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Dog scared of food bowl

(19 Posts)
HavingaPanda Wed 09-May-18 18:28:06

I have a Jack Russell, he is nearly 6 years old. He has his water from a black food bowl and his food from a brown one.

The problem started about three months ago. He refused to eat or drink from either, appearing to be frightened of them. Now he has gone back to drinking from the black bowl, but the food is still an issue.

First he would eat if I moved the brown bowl somewhere else. This was fine for a few days. Then he refused again and would only eat if I hand fed him from brown bowl.

I put his food in the black and water in the brown, he refused both.

I have tried his food in a pasta bowl, a flat bowl (varying colours, as apparently that makes a difference to him hmm), two kinds of plastic bowl, a plastic tray, a metal tray, a side plate and dinner plate (again, different colours) and to be fair am now running out of crockery to try!

Each works for a couple of days, then he will go back to being scared of them, barking at it and running away, or maybe being really brave and collecting a mouthful of food to bring and eat from my living room carpet.

Any suggestions? Is there something actually wrong with him or is he just being a manipulative dick?

OP’s posts: |
Caaarrrl Wed 09-May-18 18:32:00

This sounds really annoying for you.

What are the bowls made from? Does he have a name tag on his collar that clanks against the bowl?

HavingaPanda Wed 09-May-18 18:42:52

I have tried China, metal, and plastic bowls, he hates them all. The original ones were China. He doesn't wear his collar in the house, so it's not his tags clinking.

I suspect he is putting it on, as when he stayed with my friend, he had two of the brown bowls and no issue with them in friend's house.

OP’s posts: |
picklemepopcorn Wed 09-May-18 18:45:57

I have similar. Mine is probably a jrt cross. He never used to eat from a bowl, but is usually ok now.

He's just a bit neurotic. Takes against things for no particular reason.

Caaarrrl Wed 09-May-18 18:48:49

Mine is JRT cross and he takes the food out of the bowl and eats it off the floor.

colditz Wed 09-May-18 18:48:56

Check his teeth are ok. Dogs are hilariously superstitious and if his teeth hurt him while he was eating, he may blame the bowl, he see his willingness to drink (“that bowl doesn’t hurt me”) but not eat

HavingaPanda Wed 09-May-18 18:50:10

How did you fix yours @picklemepopcorn ? Is it just time?

Problem is the barking at the bowl. Currently got a newborn who is EBF (this started before baby arrived!) so I can't always get straight up to change his bowl if he has decided he doesn't like the exact same one he was fine with yesterday, so he barks and barks at it.

OP’s posts: |
BestIsWest Wed 09-May-18 18:50:52

We had similar and it turned out not to be the bowl but the floor below it - bowl making a noise against the tiles.

HavingaPanda Wed 09-May-18 18:51:23

@Caaarrrl if he is feeling brave he will take some food and eat it from the floor a long way from the bowl. In fairness though, even when he was ok with the bowls he ate it off the floor!

OP’s posts: |
HavingaPanda Wed 09-May-18 18:54:02

@colditz yes, I think a trip to the vets might be the next step.

@BestIsWest I thought that, but I have put all the various bowls on the metal tray, the wooden kitchen floor and the carpeted living room floor, he still won't go near it!

Not trying to be difficult everyone, and I am grateful for your replies, there just doesn't seem to be any logic to any of it!

OP’s posts: |
LilCamper Wed 09-May-18 19:18:58

If it is dry food try scatter feeding him in the garden or using a feeding toy.

picklemepopcorn Wed 09-May-18 19:19:24

I put the food down on a rag rug. It works for biscuits and raw food. Wet food would be a bit gross though... maybe a plastic place mat?

Is he neurotic about other things?

LilCamper Wed 09-May-18 19:19:30

Bowls are a human idea.

missbattenburg Wed 09-May-18 19:22:23

Could he be having a reaction to the food and just (wrongly) associating it with the bowl?

I'm thinking the emergence of an allergy or other intolerance to the ingredients that leave him feeling a bit rough or nauseous?

Goodasgoldilox Wed 09-May-18 21:04:43

It could still have to do with the new baby - and your pregnancy before that if it started during that time. The changes in you will have been felt by your dog. I've heard of this having effects on the household dog (or cat) .

SpanielsAreNuts Wed 09-May-18 22:36:13

Is it dried food? If so try just scattering it on floor for him to find. - most dogs love that method and no way he can decide bowl is scary, as there is no bowl!

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 09-May-18 23:07:06

@Colditz I love your description of dogs being hilariously superstitious - totally accurate in so many ways but I'd never thought of it that way before

@OP terriers are funny animals (I also have a JRT x). I've no proper suggestions, but have you tried moving the bowl to another place in the room? Snuffle mats, scatter feeding, kongs and so on are all excellent ideas for feeding your dog even if it doesn't have issues

Littleredboat Wed 09-May-18 23:08:28

My money is on his mouth hurting for some reason and he thinks the bowl is doing it.

tabulahrasa Wed 09-May-18 23:22:57

I’d bet money on something being sore as well... mine has a bad back, he’s adamant it’s all sorts of odd things that hurt his back rather than that it just twinges.

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