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Last updated: 01 Jul 2019

The Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls (Review) in 2019

Outward Hound Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

Outward Hound Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

The Company of Animals Green Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

The Company of Animals Green Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

AmazonBasics Dog Slow Feeder Bowl

AmazonBasics Dog Slow Feeder Bowl

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Dr Tracy Douglas
Published 08:53 am

Most of us take our time to finish our meal so we don’t have to suffer from indigestion. Besides, it simply isn’t polite to be gobbling up your plate like you’ve never eaten for a month or two especially if you’re in the company of others. But, try telling that to your dog, especially large and deep-chested ones, and you’ll only get a quizzed look. Eating too fast is one of the reasons why bloat occurs in dogs, not to mention predispose it to obesity.

And while you cannot teach them to go slow on their chow, you can at least use a slow feeder dog bowl to make it more challenging to access their food. In a way, you’re slowing down their rate of eating. And if in case you’re curious as to what comprises the best slow feeder dog bowls in the world, check out what we’ve got for you.

The Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

1

Without a doubt, one of the best slow feeder dog bowls on the planet, Outward Hound’s Fun Feeder Slo-Bowl is a meticulously designed food vessel that comes in different patterns and mazes to make it extra-challenging for dogs to access their food. Made of pet-safe materials that are guaranteed never to contain phthalates, PVC, or BPA, the Fun Feeder comes with numerous valleys and ridges that should keep your dog circling its food bowl just so it can angle its tongue correctly.

Integrated with a non-slip base, the Fun Feeder slow feeder bowl is stable enough that dog food won’t be spilled onto the floor as your canine friend ferociously attacks the bowl just so it can get its food. This slow eating dog bowl is purposely designed to make sure that Bongo will be eating 10-times slower than it normally does. With 4 color designs that come with 4 different patterns and mazes to choose from, this is one slow feeder dog bowl that you’d definitely want to get.

Specification:
  • Brand: Outward Hound
  • Model: 51001
  • Weight: 8 ounces

2

It is one thing to slow down your pet’s lightning-fast dinner manners; it’s another thing to deprive it of the thing that it loves the most. Siensync’s dog bowls for fast eaters offer just the right level of difficulty to get your dog to slow down with its gobbling tendencies without making it too difficult that your pet simply gives up trying. These dog bowls to slow down eating are made of the safest materials with a touch of eco-friendliness in them while ensuring you’ve got the toughest and most durable food vessel that will last many years.

The Siensync conjures images of Captain America’s nemesis, Hydra, except that it doesn’t come with the skull. Well, you get the idea. It only comes in one size, though, but fully capable of holding 2 cups of your dog’s favorite kibble or canned dog food. It’s made of high-quality ABS that makes it exceptionally easy to clean either by hand or via your dishwasher. It’s a great maze dog bowl for your four-legged gobbler.

Specification:
  • Brand: Siensync
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces

3

Resembling some of the pet water fountains in the market except that it doesn’t actually spew water out, the DuraPet slow feeder dog bowl takes on the more traditional design of a soup bowl – narrow at the bottom and wide on top. The only difference is that there is a dome right in the center making it more like a Bundt or Angel food cake pan with a tube in the center. This slow feeder dog bowl will not really slow down your pet’s voracious appetite that much since there are no mazes that will make your dog work harder for its food. It will have to turn around to access food from the rest of the ring, nonetheless.

Made of premium stainless steel with a fully rubberized bottom, the DuraPet can still be a good dog food bowl to slow down eating especially if you’re not really fond of using plastic materials for your pet. It’s completely dishwasher-safe and should look really cool on your ultra-modern floor.

Specification:
  • Brand: Durapet
  • Model: 2040010300
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces

4

PINJUM may not be a name that rings a bell, but it sure provides one of the best slow feeder dog bowls in the market. Featuring a slow dog bowl design that incorporate small towers and elongated ridges to form a unique fan-like pattern in the dog bowl, PINJUM’s slow feeder dog bowl is always a great option for pet parents wanting to reduce the speed at which their pooches gobble up their meal.

