5 tips to preventing your dog from stealing food

dog looking at food kept on the table

Why do dogs steal food? Or how do I stop my dog from stealing food? Most of the dog owners might have asked these questions to themselves on several occasions.

Trust us; these are the questions that we get on a regular basis. It’s a busy day; you are running through multiple household chores. You might be forced to leave that packed sandwich at the kitchen counter to answer the phone or the door only to come back to a spotless counter. How annoying will that be?

Counter surfing or stealing food tendency in dogs can be common, this post will feature some actionable tips that you can try to prevent your pooch from stealing food.

Practice some management tips

The first tip to try is to manage yourself prior to trying to manage your dog. Dogs are natural scavengers and they tend to grab any opportunity which involves food, especially when they are hungry.

Foresee this possibility and ensure that you do not leave the food unattended or within the reach of your dog.

You can put your dog in a crate or tether while you are cooking.

Feed your dog consistently

This doesn’t mean that you have to ensure you he is always full and content. If you take this the wrong way, he can be obese and start struggling with the related health concerns in no time.

Ensure that your dog is not hungry. Have a regular feeding routine and stick to it. This will also help you to shape your dog’s hunger with respect to the feeding pattern.

If you still find your dog actively jumping on the counter, consider the possibility of any underlying health issue. A veterinary visit is the next best option in such scenarios.

Single bowl is the trick

Use one and only one bowl to feed your dog. It might mean that you have to up your dishwashing frequency, but it will be worth it when comparing with counter surfing or food stealing.

Have your pooch feed on the bowl and prevent him from having anything from the dining table at any cost.

Also, consider the location while feeding him those daily midday snacks. Tossing him snack or leftover bit of the sandwich while cooking can encourage him to associate the location with food. This way the kitchen will be the first place he raids when he is hungry and you are not around.

 Do not oblige to begging

Your dog can put to show the best sad face ever when he is hungry. Do not cave in and throw him food while you are busy doing any work in the kitchen or while having dinner.

Beware that your dog might not be hungry, he is just craving what you are eating or cooking. Stick to the feeding schedule and maybe you can even include bits and pieces of this pieces his diet, later on, provided it does not belong to this toxic food list for dogs.

Train your dog

Training dog not to jump on the kitchen counter or lie on the ground when food is around are practical options to oppose food stealing tendency in dogs. 

  • Use a stern “No” when your pooch is jumping on the counter.
  • Ask him repeatedly to lie down when food is around
  • If you find him with stolen food, train him to “leave it”
  • If he is sniffing or raiding the kitchen in search of food, ask him to go back to his crate

Remember to reward your dog each time he obliges. Use his favorite treats or toys to do so.

Training your dog to not steal food can be time-consuming. Try these pointers and let us know how quickly you managed to eliminate the food stealing tendency in your dog.