Speed = trouble

It’s really no surprise that some dogs attack their meals as though they haven’t 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.

10 Tricks to Slow Your Dog’s Dinnertime Roll

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.

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

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

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’s also the Brake-Fast bowl, which has a slightly more complex design.

DIY 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 can’t swallow it.

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 isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, as a last resort, it’s certainly worth considering for a dog who may potentially pose a danger to himself by wolfing 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, contact your vet, as well as http://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_bloating.

Rover’s Rest Stop is now Rover’s Rest Stop & Ranch! We have more room now and will soon be sharing all the upcoming events and news. Rover’s Kids will be at the Cottonwood Dance Room on March 12 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. See you there!