We Review The Best Slow Feeding Bowls

Food & Feeding

Slow Feeding Snuffle Mat

The short version:

The Best Slow Feeding Bowls: 

Dogs eating too fast isn’t only rude, it can also put them at risk of some severe health issues. We’ve previously looked into why dogs eat fast, why it’s bad, and how to slow them down. So now let’s shift focus to one of the best tools for helping your pet pause and enjoy their dinner–slow feeding bowls.

Silicone Slow Feeding Bowls

The most popular choice, silicone slow feeding bowls are great because they’re dishwasher safe, easy to clean, don’t leach harmful chemicals into the food, and won’t slide on carpet or tiles. My dog Snoop is personally a fan, and they’ve doubled his eating time (which makes me happy). You can check out the video of him eating from this slow feeding bowl for reference. 

Outward Hound has great large sized slow feeding bowls for under $40. Or you can splash out for the multi-award winning Green by Northmate for just over $60 (including shipping from the UK). If you’re not sure if your dog will take to it, you can also start out with this $6 option from Kmart to see if it’s worth investing in something long term.

Puzzle snuffle mats are also good for mental stimulation.

Snuffle Mats

If you want to take the slow feeding experience to the next level, consider a snuffle mats. These try to mimic the foraging experience by making your dog work to find every last piece of their food. Not only will they slow your pet down, but they’re also mentally stimulating and can reduce anxiety. 

We like Smith & Jones’ epic design that will keep your dog entertained for hours for under $60. 

You can also attempt to make your own (this guide on how to make a snuffle mat that Scratch did with Frankie is your best bet) but be aware that if it’s not correctly constructed it could break apart and be a choking risk. So maybe don’t attempt if you’re new to DIY.

Rock 'N Bowl Puzzle slow Feeder Dog Bowl
The Rock ‘N Bowl Puzzle Feeder Dog Bowl

Games & Toys

Most slow feeders ask your dog to use their brain, but some are designed to be especially challenging making them great to keep your dog entertained when you’re not around. KONG makes several food-dispensing products, but many are better for treats. PAW5’s Rock ‘N Bowl Puzzle Feeder Dog Bowl is probably more suitable for full meals. It’s $136.

grass as a slow feeding bowl
Your lawn is nature’s snuffle mat.

Do It Yourself

Instead of spending money on new slow feeding bowls, you might already have something workable around the house. Old muffin or cup-cake trays work great, or just put an obstacle or two inside their regular bowl. Some people use tennis balls, large rocks, or a smaller sized upside down bowl. Just make sure you’re cleaning all the different parts regularly.

If you want to keep it really simple, you can scatter dry food out on the lawn.

For more feeding advice, check out:

My Dog Eats Too Fast!

Is Sharing Food with Your Dog Unhygienic?

Is Homemade Dog Food Better than Store Bought Brands?

While you’re here, subscribe to our newsletter, check out our magazine, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Written by on for Off The Leash

Article last updated on February 17, 2022

Doug never had a dog growing up but as soon as he stopped moving around knew he needed a dog in his life. Enter Snoop the Beagle. Doug worked for 7 years designing and making dog treats and food for some of Australia's best brands. Now a Co-Founder of Scratch Pet Food.

Frequently Asked Questions

Slow feeding bowls can help prevent dogs from gulping down all their food at once. When dogs eat too quickly they risk choking, gagging, vomiting, excessive burping, farting, and canine bloat (gastric dilation).

Slow feeding bowls are food dishes specially designed to stop your dog gobbling all their dinner at once and possibly getting sick. They do this by making the food slightly more difficult to immediately access between ridges, pockets, or compartments. 

Yes. When dogs eat too fast they can risk choking, gagging, and vomiting. Speedy eating can also lead to excessive burping, farting, and canine bloat (gastric dilation). 

Slow feeding bowls also act as puzzles helping entertain and challenge dogs and reduce boredom.

If your puppy is gulping down their food too fast — putting them at risk of choking, gagging, vomiting, excessive burping, farting, and canine bloat — a slow feeding bowl can help them slow down. They also serve as a puzzle and form of entertainment to keep them engaged and occupied. 

Next in Food & Feeding

Can dogs eat cucumber?

Cucumbers are a controversial fruit (yes, you heard us – fruit). Their deliciousness is the source of heated debate: crunchy bursts of hydration or the watery grave of snacks? We’ll let your dog decide on that.  The short answer: Yes! Cucumbers are as dog-safe as it comes. From seed to peel they’re non-toxic, nutritious, and […]