How to Stop Dogs From Shoveling Food

by Sarah Dray
Help your puppy slow down his eating.

Help your puppy slow down his eating.

Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images

The fact that Rover could win a contest for fastest eater in the world is not a good thing. Shoveling down food usually means not chewing it properly and can lead to bloating, vomiting and gastric dilatation -- all of which happen because eating too fast leads to swallowing air. Since you can't have a talk with Doggie and convince him to eat slowly, a bit of trickery might be in order.

Step 1

Buy a slow-eating -- also known as "slow feed" -- dog bowl. These are food bowls that have added plastic posts or grooves that make it difficult to eat the kibble too fast. Dogs actually have to maneuver around the bowl's inside edges and corners in order to get to the food, slowing down the whole process.

Step 2

Feed the kibble on a flat tray or dish, rather than a bowl. Picking up food from a flat surface is a lot more difficult -- and slower -- than grabbing pieces from inside a bowl. You can also use a cupcake pan and spread the food evenly.

Step 3

Feed Doggie alone, away from other pets. He might be eating fast because he's worried the other dogs are going to come around to steal his food, or because he wants to finish his own food so he can go steal somebody else's. If you take away the opportunity or the apprehension, he might slow down on his own.

Tip

  • If you're worried about problems -- such as bloat -- associated with eating too much, too fast, feed smaller portions of food. Rather than two large meals a day, feed three or four smaller ones. This won't necessarily affect the speed of eating, but it will prevent your doggie from swallowing too much air.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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