Our dogs love meals, no doubt! But do you think your dog might love her food a little too much? Does she wolf down her food as if it’s her last meal?
Give your dog a slow feeder bowl. These bowls are rather unusual looking, but they do an outstanding job at slowing’s eating.
When Dogs Eat Too Fast
Dogs can have complications if they eat too fast, especially if they're big or giant breeds.
Gulping down food causes them to also swallow a lot of air, leading to bloat or stomach dilation, which can be fatal.
It can also lead to gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, and choking.
Examine Why Is Your Dog Eating So Fast?
First thing's first, figure out why your dog gulps her food down like it's going out of style.
- Inhaling food out of competition might happen if you have other dogs. Feed each dog in a separate room to prevent that.
- If your dog is always hungry, try giving her two to four smaller meals throughout the day.
- Also, if your dog's meals are extremely high in calories and nutrients, it can limit how much they can eat at mealtime. When you switch to a high fiber and low-calorie dog food, your dog might eat slower, so give her more food at each meal.
What Exactly is a Slow Feeder Dog Bowl?
A slow feeder bowl is a bowl with all kinds of obstructions in it. Dog slow feeders come in different materials - brightly colored plastic to stainless steel - and offer several obstacles for your pet to figure out.
Dogs have to go around ridges, and bumps so they can eat. The bowls look like games or puzzles, but they can prevent serious medical conditions.
Benefits of DIY Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
The major benefit is that they slow your dog down while eating. For dogs who don't inhale their food, regular bowls work great. In a slow feeder, there are obstructions that make eating harder, so it takes longer for your dog to eat. That also means she won't be gulping down all that air and causing GDV.
Less Likely to Choke - Slowing down the eating process makes it much less likely your dog will choke, because she has time to chew the food up before she swallows it.
Improved Digestibility: Some dogs eat so fast they might throw up afterward. These bowls let them digest their food properly, ensuring they get the right nutrients and are less likely to vomit after eating.
Portion Control: Because your dog takes longer to eat she'll feel full when she's done. The faster you scarf down your food, the more likely you’ll feel hungry when ’t caught up with the food yet.
Changes in Eating Habits: Maybe your dog has taken to wolfing down her food since you own other dogs that eat from each other's bowls. Or maybe she was a rescue dog and developed bad eating habits. Dogs who eat from slow feeder bowls change their eating habits without you doing anything.
Memory Skills: These bowls not only keep your dog calm while she eats, but keep her mind sharp too. Some bowls make it hard for your dog to get to the food. The mental stimulation is great since it's like a puzzle.
Drawbacks of Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
It's hard to believe a slow feeder bowl can have any disadvantages, since we've established that it's got so many benefits. But there are.
Teeth damage: If your dog eats enthusiastically it's possible for her to damage her teeth. If the bowl is made of a durable material, dogs could get frustrated trying to get to the food. It's not likely to happen, though.
Plastic: When you purchase a cheap plastic bowl, there’s a chance that your dog’s going to eat small parts of the bowl.
Washing: Cleaning these bowls is a challenge because there are so many nooks and crannies. If the bowl's a puzzle and hard for the dog to eat from, it'll be harder to clean.
Mess: Dogs make more mess while eating from these bowls, especially when they're trying to get at the food. In their eagerness to get the food, dogs might even knock them over. If you have a powerful dog and believe this might be an issue choose a stable bowl, that’s heavy.
If you find the right bowl for your pup, you won't have to worry about these problems.
Choosing the Right Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
Slow feeders won’t work for any dogs that are picky eaters that aren’t motivated by food. Your dog might go hungry and should just eat from normal bowls.
If your dog is big, buy the big and sturdy bowls and the smaller ones for the little dogs. More enthusiastic eaters need a stronger bowl.
Last, if your dog has trouble using her new bowl at first, particularly if it's a tricky puzzle feeder, take some time to explain how it works. She'll learn it eventually, just be patient.
How to Make a DIY Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
- Time: 5 minutes plus drying time
- Skill: Easy
- Makes: 1 slow feeder dog bowl
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associate or other programs we take part in). As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Step 1: Make sure both dish and caps are clean and dry.
Step 2: Add a generous amount of glue to the inside edge of the caps.
Step 3: Place caps where you want them in the dish. After you place them, do not move them.
Step 4: Place dish where it will not be bothered and allow to dry for at least 24 hours before using.
Dish is to be used with dry food.
If you don't like the idea of using the glue, you can also drill a hole through the cap and dish and use a washer, nut, and bolt to hold them in place.
Just be sure you have a rounded end at the top of the caps so as not to injure the dog.