Constructed of eco-friendly ABS materials, this maze dog bowl should help keep your dog focused on its meal while figuring out how it needs to maneuver its head and tongue to lick the food off of the PINJUM. This slow feeder bowl only comes in on size, but it should be enough to cover the feeding requirements of small and medium breeds with its 2-cup maximum capacity. You could still perhaps feed your large dog breed on the PINJUM, depending on the number of cups you need to give your pet per feeding.

Specification:
  • Brand: PINJUM
  • Weight: 7 ounces

5

Mr. Peanut’s version of a dog food bowl to slow down eating is very similar to the DuraPet brand. The major difference is that Mr. Peanut’s comes with a more traditional dog food bowl shape which is wider at the bottom for greater stability. It comes in two sizes: a 2-cup medium and a 3.5-cup large. Despite these 2-size variants, we sure wished Mr. Peanut’s came with other colors for its anti-skid silicone base. Personally, we don’t have anything against the color blue; but some pet parents may not really like the idea of limiting their choices to just one color.

The good news is that Mr. Peanut’s is also made of premium-quality stainless steel that is completely safe to clean and sanitize in your dishwasher while retaining its shatter-proof and non-toxic characteristics. It’s a Bundt cake pan-type of dog slow feeder that should help keep bloat and indigestion in your pet at bay.

Specification:
  • Brand: Mr. Peanut’s
  • Weight: 15.2 ounces

6

Available in 4 different sizes corresponding to the number of cups of dog food you can put in the bowl, Super Design’s slow feeder dog bowl is a great option for pet parents who want greater versatility when it comes to choosing the right color to match their dog’s existing accessories. With 6 colors to choose from you’re now given the opportunity to bring home a bowl that is designed specifically to throttle down your pet’s dining manners.

With slow eating dog bowl perfect for puppies and small breeds of dogs as well as a 4-cup capacity feed vessel for large and giant breeds, Super Design’s dog bowls for fast eaters come with the same triple bean-shaped ridges that fan out from the center of the bowl. It’s not as intricate as that of Slo-Bowl or Siensync, but it sure can get your dog all worked up as it tries to maneuver its tongue around the ridges.

Specification:
  • Brand: Super Design
  • Model: DB-05B-M-GE
  • Weight: 6.2 ounces

7

In the past, pet parents were advised to feed their at-risk dogs using raised feeders to prevent bloat. Unfortunately, recent evidence has shown that using raised or elevated feeders can actually increase the risk of bloat and gastric dilatation-volvulus in certain dogs. This is not to say that the Up Feeder slow eating dog bowl from Outward Hound is not effective. It still is.

The secret is in its unique 3-in-1 design that allows you to adjust the height of the ‘legs’ of the slow dog bowl. If your pet is at risk for bloat, then you can simply use the Up Feeder as a conventional on-floor maze dog bowl. The unique broken wheel spoke-like pattern should keep your pet from gobbling up its food in a flash. If your pet happens to have back or neck problems or any other health condition that can make it difficult for your pet to bend down to reach its food, then you can adjust the height of the Up Feeder to either 6 or 10 inches. This is what you can call a thoughtful design.

Specification:
  • Brand: Outward Hound
  • Model: 51011
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds

8

Beautiful, elegant and most importantly effective at slowing the eating process, the Magisso Happy Pet Project for Fresh and Slow Dining is a perfect bowl to have whether you own German Shepherd or a Chihuahua. Made of ceramics, with a bone-shaped design in the center of the bowl, this high-quality slow feeder makes the pet eat around the ‘bone’, significantly slowing the process. As a result, your pooch will rarely – if ever – over-eat and experience indigestion problems.

Because the bowl is made of ceramics, it’s also 100% safe and durable, guaranteed to last for years, as long as you take care of it. This also means the bowl is dishwasher safe, which is always a huge plus. As a bonus, you can personalize the bowl with chalk if you want to – the outer side of the dish is coated in chalkboard style material so you can write names and draw designs – particularly useful if you own multiple pets!

Specification:
  • Brand: Magisso
  • Model: 90106
  • Weight: 1.43 pounds

9

Whether you have an overweight dog who needs all the help they can get to eat less, or a pet who eats their meals so fast they vomit or have stomach cramps, the Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo-Bowl can help. Specifically made to prevent canine obesity and bloating, this slow feeding bowl boasts an interesting design. Mazes and fun patterns inside the feeder make pets chase their food through the bowl, dramatically slowing their eating process and preventing digestion issues. In fact, according to the manufacturer, this bowl helps dogs eat up to 10 times slower!

