If you’ve ever watched your dog eat kibble or even wet food during dinner, you may have noticed he/she doesn’t chew their food much. That’s probably what prompted you to ask the question: do dogs chew their food? Dog Ownership Guide did the research on this and can help you answer your question.
Do Dogs Chew Their Food?
Yes, dogs chew their food, but not all of it. While this may concern many dog owners, it is normal behavior for a dog even one with teeth. Digestion for humans begins in the mouth, but for dogs, it begins in the stomach. Since digestion begins in the stomach, dogs don’t necessarily need to break food down with their teeth.
Why Dogs Don’t Chew Their Food Like Humans
When humans eat food, saliva mixes with it to start the process of breaking it down. Chewing food helps release nutrients once it enters the stomach.
For dogs, nutrients aren’t released under the food enters the stomach. There’s no need for the food to be broken down in the mouth when the stomach will do all the work.
Why Some Dogs Chew Their Food and Others Don’t
The only reason a pet dog chews food is to make it fit in the throat. In the wild, the purpose of the mouth and teeth is to carry food to a safe place and tear it up into pieces to be able to swallow it. It’s why dogs’ teeth are much sharper than humans. The purpose of dog’s teeth isn’t for breaking down teeth to make it easier on the digestive tract, it’s to make them small enough to make food go down their throat.
Breaking up large pieces of food into smaller pieces is also why dogs’ jaws are more powerful. Imagine catching prey, killing and ripping it apart. Humans didn’t have to kill prey with their jaws because they had the tools to do it. Dogs need to use what they have on them physically.
Something else to consider about why some dogs chew and others don’t is that they have a pack mentality. In the wild, dogs need to devour food as fast as possible because their environment doesn’t let them take their time. If they do, some other animal may steal. Swallowing food whole is the best way not to lose it.
Is It Good Dogs Don’t Chew Their Food?
While a dog’s body is made to digest food in the stomach, swallowing food whole can pose some issues. Some dogs, especially puppies, may have digestive tract issues if their stomach doesn’t break down the food enough. Larger dogs don’t have this problem as much as smaller dogs and puppies do, but it’s still a concern.
The consequence of dogs not chewing their food is vomiting. When food pieces don’t make their way out of the stomach, the body rejects them through vomiting. Vomiting up dog food happens when the stomach can’t handle the amount of food that enters as quickly as it enters during a meal.
Vomiting due to swallowing kibble whole is much more common than with wet food, but it can happen with wet food as well. This is especially true when the wet food is fresh raw dog food. Large pieces of raw meat, fruits, and vegetables can cause fast eaters to take down too much too fast.
Learn More: Health Benefits of Raw Dog Food
How to Slow Down Fast Eaters
You can slow your dog’s eating habits by making their environment calm and using a special bowl designed to slow dogs down when they eat.
When it’s time for your dog’s meal, be sure there aren’t other pets in the area. This will lower their instinctual response that another animal will take their dinner.
A slow feeder bowl can slow a dog’s eating habits down because they can’t scarf down a large amount of kibble at one time with their tongue. Instead, the tongue can only pick up a couple of pieces of kibble whole at one time.
For dog owners feeding a fresh raw diet, it’s worth the time to break up the food pieces into smaller pieces. It will save you time later picking up vomit and cleaning the floors in your home.
Don’t think the slow feeder bowl isn’t good for fresh raw dog food. It’s also possible to put fresh raw food in a slow feeder bowl just like dry food.
Slow Feeder Bowls for Your Dog’s Food
The following slow feeder bowls are perfect for dogs that don’t chew their food enough for their stomach. They are also good for puppies who are a bit too excited to eat their meals.
Do Dogs Chew Their Food?
To sum up the answer: do dogs chew their food? Yes, dogs chew their food, but not as much as humans chew their food. Wet and dry food doesn’t digest until it hits a dog’s stomach which is why it’s not necessary for them to chew their food as much as humans do.
Despite a dog’s body being different in how it handles the processing of dog food, swallowing food whole can cause problems for some dogs. Using a special dog food bowl can help slow a dog down while eating, which can encourage more chewing. The slow feeder bowl can help a puppy slow their eating habits as well, so consider it for all the pets in your home.