My Dog Won’t Eat Unless I Watch Him

Besides being curious and inquisitive, some dogs also have weird eating habits. The root of this behavior in puppies is genetic and linked to their wolf ancestors. In the wild, foxes, wolves, and jackals hunt and eat in packs. Your fur friend understands that you and him are in the same pack. Therefore, it is no wonder your dog won’t eat unless you watch him.

However, a picky eater’s appetite can be affected by the atmosphere surrounding mealtime. Your fur friend may be nervous or anxious and will not eat in your absence.

Is It Normal That Your Dog Only Eats When You Are There?

It is common for pet owners to feed young puppies just like you would a baby. Over time, your rover will get accustomed to your presence during mealtime. Even so, canines, just like humans, are social animals and will feel comfortable eating in your company.

Nevertheless, your rover may go on a food strike if left alone because of factors. They include anxiety, the feeling of being insecure, and even due to a close relationship.

Separation Anxiety Affects Your Dogs Eating Habit

Socializing your fido can help reduce behavioral complications, and it can enhance the quality of your pet’s life. It is not uncommon behavior if your four-legged friend enjoys eating, only when you are near.

However, leaving your rover alone all day creates separation anxiety in pets. Your fur friend hates being away from you for a long time. A dog with extreme anxiety will act scared to be in a room alone. An anxious dog can express frustration by refusing to eat in your absence.

What to Expect if Your Dog Suffers from Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety occurs when your puppy is stressed because of your absence. This condition is more severe than ordinary boredom or lack of interest. It can easily be mistaken for bad behavior rather than a condition that needs expert attention. 

Besides refusing to eat, a dog with this condition will bark and haul excessively. Your puppy may also exhibit destructive behavior like chewing and digging around exits.

Can Safety Affect How Your Dog Eats When You Are Away? 

Any discomfort can affect a pet’s appetite. In your absence, your home can still be a beehive of activity. Your fur friend may find it frustrating to deal with a ringing phone, doorbell, and postman visit. These distractions can make it strenuous for your rover to relax in solitude.

Even humans can find it difficult to eat when in an unconducive environment. Similarly, your pet may show the same sentiments by not eating in your absence. More so, it may be that your four-legged friend does not feel safe and needs you to guard him during mealtime.


Your closeness with your pet is one of the reasons your fur friend may not be willing to eat unless you watch him. Today, it is not uncommon to find puppies who are considered family by their owners. It can also be for this reason that your four-legged friend will not eat in your absence.

However, by training your dog to be independent, this behavior can change without breaking this bond.

How to Make Your Dog Eat in Your Absence

Remedies to help your dog feed in your absence may vary from one fido to another.  It also depends on the reason or the cause of your dog’s refusal to eat unless you are present in the room. Even so, teaching your puppy to eat without you may take days or years. 

One way to modify this behavior is by increasing levels of confidence in your rover. Motivate your fur friend by tossing a treat when you leave. More so, praise your puppy for staying calm and leave without triggering emotions. It is also helpful to exhibit normal behavior around unexpected visitors and strange noises. Over time, fido will learn to stay calm and not give importance to these distractions.


It is normal to have your canine accustomed to eating with you. However, it can be a sign of an underlying problem if your pet refuses to eat in your absence.

Sometimes, separation anxiety and the feeling of insecurity can also affect your dog’s eating habits. Even so, with patience and teaching, this weird behavior can be modified.  Over time, your four-legged friend can learn to eat in your absence.

1 thought on “My Dog Won’t Eat Unless I Watch Him

  1. Kristina Greenwell

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