The Fun Feeder Slo-Bowl has a non-slip base, making it practically impossible for your dog to slide it over the kitchen tiles or wooden floors. Importantly, it’s also built from 100% food-safe materials, or to be more precise, plastic that is BPA, PVC and Phthalate free. The bowl is also dishwasher safe, which is always a welcome bonus.

Specification:
  • Brand: Dog Games
  • Model: 51003
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces

10

If your dog is more of a food inhaler than a food eater, you need a particularly effective slow feeder. The Company of Animals Green Interactive Feeder is perfect for this – designed to emulate a tuft of grass, this simple plastic feeder turns every meal into a challenging game. The design of the feeder makes dogs eat much, much slower, preventing over-eating and various digestive issues that come with it. The feeder also helps mentally stimulate your pup as they have to think how to push the food out between the many plastic blades in order to eat it.

This model works both with dry and wet food, and even raw food is not an issue, as long as it’s cut in smaller pieces that can fit in between the blades of ‘grass’. Although it’s made of plastic, the material and design are quite sturdy so the feeder can be washed in a dishwasher with no issues.

Specification:
  • Brand: The Company of Animals
  • Model: NGG
  • Weight: 1.65 pounds

Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Buying Guide

Things to Consider When Buying Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

Whenever you’re buying a slow feeder dog bowl for your pet, make sure to keep the following things in mind.

  • Design

The purpose of a slow feeder dog bowl is to slow down the speed at which your dog finishes its meal. This means that if it can gobble up its food in under 2 minutes, then the dog slow feeder should be able to lengthen this time to about 5 or even 10 minutes. Everything depends on just how fast your dog eats and how slow you want it to eat.

When you’ve figured this out, you then have to check the design of the slow feeder bowl and choose one that can give your dog the level of difficulty that will help it eat at the pace you want. Remember, the more complex the design of the slow dog bowl, the slower is the feeding time of your dog.

However, you should also be careful not to make it too difficult, otherwise, your dog will simply give up eating and instead chew on the next thing it catches its attention.

  • Material

Check the description of the dog slow feeder you want to buy and decide if you want ABS, plastic, or stainless steel as the material used in the construction of the bowl. Watch out for the usual suspects – the harmful chemicals – like phthalates, PVC, and BPA. Steer clear of these.

  • Non-skid base

Your dog will try to maneuver its way around the dog slow feeder. As such, it is inadvertent that it will push the bowl in an attempt to dislodge its contents. Having a non-skid base, preferably one with a strong surface grip should help keep the bowl in its place and prevent spilling the contents onto the floor.

  • Capacity

Depending on the amount of food that your dog can consume or needs to consume per meal, you’ll need to choose a slow feeder dog bowl that has a capacity commensurate to this amount. For example, if your dog can finish 2 cups of dog food per meal, then you need a dog food bowl that can accommodate 2 cups or perhaps even 3 cups, just to give some allowance.

  • Ease of cleaning

The good thing about today’s slow feeder bowls is that they can already be cleaned in the dishwasher. If not, then be ready to clean them by hand. Otherwise, just choose whichever is a lot more convenient for you to clean.

What Kind of Dog Needs a Slow Feeding Dog Bowl?

Obviously, the kind of dog that needs a slow feeding dog bowl is one that eats too fast. This is to help prevent gulping air which can lead to bloat and gastric dilatation volvulus. This will also help prevent choking or gagging as well as indigestion since eating too fast often leads in food particles not broken down into smaller pieces.

Obese dogs that need to lose weight can also benefit from slow feeding dog bowls. These typically serve as portion control. Since the dog will be forced to eat at a much slower pace, it will feel full a lot faster. This will make the dog eat less and hopefully lead to a more ideal body weight.

Slow feeding dog bowls are also important for certain breeds of dogs such as large and giant breeds as well as those that have deep chests. Dogs that are at high risk for bloat also need slow feeding dog bowls. Examples of these dogs include Great Danes, German shepherds, Basset hounds, Weimaraners, Boxers, Akitas, and a whole lot more.

Dog Eats from Bowl

You May Also Like Our Review of the Best Dog Bowls.

