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9 Reasons Your Dog Eats One Kibble at a Time

Last Updated: October 29, 2023

Have you ever noticed your dog eating one kibble at a time? It can be strange and frustrating behavior for pet owners to witness, especially if they’re used to seeing their dog wolf down their food in a matter of seconds. However, dogs may choose to eat one kibble at a time, and understanding these reasons can help you better understand your furry friend’s behavior.

Dogs may eat one kibble at a time due to dental issues, slow feeding, savoring the flavor and making the food last, boredom, anxiety, gastrointestinal discomfort, instincts, or the size and shape of the kibble.

Dogs are complex creatures, and many factors, including physical health, environment, and psychology, can influence their behavior. This article will explore some of the most common reasons dogs eat one kibble at a time, from dental issues to instincts.

By gaining a deeper understanding of your dog’s behavior, you can become a more attentive and compassionate pet owner and help ensure your furry friend is happy and healthy.

Why does my dog eat one kibble at a time? A Dog Looking at His Bowl of Kibble.

Why Does My Dog Eat One Kibble at a Time?

You’ve bought your dog a new bowl and spent time ensuring you get him the most delicious nutritious food. You give him his meal excitedly and watch him take one piece of kibble at a time!

You wonder why he exhibits this strange eating behavior. Let’s dive into 9 reasons why your dog chows his dry food piece by piece.

Savoring The Flavor 

Check this out from your dog’s perspective!

As a dog, I can tell you that some of us are just real foodies! We love to savor the flavor of our meals, and one kibble at a time is the way to do it. 

It’s like a little taste explosion in our mouths with each bite. Who wouldn’t want to take their time and enjoy that?

I mean, think about it. Humans have all sorts of fancy foods and drinks that they savor and enjoy, so why can’t we have our version with kibble? More so if it has interesting toppings such as chicken or meat.

Plus, it’s not like we can just head to a restaurant and order some fancy cuisine, so we make do with what we have. And sometimes the simplest things, like a tasty kibble, can bring us the most joy.


Do you know how sometimes you can get bored during a meal? Maybe you start playing with your food or taking small bites to pass the time. 

Well, apparently, dogs can experience the same thing. In fact, some dogs may eat one kibble at a time during their mealtime just to alleviate their boredom.

It’s like a little game for them, where they have to work for each piece of food. 

This can help stimulate their minds and keep them from getting restless during mealtime. It’s also a way for them to slow their eating, which can benefit their digestion.

So, if you notice your pup taking their time with their food, don’t worry – they might just be trying to have a little fun while they eat.

Of course, this is easily solvable – ensure you provide sufficient mental and physical stimulation for your furry friend.

Two Dogs Eating Kibble one by one

Making Food Last

Have you ever been given a delicious meal, but you didn’t want it to end? Well, it turns out that some dogs feel the same way. 

If they enjoy their food, they may eat one kibble at a time to make it last longer. It’s like savoring every bite of a delicious meal.

By eating slowly and enjoying each piece of food, dogs can prolong the eating experience and make it more satisfying. I wish I could say the same when I’m devouring my chocolate!

This behavior can also be helpful for dogs who tend to eat too quickly, as it forces them to slow down and chew their food more thoroughly. 

So, if you see your furry friend taking their time with their food, it might just mean they’re trying to make it last as long as possible.

Size and Shape of Kibble 

Have you ever tried to eat a really big piece of food in one bite but found it difficult? Well, it turns out that dogs may experience the same thing. 

The size and shape of their kibble can play a role in whether or not they eat one at a time.

If the kibble is too large or awkwardly shaped, it may be difficult for your dog to eat multiple pieces at once. As a result, they may opt to eat one at a time instead.

On the other hand, if the kibble is small and easy to handle, the dog may be more likely to eat multiple pieces at once. 

The size and shape of the kibble can play a role in your dog’s eating behavior. Some owners like to choose a breed-specific kibble for this very reason.

