If you have a dog that eats too fast, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
I have a Newfoundland that swallows his food whole and another Newfoundland that takes his time and savors each piece of kibble in his bowl.
The one that eats his food so fast stresses me out so I’ve spent a lot of time finding ways to get him to eat his food slower because I know that it can be a dangerous habit for him to continue with.
Why Do Some Dogs Eat Their Food Fast?
Some dogs just get really excited to eat so they eat fast.
Other dogs may be competing with another dog in the house because they feel threatened that the other dog will steal their food.
Lack of training can be another reason why a dog will eat too fast.
This is seen often in rescue dogs or dogs that have been abused.
Underlying medical issues such as Cushing’s Disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, intestinal parasites can also cause a dog to feel excessively hungry.
Is It Bad For A Dog To Eat Fast?
If a dog is eating its food super fast and swallowing it whole, it can be bad.
Dogs that eat their food too fast can choke if the food gets lodged in their throat leading to a medical emergency.
Speed eaters are also more prone to gagging and vomiting their food up soon after they eat.
When a dog eats too fast often they are also allowing a lot of air into their stomachs.
This can lead to a dangerous condition called dog bloat or GDV.
Bloat is when the dog’s stomach expands due to too much air and GDV is when the stomach twists.
GDV is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Symptoms That A Dog Is Eating Too Fast
A dog that eats too fast may show signs and symptoms such as gagging during and after they eat, choking and vomiting.
If your dog is eating too fast and throwing up
When a puppy east too fast it will often get hiccups or vomit.
Puppies will usually outgrow the hiccups around 8 months of age.
However, they should be taught early on to eat slowly and not gulp their food down to avoid medical issues in the future.
How To Get Your Dog To Eat Slower
If you have a dog that east too fast, don’t be too concerned, many dogs are fast eaters and there are some easy ways that you can help slow them down.
Feed multiple meals.
Most veterinarians recommend that dogs be fed two meals a day, especially big dogs that are at high risk for gastric dilation (dog bloat).
Spreading out meals throughout the day might make your dog feel more satisfied.
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Split the meal.
Instead of putting all your dog’s food in one bowl, split it up between 2 bowls.
This way, hopefully, your dog will take a little breather when they finish one bowl and move onto the next.
Mix it up.
Spread it out.
If you feed your dog kibble, spreading that out on a cookie sheet will cause them to have to grab each piece one at a time and therefore he will eat slower.
The last option would be to hand feed your dog their meal, this obviously will work best if you feed your dog kibble and would not be recommended for dogs that eat a raw diet unless you are wearing protective gloves.
Bowls For A Dog That Eats Too Fast
These tools make the dog work for their food and slow them down from eating too much at once because the treat dispensing balls and puzzles only release a few pieces of kibble at once.
You can also try feeding your dog from a Kong or Toppl by stuffing the toy with their food in layers.
You can do this by soaking your dog’s dry kibble in water or bone broth.
When the kibble is mushy, stuff it into the toy and freeze it so that it’s even more challenging for your dog.
You can even layer it with different types of dog-safe food like non-fat plain yogurt.
By doing this, instead of your dog woofing their food down, they are licking at it and it takes longer for them to finish it.
You don’t have to freeze it but it will add more stimulation for them if it’s not as easy to get out of the toy.
I personally like the West Paw Toppl for this type of feeding because it has a wider opening for big dogs and it’s easier to clean.
Obviously, this might frustrate some dogs to the point of not wanting to eat but others may be quite intrigued!
DIY Slow Feeder Bowls
You can easily make your own slow feeder bowl by adding an obstacle to your dog’s feeding bowl.
An object can be a baseball or two and your dog will have to eat around that object.
You can also big rocks-unless you have a dog like me that used to eat rocks!
Adding a smaller bowl on top of your dog’s regular bowl will also work.
Yep. Muffin tins are perfect tools to slow dogs down.
Fill each tin up with some kibble and let them have at it! This might not work well for dogs with wide muzzles, such as the Newfoundland.
Flip it. An easy way to make a stainless bowl into a DIY slow feeder.
For a dog that eats too fast, flip over a non-tip water or food bowl and spread the food around the center ring.
The dog will have to move around to get around the bowl slowing him down quite a bit!
This is the way that has worked the best for us and it was easy!