Speed Equals Trouble

Presley eating his orange

D. Rovers

It is really no surprise that some dogs attack their meals as though they have not eaten in days and may never eat again. However, dogs who down their dinners in the blink of an eye are more likely to create problems for themselves than those who eat at a more leisurely pace. If your dog routinely chokes or vomits during or immediately after a meal because of eating too fast, or if you have a breed prone to bloat, here are some useful tips for slowing them down.

Tricks to Slow Your Dog’s Mealtime Rush:

1. Use a puzzle feeder or treat-release toy. Designed to hide treats to help keep your dog mentally stimulated, but when used at mealtime, they offer the added bonus of making food gulping impossible.

2. Serve meals on a cookie sheet. Spread the food around the sheet, forcing them to do a lot of licking and much less gulping.

3. Use muffin tins. The need to move from cup to cup will put the brakes on gulping.

4. Purchase a slow feeder bowl. There are many styles of bowls available, but I recommend stainless steel. Typical design would be a dome in the center, and the food is placed around it, making gulping impossible. There is also the Brake-Fast bowl, which has a slightly more complex design.

5. DIY your own slow feeder bowl. Place a ball, large rock, or other round object in the middle of your dog’s bowl and distribute the food around it. The object should be big enough that your dog cannot swallow it.

6. Hand-feed your dog. This is probably an option of last resort when all others have failed. It will certainly require more of your time, and it will require you to handle your dog’s food, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, as a last resort, it is certainly worth considering for a dog who may potentially pose a danger to himself by wolfing down his food.

For optimal health and longevity of your pet, I strongly encourage a fresh, balanced, species-appropriate diet made with organic, non-GMO ingredients. Dry pet food (kibble) and food containing feed grade (vs. human grade) ingredients are much less nutritious than a fresh, whole food diet. Search the web for additional information on bloat in dogs, and contact your vet as well for information. tinyurl.com/3x35bztd.

Rover’s Rest Stop Kids will be at the Cottonwood Dance Room (A-6) on May 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. Would love to see you there!