Does your dog eat every meal as if it were his or her last meal? Is the food gone before you’ve even put away the dog food bag? If so, there’s help for this unhealthy gulping. Food gulping can lead to vomiting, choking and possibly bloat in large or giant breed dogs.
In the past, it was recommended to put a large serving spoon in the bowl along with the food so the dog would have to eat around the spoon, therefore slowing down eating. Some even recommended placing a large rock in the bowl for the same effect but it’s not possible to sanitize a rock.
More recently, several manufacturers have produced bowls with raised partitions or humps that slow the dog down while eating. The dog has to eat around the raised portions to get the food, slowing down eating and swallowing. These bowls are good for all size dogs and puppies.
The Portion Pacer is another great idea to slow down your dog when he or she is eating. Based on the rock idea, these are available in two sizes and come in either stainless steel or ceramic. They can be sanitized in the dishwasher and are a great solution to an age-old problem.
Another way to slow your dog’s eating is not using a bowl at all. Instead of pouring the dog food into a bowl, take the portion of kibble you would normally feed and place it in a treat dispensing toy like a Buster Food Cube. The dog has to nose the toy around the floor and as it rolls, the pieces of food drop out. There are other treat dispensing toys you can also use that will slowly dispense the food one piece at a time. This provides the dog with mental stimulation as well as some physical exercise so it’s great for highly active or overweight dogs.
Food gulping is not a problem for all dogs but if your dog is a gulper, there are many products designed to slow his or her eating so your dog gets a healthy meal without the health risk.
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