Are you guilty of giving parts of your meal to your furry friend under the table?
Does your dog sit under there even when nobody’s eating?
Can something seemingly harmless be an indicator of something serious?
Whatever the reason may be, you’ll find it here.
So read on to discover if your dog sits under the table because they:
- Want to be close to you.
- Feel anxious or frightened.
- Found their perfect “hiding” spot.
- Smell and want some of your food.
- Heard a loud noise and are confused.
- And tons more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog sit under the table?
- 7 reasons why your dog sits under the table
- 5 tips on what to do if your dog sits under the table
Why does my dog sit under the table?
Dogs sit under the table because they hope that you’ll give them some of your food. They also find safety in sitting or hiding under furniture in general. A need for private space and wanting to be close to you are also two other motivations for this behavior.
7 reasons why your dog sits under the table
#1: “Can I have some of that?”
Of course, the very obvious reason is that your dog can smell your food. And they want some of it.
If your dog’s in the kitchen while you’re cooking and/or eating, chances are they might think they can get some.
They’re like behaving while they’re supervising you, so what does a good boy get in return? Food.
A lot of human foods are safe and nutritious for dogs.
However, there are also many toxic ones including:
- Macadamia nuts.
- Onions and garlic.
- Human medicine.
- Grapes and raisins.
- Fat trimmings from meat.
- Caffeine (coffee, tea, etc).
- Milk and other dairy products.
- Chocolate (all kinds of chocolate).
- Bones (can splinter, block, or cause cuts in your dog’s digestive system).
- Raw eggs, meat, and fish (high chance of food poisoning from salmonella or E. coli).
- Xylitol (foods that are sweetened with it such as candy, gum, baked goods, and some diet foods.
Warning: Persimmons, peaches, and plums have seeds that can block your dog’s intestine. Also, note that peaches and plums have cyanide that’s poisonous to both dogs and humans. Salty foods can cause sodium ion poisoning which can be lethal.
#2: “This is my purrfect spot”
Your dog might’ve chosen under the table as his personal spot because of convenience.
It’s 2021 and a dog’s need for their own private space should be acknowledged more if anything.
Not all dogs are lap dogs – and there’s nothing wrong with ones that are.
Some pups just want a breather sometimes if they get overwhelmed or bothered by people or other dogs.
And some want to be by themselves because that’s just how they’re wired.
#3: “What’s going on? I’m scared.”
Fireworks, sirens, and thunderstorms; loud bursts of sounds that scare dogs.
When your dog’s unsure what’s happening, especially noise-related, they react in fear. It’s natural.
I think it’s safe to say we humans can relate too.
Know how sometimes your heart skips a beat at the loud sound of an object dropping?
That’s how it’s for dogs, but much more magnified because they can hear 4 times more than the average human.
So if something startles them, they find a place to hide because they feel unsafe.
If your dog sits under the table in these instances, then that’s likely where they find security.
#4: “I don’t feel so good…”
An indicator that your dog’s unwell is if they’re hiding under furniture, not just tables.
If it’s not typical behavior of your dog to sit under the table, something might be up with them.
They may be injured or ill, physically and/or mentally.
While you can’t be sure what they’re feeling physically, you can tell how they’re doing mentally.
Do you have people over for a party? The sounds may scare your dog. They might even act aggressively.
Are these people overcrowding your dog? Your pooch will feel overwhelmed so they’ll retreat to a place where they can hide to feel safe.
Are you mad or having an argument with someone? Your dog knows and this affects how they react.
#5: “I want your feet, human.”
Sometimes, dogs just want to be close to their humans. Even if it means sitting under the table while hearing you chew.
They don’t even need food – they just need you.
If your dog lies at your feet while you eat, best believe they just want to be with you.
Physical contact is the most effective way to show affection, so that’s one way to do it.
There shouldn’t be any problem with that; you have the cutest feet warmers in the world!
Don’t forget to check out: 9 little-known reasons why dogs like feet (obsessively)
#6: “Ooh, what’s that?”
Uh-oh! You might’ve left something under the table that shouldn’t be there.
This is why I’m always skeptical when I don’t hear my dog, Lissa, making sounds when she’s not asleep. Especially when they’re not in my sight.
Because that could only mean they’re busy with something they found interesting. And are chewing it most of the time.
This applies to all kinds of tables, by the way.
You wouldn’t believe how many times I needed to buy a new set of pens. Not to mention if you drop lipgloss… Lissa would be the first to investigate what that tasty-smelling thing is.
#7: “I think I have to go now…”
The most heartbreaking, inevitable thing that happens to all dog parents.
Do you know how dogs suddenly withdraw themselves from the very people they love? They also lose interest in things, as objects and stuff happening around the house.
This occurs when they sense they’re about to depart.
No two dogs are born the same way, so other dogs might seek attention more from their parents.
But the ones that choose to stay away are silent and just want to be alone.
Most fur parents would say their dog “told” them that said fur baby’s about to pass, but that’s not the case.
