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    Why Do Dogs Beg For Food?

    Why Do Dogs Beg For Food?

    by Behavior / 3 min read


    Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes 

    Summary: In this blog, we learn all about dogs begging for food; why they do it, and how to stop them... 


    If you have a dog that’s begging for food, you’re probably wondering why they’re begging and how to stop them from doing so. Fear not, pet parent! PetLab Co. is here to help. 
    Dog begging can be a real issue if they’re not trained out of it – particularly if your dog is very food motivated. So, learn more below on why some dogs behave like they haven’t been fed for a week! 

    Why Do Dogs Beg For Food 

    Dogs are hardwired to seek food out for survival, and one way of securing food for dogs before they were properly domesticated was begging human beings for it! They learned that the humans they’d stalk at camps or in towns responded well to their puppy-dog eyes and soft whimpers and that’s carried through the generations!  

    Additionally, with a nose as sensitive as a dog’s, you can only imagine the intensity to which your food smells to them. They can’t help but want to know what’s on your plate and whether they can have some too! However, this behavior can become problematic and antisocial if it’s not trained out.  

    How To Stop A Dog Begging For Food 

    First things first; consistency is key when training a dog! Be patient with them as they learn as it will take several goes before they understand.  

    You should never punish a dog when they get training wrong – this just teaches them to fear you. Focus on rewarding them when they get it right and simply going back and repeating when they get it wrong.  

    Now, here’s a step-by-step on how to stop a dog from begging...

    a close up of a Golden Retriever, looking directly at camera inquisitively and hopefully. Behind them is cream patio and a green lawn
    1. Prevention 
      Make sure your whole household knows to never give your dog food from the table or the tray from which humans are eating. This way, from the off, your dog will learn that it’s a pointless effort to ask. They’ll only reattempt begging if they’ve gotten lucky in the past.
      PetLab Co. Pro Tip: Feeding a dog from your plate is also dangerous as many human food items can be toxic to dogs, so this is also a way of ensuring your dog is only fed foods that are safe for them to consume.  
    2. Training 
      Whenever your dog begs, do your absolute best to completely ignore them. Any reaction you give your dog is a win for them and provides hope for success. Avoid eye contact, interacting with them, and even avoid instructing them to stop begging. If their begging is never successful, they will learn to give up. If your dog is a serial beggar, or has learned they receive food when they beg, this will require a lot of pet owner commitment and patience.
    3. Distract 
      You can also consider asking your dog to do something else while you eat. You may tell them to go to bed and stay before you eat. Once you’ve finished, you can reward them for staying with a treat or some fuss to reinforce that this is good behavior for them to continue.  
    4. Timing 
      Alternatively, you could serve your dog’s food to them at the same time you eat yours. If they eat really quickly, you can try a slow feeder or lick mat to slow them down and prevent them from coming to your table after they’re done to beg.  


    “How To Stop Your Dog Begging For Food” Battersea 

    Author Dr. Conklin, Melody R. VMD MBA “Dog Begging For Food? Here’s What To Do” Zoetis  

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    The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
    *In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022