Tips for Using Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

Using slow feeder dog bowls is typically the same as any other dog food bowl. After all, the only difference between the two is the presence of ‘obstacles’ in the surface area of a slow feeder bowl. However, here are some tips to help you maximize your dog’s use of a slow eating dog bowl.

  • Always choose the most appropriate slow feeder dog bowl for your pet. Choose a food bowl that has the right level of difficulty to slow down you’re your pet’s eating while making sure that it’s not too difficult your pet might give up eating.
  • Use a slow feeder dog bowl that has the right capacity commensurate to the amount of dog food that your pet requires every meal.
  • Remove the dog food bowl from the floor right after your dog is done eating and place this on the countertop or wash and clean it immediately.
  • Read the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to properly care for your dog bowl. Many products can be cleaned in the dishwasher, although some may need to be hand-washed.

Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls FAQ:

Q:  What are slow feed bowls?

A: These are pet food bowls that come with ridges and valleys in various patterns and mazes just to break up the feeding surface area of the food bowl. These are primarily intended to slow down the pace of gulping in dogs and other pets with the end-goal of preventing bloat, indigestion, and other potential health problems caused by the ingestion of air with each gulp.

When dogs and other pets gobble up their food at a blistering pace, they inadvertently swallow air with each gulp. This mixes with the food and fluid already present in the pet’s stomach which can expand the volume of the stomach. This leads to a condition called gastric dilatation. The problem is that as the stomach continues to expand it inadvertently twists on its axis leading to the medical emergency called volvulus. The reason for the emergency is quite simple. With the twisting of the pet’s stomach, it becomes virtually impossible for anything else, especially blood, to pass through. If blood supply is cut off the dog can go into hypovolemic shock and can lose its life if surgery is not performed immediately. Sadly, most of the cases of gastric dilatation-volvulus don’t end well for the dog.

Aside from the risk of gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV, rapid eating can also lead to gagging or choking since the pet will not chew its food properly. Even if it manages to swallow its food, it can also lead to indigestion since the food is not broken down properly in the mouth.

Slow feed bowls aim to address these concerns by slowing down the pace at which a pet finishes its food.

Related Post: Iams Dog Food Review

Q: How do slow feed dog bowls work?

A: The typical food bowl consists of a high-sided dish with a very large open space in the middle where you put pet food in. In this setup, pets have very easy access to their food, allowing them to gobble up everything in mere minutes.

Slow feed dog bowls, on the other hand, feature valleys and ridges or any other mechanism that breaks the open space design of conventional food bowls. Dogs will have to work their way around these ‘obstacles’ if they want to get their food. For example, if a dog can finish everything within 5 minutes, it will take about 20 minutes or so for it to finish the same amount of food placed in a slow feed bowl.

As such, the effectiveness of slow feed dog bowls is inherently tied to the complexity of the design of the ‘obstacles’ in the food space. The more complex it is the slower is the dog in finishing its meal. This is how slow feed dog bowls work.

Q: How do I keep my dog from chewing up his slow feed bowl?

A: There’s really nothing you can do to keep your dog from chewing up its slow feed bowl since it is already inherent in dogs to chew. What you can do, however, is to choose a slow feed bowl that is more resistant to chewing. Food bowls that are made of plastics and other similar materials are not really resistant enough to chew. You can go instead for stainless steel or some other type of material that is sturdier against chewing. Alternatively, you can keep an eye on your dog as it feeds. Once finished, you can remove its slow feed bowl so it won’t have any chance of chewing it.

Q: How do I determine the correct bowl size?

A: The correct bowl size is determined by the number of cups that you are giving to your pet. For example, if your dog receives 2 cups of dog food per meal, then you can choose a food bowl size that can hold 2 cups or even 3 cups to minimize spilling the contents. You can then check the individual capacities of the different food bowl products in the market.

Q: How do I clean my slow feeder dog bowl?

A: Most slow feeder dog bowls in the market can be cleaned by putting them in the top rack of a dishwasher. Some products are best cleaned and washed by hand. Check the product you bought how it should be cleaned.

Q: Do slow feeders help with weight problems?

