Does your dog eat so fast that its meal is gone in seconds? If so, you may want to look into adding a Petmate Kibble Cups Slow Feed Bowl to your pups' feeding regimen!
Some dogs eat too fast and it is alarming!
Numerous health conditions and emergencies can stem from a dog that inhales its food.
One solution to a dog that eats ravenously is a slow feeder.
Some feeders can be the shape of a dog bowl but with a maze-like structure inside of it, like Petmate's Kibble Cup Slow Feed Bowl. Others can have a ball with a small hole in it that dispenses kibble pieces piece by piece through a rolling motion.
No matter the type, slow feeders live up to their name and SLOW down a dog's eating pace. They are basically a "yellow light" in the dog food bowl world!
The main purpose of a slow feed dog bowl is to force the dog to eat smaller bites of food. Eating smaller amounts of food at one time has many benefits ranging from GI health to satiety to oral care. Also, the intricate design of many slow feeders forces dogs to use their brain to eat.
Both senior dogs and puppies will find many benefits from eating out of a slow feeder.
TOP 5 REASONS TO USE A SLOW FEEDER
1. Mental Stimulation: When you dump your dog's meal into a normal dog bowl, they can easily scarf it down. It's not a challenge but is instead quite mundane. Robert Thomas from MarvelousDogs says slow feeders are the exact opposite; they are challenging and out of a dog's feeding comfort zone, especially ones with a maze-like structure inside of it.
Mentally, your dog will probably feel confused with the initial transition to a slow feeder. But, after the first couple of meals with a slow feeder, your beloved pooch will love it!
They will be developing excellent puzzle and problem-solving skills along the way.
The biggest benefit of this mental stimulation is better-behaved dogs. By forcing your dog to think through a problem – the slow feeder – it helps reduce the following behavior problems:
2. Improved Digestion and Gut Health: By forcing your dog to eat more slowly, a slow feeder reduces the chances of your dog choking on mouthfuls of kibble.
Dogs using puzzle feeders have to eat smaller bites or fewer pieces of kibble at one time. This allows them to properly chew those pieces and not swallow them whole.
You can just picture a dog eating out of a normal dog bowl, basically inhaling their food whole. They are certainly at risk of choking.
Also, a slow feeder benefit not only reduces choking hazards but also improves digestion. Dogs are better equipped to digest and take in nutrients from food provided in a slow feeder. This is due to the fact that they are less likely to vomit or regurgitate from eating too quickly.
Eating slowly clearly benefits the GI tract two-fold: it prevents choking and improves digestion!
3. Limits Feeding-Related Emergencies: Dogs that eat fast not only intake all of their kibble, they also take in a lot of air as well. This condition is known as aerophagia.
Most of the time, this excess air will easily travel through a pup's GI tract and exist as flatulence. While we might not appreciate that stinky surprise as owners, it is better than the other air-related alternative to bloat.
If this air builds up in the stomach, it could cause the stomach to swell and bloat. Then the dog is at risk of developing a Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV). This condition has a genetic basis to it with large and deep-chested breeds being more at risk. This is a life-threatening condition that will need surgery to undo the twist in the stomach and return its blood supply.
Thus, a slow feeder will reduce unnecessary air intake while eating because they are forced to actually slow down!
4. Combats Food Aggression: Some dogs are just naturally food aggressive. It can be frustrating to deal with, but it is solvable. However, this process is not easy and it will take time and patience!
One method to combat food aggression is by implementing a slow feeder into your dog's mealtime.
Petmate's Diggin' Diner Slow Feeder is a great example of a slow feeder that makes dogs really work for their meal. Your dog will have to use his or her brain and smarts to satisfy its grumbly tummy in the form of mental stimulation.
Your dog will be so distracted by figuring out the puzzle feeder, they may no longer show any signs of food aggression.
This process will take time and it may not be effective for all dogs. But, it's a starting point to try to curb some dog's food aggression!
5. Feeling Full: By taking longer to eat a meal, dogs feel fuller than they would if they were scarfing down their kibble. Satiety will set in and your dog will not be constantly begging you for treats!
How does eating more slowly make your dog feel fuller, though?
Well, when your dog eats a meal the contents will fall into the stomach. Once in the stomach, the partially digested food activates stretch receptors in the stomach's lining that communicates with the brain. This connection allows for signals to be created that tell the body "I'm getting full." Also, as digesta moves into the small intestine, it further initiates the release of satiety hormones.
If a dog eats too quickly, then this whole neuronal and hormonal communication system between the gut and brain is thrown off. The cross-talk between the system does not have ample time to set in and make the dog realize its full. Thus, they are prone to overeating or begging for treats!
The satiety benefit of the slow feeder is an excellent way to begin a weight loss strategy for pets that are overweight.
BENEFITS FOR PUPPIES AND SENIOR DOGS
Slow feeders offer many benefits for both senior dogs and puppies too.
One of the biggest benefits is the reduction of GI medical emergencies such as GDV. But, slow feeders are also great for mental stimulation, weight loss, reducing food aggression, and improving digestion.
There are many kinds of slow feeders available, but most will provide the benefits for your beloved pooch.
Ready to get your dog a slow feeder? Click here to check out Petmate's assortment of slow feeders now!