Is your Bulldog acting like a cat and tipping things over? This behavior is observed on many dogs, which leaves many pet owners baffled. As food-driven canines, it’s surprising that Bulldogs will tip and spill their food. Some will eat it on the floor, while others will leave the kibble sprawled on the floor. Before you get frustrated, you should know that there are ways on how to stop dog from tipping their food bowl.
Below, I discuss this problem and what you can do to solve it at home:
Why your Bulldog is tipping its bowl
As with any dog problem, identifying the root cause is the key to find the rightful solution. If your Bulldog is tipping its food bowl all the time, the following might explain why:
1. Uncomfortable bowl
The very first thing you should consider is the height of the bowl. Elevated dog bowls can make it hard for Bulldogs to reach their food. Out of frustration, your doggo will tip it over and just eat the kibble on the floor.
Aside from the height, the smell and feel of the bowl could make your dog tip it over. This is why you should always keep the bowl clean before each use. And if your Bulldog hates the sound of its collar tag clinking on the bowl, you should remove it before mealtimes.
Also, the size of the bowl can be a factor since Bulldogs have flat noses. They need a bigger opening to allow them to eat comfortably.
2. Unappealing food
Bulldogs and babies have one thing in common: they tend to tip or spill the food they don’t like. It’s your dog’s way of sending the message that you need to switch him to a new dog food product. Also, the kibble you served is probably stale or cold.
However, you should be careful because some dogs may think that the instant change in food is a reward for tipping the bowl. Over time, your pet will keep tipping it to get what they want. The key here is following the tips I discussed below.
Overall, it can be challenging to feed Bulldogs. They have very sensitive stomachs, and some are picky eaters.
3. Sick dog
In some cases, it’s not the bowl or food that makes your dog tip the bowl. It’s important to check if your Bulldog is sick before you consider the situation a behavioral problem.
A Bulldog that suddenly became lethargic, cranky, and picky might be suffering from a health problem. If this is lingering for days, you should take the pooch to the vet’s clinic for proper examination.
In this situation, tipping the bowl is your dog’s way of expressing dislike or lack of appetite.
4. Trying to hide it
Sometimes, your Bulldog isn’t really planning to tip the bowl. Your pooch may be trying to carry the food bowl in some other spot where it feels comfortable to eat. And since dogs don’t have hands, they will use their mouths to transport the bowl. Unfortunately, it often ends up with spilled food.
This behavior is a vestigial instinct of canines in the wild. Before domestication, wild dogs will hide remains of animal carcasses after they have eaten. This way, the pack can go back to it on the next meal. It also prevents predators and other dogs from stealing their food stash.
Also, your Bulldog might be feeling threatened with other pets around. This can lead them to resource guarding. In an effort to prevent food stealing, they will decide to toss around the bowl to take it away.
How to stop my Bulldog from tipping its food bowl
Before you lose your sanity over your Bulldog’s affinity for tipping the bowl, you can do the following steps to fix the behavior:
1. Place a mat underneath the bowl
Bulldogs will find it easy to tip a food bowl on a slippery surface. With this, the first solution is to place non-slip math underneath the bowl. I use a rubber mat because this makes the bottom of stainless steel food bowls tacky.
This method will also prevent Bulldogs from tossing their food bowls around. However, make sure that the mat itself isn’t easy to pick up and carry around. And if you have an aggressive chewer, make sure that the mat is secured on the floor.
2. Get a no-tip dog bowl
If the mat method isn’t working, you can switch your dog to a no-tip bowl. Unlike standalone dog bowls, a no-tip bowl has a rubber ring that gives the bottom more traction. This will make it harder for your Bulldog to lift the side of the bowl and tip it over.
Aside from that, you can find no-tip bowls fitted with a mat, which makes it impossible to turn the bowl over without lifting the entire thing. It’s effective on large Bulldogs who have an obsession with spilling their kibble.
You can also use a water-dispensing bowl. With no bowl to tip, you’ll have one less problem to think about. Just make sure that your dog isn’t too cranky to toss the entire water fountain around.
3. Glue it to the floor
In the worst-case scenario, your best bet is sticking the dog bowl to the floor. You can use thin suction cups to keep the bowl in place and prevent your Bulldog from tipping it. However, this requires some touch of handicraft skills.