A: It’s no secret that many dogs today are overweight. Usually, this is a result of a high-calorie diet and too little exercise, although there can be exceptions of course (certain health issues can lead to obesity). And while helping dogs lose weight seems simple in theory (just give them less food and make them exercise more), in practice, it can really hard. Dogs love their food and are not afraid to show it – that’s probably why you’re reading this article in the first place! If your pup gobbles up anything you put in front of them and does so in a span of a few minutes (at best!), you know the troubles of trying to reduce the amount of food you feed them. Often, no matter how much food you give your pooch, they will want more. But did you know that this can be a result of fast eating, not actual hunger? That’s right, dogs that inhale their food instead of eating it don’t have a chance to actually chew it and properly and slowly digest it, which can lead to a false feeling of hunger.

Thankfully, this issue can be resolved with an effective slow feeder. By employing various obstacles, mazes, valleys and ridges, slow feeder bowls make eating somewhat of a challenge. Instead of gobbling up whatever is in front of them immediately, dogs eating from slow feeders actually have to chase their food around in the dish in order to get to it. They eat at a much slower pace, allowing their stomach to digest food even before they finish the plate. This leads to feeling fuller sooner, and therefore less eating.

Q: Do slow feeders help with dog vomiting?

A: If your dog is wolfing down whatever you put in front of them instead of actually eating it, it’s more than likely you have to deal with vomit cleanup from time to time. The good news is, with a good slow feeder bowl, you can help your dog say goodbye to vomiting after eating. How is this possible, you ask? It’s all pretty simple actually - by prolonging the time your pet spends on eating, a slow feeder allows them to properly digest smaller amounts or pieces of food.

A slow feeder bowl is just a piece of the no-vomit puzzle though. To further ensure proper digestion, it's also important to feed your pet the right way:

  • around the same time every day,
  • two to three smaller meals a day instead of one large meal,
  • never right after they exercised.

Q: Are there any disadvantages of using a slow feeder?

A: Generally speaking, slow feeders are safe (all 10 products on our Top list certainly are). However, some bowls that are made made of low-quality plastic and other flimsy materials can be dangerous to aggressive chewers as they can bite off small pieces of the bowl and ingest it. But cheap plastic feeders are not the only offenders - some dogs can chip a tooth on ceramic feeders as well. That all being said, your dog can chew off a part of a regular plastic food bowl and swallow it, just like they can chip their tooth on a traditional ceramic food bowl. In other words, these are possibilities with any types of bowl, including the slow-feeding ones. To ensure your pet is safe and their bowl in one piece, all you have to do is:

  • purchase a quality product made of safe materials, with a sturdy design, and
  • keep an eye on your pet’s eating habits from time to time.

Overall, there’s really no reason to worry with slow feeding bowls, as most are designed to withstand a lot of chewing, licking, chasing and pushing. That said, it’s always a good idea to encourage positive and gentle eating habits and discourage aggressive and negative ones.

Dog Bowls

Our Top Pick

Outward Hound’s Fun Feeder Slo-Bowl easily bests the other contenders for the best slow feeder dog bowl. The designs on the food surface area ensure the maximum amount of time that dogs will finish their meal. The materials used in its construction are pet-safe and are sturdy enough to last many years of use. The non-slip base also keeps the dog food bowl in place and it can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. While it is only available in 2 sizes, it is more than enough to cover all breed sizes of dogs. The 4 color options are a welcome addition, too.

You may be amused with just how fast your dog eats. But if you’re not careful, this behavior can turn out deadly. If not, you’ll be faced with the prospect of a really obese dog and the many health problems that are associated with canine obesity. Temper your dog’s dining habits with any of these best slow feeder dog bowls we’ve shared with you.

Sources:

  1. Controlling Your Pet’s Eating Behavior - PetMD
  2. What are the Dangers of My Dog Eating Too Quickly? - Family Pet
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Dr Tracy Douglas
Dr Tracy Douglas
General Practice Veterinarian, currently working at the Glenwood Veterinary Clinic, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Dr. Douglas began her veterinary career as a Veterinary Nurse in Highton Veterinary Clinic, Highton Victoria, and then as an Emergency Veterinarian in Uintah Pet Emergency, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tracy is particularly interested in surgery, neurology and internal medicine, which gives her a well-rounded knowledge on animal health and well-being. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Melbourne, while her undergraduate bachelor of science is from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
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