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Does Your Dog Eat Too Fast? Here’s How To Teach Them To Eat Slowly

Dogs can be quick when it comes to their dinner – they’ve learned that every meal could be their last! That’s because, in multi-dog households especially, eating takes on a competitive edge. Puppies learn this behavior early and carry it with them through adulthood.

Your dog might feel as if they were competing with other dogs, as a puppy, for food, or they feel threatened in some way.  Another factor is their breed. Some breeds have a ‘wolf-like’ tendency that carries a competitive nature in some dogs. This means that the faster they finish the food, the better chance they have for survival, and it also ensures that other dogs won’t get too much of their food when they have the chance to steal it. 

While a healthy appetite is normal for dogs, eating too quickly can be cause for concern. Your pup might have parasites or another health issue such as Cushing’s Disease that affects how long dogs digest food and absorb nutrients. This can also cause choking, which is obviously life-threatening. Gagging on their food will often result in vomiting and discomfort, as well.

Read on to find some advice on how you can slow them down on eating.


Give them Slow-Feeder Bowls

Give your pup slow-feeder bowls. These are designed to eat more slowly and deliberately. Slow-feeder bowls are also made to help control how dogs digest their food and prevent them from over-eating.

Try this clever trick: put their regular bowl upside down inside one that is at least two sizes larger. By filling the gap between them with food, you’ll help break up how long it takes your pup to finish their meal – without leaving any behind!

Dogs typically take around 8-10 minutes to digest their food, so the added “hurdle” of finding out how to get each bite out of the larger bowl can keep pets occupied longer and ensure they always get what they deserve. It’s such a simple method yet so effective! Place their regular bowl upside down inside one that is at least two sizes larger. Filling the gap between them will encourage slower eating – without leaving any food behind.


Hand Feeding

Anyone who has a dog knows how much they love to eat – the effects of that are obvious when their bellies get bloated after a meal! But did you know how long it takes for your furry little friend to digest their food? Depending on how big their meal is, it can take up to 8 hours for dogs to fully digest their food.

If you have very little time but still want to give your pup some extra attention during meals, why not use this time as an opportunity for training? Training time can easily double as mealtime – just use your pup’s regular kibble as rewards throughout various tricks or commands that you teach them.

Break everything down into small steps, and you’ll both be rewarded with a full belly and knowledge gained.


More Frequent Mealtimes

Break it up and turn the large meals into small frequent snack times. This allows your dog to wolf down their food during meal time knowing that another one is coming right away.

By breaking up feedings throughout the day, you can help prevent overeating as your pet won’t feel like their meal is their only source of sustenance that day. This also gives your dog’s digestive system more time to process their food.


Put a Toy or Ball With Their Food

An efficient and effective way to slow their eating speed is by obstructing their food bowl with a toy or ball. A Planet Dog Recycle Ball, for instance, offers an element of fun and amusement but also creates a constricted space that requires your pup to take small bites.

This can also help digest their food quicker, allowing them to get more out of the nutrients they consume in a shorter amount of time.


[Also Read: DIY No Sew Doggie Tug Toy]


Talk To The Vet 

Last tip but certainly not the least, rule out any parasites and ensure that your dog is getting the nutrition he needs. Ask your vet for the right diet and recommendable dog food with human-grade ingredients to provide your pet with the enough minerals, vitamins, and protein that he needs to stay full and healthy. 


Other Solutions

Eating too quickly can be an issue for many dogs, and can even cause more serious health problems. It is generally recommended not to encourage this behavior, as it will not help the dog survive and thrive.

To tackle the issue of how fast your dog eats their food, consider making some lifestyle changes, such as where they are eating or what they are eating. Rapid eating can cause several physical issues, especially when a dog’s food isn’t chewed thoroughly enough, which can make it difficult for them to digest properly.

Making sure your pup has a healthy diet and eats at a reasonable pace is essential for both their health and happiness.


Help Them Create Healthier Eating Habits!

There is a huge range to how dogs eat and how they are in terms of establishing their feeding habits, but the most important thing to remember is that however unique your dog may be there are solutions to help manage that and create healthier eating habits for them.

If there is an issue with how quickly your pet can swallow their food, you may want to look into how long it actually takes for a dog to digest its meal. Working from this timeline can help you break down how much time they should have at each meal instead of simply allowing them to wolf down as much as they can all in one go.

This method can change the situation dramatically and make all the difference in both yours and your pet’s life.

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