5 Tips How to Slow Down a Speedy Eater
A lot of dog owners face the same problem - their dog eats at the speed of light. Sometimes it seems to us that the food has been sucked by our dog even before the full bowl is placed in front of the dog's muzzle. Why this is so, why this kind of behavior is dangerous, and how to prevent such behavior can be found in this article.
Why do dogs like to eat fast?
For many dogs, this behavior was learned when they were puppies. Having more than one dog living together and eating together may teach the dogs to act competitively against other dogs in order to get more food. This type of behavior is commonly seen in households with more than one dog and in households with a dog and some other animal their dog sees as competition when it comes to food.
FACT: Even if a dog is born and bred in an environment without other dogs, he can learn and act competitively, mostly due to fear or habit.
Some dogs act this way because it is in their genes. They are naturally competitive and have a pronounced drive for survival – the faster the food is finished, the better chance is for them to survive (in the wild, of course).
Another reason dogs eat superfast can be dogs health problems. There may be worms or parasites living inside dogs' bodies, causing improper digestion of food. Also, a dog might suffer from some undiagnosed illness that increases the dog's appetite and causes the dog to feel very hungry when in reality, he is not that hungry, for example, diabetes or Cushing's syndrome.
Whatever the reason may be, the good news is that today there are a lot of solutions for this particular problem.
RELATED: Is Your Dog Throwing up Undigested Food?
How to make your dog eat slower?
There are a lot of things that you, as a dog owner, can do to slow down your little speedy eater.
1. Talk to your vet
The most important thing is to talk to your vet. Let him do all the necessary tests to rule out parasites or worms in your dog's body. Ask him to recommend you the best food to give your dog because sometimes dog food can lack essential nutrients, and that can cause a dog to eat super fast simply because poor-quality food lacks ingredients dogs need to stay full and healthy.
2. Spread the food
The simplest way to make the dog eat slower is to spread his food all around some smooth surface in your home. The greater the distance between the kibble is, the slower the dog will eat. He will be busy finding every piece of kibble and eating it piece by piece.
You will most definitely slow down his eating by not giving your dog a large amount of food crammed into one bowl and offering him food spread out.
3. Use a slow-feeding dog bowl
In today's market, there are a lot of different slow-feeding bowls designed to help slow down a speedy-eating dog by taking smaller bites. You can choose between a bowl designed especially for kibble, or you can find and buy the kind that is created for feeding a dog canned or raw food.
Another great innovation in the dog industry is food puzzles. These will make your dog work for food.
4. Hand your dog food with your hand
By hand-feeding your dog, you are the one controlling the amount of food and the speed of eating.
RELATED: Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
5. Feed your dog more frequently
You can (and should) distribute the amount of food your dog gets in one day in several small meals during the day. This way, your dog will learn that he is given food a few times a day (not only one time) and that his next meal is coming soon. Knowing that your dog will probably adjust how he eats and slow down a bit. Frequent and smaller meals will also lessen the risk of bloat.
Another thing you can try is to put some heavy toy or a ball inside your dog's feeding bowl. This way, your dog will face this obstacle he must pass (by eating around it) to get to the food while simultaneously slowing him down in his plan to eat everything the fastest he can.
Dangers connected to dogs that like to eat fast
Eating too fast can literally kill your dog! When a dog eats too quickly, he swallows too much air in a very short period of time. Too much air can cause some serious problems, such as vomiting, regurgitating, digestive problems, stomach pains, etc.
Dogs with deeper chests risk developing gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV, also known as bloat). GDV is a serious and life-threatening condition. GDV means that there is gas built up in the dog's stomach, and it cannot get out. This gas accumulation often leads to dogs' stomach swelling and twisting.
Because of the problems mentioned above, taking all the measures needed to get your dog to eat slower is necessary.
World Dog Finder team