Does your dog devour a bowlful of food in under five minutes?
While many people don’t realize it or might associate this behavior with their pet’s personality or breed, fast-eating can pose a severe health threat to your beloved four-legged buddies.
Fast-eating can cause many different digestive issues in dogs, with the effects varying from minor discomforts, to actual life-threatening conditions.
At first, owners might only notice signs that seem insignificant, like the occasional gastrointestinal discomfort or vomiting. But, unaware dog owners who don’t address their dog’s gulping issues may, unfortunately, find themselves dealing with more severe conditions, such as choking or food bloat (or GDV, which stands for gastric dilatation and volvulus). Food bloat is caused when air is swallowed along with food, potentially twisting the dog’s intestines. In it’s more severe cases, or when left untreated, food bloat can be life-threatening.
Luckily, there are several different effective ways to slow-feed dogs, and eliminate their eating frenzies;
Slow Feeder Bowls – these bowls are specifically designed to prevent gulping by breaking up the bowl’s surface area with small ridges and slits that prevent your dog from inhaling their meals in one go. slow feeder bowls also provide your dog with some mental stimulation, by mimicking a more natural way of finding food, and “working” to get it. We’ve found that just like dogs, not all bowls are created equal. They might work for some dogs, while others might quickly find a way around the feeder (like knocking it over). Furthermore, some lower-quality bowls chip easily, and can potentially put dogs at risk of consuming toxic materials or cracking their teeth.
Chew Treat Balls – These silicone \ rubber balls are designed to hold dog food between small rubber slits. In a similar way to slow feeder bowls, the Chew Treat Balls are also designed to mimic more natural feeding methods, and by that, help to keep the canine mentally and physically stimulated. Unlike the feeder bowl, the Chew Treat Ball is, like its name suggests, a ball, so it also naturally rolls, and turns the meal into a playful interactive activity. These rubber Chew Treat Balls can also come in handy as a solution for dog separation anxiety, by distracting their attention with a fun and mentally challenging activity.
- Some DIY Methods – on a limited budget? no need to worry, we also gathered some more wallet-friendly ways of keeping dogs from inhaling their meals:
- Make your dog’s food sticky – while it might not work for every dog – making their food sticky by mixing it with Unsweetened pumpkin puree, goat milk or simply by submerging it in water can help with slowing your dog’s feeding pace.
- Reduce the amount of food and hide the rest around the house to keep your dog engaged and mentally stimulated.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to feeding your dog is to be consistent and stick to a routine. Feeding dogs sporadically can also cause them to eat more than they need because it makes them unsure as to when their next meal will arrive.Another thing to note is that while some methods can work excellently for some dogs and poorly for others. for example, while the Chew Treat Ball is great for medium and large dogs it’s not recommended for ones weighing over 120lbs.