Attention-Seeking Behavior  

Do you know how sometimes your dog does weird things just to get your attention? Well, apparently, eating one kibble at a time during mealtime can be one of those things. 

It’s like they’re saying, “Hey, look at me! I’m doing something different!”

Of course, it’s also a way for them to prolong the mealtime experience and keep you around for a little longer. 

I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend more time with their favorite human? It’s like they’re saying, “I love you so much, I want to make this meal last forever!” And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to be loved that much?

Dog Eating Kibble

Toothache or Other Dental Discomforts 

If your dog has a toothache or other dental discomfort, it may take longer to eat its food, resulting in one kibble at a time.

It makes sense if you think about it. If you have a toothache, the last thing you want to do is chomp down on a big piece of food. 

The same goes for dogs – if their teeth hurt, they may hesitate to eat too quickly or aggressively. 

So, if you notice your pup taking their time with their food, it might be worth checking their teeth and gums to make sure they’re not experiencing any discomfort. After all, nobody likes a toothache – not even our furry friends!

Training Behavior 

Did you know that some dogs are better trained than most humans? Well, dogs can be trained to eat one kibble at a time as part of a training program or behavior modification.

It’s like their version of obedience school – instead of learning how to sit and stay, they’re learning how to eat slowly and carefully. 

I’m jealous. I wish I had a personal trainer to teach me how to eat healthier and more mindfully. Maybe I should start taking tips from my furry friends!

Welsh Corgi Puppies Eating From a Bowl

Prolonging Mealtime 

You know how sometimes you just want to savor your meal and make it last as long as possible? Well, dogs feel the same way. 

They may eat one kibble at a time to prolong the mealtime experience and enjoy their owner’s attention.

It’s like they’re saying, “Hey, I’m enjoying this meal and I want to make it last as long as possible.” 

I get it. We’re not so different than our furry friends! I’ll take tiny bites of my food to enjoy it.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

If dogs eat too quickly or too aggressively, it can aggravate their stomach and cause gastrointestinal discomfort

That’s why some dogs must eat slowly, one kibble at a time, to avoid this problem.

It’s like they have their built-in reminder to take it easy and enjoy their food leisurely. 

And you know what? Maybe we should take a cue from our furry friends and do the same. After all, nobody likes a stomach ache – not even dogs!

So, next time you watch your dog eat one kibble at a time, remember that they’re doing it for their health and well-being. 

And who knows, maybe it’ll inspire you to slow down and savor your meals a little more!


Why Does My Dog Eat One Piece of Food at a Time?

Dogs may eat one kibble at a time for various reasons such as boredom, making food last longer, attention-seeking behavior, dental discomfort, training, or gastrointestinal discomfort. Observing your dog’s eating habits is essential, and consult a veterinarian if you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms.

Should I Train My Dog To Eat One Kibble at a Time?

Training your dog to eat one kibble at a time is unnecessary. If your dog tends to eat too quickly, you may consider using a slow feeder bowl, such as the Outward Hound Fun Feeder from Amazon, or other methods to encourage slower eating habits. Consult with a vet before changing your dog’s diet or eating habits.

Do Dogs Get Bored Of The Same Kibble?

Like humans, dogs get bored with the same food daily. It’s important to offer your dog a balanced diet to provide nutrients and prevent boredom. You can consider rotating different types of kibble or softening dry food by adding wet and fresh ingredients to your meals.

However, make any dietary changes gradually and consult a veterinarian to ensure your dog’s nutritional needs are met.

Is It Ok To Give Your Dogs Two Kinds Of Kibble?

Giving your dog two kinds of kibble is generally okay as long as they are both nutritionally balanced and appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and health needs. Mixing kibble can add variety to your dog’s diet and may help prevent boredom or picky eating habits. 

However, it’s important to introduce new foods gradually and monitor your dog’s reaction to ensure they don’t develop any digestive issues.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.
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