Dogs have a bad reputation when it comes to food. They are known to eat almost anything and most dogs can eat a bowl of kibbles faster than most adults can eat a bite of a sandwich! Of course, this also depends on a number of factors. Firstly, the breed of dog. Certain dogs such as labradors are greedy girls and boys and like to gobble up food quickly. They will be the dogs that stare at you when you eat your dinner, even if they have just eaten a meal. Other dogs, such as huskies, know when to stop. These dogs tend to only eat when hungry and stop when their stomach is full.
Fast eating can cause a myriad of health concerns, and for this reason alone it’s good practice to teach your dog how to eat slowly. There are certain methods that you can try, in order to train your canine companion to take their time.
Keep reading to find out more…
The Problem With Quick Eating
Is your dog eating too fast? You might not see it as a problem, but there can be medical complications that occur when a dog gobbles down its food. On a basic level, speed eating can cause choking. If your dog is eating its dinner at lightning speed then they may gag on their food and get pieces of food stuck in their throat – which could be fatal.
Regardless of the amount of food that your dog is consuming, if they eat quickly then they are likely to be taking in air at the same time. This can cause significant pain and discomfort and can even cause vomiting and regurgitation. In extreme cases, this can lead to an unpleasant medical condition called Bloat (or gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV). This condition occurs when a dog’s intestines expand and twist and can be life-threatening. Should you ever suspect that your dog has Bloat then you will need to contact a veterinarian immediately.
Why Is Your Dog Eating So Fast?
My puppy eats too fast what can I do?
This is one of the most common questions asked by dog owners and the first thing you should look at is why they might eat so quickly.
As we mentioned earlier, there can be many reasons why a dog may eat their food too quickly. It could be in their nature – certain breeds regardless of size can be really greedy! It could also come down to the training he or she had as a puppy. If your dog had to share their food with lots of other puppies then they are going to learn to eat super quick. If you have more than one dog in the house, this behavior can continue.
How can you slow down dog eating?
Here are a few solutions that you could consider…
If your four-legged friend is eating large meals quickly, then one of the easiest solutions is to feed them less food but more often. This will reduce the impact of fast eating as they won’t be presented with a large bowl of food. If you currently feed your dog once a day, why not feed them twice or more times but with much smaller portions.
Feed Dogs Separately
If you have more than one canine in the house then they may see mealtime as a competition. To lessen stress and create a more relaxed eating environment, try feeding your dogs separately. If your dog doesn’t have another canine sniffing around his kibbles he may learn to just slow down. As fast eating can be caused by stress, you should create a relaxing area where your dog can eat in peace. This should be away from other family members and dogs if possible. Create a space with a dog food mat, generous-sized bowl, and always have fresh water available. If your pet eats super fast then you might even want to look into special dog food for flatulence, to support a healthy digestive system and reduce further gas and bloating.
Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
Believe it or not, but the bowl that you use can affect how fast your dog will eat. Do your research and look into slow-feeder dog bowls which can be an absolute game-changer when it comes to the speed at which your dog eats. These bowls have been specifically designed to create an obstacle between your dog and the food. They tend to come in numerous shapes and sizes. The most common type of slow feeder dog food bowls have a central textured pattern such as a maze or raised nodules where the kibbles are placed. It’s virtually impossible for a dog to eat quickly using these types of bowls as the dog will need to concentrate and use its tongue to get the kibbles from the bowl.
Related Post: Automatic Dog Feeders
These are similar to the dog bowls above but they create even more of a challenge for your dog. The added bonus of these types of feeders is that they help prevent boredom too. If you have ever wondered how to stop a dog from eating too fast then try this solution and you won’t be disappointed. Different types of puzzle feeders are available – and some just look like ordinary dog toys – but the main difference is that you can place dog food/treats inside the toy and your dog will have to figure out how to get them out of the opening. This is a great way to train your dog to eat more slowly and to get their doggo brains working at the same time.
Make A Game
You don’t necessarily need special bowls or toys to slow down eating. You can just make a game out of mealtimes and get your furry friend involved in a little playtime. Why not hide food around the house so they have to “hunt” for their kibble? Again, this will not only prevent food from being consumed too quickly but it will keep your pet occupied too.
- Dr. Jennifer Coates, How to Get Dogs to Eat Slower, PetMD
- Dr. Marty Becker DVM, My Dog Inhales Her Food! How Can I Get Her to Slow Down?, Vetstreet