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How to Keep Meal Time Calm

We all get excited around meal time; the thought of dinner makes our stomach growls and our mouths water. However, unlike dogs, we are much better at keeping our calm during that pre-dinner surge.

If you have ever had trouble getting your dog to settle down or to stop jumping to try and get dinner before you’ve set it down, we have a few ways to help control the doggie meal time madness. 

Give them tools for impulse control

Teaching your dog the cue to “wait” makes a big difference if your dog dives or jumps like an Olympian at meal time. It’s not too hard to teach either, just follow these simple steps:

  • Ask your dog to wait while you have your dog’s empty bowl in your hand.
  • Slowly move the bowl towards the floor, if they move towards it, take it away. If they stay in their place, continue to lower it and place it on the ground. If your dog moves or jumps, just say “whoops!” and bring the bowl back up.
  • Continue to practice lowering the bowl and rewarding their successful acts of patience. Eventually, you should be able to place their bowl on the floor while your dog waits patiently for your cue that it is time to eat.


Establish a routine

A multi-dog house can easily turn to chaos when food comes into play. The key is to have an established routine where each dog can eat in peace. Try feeding each dog in a separately closed crate eliminating the threat of losing their food to the other dog. When your dog can eat with confidence that all the in the bowl food is indeed theirs, they will eat more slowly and be more satisfied.

Make meal time fun and interesting

It’s never a bad time to add a little fun to your daily routine. Send them on a scavenger hunt to find their meal. It can help with training as well as promote their natural seeking and hunting behaviors giving them additional stimulation while keeping mealtime at a calm pace.

Get them to slow down

Dogs can be like vacuums, sucking up an entire meal in mere seconds. When this happens, it opens the door for a host of illnesses like bloat and gastric dilation-volvulus. You can get them to slow down with slow-feeding bowls, timed food and treat dispensers. This will help them eat at a healthy pace.

Mealtime should be a time of contentment, not chaos. And even if it’s stressful now, there are ways to make sure that dinner in the future is smooth and peaceful. 

We can help you with a final way to keep your pup from going too wild when it’s time for dinner – exercise! A well-exercised dog will not have as much excess energy that causes a lot of dogs to jump, knock things over, or get too excited for meal time. In addition, tiring your dog out a couple hours before dinner makes them less likely to play too hard directly after a meal, an activity that can lead to bloat. Our rates are viewable here and ask about our monthly dog walking packages.