How fast does your dog eat? All dogs are different. While some dogs may be nibblers, slow eaters who go through their meals slowly, then move on to other, more interesting pursuits, others, like our Mochi (our one year old Black Labrador), go through their food like it’s their last meal!
We never really thought anything about it until we read up more about dogs and their habits. And one thing we learned is that it is not at all good for our pet to be eating at such a fast pace! Dogs who gobble down their food may face serious health problems!
Aside from the well-known dangers of choking or gagging on their food, fast eaters also run the risk of abdominal pain, regurgitation and vomiting. Dogs who gulp their food down too quickly swallow air that later expands in their stomach with food that they ate, which can then lead to discomfort and vomiting. This can also lead to a more serious, sometimes life-threatening condition called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or GDV, commonly known as “bloat.”
When the stomach expands with food and the air your dog swallows, their stomachs will then twist, then rupture. This is an emergency situation. Your dog can go into shock, then die!
Slow Feeder Bowls
Obviously, the answer to this problem is to slow your dog down! But how?
Well, you can try dividing the amount of food your dog consumes per meal and feeding him more frequently during the day. That way, he is not consuming too much food at one sitting. The problem with this strategy is that you need to feed your dog more than the usual number of times a day.
You can also employ food puzzle toys, where you place their food inside the toy and your dog will spend as much time figuring out how to get at the food as he would eating it. Some writers say that this activity helps sharpen your pet’s problem solving skills. For me though, I never associated meals with playtime. Not for my kids, and certainly not for my pets. And I don’t think your dog will appreciate having to solve puzzles when all he wants to do is eat his food in peace.
My personal favorite is using a slow feeder bowl. And we’ve stumbled upon a product which we’ve just recently purchased and tried, and we’ve found that it actually works! There are a lot of different makes and models, but the one we settled on, and that we’re going to review today, is the QT Dog Stainless Steel Brake-Fast Bowl.
The Stainless Steel Brake-Fast Bowl
We actually got our bowl from Walmart.com, but it’s also available from Amazon.com. I’m sure it is available from other online sources as well, but we’ve shopped at these two sites often enough, and we believe that a lot of people do, also. So we will use them as our online source vendors for this review.
QT Dog Stainless Steel Brake-Fast Bowl
Large (64 oz.)
$24.99 (with free shipping)
Also available in:
Medium (40 oz.)
Small (12 oz.)
QT Dog 3548 Stainless Steel Brake-Fast Bowl
Large (64 oz.)
$20.00 (also with free shipping)
Also available in:
Small (12 oz.)
These slow feeder bowls were designed specifically to prevent the conditions that we outlined above. What these bowls have in common is that they all are designed to make it difficult for your dogs to gulp down their food. So, they are manufactured with obstructions inside the bowls, themselves, which your dogs need to navigate through in order to get to their food.
Some models have grooves within the bowls, others are shaped differently than the regular round bowls. This particular product is also round, but it does have three cylindrical protrusions inside the bowl, itself, which blocks your dog’s direct sight to their food. They need to work around each cylinders in order to get to the morsels within.
We actually timed our dog while he ate. Before we got the slow feeder bowl, it took Mochi roughly one minute to finish his meal. ONE MINUTE! With the Brake-Fast bowl, he got done in four to five minutes! That’s a big improvement!
The bowl itself, as the name implies, is made of stainless steel. So it’s durable. And to keep it steady on the floor while your dog is feeding, it has a rubber lining underneath to keep it from sliding.
It’s designed to work well with kibble or canned food. But if you’ve been following our blog, then you know that we cook food for our pet, mixed mostly with rice. So we know that it works well with home prepared meals.
The online product description claimed that it was tested and is recommended by veterinarians. The do come in three different sizes. Small bowls hold 1.5 cup of food, the medium bowls hold 5 cups, while the large bowls hold 8 cups.
Finally, the bowls are dishwasher safe, and are made in the US!
There are many other slow feeder bowls in the market. And the prices vary, depending on your taste and preference. Many products are made of plastic materials and are therefore cheaper than the stainless steel versions. The prices that we’ve seen range from $8.00+ to $50.00+. But honestly, one product works just as well as the other. The goal is to keep your dogs healthy and safe by keeping them from eating too fast. And any of these products will help you achieve this goal. How much you want to spend is up to you.
But remember, you do not need to spend too much to achieve the same results. Not for yourselves, and certainly, not for your pets. Be a wise and informed consumer. Identify the problem, zero in on the solution, then be aware of the alternatives. Then pick the one that best suits you and your circumstances.