Does your pup cough or seem to struggle when eating because he/she is eating too fast and too much at one time? If so, you’ve probably looked for a way to slow your dog down with slow feeder dog bowls. Before investing in them though, learn about the slow feeder dog bowl pros and cons.
Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Pros and Cons
Nearly all decisions in life are met with pros and cons and that includes slow feed dog bowls. Understanding what they are can help you make a decision on whether they are right for you and your dog.
Slow Feeder Bowl Pros
There are many advantages to using a slow feeder dog bowl for your pup.
Reduced Risk of Choking
Making the eating process a bit more difficult slows it down so a dog doesn’t swallow more than the throat can handle. This leads to a reduced risk of choking.
When dogs eat too fast, their stomach has a hard time digesting. The body may purge food that can’t be digested as quickly as usual, which results in vomiting.
Taking more time to eat improves digestion so a dog doesn’t end up losing the food (and nutrients) consumed.
Weight Loss and Maintenance
Fast eaters are often overweight because they fail to receive the signal they are full before consuming more than their body needs. When dogs slow their eating, they end up consuming less, which results in weight loss and maintenance.
A slow feeder bowl causes dogs to think about their dog food because they have to pick it up around grooves, especially puzzle feeder bowls. Not only do these bowls help with slowing down eating, but it offers mental stimulation.
Slow Feeder Bowl Cons
The cons of slow feed bowls can be deal breakers for some dog owners, so be sure to consider them when making a decision.
Dogs that are excited during mealtime may be a bit too aggressive with the slow feeder dog bowl leading to damaged teeth.
Other dogs may become frustrated if they can’t get the dog food out of their bowl fast enough and try to attack the bowl, also leading teeth damage.
Unfortunately, the only way to know if your pup will suffer from one of the two above situations is to try it. The good news is that slow feeder dog bowl sellers on Amazon allow you to return your purchase if the above ends up being true with your pet.
Plastic bowls can be a problem for some dogs. If the plastic isn’t thick or made of high-quality material, a piece of it can break off or get chewed off leading to a choking hazard.
The best way to avoid a situation like the above is to purchase a high-quality plastic slow-feed dog bowl or choose a different material such as stainless steel.
Messier Eating Areas
A puppy or enthusiastic dog may create quite a mess with a slow feed or puzzle feed dog bowl. Trying to get get the food out of the bowl can make any size dog resort to pushing, flipping, and throwing their food bowl around. This can create quite a mess for dog owners.
The best way to avoid the above is to choose a food bowl that has a no-slid bottom, such as the one below. It’s also a good idea to choose a bowl that is the right size for your pup. Large dogs should have a dog food bowl that is larger than small dogs and medium dogs use.
In addition to a messier eating area, it may be hard to clean your dog’s bowl due to all of the grooves and crevices.
Soaking your dog’s bowl in soapy water and placing it in the dishwasher can make the cleaning process easier. It’s a good idea to have multiple bowls available so some can be washed while others used.
Be sure when putting the puzzle feeder or slow feeder in the dishwasher that you set the dry cycle to air dry or no dry at all. Unless you have stainless steel, they can melt under high temperatures.
Why Dogs Eat Fast
Dogs eat fast for several reasons:
- They fear another pet in the home will take their food.
- Not enough food is provided so hunger takes over.
- The food is so good they can’t help but gobble it all down. This is usually the case with wet food or super yummy fresh raw dog food.
While you can try to eliminate the factors that contribute to fast eating, it may not be possible, which is why most dog owners choose dog food bowls for fast eaters.
The Problem with Fast Eating in Dogs
Fast eaters can suffer from a medical issue called gastric dilation and volvulus (GDV). GDV is caused by swallowing too much air while eating and that leads to bloat and stomach dilatation.
Dogs that suffer from GDV have an increased risk of:
- Gastrointestinal Issues
Pet parents who notice their dog is eating too fast should speak to their veterinarian about GDV and of course, consider ways to slow down the eating process.
Types of Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
Pet parents have many dog bowl options and sizes to choose from for their fast eaters.
Slow Feed Dog Bowl Inserts
Instead of buying new food bowls, slow-feed bowl inserts are perfect. They fit nicely into the bowl and the kibble or wet food fits on top. They come in many different sizes for large dogs, medium dogs, and small dogs.
Puzzle Feeders are designed to give dogs some fun while they eat because they make it harder to find and grab food. These feeders may not be the best choice for mealtime, but they can be used for it any time.
Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
This is a regular bowl but with grooves in it. You can find them made out of plastic and stainless steel. Again, dog owners should make sure to purchase the right size for their dogs, especially if they have a puppy.
Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Options
The following are some of the slow eating feed bowls we recommend. You can find more here:
Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
The Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl is perfect for a small-medium dog with other sizes available. The circular makeup of the bowl can slow down eating up to 10 times compared to a regular bowl. Simply pour kibble on top to fill in the grooves.
Jasgood Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
The Jasgood Slow Feeder Dog Bowl is great for large dogs and comes in many different colors. It’s made of high-quality PP material and is VOA, PVC, and phthalate free. The spiral design makes dogs eat slower, which leads to better digestion.
A small/medium size is available for small or medium dogs.
Mighty Paw Slow Feed Dog Bowl Insert
The Mighty Paw Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Insert fits perfectly into a stainless steel regular bowl. The deep dog bowl can hold about 3 cups of food, which makes it great for large dogs.
This insert comes in vibrant orange and green, which can be attractive to dogs. For pet parents without stainless steel bowls, Might Paws sells them as well made for their inserts.
Check out other slow eating dog bowl inserts by clicking below:
Considering the Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Pros and Cons
Now you know the pros and cons of slow feeder dog bowls. It’s time to decide if you’re going to try it for your pup. Fast eating can cause serious medical issues and a slow feeder bowl is recommended by many veterinarians. Contact your vet to ensure you are making the best choice. For the cons of slow feeder dog bowls, keep the solutions in mind. They can make the process of using the bowls much easier so you can thoroughly take advantage of the bests of your dog’s slow feeder dog bowls.