Got a pooch that eats like you are throwing a raw chicken to a starving crocodile? This behaviour can cause problems such as vomiting, food aggression and bloating. So here are some inexpensive tips to slow down their eating habits:
1. Changing their bowl - Making food harder to access from the bowl is one way to slow down your dog. One easy way to do this is to flip their stainless still bowl upside down. The crevice makes it harder to get to the food. Muffin trays are also a great idea; it divides the food into smaller portions and allows the dog to pause between mouthfuls. You can also place a tennis ball on top of each muffin cup and turn it into a fun game!
2. Nothing in life is free - This is the number one rule for dogs that I find helps with many behavioural problems. Not only does it create good manners it also changes the dogs thinking process from scoffing food as fast as possible, to slowing down and thinking about what they have to do next to receive that food. It is also a great bonding experience. How it works: Start out simple, asking your dog to sit and hold that sit until you give a release command. Asking your dog to preform a task before giving each portion of food.
3. Feeding toys and games - Another great way is toys and games. However while they do work well there is no need to buy expensive food balls. Filling containers such as water or coke bottles with food works cheaply and effectively. You can also use PVC pipes with the ends sealed and holes drilled for the food to drop through. Placing food in an old cereal box and sealing the ends is another great idea.
4. Food mat - on a plastic table mat smear wet food around and then sprinkle dry food on top. The longer the mat the more fun!
5. Splitting up family members - Sometimes fast eating can be caused by fear that food is going to be taken by other family members. Giving them their own space when eating takes out that fear and allows the dog to eat in a calm manner.
Bianca is the owner and groomer at Funky Fur dog grooming and always looking for ways to help you care for your pet.