Many dogs gobble down their food so quickly it seems as they’re inhaling it. And that’s a recipe that may not stay down. Cleaning up the mess is no fun for you and vomiting is no fun for your dog.
Eating too quickly can also cause digestive problems. Some are really serious such as stomach torsion (GDV), which occurs when swallowing too much air.
There are ways you can help slow down a speedy eater.
- Divide the food into small portions and dole out one portion at time until s/he finishes the meal.
- Use a muffin tin or a dish with sections and place the food in every other section so the dog has to stop in-between.
- There are feeding dishes available that have a raised center section or compartments so that feeding is slowed.
- You can place an object in your dog’s present bowl which forces him/her to eat around it.
- If it’s convenient, you can hand feed your dog.
- Use puzzle toys or other toys that challenge your dog to find the food or treat hidden in them.
- Spread food out on a flat dish or a cookie sheet.
- Train your dog at mealtimes using food as a reward.
- Create a slow feeder out of your dog’s existing bowl by placing an object such as a ball in the center.
Slowing down your dog’s eating habits helps avoid health problems.
Having lost one dog to stomach torsion and another who went through emergency surgery to save her life, I can appreciate the need for helping your dog to eat more slowly.