Do your pets eat too fast? Do you need some tips to slow them down?
You may be asking yourself “Why is my dog eating so fast?” or “How can I get my dog to eat slower?” These tips can help them slow down, eat slower, and keep them safe. When my husband and I rescued our first dog in 2016, she would literally inhale her food. She was found stray and was always eager to eat. We both grew up with dogs but had never had to deal with this situation before. As a dog walker and petsitter in Colorado, I have been working with all types of dog breeds of all sizes and temperaments. I have learned so much from my own pets and working with yours.
What we first did seems SILLY now and looking back I have to laugh. We literally threw her food in our BLENDER and ground it into kibble flour. We added water, let it rehydrate, and fed it to her like wet food. Please don’t waste your time (or break your blender) with this method. My Vitamix still lives but I have several other PRACTICAL ideas for you to slow down your dog or cat if they eat their food too fast.
Pets that eat too fast can get sick and vomit, they can get canine bloat (which is deadly but preventable), they could choke, or they could injure themselves trying to get to their food. Some of these methods also work for cats as well!
Here are my quick and easy tips to slow your pet down:
These are a few simple and easy things you can implement TODAY to slow down your dog’s meals so they can safely eat. I am not a veterinarian and these tips are all things I have tried with my own pets or have been instructed by clients to do for their pets. Be sure to supervise your pets with all of these methods and consult with a veterinarian.
Hand Feeding Kibble: You can hand feed your pet one or two pieces of kibble at a time. Not only is this a bonding exercise for your pet but this will dramatically slow them down.
Wet Food: When your dog needs to lick to eat, this could slow them down. If I have an open can in the fridge and I pack that food into a bowl, my dogs will lick rather than chew. If I don’t pack it in there, my dog will eat in chunks so don’t skip that part.
Feed in Increments: If they are vomiting after a meal or eating their entire meal in seconds, you could cut their portion into a quarter, thirds, or in-half. Wait for a several minutes in between so that they have a smaller chance of vomiting, if that is an issue for them currently.
Don’t Overexcite Them: Dogs eat slower in calm settings when they aren’t over stimulated. If you rev them up, they are going to eat faster.
The rest of these tips are the most helpful but you’ll need to grab some tools to implement them. I buy most of my dog’s food, treats, bowls, puzzles and accessories on Chewy.com and utilize their auto-ship option to get an extra discount.
This is now a DAILY thing in my home and is 100% worth it!! Not only do they look cool, they are effective in slowing down all three of my pups. Over the years I have seen more and more clients using them. They come in all shapes and sizes. My go to to find these is on Chewy.com, but you can also find them at any big box pet store. I have even seen them at places like Homegoods or Marshall’s almost half price!
Kong’s or other fillable toys, can be filled with their wet food or a treat. Freeze wet food OR you can add hot water to kibble, rehydrate, fill, then freeze. This is also a great thing to have as a distraction for your pet when they are stressed or just need some enrichment. I use nut butter or coconut oil and freeze for a quick snack that lasts a while.
Who doesn’t like a game?! Not only is this great enrichment mentally and physically, your pet will have to figure out how to get to the food. I recommend a puzzle that has sliding pieces rather than removable pieces. I have seen these for both cats and dogs.
Every pet is different so remember to have patience, even if they don’t. Once your pet finds a way to eat slower, not only will it be less stressful for them, but it will also be less stress for you as their pet parent.
Does your dog eat too fast? Slow the down with these easy tips. If you have other methods you use, I would LOVE to hear them! Did you try any of these methods and they worked for you?! Let me know in the comments! I would love more ways to help clients or other pet owners. I am a pet sitter and dog walker in the Westminster, Broomfield, and Arvada area in Colorado.