to stop it. One way is to change the place where you feed him.

This behavior is often seen when dogs are fed from a bowl on the ground and can be solved by changing the place of feeding.

Train Your Dog To “Take It Or Leave It”

Remove the bowl when starts goofing and wait for a minute before giving the bowl back. Repeat the process until the dog learns to stop nosing around.

Remember, the key to training is patience. Reward your dog with an extra treat. They are quick learners and will respond well.

Wrapping Up:

There are many reasons why your dog may push his food with his nose. The list of possible explanations is long, but here are the 20 most common ones that you should be aware of so you can rule them out one by one if it doesn’t seem to fit your situation.

Stashing, foraging behavior, inherited or breed-specific action, picky eater, or weak sight or sense of smell due to aging and dental issues could all be the possible reasons.

If none of those sound like they apply to your pet then there might be something else going on which needs veterinary attention. Do you want us to add anything to this article? Do write in. Would love to hear from you.

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