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When you have a fast eater, it can be important to slow your dog’s eating. Pups that eat too fast can risk choking and bloat (a serious medical condition in dogs).
If your precious pup inhales food then you are in good company.
This is B.B. She loooves food. She snarfs it down as fast as she can and then goes to hover by our other dog. She lurks like a shark waiting for him to walk away so that she can help ‘clean his bowl’.
If your dog is also a card carrying member of the clean plate club here are some ways to help slow down their eating.
Please note: I am not a medical or veterinary professional. This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be seen as professional advice. Full disclaimer available here.
4 Effective Ways to Slow Your Dog’s Eating
1. Bowl Insert
If you already have a dog food bowl that you like then this is a nice option since you don’t have to purchase a whole new bowl. It turns your current bowl into a slow feeder.
An insert will take up space and divide the dog’s food so that they have to maneuver around it to get all the food, making them eat slower. A suction cup keeps the insert in place.
We got a slow feeder insert from Target several years ago. I have not seen them since (and none currently online) but here is a similar one on Amazon:
You could also try adding a tennis ball, but most dogs I know will just grab it out.
The suction cup on ours doesn’t work well since our pupper is very intense about licking every bit of her bowl but it’s not a deal breaker. She knocks it around a little but that’s mostly after she’s done with the kibble and licking for crumbs.
Pros: Don’t have to buy a whole new bowl.
Cons: The suction cup may not be very effective.
2. Puzzle Bowl
Maze feeder, slow feeder or puzzle feeder, these seem to be growing in popularity, which is great.
If you don’t want to purchase a whole new bowl you could also just use a muffin pan – put a little bit of food into each cavity. The idea is similar in that you are physically dividing your dog’s food into smaller portions.
Pros: If you don’t already have a bowl that you love this is a great option.
Cons: Depending on the bowl size, it’s slightly more expensive than just getting an insert. Could be difficult to clean between ridges.
3. Treat Ball
Treat balls have a hole on the side and empty space inside for you to fill with treats or kibble. The dog then pushes the ball around to dispense the kibble (like a puppy pinata). This slows down your dog’s eating since it only drops a piece or two of kibble with each rotation. It also gives your pupper mental stimulation as she works to get the food out.
Definitely supervise when you give your dog a filled treat ball. It could get stuck under furniture or if she’s determined enough your pup might try chewing the dispenser hole bigger. You don’t want any toy bits being eaten.
This has been a really effective option- it takes Baby Bear 20-30 minutes to eat her portion of food instead of less than 5.
Pros: Very effective at slowing eating and provides mental stimulation.
Cons: Difficult to clean. Have to remove ball when it gets stuck.
I first saw Kongs being used for feeding at a local animal shelter. They would fill the inside mostly with food and then top it off with a little peanut butter. Then they’d stick it in the freezer to harden the peanut butter. This gives the dogs some extra enrichment at meal time as they lick their way through the peanut butter then work to get the kibble out.
I haven’t tried this method of feeding- we’ve had 2 kong toys and they tend to disappear at my house. Anyone else?
Pros: Provides enrichment.
Cons: Food doesn’t stay in as well without peanut butter. Difficult to Clean.
(Check here for more info on feeding your pup peanut butter.)
Slowing down your pup’s eating can help to prevent stomach bloating which can lead to more serious health issues. Using one of these options can also give your dog some mental stimulation, which is always a bonus.
I hope these tips help you to slow your dog’s eating!
Let me know in the comments which method has been most effective with your pup. And if this post helped you, please share it with a friend!
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Hi, my name is Katy. I started this blog to help you infuse life with ease and joy by sharing recipes and tips for your fertility and lifestyle.
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