Things to consider if your dog eats too fast.
The first thing we need to consider is if our dog is getting enough calories. Puppies are HUNGRY so if your puppy seems ravenous and desperate to eat it’s important to really look at the amount and times we are feeding them. I’ve met some puppies that were truly hungry and once we increased their intake, with the Veterinarian involved, the feeding issues resolved.
The second thing to consider is breed – some breeds are ALWAYS hungry.
If your dog gulps their food down there are a few things to consider first. One is their age. Keep in mind, ALL puppies are hungry! I've met many puppies that weren't getting enough calories at the right time and not only did they eat too fast but they were starting to guard their food because they though it was scarce. If your puppy is ravenous, please consider checking with your vet about increasing either the amount of food or the frequency (or both). If you have a hound breed, odds are - they are always hungry! Providing them with some of the activities below will satisfy their urge to seek and eat and the same time.
Some ideas to help your dog slow down at meal times are:
- Slow feed bowls (a bowl that looks like a maze). These are an excellent choice for all ages and even provide some mental stimulation too. If you want to add a bit of water, that helps to further stretch meal time.
- KONGS and other feeder/food dispensing toys. There are a variety of feeder toys on the market. KONG is a great one as you can pack it with your dog’s meal or snack to not only feed them but keep them busy - can you say win-win? If your dog eats kibble, some of the ball toys are great because they have to roll it around to “work” for their food. This can burn off some puppy energy too!
- Snuffle mats. Snuffle mats and snuffle balls are a wonderful way to serve kibble to your dog(s). If you use it for a full meal, be sure to add plenty on top so they don’t have to search every nook and cranny for their entire meal.
It’s very important to make sure whatever you choose is not too challenging. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be if you had to solve an entire puzzle to get fed? Those types of feeders are great for keeping dogs busy but not for times they are truly hungry.