If your canine companion is an enthusiastic diner and wolfs down his food in record time, you may be wondering how to slow him down. Bowls for dogs that eat as if they were starved for several days may help put a speed limit to your dog's rapid eating habits.
Eating a meal rapidly may seem like a pretty innocent canine habit after all, but there are certain risks to keep into consideration. Choking and regurgitating food from eating too fast are some common consequences. Rapid eating also causes your dog to take in a large amount of air leading to excessive flatulence, and in some cases, even a life-threatening condition known as bloat, explains veterinarian Marty Becker. While any dog may develop bloat, this condition most commonly afflicts large, deep-chested breeds such as Saint Bernards, Akitas, Irish setters, Great Danes and German shepherds.
Bowls for fast eating dogs are designed with aggressive eaters in mind. Most of these bowls feature raised nubs or are split into several sections so to make eating more challenging. If your Hoover dog wants to eat, he will basically have to work his way around these compartments without being capable of taking big mouthfuls all at once. This means that it will take longer for him to finish his meal and he may even start chewing his food for once.
Some bowls are built in plastic and are purposely made of lightweight material so that dogs are forced to push them around so sooner than later they can learn to eat calmly and gently. Other sturdier options may be made of heavy- duty stainless steel or a combination of melamine and stainless steel. Non-tip designs and rubber rings on the base of some bowls are added features to prevent the bowl from continuously sliding and creating annoying noises.
If you are hoping your record-breaking eater will transform into a gentleman diner, consider that these bowls may not work for every dog. Some dogs may outsmart these bowls and simply turn them upside down, splattering food all over the floor. Other dogs may simply chew through the nubs and destroy the bowl or may eat slow at first and then resume eating fast as they learn some effective ways to bypass those nubs. However, many dogs do slow down eating and eventually learn better and healthier table manners.
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.