If your dog does not eat his bone, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog not eat his bone? Likely reasons why your dog does not his his bones are that he has a mouth injury, he is not hungry, or that your dog wants to hide the bone for later.

There are actually a number of possible causes but there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause.

Why does my dog not eat his bone?

Below are likely causes and what would make them more likely.

Nature

If your dog hides the bones instead, the reason why your dog does it is likely to be that it is in its nature to do it (source). When its ancestors would catch food they would sometimes stash the food away since it would allow them to have food available to them if they were unable to find any more. This is a trait that dogs still have today and it could be why your dog hides its treats and toys. 

Injury

It might also be the case that your dog has a mouth injury. This would be more likely if your dog has stopped eating bones suddenly and if it has also been showing other signs of a mouth injury such as bleeding at the mouth. If it seems like a mouth injury might be the cause, it would help to take your dog to a vet.

Feeling vulnerable

It could also be the case that your dog feels vulnerable when it eats bones so it chooses not to eat them when people are around. This would be more likely if it does seem like your dog has been eating them when you are not around.

Anxiety

Another possible cause is that something has been causing it to be anxious. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being anxious such as by hiding.

Your dog is not hungry

The cause might be that it is being fed too much and it feels like it should stash the food it doesn’t need away for later. This would be more likely if it started doing it since eating more calories. It would help to make sure that your dog has been eating the right amount of calories.

Nausea

The reason could be that it has nausea which would be more likely if your dog has been “air burying” its food and if it has been eating less. It would also be more likely if it has been doing other things such as vomiting, being fatigued or pulling to the side on walks. 

Possessiveness

The reason could be that your dog is being possessive which is where it does not want other people or animals going near its possessions. This would be more likely if your dog also has other possessive tendencies such as by guarding its food when eating or protecting its spot on the sofa. 

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your dog has stopped eating bones suddenly

If your dog has stopped eating bones suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened when the behavior first started. If it did start suddenly, it could be due to things such as injury, illness, or being fed more than usual.

If your dog does eat bones sometimes

If your dog does eat bones sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when your dog does eat bones. For example, if your dog does eat them when it has not been able to eat in a while, the cause would be more likely to do with how hungry it is when it gets the bone.

How to get my dog to eat his bone?

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Give your dog the bone at a different time

One option would be to give your dog bones at a different time such as when it has not eaten in a while.

Give your dog different types of bones

It might also help to try giving your dog different types of bones since it could be the case that your dog just does not like what you have been giving it.

Get help

If it seems like your dog might have been doing it due to an injury or illness, it would help to take it for a checkup with a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out injury or illness as a cause.

Let your dog eat it elsewhere

If your dog currently has to eat the bone in a certain area, it might help to try letting your dog eat the bone in a different area.

Do nothing

It is not uncommon for dogs to hide their food or bones so as long as it is not showing signs of being possessive, ill or anxious you could allow it to do it if you want to.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.