Many dogs have a knack for gobbling down their food in record time. Despite centuries of domestication and the plush lives that modern dogs live, the act of eating their food fast is a natural instinct that many pups can't shake. In the wild, getting a good meal is a free for all. Canines have to scarf down their food fast before others in the pack take it all away.
Nowadays, canine companions don't have to worry about that problem. Even still, speed eating is quite common among dogs of all sizes and breeds. Unfortunately, the act of gulping down kibble comes with many risks.
Not only does it prevent dogs from actually enjoying their meals, but it can lead to some potentially fatal health issues.
Slow feed dog bowls can force your dog to eat at a reasonable pace. Their unique designs push food around the bowl, making it harder to access.
As a result, your precious pooch will have to work a little harder to eat their meals. If you're dealing with a speed-eating canine, here are some great slow feed dog bowls you may want to try.
Top 7 Picks of The Best Slow Feed Dog Bowls
1. Super Design Interactive Anti-Gulping Slow Feed Dog Bowl
This dog bowl from Super Design is relatively simple in design, making it a great option for any dog. It features three large protrusions in the center of the bowl.
Each protrusion is rounded for safety. It's made out of a non-toxic melamine material. This is the same material that's used to make many human dishes. It's durable and dishwasher safe for your convenience.
There's also a rubber bottom to prevent sliding. The bowl is available in four different sizes and a range of colors.
2. Outward Hound Fun Feeder Interactive Bloat Stop Dog Bowl
This fun and colorful option from Outward Hound can slow your dog down significantly. It's available in three different designs. Each one features raised walls and deep ridges.
The bowls are made from high-quality plastic that's tough and BPA-free. On the bottom of the bowl, you'll find a thick non-slip base. When it's time to clean the dish, simply pop it on the top row of your dishwasher.
It's available in three sizes that can hold between 3/4 of a cup up to 4 cups of dry kibble.
3. GRULLIN Non Toxic Eco-Friendly Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
With this bowl from Grullin, you can provide your pup with a good challenge. It features a unique curved design. The various swirls create small nooks and crannies for food to hide in.
It can significantly slow down even the most voracious eaters. The bowl measures approximately 7.8 inches in diameter and 1.7 inches in height. It's made from a food-safe ABS material.
On the bottom of the bowl, there's an anti-skid mat. It's also quite heavy, making it more difficult to tip over.
4. Dogit Go Slow Anti-Gulping Dog Bowl
If you're looking for a simple and affordable bowl that can prevent your dog from eating too fast, consider this option from Dogit. It's made from food-safe plastic.
The material is free of phthalates, BPA, and PVC. It's also dishwasher safe. The bowl features a sturdy base with a non-slip bottom. There's also a small hand cutout, making it easier to lift off the ground with one hand.
The design utilizes a dome and four protrusions, providing a moderate difficulty level.
5. Mr. Peanut's Stainless Steel Slow Feed Dog Bowl with Silicone Base
With this Mr. Peanut's slow feed dog bowl, your dog has to chase their kibble around and around. It features a large center protrusion and sloped walls.
Every time your pup does in for a bite, the food will be pushed around the perimeter of the bowl. It's made from tough stainless steel that's safe to put in the dishwasher. A silicone base on the bottom adds some stability and prevents tipping.
There are two sizes available. The smaller size holds 2 cups of kibble while the larger one holds 3 and a half cups.
6. 2PET Slowly Bowly Fun Interactive Dog Dish for Fast Eaters, Prevents Bloating
Add some colorful whimsy to your dog's mealtime with this bowl from 2PET. It's available in a range of bright colors and fun designs. All of them feature raised walls, creating plenty of places for food to get stuck.
It's made of plastic that's free of potentially harmful chemicals. The material is also resistant to bacteria and safe to put on the top rack of your dishwasher. A rubber base on the bottom of the bowl adds stability to keep your home mess-free.
7. PetRageous Designs Metro Stripes Slow Feeder Pet Bowl
Looking for a stylish bowl made of tough materials? Take a look at this option from PetRageous Designs. The bowl is made of thick ceramic. Not only is it dishwasher safe, but you can also heat up your pup's meals in the microwave without any issues.
The sides of the bowl are painted to complement any decor. Inside, the bowl has a raised paw print. The raised protrusions create enough of an obstacle to keep your pet busy during dinner time.
Luxurious Ceramic Slow Feeder Option
Magisso Happy Pet Project Naturally Cooling Ceramics Food Bowl
Spoil your pooch and keep your home looking stylish with this bowl from Magisso. It has a sleek and modern design. Instead of a traditional dome or raised walls, the obstacle that your dog has to get around is a large bone.
The bone shape rises up from the center of the bowl, adding a bit of unique style. It's made of durable ceramic that is FDA-tested and dishwasher safe. The outside of the bowl is covered in a chalkboard finish, allowing you to customize the look of your pup's bowl even further.
The Dangers of Eating Too Fast
While it may just seem like quirky behavior, scarfing down food in a matter of minutes is not healthy for dogs. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for dog owners to ignore the signs because it doesn't seem like it's causing a problem for their pooch. However, all it takes is one incident for your dog to experience catastrophic results.
It's your responsibility as a dog owner to stave off that that behavior by slowing your dog down. Here are some potential risks of eating too fast.
Choking poses an immediate threat. Dogs who gulp down their food typically don't chew it up. It simply slides down their throat and into their bellies. While kibble is designed to be small and easy to chew, that doesn't eliminate the risks of choking. Clumps of kibble can easily get lodged in your dog's throat, causing them to gag and cough.
When this happens, your dog's air supply is cut off. You only have minutes to react. To make matters worse, most owners don't know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on their dogs, depriving their canine companion of oxygen for far too long.
