In this day and age, there are endless slow feeding solutions offered online. Finding the right slow feeder for your dog may seem like an impossible task if you don’t have all the information. Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here.
Who needs slow feeders anyway?
Just like with humans, eating too fast isn’t healthy for dogs either. Unlike humans though, the bodies of dogs are (usually) a lot smaller, which puts them at a higher risk of developing issues related to fast eating.
We elaborated more on the dangers of fast eating in another article. In a nutshell – the effects of fast eating can be as minor as an occasional gastrointestinal discomfort or light vomiting, but it can also lead to life-threatening conditions like GDV, choking, and more.
That’s why you should always monitor the amount of food you serve your dog and the pace at which he eats it, to guarantee he’s healthy and well. Here’s a short list of the different slow feeding solutions that are available out there, with their pros and cons.
Slow feeding balls or toys
Slow feeding balls are a great solution for dogs who don’t just eat fast and eat a lot, but also could use some exercise. They’re usually made from rubber and have small slits that can hold, treats, kibbles, food, or pastes like peanut butter or cream cheese.
Feeding dogs with slow feeder balls like the Chew Treat Ball, stimulate them physically and mentally, as their required to figure out the best way of getting to the food and work to extract it.
They can also strengthen the bond between the owner and the pet, as they’re great for playing fetch or other interactive games. Another big advantage that slow feeding balls offer is keeping dogs busy for long periods, giving the owner some quiet time.
On the downside, slow feeding balls can only hold a limited amount of food and will need refilling if you’re planning on serving your pooch a whole meal with them. It’s also important to make sure that they’re made from BPA free rubber, that’s durable enough to withstand all the biting and chewing.
Slow Feeding Bowls
Slow feeding bowls are also a very common solution for slowing your dog’s eating frenzies. They have ridges that break up their surface area into smaller portions to physically prevent gulping. While they are a great solution for slow feeding your dog, they do have a few drawbacks.
First of all, dogs that gulp their food, also tend to eat and chew more aggressively. This can get dangerous as dogs can accidentally bite the bowl while trying to get to the food, chip the plastic, and potentially injure themselves.
Moreover, smarter doggos can also figure out ways around the bowl. They can simply tip it over and eat the food directly from the floor instead of maneuvering around the ridges and slits of the bowl.
Slow feeding mats
Feeding mats are an excellent option to slow feed your dog. Dog feeding mats come in a huge variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, but generally speaking, they’re just an upgraded version of the plastic slow feeding bowls.
They use the same technique of breaking their surface area into smaller portions, but unlike the bowls, the slow feeding mats are flat, and therefore prevent the dog from tipping them over.
They’re also usually made from rubber that won’t chip when the dog accidentally bites into it. If you’re in the market for a quality, pet-safe slow feeding mat, be sure to check out our Pet Food Mat, our 4-piece set of slow feeders and licking trays that will cover all your slow feeding needs!