Do you have a dog that loves food so much that they scarf it down? You set the food bowl down, only to blink and it’s gone. This can cause some issues if you have this dog. They choke on their food. Maybe they vomit food up. Or spit out chunks of food. You may need the Slow Feeder Dog Bowl to help them.
The slow feeder dog bowl serves one purpose for your pet. To help them slow down while they eat. See, dogs are like us in a lot of ways. Meaning, they have to be able to chew their food. Chewing food allows for easier digestion. It also prevents choking hazards.
So, if your dog eats their food too fast, then keep reading.
Basics of Digestion.
Okay, so maybe you know about how the digestion process works. But, in case you don’t, here you go. When a dog starts eating their food, most dogs will chew the food into tiny pieces. Once they swallow these pieces, the stomach starts on breaking it down. However, the stomach can only break down so much before the food moves to the intestines.
The acid in the stomach turns food from a solid to a liquid from here.
If your dog eats the dry kibble whole, the stomach will only break down a portion of this. This means, that when the larger particles move into the intestinal tract, only so many nutrients are absorbed. In order for the full amount of vitamins, macros and other nutrients to be absorbed, they need to be in full liquid form. This allows for the passage between the intestines to the blood stream and from there, the body. So, we want our dogs to chew. We want them to get as much nutrition from that food as possible.
Now that you have the digestion basics, do you need the Slow Feeder Dog Bowl?
Does Your Dog Need to Slow Down?
Does it take your dog (or cat) only minutes to eat a full bowl of food? If so, then you need to help them to slow down. This requires getting the slow feeder dog bowl. Basically, it’s a bowl with some kind of design in it. The food is spaced around the ridges and forces the dog to eat between the design.
Once you get your dog a slow feeder, you will notice that instead of taking a minute to eat, they take several. Of course, it depends on the style you choose and the material of the bowl. Not all slow feeders are created equally. There are several styles of slow dog feeders to choose from. You want to choose one that will be the right one for your dog. Unfortunately, this may require you to try several.
It’s a new puzzle dog bowl for your dog. Don’t get upset if the first one doesn’t work. The good thing is, they’re not usually expensive.
What are the different styles to choose from?
Different Types of Slow Feeders.
There are several types of slow feeders to choose from. Some have very complex designs depending on what your dog needs. If your dog is super smart, then you may want a more complex design. You want them to slow down, that’s the point, right?
Some slow feeders have floral patterns. Others are very basic designs like a bone in the bowl. I’ve seen mazes as well as others that look like ice trays.
I would determine the style based on how clever my dog is. We’ve seen dogs that can figure out puzzles pretty quickly. Such as a bone being under the couch. Or, maybe they get into cupboards. However you determine the level of your dog, that is how I would choose the bowl style at first. The very complex one’s are meant to make your dog figure out how to get their food, even through a puzzle.
Choose one that will hold the amount of food your dog needs as well. Some bowls are very small and others large. If your dog needs 2 cups of food at a time, then the more complex one’s might not accommodate this. These bowls are suggestions for the size you might need based on the amount of food they hold.
Next, what material should the bowl be made of?
How to Choose the Material.
If your dog is a chewer, then you might not want the slow feeder dog bowl to be made of plastic. If your dog gets frustrated and can’t get to their food, they could wind up eating the bowl instead. Opt for the stainless steel one instead. I will note though, that the metal one’s don’t usually have as complex of a pattern.
Because the manufacturers can work with plastic easier, the plastic one’s are usually more complex. The metal one’s are pretty simple in design.
There’s also ceramic one’s as well. Again, not always the more complex designs. However, you don’t want your dog attempting to ingest plastic. I would monitor my dog while eating out of the slow feeder at first. See how long it takes them to eat. And, do they get frustrated and try to tip the bowl? Or eat the bowl? You don’t want either.
Final Words on Slow Feeder Dog Bowls.
Hopefully this has helped you to decide which style of slow feeder dog bowl you need. All dogs should get the right amount of nutrition, and chewing helps them with that. It will also help them to not choke on their food as well. I’ve seen my dogs when they’re super hungry at times. I put their bowls down and I hear them hacking and coughing. My dogs aren’t normally fast eaters, but some days they are. When they start choking, I immediately become worried, of course.
In the pictures posted above, these are some styles I’ve found to work best. I have friends with dogs that are fast eaters, and these are the one’s that they swear by. Simply click on any of the above pictures and it will take you to the site. As I mentioned, you may need to try a simple one – to try at first. If they still eat too quickly, then move to the more complex one.
How about you? Do you have a fast eater? What’s worked best for you in the past with your dogs? Some cats are even fast eaters. Do you have a cat that eats too fast and gets sick? Or chokes on the kibble? Let us know what’s worked for you so that others can be educated as well.