If you’ve ever found yourself standing by your dog’s bowl trying to slow down the speed at which they eat their dinner, then you’re not alone.
Watching our furry friends gobble up their food in a flash can be both amusing and alarming – after all, we don’t want them to eat too quickly and risk any potential health issues.
Thankfully, there are some straightforward steps that you can take to slow down your pup’s eating habits. Read on for advice on how to stop your dog eating so fast.
Why does my dog eat so fast?
Have you ever watched your furry friend wolf down their food and wondered why they do it? We have some answers for you!
1. Hungry Like The Wolf
Dogs use up a lot of energy during the day, so when mealtime rolls around, they’re ready for it! They may be feeling extra hungry or energized after playing catch, so eating fast helps them refuel.
2. Survival Instincts
Eating quickly is part of their dog DNA; dogs are descended from wolves who had to eat before other animals could take away their meal. So this instinct lingers in our canine companions today.
3. Looking For Leftovers
Even if there isn’t competition at mealtimes, they may still be looking for extra food. Dogs often try to clean their plates as fast as possible in case there are any sneaky pieces of food hanging out.
4. Not Particular About Their Food
Most dogs aren’t picky eaters and don’t care about the taste or texture of their food. They just want to get it down quickly, which means they can move on to other activities like playing catch!
5. Fear Of Missing Out
If you have multiple pets who share mealtime together, your dog may be worried that one of the others will take away his dinner before he gets a chance to finish it for himself.
Is it bad for a dog to eat fast?
There are some reasons why you may want to think twice before letting your pup chow down on their meal too quickly.
Eating too quickly can cause a dog to swallow air along with their food. This can lead to an uncomfortable condition known as bloat, which is the accumulation of gas in the stomach.
Not only is this painful for Fido, but it can potentially be life-threatening if not treated promptly by a veterinarian.
Dogs that eat fast tend to consume more calories than necessary since they don’t always sense when they are full.
This can lead to weight gain, which could then result in obesity-related health problems.
Lastly, eating too quickly can increase a pup’s risk of choking or developing an intestinal blockage due to the size and shape of their kibble. They might also get hiccups because of eating so fast.
It’s important to make sure your dog is savoring their food rather than wolfing it down for this reason.
How to stop your dog from eating so fast?
We’ve got 7 effective ways to help him slow down and enjoy mealtimes.
1. Invest in a Slow-Feeder Bowl:
A slow-feeder bowl is designed with ridges or barriers around the edges of the bowl, making it more difficult and time-consuming for your pup to get their kibble out.
This forces them to take smaller bites and encourages slower eating habits.
2. Add Ingredients to Your Dog’s Meal:
Adding ingredients such as plain yogurt, canned pumpkin (not pie filling), peanut butter, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs can make mealtime last longer while providing your pup with some extra nutrition.
3. Use Treats to Slow Down Mealtime:
Inserting treats, such as kibble-sized pieces of cheese or meat, into the slow-feeder bowl can be an effective way to draw out mealtime.
You can also strategically place whole treats around the bowl that will take longer for your pooch to sniff out and eat.
4. Hand Feed Your Dog:
Hand feeding is an excellent way to bond with your pup while slowing down their eating habits.
Simply pour out a small portion of their meal onto a plate or in a shallow container, then use your fingers (or a spoon) to call them over and feed them one bite at a time until they’re done.
5. Break Up Meals and Feed Smaller Portions:
If your pup is a fast eater, break up their meals into smaller portions throughout the day or week.
Try feeding one meal in the morning and one in the evening, or portion out meals in advance with an automated feeder.
6. Engage Your Dog During Mealtime:
Providing distractions for your pup during mealtimes can take their focus away from eating quickly so that they can savor each bite of food.
Try offering chew toys, a stuffed Kong toy, a treat-dispensing toy, or just engage them in play while they’re eating to slow down the pace at which they eat.
7. Get Some Help:
If the above methods don’t work, consider consulting with a canine behaviorist who can help you figure out the root of your pup’s eating habits and how to discourage them from eating so quickly.
How long should a dog take to eat?
It depends on the size and breed of the dog as well as its individual appetite, but typically a dog should take around 15 minutes to finish their meal.
However, some factors such as age or medical condition can affect this time. For example, puppies usually eat faster due to their small stomachs and higher metabolism rate; whereas an elderly or sickly dog may take longer to consume its food.
Overall, proper eating habits can promote healthy digestion and a longer life expectancy in your pup.
So make sure you keep an eye on your doggo’s dining routine and if something seems off don’t hesitate to contact your vet—just like you would when it comes to human health! Happy chow time!