If your dog takes a long time to eat, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog take so long to eat? The most likely reasons why your dog takes so long to eat are that it is full already, illness or a mouth injury.

There are a number of possible reasons why your dog takes so long to eat and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my dog take so long to eat?

Below are likely reasons why your dog takes so long to eat and what would make each of them more likely.

It is full already

The reason why your dog takes so long to eat is likely to be that it is already full. This would be a lot more likely if your dog has access to food throughout the day, people give it their own food throughout the day, or it does eat quickly when it has not been able to eat in a long time. In this case, it would likely help to stop giving it access to food throughout the day, to ensure it is eating the right amount of calories and to only feed it once or twice a day.

Illness

The cause might also be that it has an illness. This would be more likely if your dog has started eating slowing suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill such as being fatigued and vomiting a lot. If it seems like illness is the cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Injury

It might also be the case that an injury has been causing your dog to not eat quickly. The issue could be an injured tooth or infected mouth and would also be more likely if your dog has started doing it suddenly and if it has been bleeding from the mouth. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

It does not like the food

Another possible cause is that your dog does not like the food. This would be more likely if your dog has started doing it since a change in its diet.

It wants you to watch over it

Sometimes, dogs will not eat alone and it might be the case that your dog wants you to watch over it. This would be more likely if your dog only eats when you are around.

It does not want you to watch over it

It can also be the case that dogs won’t eat when their owners are around. This would be more likely if your dog does eat quickly once you leave the room. The reason for this can be that it is being submissive and seeing if you are going to eat first.

Things to consider

Here are things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

If your dog has always eaten gradually

If your dog has not always eaten gradually, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to a change in its diet or people feeding it throughout the day. It could also be due to illness or a mouth injury.

The timing of when your dog eats slowly

It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog eats slowly. If there is a certain time that your dog tends to eat slowly, it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if it does eat quickly first thing in the morning, it might be the case that it feels full throughout the rest of the day.

What to do about my dog eating slowly?

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

Feed it less often

The first option would be to feed your dog less often and to not let it have access to food throughout the day. It would also help to make sure that nobody else has been feeding it without you knowing.

Ensure it is getting the right diet

It would also help to ensure that it has been getting the right diet and that it has been eating the right amount of calories.

Don’t give it your own food

If you have been giving it your own food, it would help to avoid doing it.

Get help

If it seems like illness or a mouth injury is the cause, the safest option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out injury as a cause.

Why does my dog wait so long to eat?

If your dog waits a long time to eat, the cause could be that it either wants you to watch over it or for you to leave the room. It could also be the case that your dog is not hungry, it does not like the food, it is ill, or that it has a mouth injury.

Why is my dog hesitant eating?

The reason why your dog is hesitant eating is likely to be that it is not hungry or that it does not like the food. It could also be due to illness or a mouth injury.

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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.