When my friend asked me to dog sit for her black and white terrier mix, I didn’t hesitate. After all, I’m a huge dog lover. But when she gave me feeding instructions, I was surprised. She fed her dog in a special bowl to slow his eating because he ate like it was the first and only opportunity he’d ever get in life. She told me he tended to throw up his dog food after eating unless he ate from the special dog bowl.
Maybe your dog is the same. Gobble anything in sight, ask questions later.
It turns out, there are dangers when your dog eats too fast. It can make them vomit and worse, they can get painful gas and bloat. Chances are, you’ve felt bloated at times when you’ve eaten too much at mealtime. But if you lay down and rest, it eventually goes away. It’s a temporary health issue for humans.
In dogs, it’s a life-threatening medical condition.
Why Is Dog Bloat Dangerous?
Bloat is also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). When a dog’s tummy fills up fast it sometimes expands and presses against the surrounding organs. This causes the intestines, liver, and gall bladder to be squeezed, which can cause the blood flow to slow down because there’s not as much room as before for the blood to circulate. When the blood can’t flow freely, it’s not making its way to your dog’s heart and everywhere it needs to go which can cause your dog to go into shock.
It can also cause your pet’s stomach to twist and this can cut off the blood flow to other organs.
According to the American Kennel Club, bloat is the top cause of death in deep-chested dog breeds like Great Danes.
You don’t have to be a doctor to see this can be a dangerous, life-threatening event. The symptoms of dog bloat include:
- Difficulty breathing
If your pooch seems stressed after eating, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian.
Benefits of Using a Slow Feed Dog Bowl
Besides reducing the risk of serious conditions like dog bloat, there are other benefits of using a slow feeder food bowl too.
First of all, it can help your dog lose weight. When your dog slows down their eating pace instead of gulping everything down, they’ll chew more. Instead of inhaling and then looking at you for more, they’ll take an extra minute or two. When dogs chew and swallow their meals, they end up eating less and feeling fuller longer.
Slower eating can also reduce dog vomiting and gagging after meals. So, less cleanup for you (and less of a waste of that expensive high-quality dog food you buy him). If your dog vomits a large amount after eating, it could be because they inhale a lot of air with their food, and vomiting helps the body regulate itself.
Other Methods of Curbing Fast Eating Habits
Play a version of hide and seek by tucking bits of kibble around your house during your dog’s feeding schedule. It’s an enriching activity that’s fun for your dog! Alternatively, dog owners can put a small amount of food in a muffin tin, snuffle mat, cookie sheet, or food puzzle. Puzzle feeders are dog toys that are excellent for mental stimulation.
Slow feeders are designed to make it just a teensy bit harder for Max to go speed eating. With puzzles, your dog paws the right block or solves some other problem to release the kibble. Some dogs love these as it also engages their brains.
If you are a pet parent with a fast eater, you can see how it’s beneficial to slow your pup’s eating. My friend found the slow feeder bowl worked well for her pup. Which method will you try?
Products to help curb Fido’s speed eating habit
Fun Feeder Slo Bowl, Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
While your furry friend no longer needs to fight for food, those survival instincts can still persist even with the best trained pup. That’s why at Outward Hound we’ve created the Fun Feeder Slo Bowl dog bowls featuring meal-lengthening ridges and multiple challenging mazes. Fun Feeder Slo Bowls keep pups engaged for up to 10x longer during mealtimes, which helps improve overall digestion while helping…
Activity Matz Fast Food Fun Dog Puzzle Mat, Multi
Outward Hound Activity Matz are fun to use, easy to clean, and perfect for both mental and physical exercise. The Fast Food Fun activity mat comes with optional closures to level up the challenge! Once your dog has sniffed out the treats or kibble from the plush material, increase the challenge by placing food in the pockets and hiding them under an extra layer by stuffing in the hot dog. For an even…
Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy, Blue
The Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Brick level 2 puzzle dog game will keep your dog entertained for hours as they use their natural hunting skills to seek out the hidden treats! This toy comes with 3 easy-to-fill compartments to hide your dog’s favorite treats and snacks in. Flip lid compartments open up to reveal the first compartment and can also slides to reveal a hidden second compartment…
Orbee-Tuff Snoop Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy, Large
Planet Dog’s multiple award-winning Orbee-Tuff Snoop challenges the brain in fun and stimulating ways! This interactive dog puzzle toy is great for bored pups who need a rewarding brain teaser or to encourage slower eating habits in fast eaters. The Snoop is translucent and squishy with a deep crevice that conceals the treats. Just pop open, fill with treats, and pop back in before playing with your pup!…
Wobble Bowl Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy, Multi
It’s fun. It feeds. It’s a challenge your dog needs! Nina Ottosson Treat Puzzle Games fight boredom, help reduce destructive behaviors & exercise your dog’s mind. Use the Wobble Bowl as a puzzle game to provide fun physical and mental stimulation. Or use the Wobble Bowl as a slow feeder to slow your dog’s eating pace and prevent bloat and indigestion. The Wobble Bowl holds up to 1 cup of food…
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