Dogs eating too fast

Slowing down a dog that is eating too fast

Feeding our dogs is our responsibility as dog owners and making sure that we feed them right is very important. We’ve had articles covering the options on the market for dog food, tips for checking your dog is getting a balanced diet, and how to make sure your dog is getting the right amount of food

How fast our dogs eat their meals, is just as important as how much and what kind of food they eat. So what’s going to happen if your dog does eat too quickly? Why are they doing it? And what can you do to help? Luckily there are plenty of products available to slow their eating and explanations for this behaviour.

What can happen if a dog eats too quickly?

Wolfing down meals can have serious implications for a dog’s health, such as choking, vomiting and Bloat, as well as causing other digestive issues.

Choking presents immediate issues and you may need to rush to the vet or perform first aid. Take a look at our Dog First Aid Month blog for more information about learning dog first aid.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, or Bloat, is a serious condition that can be fatal to our dogs. Eating too quickly can cause a build-up of gas and food in a dog’s stomach that can’t be expelled. This puts pressure on the other organs and can restrict blood flow which needs emergency assistance.

Why might a dog be eating too quickly?

Your first step in discovering why your dog is eating too quickly should be to visit a vet, they are the experts after all. A vet can rule out medical reasons for your dog eating quickly, such as diabetes or Cushing’s disease.

Once a vet has ruled out medical reasons for a dog’s behaviour, the main reason for a dog eating too quickly is food security. A dog can feel insecure about food for many reasons and it may be behaviour they learned when only a puppy.

What can be done to help slow a dog's eating?

Creating a safe space for your dog to eat peacefully will go a long way to helping them overcome any insecurity with food. In a single-dog household, this can mean putting their feeding bowl in a quiet area of the house, away from too much interference. For multi-dog households, creating separate feeding areas for each dog will reduce the competition for food and should help to slow their eating.

In addition to creating safe and quiet places to eat, there are a number of products on the market that aim to slow your dog’s eating and encourage them to play with their food whilst they eat.

Creating a safe space for your dog to eat peacefully will go a long way to helping them overcome any insecurity with food. In a single-dog household, this can mean putting their feeding bowl in a quiet area of the house, away from too much interference. For multi-dog households, creating separate feeding areas for each dog will reduce the competition for food and should help to slow their eating.

“Wolfing down meals can have serious implications for a dog’s health, such as choking, vomiting and Bloat, as well as causing other digestive issues.”

In addition to creating safe and quiet places to eat, there are a number of products on the market that aim to slow your dog’s eating and encourage them to play with their food whilst they eat.

Slow feeding dog bowls

Whatever kind of bowl you normally have for your dog, there will be a version designed to slow down how quickly your dog can access all of the food you put in. Here are some of our favourites:

Slow treat toys/products

If a dog is eating meals too quickly, they might also be doing it with treats. Here are some great products, featured on the K9 Nation app, that are designed to make our dogs work for their treats, which helps slow them down.

Soft and colourful, the Feast Fleece Ball has a container for treats or other food. Your dog will need to roll it around to get at the contents which will slow their consumption and help keep them entertained. It comes in two sizes so is perfect for any size dog.

Shop for one here

A pale french bulldog plays with a Feast Fleece Ball. It is about the size of the dogs head, or a small melon. The Feast Fleece Ball is made up of multi-coloured strips of fabric arranged in a ball. A tool to stop dogs from eating too fast.
An orange mat with an intricate ridging. The mat is square and sits against a white background. A tool to stop dogs from eating too fast.

The Lickimat Boredom Buster is another great tool for slowing down your dog’s eating. Spread treats or other food onto the mat, stick it to a surface and watch your dog eat their treats slowly over time. The mats are also freezer safe and can be used to help cool your dog down on a hot day.

Shop for one here

Another solution to slow a dog’s eating is the West Paw Zogoflex Toppl. Treats are put inside the Toppl and will only come out as your dog plays with the chewer. In addition to slowing your dogs eating with treats, the Toppl can keep your dog occupied and calm.

Shop for one here

3 different coloured "Toppl". Cups with a hole in the side that deposit treats when played with by a dog. There is a large light blue Toppl in the middle and two smaller Toppl, one on either side. Left is orange and right is a lime green.

The Lickimat Wobbly Dog Bowl is great for slowing down dogs eating too fast by making your dog put in work to get their treats or food. On top of the benefits to your dog eating slower, it also has a calming effect on your dog!

Shop for one here

The Challenger Cube has six sides of pockets to hide food and other goodies for your dog. Working for their food lets dogs eat slower and the Challenger Cube is a great solution that also stimulates your dogs mentally and physically.

Shop for one here

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