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Does your doggo eat too fast?
Some dogs are slow eaters, taking their time to chew every little piece and enjoy each bite. Others seem to swallow their food whole without even bothering to consider what it is they’re eating. They eat so fast you can barely blink an eye before the entire meal is gone. These dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds. Unfortunately, eating so quickly can be quite dangerous for our dogs.
First, they can choke, which is obviously life-threatening. Gagging on their food will often result in vomiting and discomfort, as well.
Second, eating quickly increases the risk of a serious medical condition called bloat. Bloat (formally known as gastric dilatation-volvulus or “GDV”) occurs when the stomach (or intestines) expands and may twist within the abdomen. This is immediately life threatening, and dogs will go into shock very quickly. When a dog eats too fast, he gulps down an excessive amount of air along with his food, causing the expansion and, therefore, increasing the chances of bloat.
There is also a condition called “food bloat” which is not a true GDV. It is just huge amounts of food that have been ingested sitting in the stomach. This condition does not cause shock. However, if there is even a remote chance a dog appears bloated, it should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. (Hint: a dog with true GDV will retch and vomit mostly foam, rarely food.)
So how can we help our dogs eat at a slower pace? Unfortunately, we can’t just sit them down and have a talk about safety. One way to help them out is to use a slow feeder bowl. Slow feeder bowls have several great benefits....
The pros of a slow feeder dog bowl
A slow feeder dog bowl has many advantages when used correctly. Slow feeder bowls…
… give dogs mental stimulation and curb boredom
… fulfill dogs’ natural instinct to ‘work’ for food (like dogs do in the wild)
… give dogs time to feel full, so they are less inclined to eat as much as when they eat quickly