The only downside to this method is that it can be challenging to remove the bowl after your dog eats. Nevertheless, it’s much better than having to clean up a kibble mess.
4. Add yummy treats on top
If your dog tips the bowl because it dislikes the food, you can add some of its favorite treats on top. This will trick your finicky Bulldog into eating the entire meal. It will also stop the pooch from tipping the bowl over.
If that doesn’t work, you should consider transitioning your dog into a new dog food formula. It will help to match the new flavor with your Bulldog’s favorite treat taste.
5. Move to a new feeding spot
For Bulldogs that keep on carrying their food bowls to a hidden spot, setting up a new feeding area may solve the problem. Choose a quiet area with minimal foot traffic. This will allow your nervous Bulldog to eat in peace without slamming the bowl upside down.
To find the best spot, observe where your dog takes the bowl. After that, trying feeding your Bulldog in that area and see if it will try to move the bowl again. If not, you should continue feeding the pooch on that spot from now on.
6. Make the food warm
Nobody wants cold food, even your Bulldog! A cold meal may put off a picky Bulldog. And to express its dismay, the doggo will tip its bowl and spill the food.
Simply add a cup of warm water into the kibble to warm your pet’s food, then stir it. I don’t recommend microwave-heating kibble as this may ruin the nutrients. Unlike canned food, kibble isn’t meant to be cooked or heated directly.
If you’re worried that adding water will make the dog food bland, you can also mix a few drops of fish oil in it.
7. Keep the bowl quiet
Bulldogs can be nervous dogs sometimes, especially when they hear an unfamiliar sound. This can happen when their collar tags bump on the bowl. Since the sound occurs when the dog tries to eat, the pooch will get scared of the bowl. Your Bulldog will paw and toss the bowl away out of fear.
Aside from that, new dog bowls are clear and will reflect the canine’s face. Like a mirror, your Bulldog may think that there’s another canine coming in his direction. Again, this will likely end up with a tipped bowl.
8. Spread out old newspapers
This isn’t really a solution, but a preventive measure just in case your Bulldog still tips the bowl. The newspaper will make it easier for you to clean up the mess, especially if your dog is eating wet food. If it’s kibble, it will be faster to put the pieces back to the bowl.
However, you should watch out if your Bulldog loves chewing everything. While newspapers don’t pose serious harm, they can become a choking hazard to the most curious canines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does it mean when dogs push their food away?
A: If your dog pushes its food away after eating a few bites, it doesn’t mean that he dislikes it right away. You’ll notice your dog carrying it on a corner or nook. This is to hide the food so that the pooch can go back to it later. This is rooted in the instincts of canines in the wild, where they bury or hide leftovers for later.
Q: Why does my Bulldog act scared of his food?
A: If your Bulldog acts weird and scared around its food, you have to check the bowl first. During winter, steel dog bowls can get very cold. And when your dog’s chin touched it, the sudden sensation will confuse a canine. This will make it appear as if the dog is scared of the food.
Q: Should I leave out food for my Bulldog all day?
A: It’s best to serve your Bulldog’s meal at a scheduled mealtime. This will prevent obesity and the food from going stale. Free-feeding isn’t a good strategy if you have a Bulldog since this breed has a voracious appetite.
Q: Why does my dog hate his stainless steel bowl?
A: Some dogs don’t like stainless steel food bowls because it makes noise when their collar tags bump on the rim. It also gets cold, which can startle a nervous Bulldog. Aside from that, there are canines that get scared of their reflections on the bowl.
Q: How often should you wash dog bowls?
A: The same with human dishes, you should wash your dog’s bowls after each use. This is to remove leftover food and bacteria. Failing to do this will cause bacterial and odor buildup that’s harmful to canines.
Q: Can my Bulldog get sick from a dirty water bowl?
A: Pet water bowls are breeding grounds for life-threatening bacteria. This is why you should wash your Bulldog’s water bowl daily before refilling it with clean water. Doing this will remove your pet’s saliva and contaminants that got into the water. You shouldn’t wait for your dog to empty the bowl before cleaning it.
Knowing how to stop dog from tipping food bowl will save you from a big mess. This will also help your dog eat its meals in peace. But if all your efforts aren’t working, you can always consult a veterinarian or a pet trainer to resolve the issue.
Do you have more tips to add? Share your thoughts below!