But sometimes, your dog won’t chew while eating their meals. And that is a worrying situation for most pet owners who worry about dog health.
If you’re a worried dog parent, read on to find out why your dog doesn’t chew food and how you can address the situation.
If you’ve adopted a dog from the wild, one that lived in the streets, or one from a shelter, you might notice that your dog doesn’t chew. Instead, the dog seems to inhale its food.
In the wild, dogs eat their food as quickly as they can. They have to gulp the food down and worry about protecting themselves.
If they move in a pack, they share the hunted food. Naturally, the quicker they gulp it down, the more they get.
Canines have pointed teeth, and their throats can expand to gulp a large piece of food. Plus, unlike human beings, they are not naturally inclined toward savoring and tasting food.
Their primary urge is to fill up their empty bellies.
Due to these biological reasons, dogs sometimes may not chew their food. They may gulp it down.
This doesn’t mean dogs shouldn’t chew their food at all.
Ideally, their chew and didn’t chew ratio should be 7:3 in ten food intakes. It’s okay to skip chewing occasionally, but if it’s repeated practice, there may be an underlying problem.
And eating too quickly without chewing can cause an upset stomach.
Although your dog is not interested in savoring each bit of what it eats, dogs do have a taste for food and treats. If you serve them food they don’t like, they’ll only eat it to fill their bellies and won’t take time to chew.
They want to get done with it as quickly as possible. You can address this by changing your dog’s diet.
Your dog may not also be enjoying the meal because of a sense of insecurity. If you have too many dogs at your place, your dog may feel that it’ll have to fight for its food. Due to this feeling, it’ll refuse to chew and eat as much as possible.
Similarly, a steel or glass dog bowl can keep your dog from chewing. Your dog’s mouth collides with the bowl and makes a startling noise. And this worries and startles your dog, thus impacting its eating experience.
You can use plastic dog bowls to solve this problem. Also, give your dog a single layer of food every time you feed them.
As a result, you may have to increase the count of meals and decrease the quantity given per meal.
Food is too easy to swallow
Dogs go by their instincts by default if there is no need to chew. If you give them small pieces of raw dog food or giblets, dogs will grab them with their sharp teeth or tongues and swallow them whole.
But if you serve your dog with large pieces of raw dog food, you force them to chew. They’ll have to tear the meat into smaller bites and then chew.
So, giving your dog bigger pieces of raw or even cooked food is best.
When you do not care well for your dog’s teeth or if your dog explores every new thing with its teeth, it may develop dental problems.
Owing to these dental problems, the dog may have trouble chewing.
When dogs refuse to chew due to their dental problems, there are usually several other accompanying symptoms.
You may notice excessive saliva, bad breath, drowsiness, or an overall decline in health. We recommend taking your dog to the vet in this case.
Encourage dogs to chew their food
Pet parents must understand why dogs don’t chew their food so they can find the right strategy to encourage their dogs to chew their food.
Slow feeding bowls
One of the main reasons why dogs don’t chew food is that they eat too fast.
Some dogs are notorious for gulping down their meals in seconds due to excitement or competition with other pets in the household.
Slow-feeding food bowls use ridges and barriers, making it challenging for dogs to eat quickly. These bowls promote slower eating habits, giving your dog more time to chew their food.
Introduce variety in meals
Like humans, dogs also get bored eating the same thing every day.
If your dog is uninterested in his regular kibble, add some variety by mixing it with wet food or introducing new flavors occasionally.
This will make mealtime more exciting for your pup and encourage them to savor each bite.
Use treat-dispensing toys
Treat dispensing puzzle toys provide mental stimulation and help improve chewing habits.
Fill these toys with kibble or treats that work to retrieve them.
This will keep them occupied while promoting healthy chewing habits.
Praise good chewing behavior
Positive reinforcement goes a long way. When you see your dog taking time to chew his food, reward him with praise or a small treat immediately after the meal.
Provide dental chews
Dental chews promote good dental health and encourage proper chewing habits.
These chews make your dog work while cleaning their teeth.
Consider a diet change
If you have tried these strategies but your dog still doesn’t chew food, consider changing his diet.
Some dogs may struggle to chew due to underlying dental issues or jaw pain.
Consult your veterinarian to determine if switching to softer or wet food would help your pet.
Final words on why dogs don’t chew
Summing up, swallowing food whole and refusing to chew is normal behavior in dogs.
But if it prolongs or happens to be accompanied by other alarming symptoms and behavioral changes, you should tackle it immediately and effectively by talking with your vet.