Why Does My Dog Bark At His Food? Top 10 Reasons

Dogs are naturally smart, however, they have some extremely strange quirks that may sometimes confuse their pet parents.

One of these numerous quirks is the act of barking at their meals.

It is a common occurrence and it can be difficult to figure out. However, we have some ideas that’ll help you out.

Why Does My Dog Bark At His Food?

Scared or Hungry Dog Barking at His Food

Dogs bark at their food for a couple of reasons, the most common of these reasons being fear and hunger.

So, if you find your dog barking violently at his food, he is most likely hungry and wants to eat at the soonest time possible.

Nevertheless, there are also other factors that may be responsible for this unacceptable behavior.

This article provides 10 reasons that give us insight into why dogs bark at their food and how to curtail this behavior or put it to a total stop.

Reasons Why Your Dog Barks at His Food

There are many explanatory reasons associated with this rather violent behavior. 

1. Hunger

Your pup is probably barking so loudly and aggressively simply because he wants to eat!

His bark indicates the urgency with which he needs to devour his meal and how long he’s probably been waiting on you to show up.

This is usually followed by a quick action of your dog digging into the meal.

That said, one must keep in mind that certain dogs tend to bark more on an empty stomach than others do.

2. Fear

Close Up Angry Dog Barking

In the event that your pup starts to eat already but is barking repeatedly at their food bowl, it is a sign that the bowl’s material is bothersome and should therefore be switched or replaced.

Certain materials tend to heighten a canine’s sense of smell. This causes them to get more enthusiastic and agitated whenever they are offered food in dishes of this nature. 

3. Eating time interval

If you do not encounter any of the problems mentioned above, there could be a problem with the time interval between your dog’s mealtimes or something in their diet that gets them upset.

To prevent this issue, you need to feed your pooch many small portions throughout the day instead of one large meal.

4. Unsatisfactory feeding schedule

Another possible reason that your dog is barking at his food may be their dissatisfaction with their feeding schedule.

If your dog is uncomfortable with the feeding routine that you have designed for him, he is very likely to throw a fit by barking non-stop at his food bowl.

A feeding schedule that they simply do not like is bound to upset them and this will lead to a lot of barking that might in turn get you upset.

The easiest way to solve this problem is by tweaking your dog’s feeding schedule a little or exploring various options in regard to the feeding schedule.

This will give you a better understanding of your pooch and help you make better decisions when making a feeding schedule for him.

5. Excessive amounts of food

Your dog may be barking at his food bowl because the serving size is too excessive, meaning that there’s too much food in the bowl.

Some dogs like to have a little space in their bowl to play around with their food before they begin eating.

You can fill up half of their bowls every night and put a mat or tight blockage around that side in order for them to eat around it.

You should also consider mixing their kibbles with some wet food! Gradually, they’ll get used to the pattern and ease into it. 

6. Ingredients 

Certain ingredients in your dog’s meal may upset them.

This is especially true for dogs that are picky about ingredients that go in their food.

They might be allergic to certain ingredients and dislike the scent of specific ingredients in their meals.

Additionally, if an unusual ingredient is added to their food, it may cause them to bark at their food bowl.

A change in their usual meal can also bring about this behavior.

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7. Insufficient water

Dog Sitting Near Empty Bowl

If your dog is barking at his food bowl, it could mean that he does not have access to as much water as he needs.

Dogs typically require a lot of water to stay hydrated, especially after much physical activity.

A dog may stop in the middle of eating and begin to bark at his food bowl due to its urgent need for more water.

In this case, you must ensure that your pooch has fresh, clean water available to him throughout the day. 

8. Underlying health condition

Your dog is likely not barking for any of the reasons stated above. He may be barking due to an undiagnosed health condition.

For this reason, it is advisable to contact a vet and understand the reason for your pup’s barks during mealtime as the cause might be more than meets the eye.

9. Boredom

Most dogs bark happily at their food bowls when they are bored or have a lot of built-up energy to expel.

Consider feeding them in a different area from the one they’re used to.

Creating some food puzzles for them during play sessions or long walks might curb the barking.

10. Your Dog is trying to tell you something

Finally, when your dog keeps barking at his food bowl, it might be because he has grown tired and bored of the type of food bowl they get served in.

The incessant barking is simply their way of trying to get your immediate attention. They could also be barking because they want or need something from you.

Consider giving them new toys and treats so that the toys will be identified with good things.

If everything else does not work, discuss with your veterinarian on how to help your pooch feel safer in your absence.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my dog bark at his food bowl? Does it scare him?

There are numerous reasons why a dog might be scared of his food bowl. For example, he may have had an unpleasant experience while eating, such as choking.

He has also likely been punished for eating and is scared of the food bowl because he likens it to punishment. Therefore, eating from the bowl makes him afraid.

Why does my dog act strange around his food?

Your dog might be acting weird around his food because he associates the food bowl with an unpleasant incident.

He may also be feeling nervous and sees the bowl as his only opportunity to eat.  


In summary, there is a multitude of reasons responsible for most behaviors that dogs display.

They may be attempting to keep you safe by snatching your food or barking at sirens.

They may also do present you with their food bowl due to factors such as anxiety or a show of dominance.

The next time you think: Why does my dog bark at his food or bowl?, remember that your pup could be hungry or afraid of somehting.

Dogs do different things for numerous reasons, so it’s advisable to look at the bigger picture in order to understand their behaviors and know how to handle them in the future.

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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