Why is my dog afraid of his food bowl

Dogs love food! They guilt their owners to feeding them multiple times a day. They beg, whine and do everything they can to make their caretakers fill the food bowls. Food and long walks are two of canine’s most-liked activities. Dogs are constantly on the lookout for food so its quite strange to see your dog feeling afraid of his food bowl. Hence, it’s natural for you to worry if your dog that would immediately shove its face in the food bowl has now developed a sudden aversion to his food bowl.

The reason may be rational to your pet, but it’s no picnic to watch them getting terrified from the food container. Interestingly, canines’ minds work in mysterious ways, so if your dog is afraid of his food bowl, you must find out why!

Why is my dog afraid of his food bowl?

Check your canine’s oral hygiene.

It is significantly essential to rule out any oral issue that your canine may be facing. If you fail to brush your puppy’s teeth regularly, it may develop oral discomfort or pain. This could be why they act weird around food because they may associate their pain with the food bowl causing them to feel afraid of the food bowl.


Dogs are born with an incredible sense of smell that overpowers humans by a lot. They have more than 300 million receptors in their nose alone, which aids their advanced sense of smell. Furthermore, the part of their brain devoted to smell is 40 times bigger than that of humans.

Ceramic and plastic food bowls hold smells which might be a reason to put your dog off eating in them. Either the bowl is not washed correctly or the dishwashing liquid has a strong smell, either way, the unappealing smell of the bowl could be making your dog aversive towards the bowl.

Has anyone munched on the same bowl?

No matter how friendly your dogs are with each other when it comes to food, they hate sharing! The same is with their food bowls. Their sense of smell is highly advanced, so if another dog or cat has munched in the same food bowl, then it might be what’s putting off your dog from his food.

Fear of the allergic reaction

It’s pretty uncommon for dogs to develop allergic reactions due to their food bowls; however, if your pet has, in the past, developed a response right after completing its meal, then it’s likely that the dog would consider the food bowl to be the culprit of the situation. In its mind, the food bowl may be responsible for the past sickness, which could be why your dog acts antsy when it sees the bowl again.


Steel bowls can be pretty noisy. Hence, loud movements of the bowl may be what’s spooking out your puppy. Moreover, the collar clanging against the steel food bowl could also distract dogs from eating because canines are born with an enhanced sense of hearing, and they can hear a broader range of frequencies than us. Therefore, the noise of its accessory clanging against the food bowl could be making your pet fidgety.


Your dog may develop a fear of its food bowl, especially if it’s a stainless steel food bowl. This is because the metal bowls create a reflection that can make your little fellow panic. Your dog may have mistaken its reflection in the steel bowl for another dog.

Funny as it may sound for you. A shiny reflective food bowl can frighten your pet to a great deal!

Is it the food bowl?

Mealtimes are the highlights of a dog’s day. As much as your dog may be good at communicating with you, you may have mistaken another issue with the fear of food bowl.

Considering their highly superior hearing abilities, it could be the noisy environment that irritates your dog’s comfort. In such a situation, relocating the food bowl to a quiet place may be just what your dog needs.

Moreover, it could also be a protest against the food, which you misinterpreted as a fear against the bowl.

Why is my dog afraid of his food bowl?


Once you have identified the trigger, it will become easy for you to calm your anxious dog. However, it is essential to get your fur baby checked by a vet if your dog continues to act in the same manner. Immediately seeking professional advice is beneficial for your pet’s quality of life. In case of any injury to its mouth or gums, the vet will suggest you the best way to deal with it.

After you have identified the causes of your dog’s fear of food bowls, it will be easier for you to eliminate the triggers, and your dog will once again enjoy its meals!





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