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How to Keep Fido from Eating Too Fast

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It can be rather frustrating when feeding your pooch is more like tossing raw chicken at a starving alligator. Bear in mind that the faster Fido eats, the less he chews, which can result in choking. When he races through his food, he is also swallowing a very large amount of air that can lead to burping or passing gas. It is harmless but definitely can be unpleasant for the people around. Eating too fast can also lead to bloat, a painful twisted stomach that is usually fatal.

Creative Ways to Get your Pooch Eat Slowly

Some of the most commonly used strategies to help dogs slow down and really taste their food include the following:

1. Use of non-tip metal food and water bowls. Try flipping these bowls upside down and then spread Fido’s food in the ring that surrounds the circle. This way, your pooch will have to circle around his food at the same time move his head up while shifting to the other side.

2. Use of Brake Fast Bowl. This is a commercial-made non-tip plastic bowl with knobs at the center. Because it has no grip ring, it slides when the dog eats which causes him to have to chase his food.

3. Feeding from interactive puzzles and treat toys. With puzzles and treat toys, your dog has to move covers, slide lids, or roll a toy around to get the food out. This way, your dog is only served a few pieces at a time, and he’s kept occupied and mentally stimulated at the same time.

4. Use of other low-cost ideas such as splitting up Fido’s kibble into a cupcake pan by placing a few parts in every cup. You may also try dividing the food by making use of separate food bowls and then placing them in various locations. By having your pooch find his food to eat, you provide him breaks between the gulps.

5. Placing a large rock in the bowl and then spreading Fido’s food around it may also work. Because some dogs eat rocks if small enough to ingest, only use the large ones.

6. If none of these techniques work, try raising your dog’s food bowl off the ground. This way, you can slow him down, decreasing the amount of air he swallows. Positioning their heads up also makes burping much easier.

Does your dog scarf down his meals? Do you have any tips to share? Please do!

24 Responses to How to Keep Fido from Eating Too Fast
  1. frankie
    July 15, 2014 | 11:11 pm

    The thing that has worked best for my beagle is a large (softball size) rock in his bowl. Only issue is every few months my other dog steals the rock and buries it.

  2. […] Some of the most commonly used …read more     […]

  3. Mary
    July 15, 2014 | 5:21 pm

    I know this is about dogs, but I have a 14-year-old cat, Michael, who would gorge on his dry food and then throw it up almost immediately. A friend recommended spreading the kibbles out on a cookie sheet to slow down the Olympic speed-eating. It worked so well that I went and found a beautiful, large ceramic platter that is similar in size, looks nice on the floor, works well for my little binge eater and cleans up great! He hasn’t thrown up his kibbles in years!

  4. […] Some of the most commonly used Click Here To Read More     […]

  5. Wynn
    July 15, 2014 | 3:43 pm

    For raw feeding, add a good amount of water. Makes it much harder for them to gulp down in 3 bites.

  6. French Bulldog Times
    July 15, 2014 | 3:12 pm

    […] 2. Use of Brake Fast Bowl. This is a commercial-made non-tip plastic bowl with knobs at the center. Because it has no grip ring, it slides when the dog eats which causes him to have to …read more […]

  7. Matt Clausen
    April 28, 2014 | 12:36 pm

    I tried several things to slow my Labrador down when he ate. Nothing was very effective until I tried putting a piece of LARGE, heavy duty chain about 14″ long on top of his food in a steel food bowl. Problem solved 1st time. I got the chain from my local hardware store and it was $3.85 I wash the chain whenever I wash the bowl. It is hardchrome plated and doesn’t rust or corrode. My VET tried it and was so impressed that now she keeps and sells lengths of this chain at her practice for patients who have the same issues.

  8. Paula
    January 17, 2014 | 7:40 pm

    I use a rock for my lab/shepherd mix. Works great. Cost-effective. :)

  9. Kitty
    November 21, 2013 | 9:46 am

    try putting in cooked rice which is loose, my youngest dog has finally learned to eat at a normal pace because he wants all the rice grains so he takes his time now eating

  10. Christina Cash
    November 20, 2013 | 8:18 pm

    I found 4 4 section didh that works great for my pup, that likes to gobble his food. This has helpec to slow down his ea4ting

    • Christina Cash
      November 20, 2013 | 8:21 pm

      Sorry for the type o’s I found a 4 section dish that has helped to slow down Buddy’s bad eating habits

  11. […] By Brandy Arnold […]

  12. Carole
    August 29, 2013 | 3:10 pm

    All my mini schnauzers are pigs and inhale their foods, they used to throw up after eating then eat it again! I started to soak the kibble so it’s soft before feeding and it worked. They eat it slower too. I tried the bowls and they didn’t like them at all.

  13. tara
    August 29, 2013 | 2:01 pm

    my rescue has been on prednisone for the last few months and has since decided he is in a race to inhale his food (almost literally….). when he came, he had been in a cage for 6yrs and had never been out of it…so he chewed he kibble…one by one…like it was the best thing ever! (it made me cry as he seemed to appreciate each bite in freedom…).
    he is a barrel-chested shiba and i am so nervous about bloat (i had worked at a vet clinic and it is an horrific way to watch a beloved pet die…), so i bought one of those segmented bowls. (due to his intense allergies….pred., special food, allergy shots..i was told not to use plastic…only metal..as plastic has the propensity to cause allergic rxns…). this segmented bowl is plastic so that, in itself, is unnerving. it has slowed him at his evening meal to more than 10secs, but his morning meal, it has made no difference.
    we are weaning him from pred. now, only when he has his injections, and i am sooooo hoping this voracious eating habit resolves.
    anyone have this issue with prednisone and gorging habit?? i understand increased appetite, but the intensity i have never seen before on any pet on pred. ( i have done the few kibbles at a time….spread around the kitchen….spread into different bowls around the kitchen and dining areas..etc….but bloat is bloat)
    any input is appreciated.

