Have you ever noticed that your loving dog stares at you when it eats? It’s a kind of strange thing to think about. However, here are 7 reasons why they would do that and possible solutions.
Actually, why does your dog look at you when he eats?
Your dog may stare at you while eating because of resource guarding & picky eating behavior, thinking if he gets anything extra, confusion, doesn’t feel full after eating, gratitude, he needs your food. Addressing resource guarding and picky eating, proper diet, avoiding table scraps are solutions.
Because this behavior is caused by normal and abnormal conditions, you must educate yourself about them as a responsible dog owner.
Table of Contents
Reasons why does your dog looks at you when he eats?
Frankly, this unusual behavior is not necessarily something to worry about.
But, there are several cases where you need to take a closer look at the dog and apply appropriate solutions. To do that, you need to know what are the reasons.
So, here they are.
1. Check if you are going to take anything extra
My Rottweiler used to do this when she eats. She basically does this just to make sure if I’m gonna bring or give anything extra for her.
So, your situation may be the same.
Observe whether the dog constantly looking at your hands and checking to see if anything is left.
The dog might do this as you’re standing around the kitchen area, where you make prepare its food.
Try leaving that area and peek just to make certain the dog is eating. When the dog realizes that he isn’t getting more or anything else, the dog will start eating again.
2. The dog is a fussy or picky eater.
In general, picky eaters tend to exhibit the same behavior.
It’s quite odd when your dog does this for the first time and over and over again because you may be worried that his food is not good enough.
Usually, a dog may become picky or fussy due to the following reasons.
- The dog might not food driven.
- Lack of feeding schedule.
- Age-related concerns.
- Health concerns.
- Feeding too many treats.
- Maybe too much table scrap.
- Food is boring.
Recommended reading: Are Miniature Schnauzers Picky Eaters? [Vet Advice]
3. Resource guarding behavior.
The resource guarding behavior also might be a reason why does your dog stare at you while eating.
Usually, resource guarding is a very normal behavior among canines that required to be addressed as soon as noticed.
Basically, this means is the dog tends to intentionally protect or guard something valuable resource for them such as food, treats, toys, personal space, bed, or even people.
In your case, the dog is displaying resource guarding behavior with its food. But, I’m sure that your furry friend is in a developing stage of this unwanted demeanor.
Because a dog with this behavior issue tends to exhibit many more signs, you can even recognize them.
Key things to notice.
- Check if the dog begins gulping as you approach.
- Notice if he is tracking you with his side-eye while eating.
- It begins to stare at you when you are a bit away from him.
4. The dog may stare at you while eating due to confusion.
The next reason could be confusion. Dogs are confused by many things in everyday life due to a lack of understanding and communication problems.
Suppose the dog is well trained to wait until your command to start eating. So, the dog might stare at you without eating just to get your command.
If we take another example, do you stand next to the dog after feeding?
Most dogs could easily get confused in such a situation by thinking, “Is there anything else I should suppose to do?”
5. Can I have more, please……
If your loving furry friend just stares at you with an innocent face while eating, quickly go and check if the dog finishes the food bowl. Maybe the meal is delicious, and it needs more……
That seems like the dog doesn’t feel full after meals. No one can look at such an innocent face and completely ignore its request. I can’t even.
That being said, you shouldn’t overfeed the dog. Maybe you wanna reconsider whether his diet plan is appropriate.
On the flip side, the meal might not suffice for your canine friend. Canines grow rapidly, and the diet plan must be changed accordingly.
So, maybe, it’s time to meet the vet and reevaluate its diet plan.
The dog gets excited because of you. You feed him, bathe him, provide exercises, and meet all the needs and wants.
The dog feels so grateful and thankful for that.
If he does look at you while eating, it’s a way of saying “Thank you” as dogs primarily communicate with human beings with eyes.
Think for a movement if the dog comes to you after eating while licking its lips and gives a straight stare just to say like “The food was delicious.”
7. The dog needs your food.
Most of the time, you feed the dog kibble by mixing it with some other food, and I admit that this food is delicious for the dog.
