Why do dogs bark at their food

Dogs are intelligent social animals, and barking is a typical form of communication in their canine family. Dogs tend to bark when they feel excited, frustrated, scared, distressed, or even bored. Although it’s usual dog behavior to bark but barking unnecessarily is alarming. So if your dog barks too much, you need to discover the cause of their barking and take hold of the problem immediately, especially if the dog barks at the food.

If you are concerned about why your dog barks at his food,  then keep reading and discover why your pooch exhibits such behavior before it develops into a severe problem.

Why do Dogs Bark at their Food

Yearning for your attention

Pets, just like humans, tend to get frustrated when they feel deprived of the love, care, and attention they want from their caretakers. When you think your dog is barkings at its food, it might just be yearning for your attention. Therefore, attending to your dog’s emotional needs may aid in making the situation better.

Growling out of frustration

Your pet may experience oral discomfort while eating. The pain can make your dog bark out of frustration. Gum inflammation or toothache is a common oral health problem. Toothache is just as bad for dogs as it is for humans; therefore, recognizing the symptoms of a toothache can help you relieve your dog from excruciating dental pain. Without wasting time, you must schedule an appointment with the vet and pay a visit.

Your dog is just Communicating!

As a pet parent, you must determine whether it is a happy bark, a stressed bark, or a demanding bark. Demanding bark is quite common in canines. It could be a way of your dog protesting for a change in his diet. Dogs that enjoy their previous food will get upset if you change it. However, if your dog eats with enthusiasm and a wagging tail, then it’s nothing to worry about. It could just be a sign of appreciation for the delicious meal you just served.  Dogs also tend to howl while enjoying their meal. It’s their unique way of showing that the food is delicious.

On the other hand, if your dog tucks his tail between the legs, it could be a sign that it is experiencing stress. An upset dog will most likely leave its food or flip the bowl while it continues to bark.

Therefore, when you find your dog barking at its food, you must keep an eye on his body language. A dog’s body language while he barks can reveal a lot- if you’re observant enough, though!

Dogs can have Fears too.

The fancy collar accessory that you have tied around your canine may be clanging against the metal food bowl and spooking him out. So it’s not the food he is barking at but the noise making it feel scared. Ever thought of that?

Furthermore, metal food bowls create mirror reflections at the bottom as the meal starts to finish. Your dog may be feeling petrified by its reflection, mistaking it for another dog. Strange, isn’t it?

Resource Guarding

Dogs are food-driven creatures, and they tend to defend what’s there.  Resource guarding is a very natural behavior for some dogs. Hence, an insecure dog can consider anyone a potential threat to its resources like food, toys, etc. Therefore, when they feel threatened in the presence of another dog, they guard their food by barking and fidgeting. Your dog may think that the other one might steal its food, and hence it growls as an attempt to protect it. So the barking is not at the food. It is instead on the other animal. So when you find your dog barking at its food, it’s probably just signaling others to keep their distance from its tempting food bowl.

Suppose your dog is in such a situation. In that case, it is exceptionally essential that you train it out of this aggressive behavior because resource guarding can make your dog aggressive and form other violent and aggressive tendencies as well.


In case none of these reasons fit, and your dog continues to bark at its food, then a qualified behaviorist will be able to help your pet. It is important to note that if your pet is distressed, leaving the root cause unattended can negatively affect its overall health and well-being. Therefore, to prevent further behavioral problems, as a responsible caretaker, you must take the necessary measures to address the correct cause of such behavior.

However, if your pet barks just for the sake of it, then a little barking won’t hurt you, right?

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