    • Jeff
      August 29, 2013 | 4:25 pm

      My dog is the same way,here is what i do ,,3 meals a day breakfast,she gets sardines or salmon with sweet potato and fruit and veggies i mix so its like a ball of mush ,she has a standing bowl about 1 1/2 feet high so no bending,then i bought a metal ball big and another a little smaller (not small enough to swallow of course) drop them in the bowl with the food and mush them down, i started with 1 ball but she figured ways around that,this way seems to work best for her,, at lunch she gets a handful of kibble ,soaked in warm water for 30 seconds or so (extra virgin first cold press olive oil works to and gives an awsome coat but is fattening)then drop the balls in, same with supper (rice and a banana)..if you would like pics of these balls (which i bought in a pet store specific for this reason)email me.Hope this helps

      • tara
        August 30, 2013 | 9:05 am

        just curious about your baby’s teeth with no dry kibble?? my guy had no care, including dental, while caged for his first 6yrs. after a good teeth cleaning prior to joining his new family, they have been fairly reasonable, yet permanently stained. i have noticed since this prednisone situation, his breath is failing and i try not to traumatize him more than i have to already with the injections, and fears he already has from who knows what he endured in his previous situation.
        i have just introduced some midday treats (a bone to gnaw on for him, and a bully stick for my other girl with few remaining teeth due to HER previous life…). hoping that will help.
        thanks for you input, jeff

    • Margie
      August 29, 2013 | 9:57 pm

      Tara Our dog was diagnosed with mast cell cancer which is a histamine driven cancer. Our dog has taken pred. for three years on and off her appetite is very pred. driven. We researched high histamine foods and decided a homemade cooked/raw diet would be best suiting for her problems this has allowed us to lower the amount of pred she takes keeping the food monster at bay. You can find a list of high histamine and low histamine foods on the Live Strong web site.

      • tara
        August 30, 2013 | 9:01 am

        thank you, margie. i definitely will. he is on a limited ingredient, no grain duck food as the vet believes our pets have acclimated to the venisons, lambs etc and duck seems to have a lower incidence of allergens.
        i will absolutely further research high histamine foods.
        a family chihuahua who came to live with me after the death of my parents was fed hamburg, rice and fresh veggies…2x a day…for her lifetime. it was her heart that failed in the end but she was one shiny, beautiful little girl….maybe a bit less protein and that would be a perfect diet.
        thanks again for the advice. prednisone is some scary stuff!

    • Linda E.
      November 20, 2013 | 8:38 pm

      my dog is on prednisone too, for itching and he eats a whole bowl of dry food in 6 or 7 minutes and he has the bowl with the separate places. I wish he would slow down, he hardly chews his treats either. I try to take him off of it and he scratches til he bleeds again. I wish I had a solution for the guy, he’s part Boxer and Rhodisian Ridgeback

  14. ddemos
    August 29, 2013 | 1:33 pm

    Separating the food didn’t work for my dog…he eats even faster when he knows there is more food to come… He is also the type of dog that inhales treats, doesn’t even chew them, so I need to always get hard, bigger treats that he HAS to chew. And he’s only 12 lbs.

    https://www.facebook.com/AdoptionRevolution

  15. Melissa
    August 29, 2013 | 12:31 pm

    I bought a bowl from the pet store that has sections. My lab (who swallowed a whole rock and was lodged in his intestins 4 grand for surgery…has his stomach stapled to his abdomenal wall for prevent bloat)..he hates the bowl..takes him 10 minutes to eat. He ate out of that for about 2 weeks..got to the point where he wouldnt eat out of it. I switched back to him normal bowl..now he chews his food. I will definately keep the bowl on hand in case he starts devouring the whole bowl again..they do work!

  16. Kathy
    May 6, 2013 | 11:41 am

    My dog is a rescue that was born in a puppy mill. He’s pretty dainty when eating from my hand but a chow hound when it comes to dinner. I bought a bowl with the fingers and that has slowed him down a great deal, as did adding pumpkin to his food. He had to lick all around those fingers. I’m thinking he’s this way with his food because of competition early on…plus he was skin and bones when I got him.

  17. Lisa
    May 6, 2013 | 11:40 am

    I usually fill his bowl up 1/4 of the way with warm water before putting the kibble in. He drinks the water first, but it makes the food slimy so it’s harder to pick up.

  18. Deborah
    July 2, 2012 | 3:11 pm

    I’m curious as to why some dogs eat so fast and others do not. Did the fast eating possibly start due to having to fight for their food in a large litter? And why does it continue even when there is no other dog around to compete with? My little rat terrier is very dainty when she eats, and gentle when taking food from your hand. But her son eats quickly and you have to count your fingers when he takes something from you, even though we always say “Gentle” or “Easy” before we give it to him! Does anyone have any ideas?

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