Does your dog wolf down their food like there’s no tomorrow? Maybe they act as if they haven’t seen food in days and perhaps never will again! We have some solutions..
Most dogs are instinctively motivated by food, but sometimes a dog’s desire to consume their food as quickly as possible is something they learn from puppyhood...
In a litter there is an element of competition, and puppies sometimes learn you must eat quickly to avoid being left hungry. But when this behaviour carries through to adulthood, fast eaters can experience problems such as gagging, vomiting, gas or bloat.
If your dog devours their food in a few seconds and frequently vomits or experiences other side effects, you’re likely feeling a little concerned. But there are ways you can slow down your dog’s eating. Read our top tips to put the brakes on your speedy eater.
Make a towel roll
Place a towel flat on the floor and cover the area with your dog’s regular food. Then start rolling the towel up from the shortest end as if you’re making a swiss roll. You should have a towel cylinder with layers of food hidden inside.
Place the towel in front of your dog. As your dog uses their nose and paws to unravel the towel, they’ll slowly be presented with those tasty morsels.
Make your dog chase their food
This is a fun, interactive game that will tickle your dog’s prey drive. We’d only recommend trying this method if you feed a dry dog food. Wet food may get rather messy!
Simply launch pieces of kibble across the floor so your dog has to chase them. This way you control how quickly your dog is allowed to eat, and let’s face it, your dog will no doubt have a blast bouncing around to catch their food.
You could also play a similar game called ‘find it.’ Dogs love foraging for food. When you’re about to leave for work in the morning hide your dog’s breakfast rations of kibble around your home. It encourages your dog to use their nose for foraging and work for their breakfast. This will also leave your dog more focussed on sniffing out rewards and less anxious about you leaving.
Use a slow feeding dog bowl
Traditional dog bowls offer a large surface area for your dog to take big gulps of food, which is not ideal for speedy eaters. However, slow feeders have raised puzzle parts to make it far more challenging to get the food out.
Your dog must navigate the maze to get their reward. What would take mere seconds is turned into at least a couple of minutes. Check out our range of slow feeders to add a little self-control and fun at mealtimes.
Use training at mealtimes
Use mealtimes to brush up on your dog’s tricks and obedience skills. Keep training fresh by mixing old skills like sit, lie down and paw, with new tricks like spin, dance or sit pretty. Each time your dog completes a command correctly, offer a piece of food as a reward instead of their usual training treats.
It’s a great way to not only slow down your dog’s eating, but to keep pup’s mind active and solve any behavioural issues they might have.
Use treat dispensing toys
Treat dispensing dog toys require your dog to use their brain to access their food. Because these games are challenging, it will take your dog much longer to access their food than with traditional dog bowls. They can be used every meal time to slow down your speedy eater. You could even mix them up to make mealtimes more fun and engaging for your dog.