How to Slow Down Fast Eating Pets
|September 12, 2019
Consumer Feeds Specialist
Some pets eat as if they will never see food again and when pets consume their food too fast, it may cause health issues. Chewing their food is vital as it breaks up food and increases surface area for a complete digestion. In addition, chewing helps remove some of the plaque from their teeth before it hardens into tartar.
It can also be dangerous for those who eat too fast by leading to choking, gagging, or vomiting. Dogs that eat too fast or gulp their food can also swallow air, which can contribute to a medical condition called bloat. This is when the stomach becomes distended with air and in some dogs may ultimately lead to twisting of the stomach, which is life-threatening.
If your dog or cat appears to be eating meals faster than normal, there are some things you can do to help modify their behavior.
- Small meals throughout the day: this works well for those who have the schedule to accommodate this plan, but feeding 4-6 smaller meals a day can reduce rapid eating by not allowing the pet become too hungry.
- Object barriers: one of the easiest ways of slowing down eating is just to provide a physical barrier in the feeding bowl such as large stones that can not possibly be swallowed.
- Slow feeder bowls: these are bowls that have plastic fingers that extend from the bottom so dogs and cats must slow down and use their tongues to get the food.
- Food puzzles: nooks and crannies in these type of feeders that food can fit into will provide mental stimulation to your pet and make it impossible for your pet to gulp their food.
- Baking pans: this can either be a cookie sheet or muffin pan. It will allow you to spread out their food so it makes your pet eat individually, which will slow down their eating.
- Hand feeding: this may be the most time consuming but it is a good way to slow down your pet’s eating. Mealtimes can be combined with a trading session so the kibble is used as a reward.
Your veterinarian is always the best resource when it comes to finding the appropriate solution that best suits you and your pet.