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.
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.
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.
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: