Dogs tend to be pretty food-motivated. This is great when you’re training them, because lots of dogs will learn to sit, stay, and roll over, just to get a treat. However, many dogs take their love of food a bit too far and gulp down their dinners more quickly than is safe. If your furry friend is a fast eater, a slow-feed dog bowl is a great idea because it will allow them to eat at a much healthier pace.
Why Should I Choose A Slow Feeder Bowl?
Any dog that eats a lot in too short of a timespan won’t be receiving the full nutritional benefit of their food. They might also develop stomach bloating, cramps, or even vomit.
Lots of dogs eat too quickly. They scarf down their food within minutes of being served, which can be dangerous to their health.
For instance, just like with people, when dogs eat too fast, they are more likely to choke. So, slowing down their eating helps to prevent a potentially very scary situation.
There are also other concerns with eating too quickly. Some dog owners might give their dog extra food after assuming that the reason the pet ate so fast was that they were still hungry. However, many dogs will eat with great speed no matter how hungry they are, so this mindset can lead to canine obesity, which can cause other health conditions and concerns.
Furthermore, when dogs consume their food rapidly, they often swallow a lot of air as well. This means that they might have trapped gas that causes them to have excess flatulence or to burp more often. This is particularly true with brachycephalic breeds that have shortened snouts, like pugs and french bulldogs.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to invest in a slow feeder bowl, because this can help keep your dog’s eating habits healthy and prevent any medical conditions from arising.
What Features Are Important With Dog Bowls?
The most important feature to look at when you are considering any dog bowl, including a slow-feeder dog bowl, is the material that it is made from. Silicone, ceramics, and metal, are often pretty safe bets.
You can also find good hard plastic dog bowls, but you have to be careful with this type of material, and be sure that you are choosing a food-safe plastic. Since your dog will be eating out of the bowl, you want to make sure you don’t get any bowls that have toxins or ingredients that could harm your pup.
The size is also an important factor with a dog bowl, and this is going to depend on your own dog’s size. If you have a large breed, you’ll need a larger bowl, because they will need to eat more. Likewise, a small dog eats less, so you’ll want to get a properly small bowl for them. it is important to tailor the size of the bowl to the size of your dog, because if the bowl is too big, it might help them eat even more quickly. This is especially true with slow-feeder bowls, because if you don’t pick the right size for your dog, it might be less effective. Therefore, you’ll want to pay close attention to the measurements.
It’s also good to pick a bowl that is easy to clean. Not all bowls are dishwasher safe, so if you don’t like to wash dishes by hand, you’ll need to pay attention to that. Slow-feed bowls feature some complex and intricate designs, so you’ll especially want to make sure that they are thoroughly cleaned, as it would be easy for old food to become trapped.
Top Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
So now you know some of the reasons as to why you need a slow feed bowl and what to look for. Luckily for you Harvey has been on the case and trust us, we have tried several. Below are some of our favorites.
Tip: Buy 2, using one while the other is getting cleaned. Between the dog food and slobber they get messy.
Why we love it: To be fair, this top pick for slow-feeder dog bowls, is a little more than just a dog bowl. This product from Limitless Essentials is actually a set of 3 items, all of which are designed to help your dog develop healthy eating habits! In addition to the dog bowl, this pack includes a lick mat and chew toy ball, making it a great choice for any dog owner with a fast eater.
The bowl can be used for both dry food and wet food, and it works as a water bowl as well. It features a pattern of raised plastic that is designed to keep your dogs from eating too quickly, and making themselves sick as a result. It also has a non-slip base that helps keep it in place to prevent spills.
The lickmat that is included is great for wet food and treats like peanut butter. It features special grooves and bumps that can help your pet eat at a slower pace, and like all of the included products, it is made from food-safe materials.
Finally, the ball that is included is more than just a regular dog toy. You can fit snacks inside the intricate pattern of divots and holes, and watch as your pup tries to get their treat. By turning it into a game, this will help enrich and stimulate your dog mentally, but also prevent them from scarfing down their food too quickly.
Why we love it: The Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl is one of the best options for those with particularly small dogs or larger dogs, because it comes in a variety of sizes. The large size will hold up to 4 cups of kibble, while the tiny holds about 3/4 cups of food, and the medium is in between at 2.
So no matter the size of your dog, you can make sure they are getting enough food, while helping them eat more slowly. Plus, the customization doesn’t stop there, as this slow-feed dog bowl is also available in numerous vibrant colors and different designs.
Some of the options available include a simple design that resembles a spiral as well as more complex maze-like designs. However, no matter which you select, it will be highly effective at slowing down your dog’s eating. This bowl can make meal time take as much as ten times longer than it would with a regular bowl, which means that it is a great option to encourage better digestion for your furry friend.
This slow feed bowl is also food safe and is free of common materials to watch out for like BPA and PVC. It’s also safe to use on the top rack of the dishwasher, which makes clean up a breeze.
Why we love it: If you don’t want to buy an entirely new bowl, because you like the ceramic bowl or stainless steel bowl that you already own, then the Keegud Slow Feeder Dog Bowls Insert is the best option. This will turn any regular dog bowl into a slow-feed bowl with a press.
This insert features an intricate design that looks like either a flower or the blades of a fan, depending on your selection. It attaches to your existing dog bowl with 36 suction cups that are very durable and have a strong grip. The best part is that it will fit almost all dog bowls, because it can be cut to fit almost all dog bowls that are 4.7 inches or larger.
Furthermore, this insert is great for those on a budget as it is available for less than $11. It’s also made from food-safe silicone, so it won’t cause any harm to your pet. Plus it’s top-rack dishwasher safe, and can be used with kibble or wet food.
Why we love it: This is the ideal budget option for any dog owner that is looking to get a quality slow feeding bowl for less. This bowl is less than $10 but has many great features, so it’s an excellent choice.
It features a complex pattern of raised ridges inside the bowl, similar to the other slow feed bowls on this list. This prevents your dog from swallowing their meal all at once, and forces them to take small bites and forage for their kibble.
This bowl is also made from food-safe materials, but is still durable, so it’s great if you have a puppy or an active dog that likes to be rough with their bowl. Furthermore it has a coating that helps make it easy to clean. It’s also recyclable and has a non-stick base.
However, this bowl isn’t for everyone. It isn’t designed for large dogs, so it’s best if you have a small or medium pet. It also isn’t a good option for dogs with short snouts, so if you have a pug or other brachycephalic dog, you’ll need to pick another bowl.
New Dog Owner Kits
If you’re a first time dog owner, or your pup is getting a sibling soon, it’s best to be prepared. Like inviting a guest over or bringing home a newborn, you want to have things in place that make them comfortable. So consider starting out with a slow feeder bowl as opposed to a traditional bowl and having to switch later. Also, for some great other pet related products you might need check out these related articles:
- Best Dog Leash: Our growing list of reader reviewed and tested dog leashes.
- Large Dog Beds: What your big FurBall needs for a comfortable afternoon nap.
- Harvey’s Favorite Toy: Well, at least at the moment.
So What’s For Dinner?
If ever there were human words Harvey understood they would certainly relate to food. When we ask him if he is hungry or just mention the idea of food, those ears perk up and that tail starts wagging. For whatever the reason though, when he ate, he ate too fast, and more often than not that food came back up.
After consulting with our vet, she recommended a slow feeder bowl and that changed everything. Nothing is more scary than watching your FurbBallFun friend suffer. Get them a slow feeder today and know that you’re doing something good for their health and your peace of mind.
“They work with dog treats too” – Harvey
Until next time,