My Jack Russell named Rowdy was always eating too fast. As soon as he would do his “trick” (sit and stay) and I placed the bowl on the floor… it was full on scarf-the-food-down-like-you-will-never-be-fed-again-time! This would have been all fine and dandy had he not immediately started hacking, chocking or vomiting after he finished. We love our pets like our children and when you see them slam the food down like me going to the bread cart after a 10 day flush diet, it makes us worry about them. We fret and think; gosh if only you would slow down it wouldn’t be so bad! We have a solution for you, but first I want to give out a warning.
As a dog trainer I never advise ANY person putting their hand, foot, head, leg, any appendage close to a dog’s bowl while they are eating. Not only is it stupid to put your body near an animal, especially a hungry one, while they are eating but it’s not polite! Do NOT try to hold them back while eating and don’t take the bowl from them while they are eating as this could only cause or worsen food aggression. Even if your dog has NEVER shown food aggression…I repeat (in my dog trainer voice) DON’T DO IT!
Also as a dog trainer, I am not fond of free feeding. Some of you may wonder what that is: Define Free Feeding- to put down food all the time and the dog eats as they please throughout the day. There are several reasons why I don’t care for it. One of which is that it takes away a prime opportunity for you to interact positively with your dog by doing the mantra “Nothing in life is free”. They need to do a “trick” or some kind of work before they are served their meal. Also, free feeding can make potty training difficult at best and totally get everyone miserable at worst. When you don’t know when your dog ate, how in the world are you going to know when they need to use the bathroom! Now…I am done with the soap box…does anyone else need it?
Warp 7 ahead (obscure Star Trek phrase…yes I am a nerd too) to the solution slowing down feeding time. The Buster Dog Treat and Food Maze is the solution. Take a look at the video if you’re one of those people who like to see it in action here. Essentially what happens is…the ridges in the dogs bowl is too thin for your dogs snout/muzzle/cute long/cute squished/cute somewhere in between/nose to get between. The dog is encouraged to think of a way to get the kibble out. The dog will resort to using their tongue to “push” the treat through the ridge. In doing so, the treat/kibble is pushed around the maze till it gets to the end slot and it pops out! Ahhhh now your dog can have his pieces of kibble. Then they go back to the middle and start over with another mouthful. Near the end of the video you can see a timed feeding routine. It is extremely effective at slowing your dog down.
Not only is your dog slowed down to a healthier pace of eating, but they had to use their brain to figure out how best to get the treat out. Being a dog trainer has taught me many things over the years and I will tell you…any time your dog has to “figure out” something…it is only giving you benefit. The dog can develop more mentally and thus be a more healthy and happy dog. Have fun with it, but a few treats or kibble in there at first to help them out. Let your dog see you pour the food in the middle. This is not supposed to be Jeopardy for dog food here folks; it’s just supposed to slow them down. So make it easy for them, the Buster Dog Treat and Food Maze will slow them down enough without your help.
As always, there is more than one way to “fix” this issue…but this is the best “Making Your Dog Slow Down While Eating For Dummies” version. Good luck and don’t forget to take a video the first or second time you try this with your dog and post it to our Facebook page and/or Twitter! Keep coming back and as always “Thank you for shopping at Really Good Pets Shop…where all pets are really good!”. Scottie Beam me out!