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SNUGGLES 7112Sniff, Sniff, Gulp, Gulp, Done. "Okay Mom, I made room in my bowl. I am ready for seconds." Or that's what Polly's eyes seem to say to me as she stands there hovering over her now empty food bowl. Do your dogs eat so fast? Or do you have a dog that must have water at the same time or she won't eat?
Is your Boston one of those who grabs a bite, scurries to a favorite spot to eat it, returning back to the food bowl for a second mouthful to take to her "eating " spot?
 It is a good feeling when whatever you put in your dogs bowl is eaten. Dog food can coast as much as human food. And you have to admit there is some satisfaction to watch them "lick the plater clean".



Question: Why should we care if our dogs eat fast. So what?

Answer:       Eating too quickly can be a choking hazard for your dog, and some dogs tend to vomit after eating so quickly.  Additionally, dogs that eat very quickly tend to swallow more air which may lead to bloat. "Also, because this type of eating behavior often is associated with greedy behavior, it can lead to aggressive behavior if another pet or person comes close while the animal is eating.There are also underlying medical conditions that can lead to this behavior. Your pet may be infected with parasites that are affecting the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients in the food. Another possibility to consider is that the food is simply nutritionally inadequate for the animal’s needs and is leaving the animal feeling hungrier than it should as a result."¹  ..."Slower eating prevents acid reflux, digestive problems, excessive overeating, erratic eating, as well as nausea in dogs. After getting sick from eating too quickly, most dogs, like children, will purge and then eat again once their appetites recover."² Eating PETER 5769too quickly is a bigger problem than just eating too much: Wolfing can lead to excessive gassiness and may contribute to a life-threatening emergency commonly known as bloat. In that scenario, a dog's stomach enlarges with air. If the stomach then twists, a fast surgical response is required for survival.

   Question:   Would you like to try these hints to slow down your dog?

                      * If the dog knows he is being fed frequently, he may become comfortable with eating at a slower pace.  

               *  A regular eating schedule will give the dog the stability he needs to refrain from gulping his food. 

               *  Use a Kong ball & put some of his dinner inside, as well. He has to push the ball around to get all the kibble out a bit at a time.

 W POLLY 2742              * Offer the dog the food. with your hand, but only allow him to have it if he takes it patiently without gulping.

               * If you have multiple dogs, make sure that each dog has his own food and water available.

               * It is the animal instinct to devour food in order to prevent others from taking from him. The dogs must know they each have their own food and are not competing for a share of the same food.

               * Try a cookie sheet so she can't just gulp huge mouthfuls or there are specially made dishes with a raised part in the center which requires the dog to eat around the center, thereby slowing them down.

               * Separate this dog from the others, when he gets fed so the competition is not there. This problem CAN escalate to her becoming food andW TIBBLESCAHOS 2717 resource aggressive, which can be a source of fighting among the other dogs.

               * Take a piece of food and put it in your hand, put your hand in a fist, Have some of the food hanging out from the side of your hand. Say "easy" and if the dogs tries to snatch at your hand, say "easy" and until the dog can get to take the good easily, feed it to him.

               * A Trainer was mentioned who remarked "Who says dogs need to eat out or bowls? He recommended buying several original Kong toys (enough to hold an entire feeding), put the dog's food into them, add water, freeze them, and give them to the dog at meal time.²

               * There are also food-based toys such as the Buster Cube which dispense food slowly as your dog plays with them.

               * Place a small bowl upside down in a larger bowl, pour the food into the space around the small bowl.

               *One last easy solution? Scatter your dog's meal in the grass or on the vinyl flooring and let him "graze."³  

                          * For those who like high tech or work a lot, we noticed several new electric food dispenser models that could be programed to let out a little food at a time. Probably there are models out there that you can program with your phones and have cameras too.


 If you use any of these ideas would you please share with us winch ones worked for you? Or if you have something to suggest that we may have missed?  


 ¹ petMD


 3  Dr. Marty Becker at Vetstreet