Eating slowly is good for our digestive health, the same is true for our four-legged companions too. Dogs that gulp & eat their food too quickly are more likely to develop digestive problems such as vomiting, choking, and gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) which is a life threatening condition that results in the stomach distending and twisting on itself.
Why do some dogs inhale their food?
There are several key reasons for this!
- Competition. Early on your dog would have had to compete with its litter mates for food as a pup. A behaviour that is learnt early.
- No set meal times. Often observed in shelter dogs who may not have known when their next meal would come. Make sure you have 2 regular meal times for your dog. Routine over time will help settle this behaviour
- Illness. Check with your vet to rule this out as it could be a symptom of diabetes, Cushings Syndrome, or just a reminder to worm your dog.
- Diet quality. You may be unintentionally overlooking a key ingredient in your dogs diet. Double check that you are feeding a balanced diet with a single source protein.
Tips to slow down fast eaters
- Feed more often. Split their daily food intake into 2 or 3 servings through the day if you can. This will reduce your dog's risk of bloat.
- Use a slow feeder bowl or a treat dispenser, or a combination of the two.
- Add some variety. Give your dog a raw meaty bone, roo tail or salmon head in addition to their regular meals. A good option for those dogs who always seem to be hungry!
- Keep your worming program up-to-date. Intestinal worms & parasites can prevent your dog from absorbing nutrients.
What are the best products to use for fast eaters?
- Lickimat. One of the best selling products for fast eaters! Perfect for wet food, lickimats are proven to reduce anxiety in dogs as they release endorphins through licking that are relaxing. Check out our top recipe ideas here for the lickimat!
- Puzzle toys & food dispensers such as Nina Ottosson's Wobble Bowl will turn on your dog's seeking instinct as they figure out how to release their meal from the puzzle!
- Go slow anti gulping bowl. A popular choice as this is great for large breeds and the level of difficulty is low! Perfect for beginners.
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