How to Slow Your Pets Eating Down
Some dogs are slow eaters, taking their time to chew every little piece and enjoy each bite. Other dogs like to eat really fast, barely even chewing their food before it goes down. Unfortunately, eating so quickly can be quite dangerous for our dogs. First, they can choke, which can be life threatening. Second, inhaling food will often result in vomiting and discomfort. Third, eating quickly increases the risk of a serious medical condition called bloat. So how can we help our dogs eat at a slower pace? Read on for some tips and tricks.
• Make sure that their eating environment is relaxing and does not feel like a hostile place to eat. The most common reason why pets tend to eat fast is because they are competing with other pets in the house.
• Try moistening their food with water. This can sometimes help slow them down so they take time to chew their food.
• Hand Feed: Some dogs love being hand fed. While many owners don’t necessarily have time to sit there and hand feed their dogs, you can use training time as mealtime. Use your dog’s regular food as rewards during obedience training or any other training. Consider working on various tricks for food, and break everything down into small steps. This makes mealtime fun and safe, since your dog won’t be able to inhale large amounts of food.
• Try a different dog food bowl. It is better to have a larger bowl with a single layer of food in it rather than a small bowl with multiple layers of food. A full small bowl will encourage your dog to eat more pieces whole at a faster rate. You can also try placing a tennis ball inside of their bowl. This will make them eat around the ball, not allowing them to get big mouthfuls.
- There are also special bowls that are made for this exact problem. The most common product is called a slow feeder. This is a bowl that has ledges and ridges in it that spreads out the food and prevents our pets from getting big mouthfuls of food.
- Another good option is a food puzzle. A food puzzle will make your pet work for their food. These allow your pet to have access to small amounts of food at a time. They are also great for mental stimulation!
- A snuffle mat consists of fleece strips tied on to a flat mat with holes in it. The loose ends of the fleece are on top and provide the hiding spots for the food. This not only slows their eating down, it provides entertainment, enrichment, and mental stimulation for dogs as they search for their hidden kibble.
If you have any questions about this article or how to slow your pet’s eating down, please let us know! We are happy to help.