It was no random choice of words when the idiom “wolf down your food” was coined. The image of a canine ravenously eating their meal in the wild comes to mind. So it’s puzzling as to why domestic dogs eat as though they’re trying to beat someone else to it. No shortage. No competition. Yet this bad habit of gobbling their share may be something your four-legged friend does.
Slow feeder dog bowls aim to encourage clever, and hopefully calmer, consumption. Bring a stop to their canine eating habits, and you’ll have a happy and healthier dog. The best picks for slow feeder bowls are ones that make mealtime fun, stimulating your dog with skillful puzzles. Slow feeder dog bowls like the PAW5 Rock ‘N Bowl will make your pup feel like they’re foraging in the wild again. With some other wonderful options out there, you can choose the best slow feeder bowl for your dog.
What is a Slow Feeder Dog Bowl?
The best slow feed dog bowls come in many shapes and sizes. Some look nothing like a bowl, while others bear some resemblance to the original human-like dish. The purpose of all the unique designs and puzzles are the same: to slow down eating. With hidden compartments, studs, obstacles, and maze-like passages, your dog will need to put in some extra effort to get to their dog food.
A slow feed dog bowl replaces the boring bowl that is used at mealtime. Some smarty pants pups will continue to eat fast and figure out how to tip the bowl over, so variety can combat their desire to cut to the chase. If your dog is scoffing down their water, then a slow feeder bowl can also be used as a water bowl.
Why Use a Slow Feeder Dog Bowl?
First and foremost, the main reason to use a slow feeder dog bowl is to slow eating. Bad behavior in your dog can be a habit that they picked up as a puppy. When there are other dogs in the home, there may be an element of competition that causes them to race through their mealtime. Even without siblings, dogs may still race through their food because of an underlying fear of someone stealing their snack.
Problems That May Cause Your Dog To Eat Too Fast
A hungry and starving dog will race to their meal and scoff down a large amount of food. Even if you think you are giving your dog enough food, the quality of the dog food and underlying health issues can cause your dog to eat too fast. Cheap and nutrient-deficient food brands will not satisfy your pet’s hunger. Make sure you buy the best dog food for your dog so that they leave their kitchen corner feeling satisfied, with met nutritional needs.
If competitive behavior or food quality doesn’t seem to be the problem, get your dog checked out by the vet. Cushing Disease could be causing fast eating. The disease happens when the mammal body produces too much cortisol. Excessive hunger and thirst are among the symptoms. A simple blood or urine test can rule it out.
Of course, before you panic, your dog may find deep satisfaction in eating their food and do so at a speedy rate because they’re excited. Making a change and introducing a slow feeder dog bowl can be an easy solution. And, bonus – it can prolong the best part of your dog’s day.
The Dangers of a Dog Eating Too Fast
There are the obvious dangers of choking, heartburn, or indigestion that can result from speedy eating. When your pet eats their dog food too fast, it can lead to other hazardous conditions, some of which are fatal.
- Obesity – When your dog eats too fast, it doesn’t allow their body to feel full. They will guzzle down everything you give them and then look at you with those puppy dog eyes. Slow feeder bowls slow eating, allowing your dog to chew and digest the food properly. Your little piggy will feel full sooner and start to eat an appropriate amount, aiding in weight loss. Obesity can lead to many health issues, so adopt a slow feed tactic, and you can keep their weight in check.
- Gastric dilation and volvulus syndrome (GDV), commonly known as Bloat, is a disease in dogs where their stomach dilates, rotates, or twists. It can be extremely dangerous and result in an emergency. Cardiovascular damage, abdominal pressure, and cellular damage can be the result.
- Gas – caused by swallowed air when your dog eats too fast.
- Diarrhea due to poorly digested food.
The Top 5 Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
With so many slow feeder bowl options out there, the decision can be pretty overwhelming. The basic requirement of a slow feed dog bowl is to get your hound to slow down. Some bowls will bring the fun of a hunt to the table. These are our top five choices that go over and above that basic requirement.
#1: Paw5 Rock ‘N Bowl
The Paw5 Rock ‘N Bowl is a unique dry food puzzle that looks like an ordinary bowl. When your dog digs in, the bowl wobbles, letting the food fall through hidden tunnels and onto the floor. Your dog will enjoy playing with the bowl to release the tasty morsels. The bowl disassembles and is dishwasher safe. The bowl can hold up to four cups of food, perfect for helping small to large dogs to go slow. This is the best choice with its unique wobble interaction and kibble release adventure.
#2: Outward Hound Fun Feeder
Help your dog to slow down their eating with the Outward Hound Fun Feeder Bowl. The slow feeding dog bowl ticks all the boxes with its non-slip base and high-quality BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free plastic material. Easy to clean and dishwasher safe, the Fun Feeder comes in different sizes. The regular is perfect for large dogs and can hold up to four cups of food; the mini holds two cups of food for small dogs.
The Outward Hound Fun Feeder is a top contender with its different patterns and mazes, keeping your pet occupied for a longer time. Outward Hound also sells an elevated bowl with three adjustable heights. This also assists larger dogs to eat at a comfortable level or is best for old dogs who experience joint issues.