Dogs don’t “detach” themselves from us when they’re declining to spare our feelings.
That’s merely fiction we humans wrote ourselves to possibly lessen our pain.
Dogs stay away because they’d rather die peacefully. So them sitting under the table for no reason might be a sign that it’s about time.
5 tips on what to do if your dog sits under the table
#1: Give the good boy/girl some food
I’ve mentioned the toxic foods before.
Now let’s look at the good ones:
- White rice (good for an upset stomach).
- Bananas (have magnesium for bone health).
- Pork and turkey (cooked with no seasoning).
- Popcorn (plain – without salt, butter, or sugar).
- Watermelon (make sure to remove all the seeds).
- Blueberries (a rich source of fiber and antioxidants).
- Fish (salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids).
- Cucumbers (good for dogs on a diet and has vitamin K).
- Green beans (a good source of calcium, iron, and vitamin K).
- Carrots (help remove plaque and a good source of vitamin A).
- Peanut butter (unsalted and unsweetened; watch out for xylitol).
- Chicken (plain and boiled with no seasoning helps an upset stomach).
- Apples (help regulate a dog’s digestion and a good source of vitamins A and C).
- Dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and plain yogurt, but only in very small quantities).
These are just some of the human foods that are healthy and nutritious to dogs.
Note: Whatever you’re feeding your pooch, make sure you give in moderation. To put it simply, make sure the snack you give is no more than 10% of your dog’s whole daily meal.
Even if obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs, keep them healthy.
Remember: prevention is always better than cure.
#2: Let your dog know there’s nothing to worry about
Your dog might be anxious if they exhibit the following:
- Pacing or shaking.
- Whining or barking.
- Hiding or escape behavior.
- Yawning, drooling and licking.
- Avoidance or displacement behavior.
- Changes in eyes, ears, body posture, and bodily functions.
In order to help your dog, you have to remove them from the cause of their stress/anxiety. But if you’re unsure what the stressor is, here are some ways to help your anxious dog:
- Plenty of exercises.
- Physical contact – pick them up, cuddle them, and give them a long petting session.
- Massage – your dog’s muscles tense up due to anxiety so this can help alleviate the tension.
- Music therapy – calming and relaxing music can help block scary noises.
- Time-out: isolate your dog and put them in a quiet place where they can chill and rest.
- Anxiety wraps – gives a swaddling effect that dogs love.
Alternative therapies may work too, but consult your vet to avoid putting your dog at risk.
You see, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your dog’s behavior.
If you are, you can easily tell if they’re licking their lips because they’re anxious or because they want a treat.
So the next time you see your dog come out of hiding and is now lying on the carpet or wherever, reward them. This teaches them that they shouldn’t be scared.
#3: Be mindful around your dog
What if you’re the stressor that’s causing anxiety and other mental disorders to your dog?
I hope that’s not the case, but if it is, be mindful of the way you act around your dog.
If you raise your voice a lot, consider minimizing that.
Do not yell at your dog or threaten them with physical punishment.
Punishment after any misbehavior is likely to elicit anxiety associated with your presence.
Remember that dogs have very sensitive hearing. They’re capable of distinguishing human emotions from what they see too.
Don’t expect your dog to just get over chaotic things (to them) that bring them stress. Sensitization is counterproductive in this context.
They don’t just “get over it;” it sticks with them and affects them immensely. They’ll end up developing more unwanted behavior and psychological issues.
Regardless of how annoying they’re being, nobody has the right to inflict pain on them.
So instead of resorting to punishment, practice positive reinforcement.
#4: Respect your dog’s need for personal space
If they’ve chosen under the table to be their spot, respect it. Let them have it.
As mentioned before, some dogs are just the way they are.
They take a liking to random things. And if they mean no harm, why not just let them be?
But if they’re chewing the foot of the table, teach them that that’s unacceptable.
You can do this by interrupting them and diverting their attention to something else.
Dogs with destructive behavior usually need an outlet for excess energy. But it can also be any of the following:
- Medical problems.
- Separation anxiety.
- Fears and phobias.
- Teething (in puppies).
- Attention-seeking behavior.
- Boredom or social isolation.
- Inconsistent feeding routines.
- Inappropriate punishment (don’t be mean to your dog!).
- Play behavior (accompanied with digging, shredding, etc).
- Investigative behavior (pawing and exploring objects with their mouths).
- Predatory behavior (if they’re trying to pursue something underneath floorboards).
#5: Socialization and being in tune with your dog
Your dog is your responsibility, and that doesn’t mean you just have to provide food and shelter for them.
Taking care of dogs is a lot of work. And that’s an understatement.
Introduce your dog to new sights, sounds, and smells. Expose them to different people and other dogs. This will make them less fearful.
This is called socialization and it plays a big factor in a dog’s life. It’s what shapes them into how you want them to behave and act.
Ideally, this is done in the early puppy stages. But if you have an older dog that isn’t properly socialized, you can still teach them.
It’ll just take longer, but love and patience, above anything, is what’s required from you the most as a dog parent.