Does your dog scarf down food the second you put it in their bowl? Do they barely come up for air before the whole bowl is gone? Some dogs naturally pace themselves when they eat but others need some help to slow down when eating. Dogs that eat too quickly are at risk of experience stomach upset and overeating which can lead to obesity. Obesity is not just a problem humans experience; there is a dog obesity epidemic in America as well. Fortunately, there are some strategies and products that can help you teach your dog to slow down when eating.
There are some simple, no-cost ways to try to get your dog to slow down when eating. First, try putting a large toy or object in your dog’s bowl along with their food – something that is too big to eat/swallow. Your dog will be forced to eat around the object/s which will make them slow down to get the food they want. Another way to do this is with the use of two different sized bowls, one large and one small. Put the small bowl upside down inside the larger bowl. Pour the food around the edge and your dog will not be able to shove their whole face into the large bowl of food and just swallow everything rapidly. They will be forced to take smaller, more intentional bites as they work their way around the outside of the smaller bowl. Another approach is similar to a strategy that humans use when on a diet – eat small meals more frequently. Rather than pouring a big serving of food in your dog’s bowl each day, pour a small amount in a few times each day. Additionally, almost every household has a small muffin tin. Simply use the muffin tin for feeding your dog, rather than a bowl and your dog will have to take their time to get food out of each section which will slow them down.
While homemade feeding hacks are a great option, there are also some great options available for purchase as well. There are “slow-feeder bowls” available at most pet stores. This slow feeder bowl is great because it slows dogs down when their eating and is also interactive so it will provide mental stimulation and play for your dog as well. This cool silicone feeding mat is interactive, easily portable, an dishwasher safe! Finally, this “Gobble Stopper” can be used easily by adding it to any existing dog feeding bowl. It has a strong suction that helps it attach to your dog feeding bowl without worrying that your dog will be able to remove it. It creates just enough of a deterrent to slow your dog down while eating and prevent gobbling. By implementing any of these techniques or products, you can slow your dog down while eating for better and less aggressive behavior.