Tip of the Week: How to Slow Down the Fast Eater

by admin on February 20, 2013

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Many dogs and some cats tend to eat excessively fast. This can be a big problem when it comes to weight control. Here are some tips to slowing down the rapid food consuming dog or cat:

  • Place large rocks (or other large, heavy objects) in the food bowl so that your pet must eat around them to reach the kibble. Make sure the rocks are not so small that your pet might eat them. Also, make sure the rocks are thoroughly cleaned before placing them in the food bowl.
  • Feed dry food, not canned food. Because canned food smells better, many pets eat it faster than dry food.
  • Consider a reduced fat food. Food that does not taste as good is usually consumed at a slower pace, and most lower fat foods are not as tasty.
  • If you have multiple pets, feed those that eat fast in a separate, quiet area away from the other pets. Dogs, especially, will eat more rapidly when another dog or cat is in the room with them during feeding time. They have a strong instinct that causes them to compete for food. They worry that the other pet(s) will eat their food if they don’t consume it quickly.
  • Try special food bowls, such as the Brakefast or Buster Dog Maze food bowl (see photo above). The Brakefast has plastic pegs sticking up out of them so that dogs have to use their tongue to get the food out of the bowl. The Buster Dog Maze food bowl is a bowl that looks like a maze with kibble scattered throughout it.
  • Try food dispensing toys. These are toys that require your pet to work to get to the food. There are numerous different brands but some of the more popular include:

Dog Toys

Cat Toys

Premier’s Kibble Nibble Ball Premier’s Magic Mushroom Premier Twist ‘n Treat Teaser Premier Egg Cersizer
Premier’s Tug-a-Jug Premier’s Roly Rope Pipolino (at pipolino.ca) Kong Wobbler
Pipolino (at pipolino.ca) Kong Wobbler PetSafe Slim Cat Feeder Ball Bat-A-Rat Dispenser Toy
Buster Food Cube Molecuball
Atomic Treat Ball Squeaky Quack Sound Food Dispenser
Premier’s Squirrel Dude
  • Float the food in water forcing your pet to pick up a few pieces at a time rather than getting a big mouthful.
  • Feed your pet in a mini-muffin or mini-cupcake baking pan. The small holes in the pan make it difficult for your pet to reach the food similar to the special pet food bowls previously mentioned.
  • Scatter the food on the kitchen floor and/or throughout several rooms.
  • Hide the food in various locations or use Puzzle Toys (for dogs). Puzzle Toys requires dogs to usually remove smaller objects that are hidden within larger objects to find food hidden under different cups or containers. Dogs must use their nose to locate the treat. Then they use their paws and mouth to uncover the treat or toy. These toys include:
    • Hide-N-Seek Plush Toy
    • Seek-A-Treat Shuffle Bone (by Ethical Dog)
    • Seek-A-Treat Flip-n-Flap (by Ethical Dog)
    • Interactive Puzzle Pizza Dog Toy (by Zanies)
    • Star Spinner Puzzle (by Kyien)
    • Dog Brick Puzzle Toy (by Frontgate)
  • Divide the food into 5-10 smaller bowls and place them in distant locations throughout the house.
  • Divide the food up into 4 (or more) meals per day preventing your pet from eating too much at any one meal.

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