Your dog may be an aggressive eater. Your dog or your puppy may be nervous when he is eating. You may notice that your dog tucks his tail and eat so rapidly. Sometimes he may eat his meal within 5-10 minutes which is WAY TOO FAST! This is not a good phenomenon and he SHOULD NOT BE EATING TOO FAST!
Sign of Eating Too Fast
Look for signs of bloating. These include: bloated or swollen belly, walking hunched over, unsuccessful attempts to vomit, listlessness, and pacing. Always call your veterinarian if you suspect bloat. This is an emergency, and it is better to waste a phone call than miss a life-threatening problem.
Bloating from food can increase the chance that your dog’s stomach will twist, cutting off blood supply to the stomach. This can cause irreversible damage to the stomach or death. A dog suffering from this must be seen immediately by your veterinarian. There is no home remedy.
So you should learn how to let your dog eat slower before serious problem happens.
Why Your Dog Should NOT be Eating Too Fast?
So, why should you be concerned with your pet’s eating speed? Eating too quickly can harm your pet’s digestion: he may choke, burp, pass gas, bloat, and even vomit. This is because they are not chewing their food thoroughly, rapid eating can lead to choking or gagging. Also, because this type of eating behavior often is associated with greedy behavior, it can lead to aggressive behavior if another pet or person comes close while the animal is eating. In households with children or other animals, an animal that gobbles down its food can be a danger to anyone it perceives as a competitor for its food.
There is also a medical condition that affects some animals, especially large-breed dogs, called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). The rapid eating and gulping results in excessive air, fluid and food filling the stomach, followed by swelling (dilatation) of the stomach cavity. As the stomach expands, it can twist around on its axis (volvulus), making it impossible for anything to pass through the stomach to the intestines. If this occurs, the animal can go into shock and die quickly.
Why Your Dog is Eating Too Fast?
For some puppies or dogs, meals would be considered as a competition because they may afraid of losing their meals. It may have even started while the animal was nursing. This becomes a pattern of behavior, and is carried on into a new home. The behavior may be most pronounced when there are other animals in the home, but it may also be present even if he no longer has competitors.
Of course, there are also underlying medical conditions that can lead to this behavior. Your pet may be infected with parasites that are affecting the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients in the food. Another possibility to consider is that the food is simply nutritionally inadequate for the animal’s needs and is leaving the animal feeling hungrier than it should as a result.
General Tips for Your Speed Eating Dog
Feed more often
A good first tip is to try feeding small amounts more often. Let’s suppose you currently feed your dog two cups twice a day. So then try giving him one cup four times a day instead. This will decrease the amount of food he can wolf down at any particular time. Even this may not decrease his eating speed at this moment, he won’t wuffer from eating too much in a short period of time.
The next step is to actually slow down the process of eating by making her work a little harder for the food. You can put a soup can in the middle of the dish or arrange some large rocks in the bowl to slow her down, just make sure the rocks are clean and large enough so that she can’t fit them in her mouth.
Fill the Dog Dish Differently
Rather than dump the food into a dog dish, turn a metal non-tip bowl upside down. Spread the food in the ring surrounding the center. For your dog to get all the food, he has to circle around the bowl as well as pick his head up to shift to the other side.
Even something this simple can slow your dog down a bit when it comes to eating and doesn’t require any new equipment.
Change the Dog Dish
There is also a special food dish called the “Brake-fast” dog food bowl that has three plastic pegs in the bowl that the dog has to eat around. They are non-tip bowls with plastic knobs in the center. They don’t have grip rings, so they can slide as dogs eat, requiring them to ‘chase’ their food.This kind of dog food bowl can reduce his eating speed effectively. Combining with other techniques, this dog bowl is so effective for training your dog eat slower.
You can buy your Brake-Fast Dog Food Slow Feed Bowl here. This is a good product from Amazon and the price is really reasonable that I strongly recommend you to get one.
You could also purchase a puzzle feeder. This kind of dog feeding bowl is quite fancy but it could increase your dog eating time. These make your dog work to uncover food by moving pieces of a puzzle aside or solving tricks before they can access to their food. Buy Your Puzzle Feeder Here!
Place a large rock in the center of the bowl and spread food around it
This is similar to spread the food in the ring surrounding the center. In my opinion, this is more effective because large rock is kind of obstacle when he is eating.
DO NOT USE SMALL ROCKS! Only use a large rock because some dogs will swallow stones if they are small enough. For small dogs, I would like to place 2 or 3 golf balls in a bowl and spread food around them. The dog will have to move the balls aside to eat, slowing him down.
Be aware that this is only suitable for small dogs where a golf ball is too large to swallow. If you really don’t want to use rocks, you can try using tennis ball for large dogs.
What if I have More Than One Dogs?
Determine if your dog is a competitive eater
Do you have more than one dog? You may find that your dog eats quickly because he fears the other dog will steal his food, or maybe he eats quickly in order to race over and eat the other dog’s food. This behavior is called competitive eating.
Separate food bowls
Feed your dogs from separate bowls placed at either end of the room. This gives each dog a chance to eat from his own bowl without the pressure of the other dog breathing down his neck. If the greedy dog is determined to steal food, then feed him in another room, out of sight of the other dog.
This takes the pressure off the victim dog and removes the temptation of extra food for the greedy dog.
Feed your dogs regularly
You may find that your dog will still rush over to eat the rest of the other dog’s food purely out of habit. This could be a result of food insecurity. Feeding him on time will create a sense of food security.
The dog might have had an unfortunate experience that made him feel this is necessary. For example, the owner was late home and the hungry dog found leftovers from an uneaten meal. When the next meal appeared, he bolted his food and went in search of leftovers (from his pal’s dish) out of a sense of food insecurity.
Try feeding some of her food by hand and every now and then put a treat in her bowl while she is eating, so she understands that someone walking up to her food bowl is not a bad thing and isn’t going to take it away from her. Hopefully, these tips will help slowing him down and make meals a little more pleasant.
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