#3: OurPets DuraPet Stainless Steel Slow Feeder Bowl
If your brute of a dog is also a speedy eater, then the OurPets DuraPet bowl is for them. This massive bowl can hold eight cups of food and will slow their eating with its inverted bowl shape. The stainless steel material is the best choice for hard use and also has a non-skid rubber to help it stay put. Even with its large size, the bowl can work well for flat faced dogs with short snouts. It is dishwasher safe too. You can also use this stainless steel slow feeder as a water bowl for your dog.
#4: Siensync Slow Feeder Dog Food Bowl
Are you looking for the best price? The Siensync Slow Feeder Dog Bowl is affordable and beautiful. It comes in red or teal and is a good choice for small or miniature dogs who need no more than two cups of food. It is also the shallowest bowl option, with a depth of 1.6 inches, making it the best bowl for flat faced dogs. The bowl is made with food-safe, high strength ABS materials and is BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free. It’s easy to clean and will fit on the top rack of your dishwasher to wash off any leftover bits of wet food or raw food.
#5: The Company of Animals Green Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
It looks like plastic grass and provides the best challenge to slow down mealtime. The simple design comes in two sizes, and being dishwasher safe, you’ll be happy to know that wet food, dry food, or even raw food will work on this slow feeder surface. The hard plastic is phthalates-free. The Company of Animals Bowl has great reviews on Amazon, with clients reporting that the slow feeder bowl is extremely sturdy even with the most rambunctious dogs.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Slow Feeder
Love a tick-off list? These points may assist you in choosing the best slow feeding dog bowl for your dog.
Food Safe Bowl Materials
When buying a slow feed dog bowl, look at the description and see what materials were used in the construction. Plastics can contain harmful chemicals that can permeate your dog’s food. When purchasing plastic, slow feed dog bowls, make sure they are free of BPA, PVA, and Phthalate. If your dog is a heavy chewer, plastic may not be the best choice as any scratches can trap and hold bacteria that cannot be cleaned.
Stainless steel bowls are unbreakable, non-porous, durable, dishwasher-safe, and easy to keep clean. Stoneware and ceramic bowls have similar benefits to stainless steel; make sure they are lead-free and have a food-grade glaze.
Easy To Clean
You’d be lying if this wasn’t one of the best features of a good slow feeder bowl. While meeting your dog’s needs are your top priority, no one wants to be scrubbing bits of food out of the nooks and crannies of a dog bowl. The best dog feeder bowls are dishwasher safe. Hooray!
Again on cleanliness, dog kibbles spread all over the floor aren’t fun. Save your pet the trouble of chasing their meal by opting for a feeder with a non-skid bottom. A rubber grip or a non-slip silicone base can keep the slow feeder bowl still so that mealtime doesn’t also have to be a game of fetch.
Large dogs eat more food, so selecting a small bowl will end up being messy and frustrating. Select a slow feeder bowl that holds enough cups of food to satisfy your large dogs or small dogs.
Slow Feeder Design
From simple to complex, slow feeder bowls offer varying levels of difficulty. Slow down eating by choosing a bowl that will provide an adventure for their brain without making them too frustrated. Slow feeder bowls are shallower when compared to traditional makes, making it easier for flat faced dogs, allowing them to breathe while they eat. This will naturally slow eating. Keep this in mind if you’re choosing a bowl for breeds like pugs, bulldogs and terriers.
How Does a Slow Feeder Work?
Slow feeders limit ease of access to the food, forcing your pet to use their tongue to maneuver the food out of valley and ridges, and sometimes even complicated mechanisms. If your best buddy usually takes one minute to eat their food, a slow feeder bowl will increase that time. Breaking a habit takes some time and your dog may be skeptical of their new bowl. Show enthusiasm when you first introduce it. Include enticing wet food or their favorite snack to get them really keen on the new contraption. Once they’ve realized how fun it can be, mealtime will be stretched out and they will enjoy the challenge.
Tips for Using Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
Once you’ve introduced a slow feed dog bowl, mealtime continues as usual. However, here are our best tips to ensure a happy dog and a happy digestive system:
- Choose a bowl that will challenge your pet but not cause too much frustration that they give up completely.
- Read the instructions on how to care for your bowl. Make sure it really is dishwasher safe before you go throw it in with everything else.
- Feed your dog the right portion for their ideal weight and select a bowl that has adequate capacity.
- To avoid competition, separate dogs at mealtime.
- Always make sure your dog has a water bowl close by as hydration is essential for digestion.
- Choose the best diet for your pet, or even try an organic, raw food diet rich in fiber and lower calories.
Help Your Dog Go Slow
Whether you choose a slow feed dog bowl or a snuffle rug, introducing a slower method of food consumption is something worth doing sooner rather than later. It’s also worth finding out from your vet what the right amount of food is for your dog’s wellness goals. A slow feeding bowl is a wise choice for the multiple health benefits, but also to combat bad behavior by introducing a stimulating activity into your dog’s day. Get going on your research to find the best slow feeder bowl for your companion animal.