Do you have a dog that likes to inhale their food? This post is for you! Today we’ll be taking a look at some of the risks associated with this style of eating as well as what you can do to help your dog slow down at meal time – including our top picks for the best dog food bowls for fast eaters as well as a few other handy slow-feed options you might like to try at home with your dog.
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Why eating fast is bad for your dog
As if the immediate risk of choking wasn’t bad enough, dog’s that gorge or inhale their food are also at a significantly greater risk of developing bloat and/or gastric torsion (twisted stomach). Whilst some dogs are more pre-disposed to this condition than others, left untreated bloat/gastric torsion can be fatal in a matter of hours.
Other nasty side effects of eating too fast include regurgitation (vomiting after eating), gas and gastrointestinal discomfort.
How to slow your dog down at mealtime
Slow feed dog bowls, puzzle feeders and food dispensing dog toys are all great options for encouraging your dog to slow down at mealtime. Not only do they promote chewing and improved digestion, they’re also more mentally stimulating for your dog too. Win-win!
8 BEST DOG FOOD BOWLS FOR FAST EATERS
Small to large sizes available. Vet recommended. Improves digestion. Non-slip base. Made from food-safe materials.
Holds up to 4 cups of dry kibble.
Helps dog eat up to 10x slower. Vet recommended. Non-slip base, made from food-safe materials.
Ideal slow feeder for small to medium breeds.
Made from food safe materials and is easy to clean. Holds up to 2 cups of dry food.
Suitable for wet or dry dog food. Holds up to 20.2 fl oz (600ml). Can be used as a food or water bowl. Dishwasher safe.
OTHER SLOW FEED OPTIONS TO TRY...
1) Food Dispensing Dog Toys
Kongs and wobbling treat-dispensing toys like the Bob-a-lot are great for slowing your dogs down at mealtime as they only dispense 1-2 pieces of kibble at a time. Additionally, your dog has to work to get the food to come out which means they are mentally stimulating as well – great for canine enrichment!
Holds up to 3 cups of dry dog food. Weighted anti-slip bottom makes the toy wobble erratically enticing your dog to play.
Top tip – Kongs can be stuffed with just about anything, wet food included. Make meal time more interesting by mixing up your ingredients or try freezing your Kong in Summer time to extend meal time fun even more .
2) Puzzle Feeders and Snuffle Mats
3) DIY Slow Feeders and Scatter Feeding
Slow feeders needn’t be expensive, you can easily make your own with objects you already have lying around the house. Take the trusty tennis ball for example, simply put it in your dog’s bowl along with their kibble and watch them navigate around it to get the food out.
You could even use an old muffin pan or egg carton as a dog bowl – they work the same as the specialised slow feeder bowls featured above!
Finally, why not try scatter feeding? Simply toss your dog’s kibble on the ground outside and watch them forage for their food! They’ll be forced to chew each piece individually, in turn slowing down feed-time and improving their digestion in the process. Just be sure to check that they aren’t leaving any food behind that might attract pests!