Even if that kibble does get dislodged, your dog may suffer from lasting health consequences due to the lack of oxygen going to their brain.
Vomiting is relatively common among dogs who eat too fast. Puppies tend to be at a higher risk for throwing up their food because of their smaller stomachs.
Dogs throw up their food when they eat too fast because they also inhale too much air. This causes their stomachs to feel overfilled, even if they ate a healthy amount of food.
Stomach pain soon follows after the meal, resulting in regurgitation. Generally, throwing up their food doesn't have any lasting effects on a dog's overall health. Most will simply eat it back up. However, it's still important to train your dog to slow down their eating pace.
Not only will it be better for their digestive system, but it can also prevent any unwanted messes on your floor!
One of the most serious complications that arise from eating too fast is bloat. Also referred to as gastric dilatation-volvulus, bloat is a result of excess gas in your dog's stomach. It can affect virtually all dog breeds. However, deep-chested dogs, such as Great Danes and Boxers, are at a higher risk.
When your dog eats fast, they're gulping down air along with their food. This causes the stomach and intestines to expand and twist. This makes it difficult for your dog to breathe. It can even cut off blood supply throughout their body, put unnecessary pressure on their organs, and cause tears in the stomach lining.
Bloat is an issue that requires immediate medical attention. Dogs quickly go into shock. It's a potentially fatal problem that is, unfortunately, far too common. The best way to avoid bloat is to slow down your dogs eating and keep them calm after a meal.
Fast eating can lead to excessive weight gain over time. This often occurs because dogs don't have a chance to taste their meals or feel full. They simply gobble up as much kibble as they can, causing them to overeat.
By slowing down your pup's eating pace, the food has more time to make its way to the stomach. This sends signals to your dog's brain, making them feel full much sooner.
Here's a video from Dr Wendy on how to stop a dog from eating too fast
Additional Benefits of a Slow Feed Bowl
In addition to reducing your dog's chances of suffering from a serious health issue, a slow feed dog bowl can also improve some behavioral concerns.
Having multiple dogs in one house can be quite a challenge during dinner time. Voracious eaters will often finish their meal quickly just so that they can run to their brother or sister's bowl and steal some extra kibble.
A slow feed bowl can benefit all of your dogs. Your speed eater will be able to enjoy their meal safely while your slower eaters are given more time to complete their meal alone.
Dogs can use a little bit of mental stimulation throughout their day. A small challenge can help keep bad behavior at bay while creating an enjoyable activity.
Slow feeders offer a moderate challenge that's suitable for most dogs. They're difficult enough to provide a fun challenge, but not so hard that your dog gives up and doesn't eat.
There's a big difference between slow feed bowls and interactive toys. Mental stimulation toys tend to be more complex. They hold less food and require more work to reap the benefits. As a result, they're designed to be used for treats.
You should never use one of these toys for your dog's normal meals.
Resource guarding is a common behavioral issue among rescue dogs or those who live with a large pack of animals. Essentially, dogs will exhibit aggressive behavior anytime an animal or human comes near their precious food. This aggression is often paired with fast eating.
Slow feed dog bowls can help desensitize dogs. Because it takes them longer to eat, they're more exposed and vulnerable. Over time, they will learn that there's nothing to fear. With additional training, you can use one of these bowls to correct aggressive behavior.
Things to Look for in a Slow Feed Bowl
There are many great slow feed dog bowls on the market. Not every product is going to provide the same benefits for your pooch. Here are some things you may want to consider when you're shopping for that perfect dog bowl.
The material of the dog bowl is going to affect its overall durability, maintenance, and portability. Stainless steel slow feed dog bowls are the ideal option if you have a rambunctious dog. The heavy-duty material is resistant to damage.
It's also incredibly easy to clean and has no risk of potentially contaminating your dog's food. The main disadvantages of steel are its price and weight.
Plastic is another great option. These bowls are generally more on the affordable side of the price spectrum. Most products are molded, so there's also a wider variety of designs, colors, and shapes. However, plastic bowls do come with risks. They tend to break down over time and can be a target for chewing.
If you want something that you can take with you on the go, silicone is your best bet. Silicone is a flexible material that's lightweight. The material is also free of potentially harmful chemicals that could affect your dog's food.
Degree of Difficulty
Some dog bowls can be more difficult than others, so you'll want to find something that your pup can handle. If your dog deems the bowl too hard to beat, they may give up on eating their meal altogether.
Some of the simplest designs include a large dome in the center of the bowl. It simply shifts the kibble around, causing your dog to eat around the obstacle.
More complex options include large protrusions, deep ridges, and small nooks where kibble can hide. They can be great for clever dogs that need more of a challenge.
Dogs are cunning creatures that can quickly overcome a challenge if they have the opportunity to do so. One thing that dogs will do to cheat the system is tip the bowl over.
They'll knock the food onto the floor, where they can continue to gobble it up. To avoid this problem, you need to invest in a stable bowl that stays put.
Many heavy-duty products are weighted to make tipping difficult. They may also have a rubber bottom that grips onto the ground. Even if your dog isn't trying to tip the bowl over, they will probably move it around a bit.
The design of these bowls requires them to be a bit more aggressive and approach the kibble at multiple angles. A stable base will ensure that your pup doesn't push the bowl around your home.
Slow feed bowls come in a few different designs. They're available as traditional bowls with raised sides or as mats. Mats can be placed in a normal bowl to provide a feeding obstacle.
Alternatively, they can be placed on the floor to make it easier for smaller dogs to dig in. The unique design of the obstacle will keep most of the kibble contained.
Fast eaters are no match for a high-quality slow feed bowl. The clever designs force your dog to take their time and enjoy the food. Your canine companion will be able to eat their meals safely while you enjoy the peace of mind these unique bowls offer.