Is your dog a fast eater? If so, you’re not alone. A good number of us have dogsthat finish their food in seconds. This habit can really be a problem especially if you have multiple dogs. Slow-eating dogs definitely suffer when they eat in the same bowl with fast eaters. This makes meal time a competition, which can lead to serious fights among them.
So, what are the causes of fast eating in dogs? Some of them eat fast because of excitement, while others feel that somebody else will eat their food if they don’t finish it as soon as they can. Underlying medical conditions can also cause your pet to eat fast.
As a dog owner, you should really be concerned if your beloved canine companion is eating his food very fast irrespective of what causes this habit. Why? Because it’s very dangerous to his health, and can lead to vomiting, gagging, choking, stomach upset and bloat (which is a life-threatening condition). The good news is that there are things you can do to make your best friend eat more slowly.
Let’s look at 3 ways to do so:
Use A Food-Dispensing Toy
Food-dispensing toys or treat dispensers are great when it comes to stimulating your pet mentally. But besides this, they also come in handy in slowing down fast-eating dogs. These toys are designed in such a way that they only allow 1-2 pieces of food to come out at a time. This forces dogs to eat slowly since they have to roll the toy around before food can spill out. The good thing about these toys is that they’re extremely easy to use, and are available in just about any pet store.
When shopping for a food dispenser, make sure that whatever you finally settle on is durable, easy to clean (or dishwasher safe) and has an adjustable hole that will allow you to fill in any size of dog food. I’m sure your pet will be excited to eat from his new toy.
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Use A Slow Feeder Bowl
This is another important item you should consider buying if you want to slow down your fast-eating dog. Slow feeder bowls have ridges inside that make it extremely difficult for dogs consume their food in seconds. Once you fill them up with food, the raised ridges inside obstruct your pet forcing him to eat slowly. However, if your pet is good at solving puzzles, a bowl with let’s say 3 ridges may slow him down just a little bit, so go for a one with a more complex design.
These bowls come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and shapes too, so getting what suits your pet best should be easy. They are also available in many pet stores both online and in your local area.
Turn Mealtimes Into Training Or Play Time
This method also works well in slowing down fast eaters. Start by measuring the amount of food your pet is supposed to eat, and then hide small pieces of the food in different parts of the house. Once you do so, encourage him to go find the food. This game is both mentally stimulating and exciting to dogs.
Similarly, you can choose to train your dog during meal times and give him food as a reward when he gets whatever he’s being taught right. Using food as a training reward keeps your pet mentally stimulated, improves his focus, and boosts his confidence. Both of these methods will greatly help to slow your dog’s eating speed.
All in all, if you’re worried about your pet’s fast eating, try the above suggested tips and tricks to help him eat more slowly the way he should.