But, the dog might know your food are “mouth-watering,” especially possible if you used to provide table scraps.
So, this condition can occur if you also eat while the dog is eating.
Dogs have an incredible nose that can sense the smell of any micro size particle. So, figuring out what is in your Dish is a cinch for your dog.
What to do if the dog stares at you when he eats?
Now you know the causes why your dog may be doing this. Luckily, there are several of them that are completely normal, and there is nothing to worry about.
But, with regards to abnormal or unwanted circumstances, you gotta do something.
So, here are what you can do.
If the dog is a picky eater…,
If your dog stares at you while eating due to its fussy or picky eating behavior, Try doing the following.
- Limit his mealtime for about 20 minutes and remove the food bowl after 20 minutes. By doing so, you can let him know the urgency of eating food.
- Provide a sufficient amount of exercise on a daily basis.
- Limit snacks and dog treats.
- Avoid table scraps.
- Try different types of food.
- Feed quality food.
- Have a proper feeding schedule.
- Be careful with allergies.
- Wet the meal prior to feeding.
- Provide the right quantity of food.
- Chat with your veterinarian.
If the dog has resource guarding behavior with foods…,
If your dog also just look at you while eating, it can be a result of resource guarding behavior with foods,
As we mentioned earlier, your pup lies somewhere in the developing stage of this unnecessary behavior.
So, you have to nip it in the bud prior to things worsen.
The problem here is though we cannot apply counter-conditioning for the resource guarding behavior as the dog still in the developing stage.
If you felt like there is something terrible gonna happen, I mean, you had experienced the dog seldom started growling when you approach the food bowl while he eats, chatting with a dog trainer or dog behaviorist is the most recommended way to address this issue.
When the dog doesn’t feel full after eating…..,
As we discussed earlier, you might be thinking that the dog is staring at you while eating. But the point is he finishes the food bowl and looks for more from you.
If he doesn’t feel full after eating, I recommend applying the following.
- First and foremost, you gotta understand its body composition, the number of calories it needs a day, a proper diet plan prepared with the help of a veterinarian.
- Add vegetables to its meal.
- Provide a high-fiber meal.
- When the dog is seeking more food, try deflecting its attention toward something more exciting, probably an excellent walking session, going to the backyard, showing its favorite chew toy would help.
- Foods with a high percentage of air and water aren’t appropriate for these types of dogs.
What are problems may arise if the dog stare at you when he eats?
Well, this situation is quite normal, so there cannot be an abundance of dilemmas. However, you gotta pay attention to the following.
Chance for being vulnerable: If you feed him outdoors, the dog is more likely to look at your while eating because he could be vulnerable to another dog. Possibly, he looks at you while checking where the other dog is.
Resource guarding behavior: This isn’t something easy to resolve. With regards to the worse side of this demeanor, he will more likely guard its treats, bed, personal space, toys, or even persons as the situation goes horrible. As we discussed earlier, nipping from the bud is the pretty much straightforward answer.
Being fussy: Being picky for a significant period of time can lead to adverse health problems.
Doesn’t feel full: If your dog doesn’t feel full after eating and you feed him more and more, consider that your dog is at risk for adverse health-related issues.
Things to be aware of.
Now you know why your dog wants to stare at you while he eats and possible solutions. But there are several other things you need to be aware of.
- Let the dog eat in a peace. Don’t stand nearby and just look at him while he eating. Because it’s so uncomfortable. It’s an inconvenience even to people, isn’t it?
- You have to avoid table scraps. No matter how hard the dog is obsessed with your food. It doesn’t necessarily because it makes them full, but some human foods are poisonous for canines.
- Clearly communicate with the dog to avoid unnecessary confusion.
- When you feel that his diet needs to be changed, don’t venture to do that on your own. Always seek professional help and advice. Because it required to consider numerous factors prior to making any changes to a diet.
- Don’t skip regular veterinary checkups.
Many people get confused when their dogs look at them while eating. Because it makes you curious what is the reason for this unusual demeanor. Well, we have discussed 7 different factors that can influence this behavior and possible solutions. Hope you found this helpful. Have a nice day.