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Why Does My Dog Leave One Piece of Food? 4 Possible Reasons | Pet Keen

Animals exhibit a lot of perplexing behavior that we don’t understand. One of the most curious behaviors you might notice in your dog is leaving one kernel of food in his bowl when he’s done eating. Since your dog can’t use words to tell us why he’s doing so, we have to make an educated guess as to why he’s doing that.

Keep reading to find four possible reasons your pup could be leaving a single morsel of food at the end of every meal.divider-dog

4 Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Leaves One Piece of Food

1. He’s Conserving Food

Your dog may be leaving one single morsel of food in his bowl to conserve food. This could be a behavior carried over by your dog’s ancestors. The general idea is that if they save a little bit of food from their meal, they’ll have something to eat the next day.

Dogs have an instinct to conserve food because they didn’t always have easy access to food in the wild. Your dog’s ancestors may have had a habit of conserving food to ensure that they’ll always have food to return to and won’t go hungry.

You might also notice your dog carrying his food to other areas of your home and storing it for later use. This is another behavior that’s been genetically ingrained in him from his wild ancestors. When wild dogs hid their food, they always knew that they’d have something readily available for eating if they don’t have a good hunting day.

french bulldog eating
Image Credit: Tienuskin, Shutterstock

2. He Doesn’t Want an Empty Bowl

Your dog might leave a single kernel of food in his bowl simply because he doesn’t like seeing an empty bowl.

It may be that your dog has started to associate hunger with an empty bowl. By leaving a little bit of food in his bowl at the end of the meal, he won’t be able to make that association.

Dogs can also sometimes be afraid of their own reflection staring back at them from a stainless-steel bowl. If this is the case with your pooch, leaving one piece of food in his bowl will make it difficult for him to see his reflection.

Havanese dog eating
Image Credit: Boryana Manzurova, Shutterstock

3. He’s Not Hungry

Another potential reason for leaving a piece of food in the bowl is that he’s no longer hungry. Many dogs can self-regulate and know to stop eating when they’re satiated, even if that means leaving one single kibble left over. This may be a more likely scenario if you’re offering too much food. Try giving your dog a slightly smaller portion at his next meal to see if he will eat everything.

Labrador dog eating
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

4. He Doesn’t See It

Finally, the fourth and final reason your dog is leaving one piece of food in his bowl may just be that he can’t see it. Many dogs are unable to see down because their nose and snout are in the way blocking their view. This blind spot can make it difficult for your dog to see toys, treats, or his food—even if it’s literally right under his nose.


Final Thoughts

Dogs exhibit a lot of strange behaviors, and leaving a single morsel of food behind in their bowl is one of those things we may never completely understand.

If you’re noticing that your dog begins leaving more and more food in his bowl at the end of his meals, you may want to make an appointment with your vet. Any changes in appetite should be assessed to confirm there isn’t something more serious going on with your pup’s health.

Featured Image Credit: Karsten Wineagart, Unsplash

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: WATPFC