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Slow Feeding your Dog

There are a lot of dogs out there that inhale their food like they are a vacuum. I have two of them! When you watch them eat you wonder, "did they even taste the food or just swallow it hole"? There are several reasons why feeding your dog slower is important.

  1. If your dog eats to fast it can cause them to choke or vomit. That is not healthy or safe for your dog.

  2. It can cause Bloat. Bloat is where dogs take in two much air when they are drinking or eating and the air that gets in the stomach or intestines cause the stomach to flip. This is very dangerous, painful, and life threatening for a dog. There are certain breeds that are more prone to getting bloat.

  3. When your dog is eating, it is giving them something to do, and when they eat to fast, they are done within minutes and looking for something else to get into. When you feed them slower, they are occupied longer, and are more satisfied when they are done.

There are several options to feeding your dog slower.

  1. Slow feed bowls - They come in different designs. Some look like a maze in the bowl and other have thick pegs sticking up that the dogs has to eat around. These are convenient because you just have to dump the food in and give it to the dog. It doesn't make noise and it slows them down enough to were they aren't choking or have the possibility of bloat. To make your own slow feed bowl, just get two different size bowls and put the smaller bowl upside down in the larger bowl and put the food in between the two bowls.

  2. Food dispensing toys - There are a lot different food dispensing toys out there. My favorite is the Bob-A-Lot toy. You put the food in the top of the toy and on the side is the door were the food comes out. You can open the door all the way so it is easy for the dog to get the food out or you can close the door enough to where only one kibble comes out at a time. I like this toy because it takes them some time to eat and when they are done, they are tired. I tell my clients to use this when they need to get ready for work or when they are cooking dinner. Another food dispensing toy is the Kong Wobbler. It is very similar to the Bob-A-Lot but not as easy to use. There are a lot of food dispensing toys out there. Just find the one that best fits you.

  3. Animal Kennel Club say to use a cookie sheet or muffin tin. I think this is ingenious. The cookie sheet allows the food to spread out enough to where it will take longer for the dog to eat and the muffin tin spreads out the food into little compartments so the dog has to go to each compartment to eat.

  4. The last method is hand feeding. This is probably the most time consuming one. You can either sit there and hand feed your dog one piece of kibble at a time or you can feed them their dinner or breakfast while you are training them.

I feel slowing down your dog while they are eating is very important and there are cheap ways to do it! But making your dog work for the food with either a food dispensing toy or hand feeding it the best way to go. It lets them use their minds and they are tired afterwards.

Here are some links to different food dispensing toys.

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