Dogs are certainly known for their enthusiasm for life and food
is no exception – but what do you do if your dog eats too much, too fast?
Unfortunately, this is a question that many pet parents face.
Not only is it stressful to watch your pup inhale their food at
lightning speeds, it actually poses a health risk. When dogs eat too quickly,
they can experience digestive problems and vomiting, not to mention a high risk
of choking as they don’t take the time to properly chew their food. What’s
more, the excessive air they take in while eating quickly can cause bloat,
which is very uncomfortable.
The good news is that there are many ways you can help your dog
reduce the quantity and speed at which they eat.
Why does my dog eat so
Even if they grew up in a household where they had consistent
meals every day, some dogs still eat like they’ll never see food again. There
are a few reasons why dogs speed eat their meals:
- Competition: Having
multiple pets in the house can cause dogs to feel like they need to eat as fast
as possible to avoid anyone else eating their food.
meal times: Not having dedicated mealtimes can cause anxiety in some dogs
as they’re not sure when their next meal will be – this is especially true for
those who were formally strays.
nutrition: Poor quality food can leave your dog feeling hungry, which can
cause them to eat more quickly at the next mealtime.
health conditions: Health conditions like diabetes and Cushing’s syndrome
impact your dog’s metabolism, increasing their appetite. Knowing this, it’s a
good idea to consult with your vet if they suddenly start eating too quickly.
Once you’ve ruled out a health issue contributing to their speed
eating, there are fortunately some easy changes you can make to your dog’s
mealtime to help slow them down.
Best ways to slow down
a dog that eats too fast
There are several ways that you can help your dog slow down
while they eat, ranging from making changes to their environment to revamping
- Give them their
own space: If your dog feels a sense of competition – real or imagined –
at mealtime, try giving them their own space to eat. Instead of feeding them in
the kitchen with everyone else, try putting their bowl in another room that can
be closed off with a door or gate and keeping them there until they’ve finished
- Have set meal
times: Having irregular mealtimes can be a source of stress for dogs,
especially those that once had to fend for themselves on the street. Try
choosing set times your dog will eat each day and sticking to them – making use
of an automatic feeder if you won’t be home at some of the times.
- Invest in high-quality food: Switching to nutritionally balanced, healthy dog food can help ensure that your pup is getting all of the required nutrients. Unfortunately, many shelf-stable brands are filled with preservatives and lack the key nutrients dogs need.
- Swap out their bowl: Another sure-fire way of slowing your speedy eater is by making them work for each bite. Swapping out their traditional bowl for a puzzle feeder, such as the one made by LOOBANI or Outward Hound, will not only slow them down but keep their minds active as they work out how to get to their food.
By making these changes your pup will feel more secure and
satisfied in their mealtimes, which should reduce the need to speed through
How to get my dog to
The faster your dog eats, the less satisfied they’ll feel after
their meal, which can result in them badgering you throughout the day for more
food. We know that it’s hard to say no when your dog endlessly begs, especially
when they seem so hungry! Unfortunately, this often results in pups consuming
more food than they need in a day, contributing to weight gain.
In addition to making the mealtime changes we mentioned above, the food you feed your dog plays a huge role. Food with higher protein levels can help your dog feel full for longer, which is why we recommend trying one of our multi-protein, natural dog food recipes.
- Nature’s Fresh® Grain-Free Multi-Protein: Antibiotic-free chicken, beef, salmon, and egg providing a full spectrum of amino acids, with added cranberries, blueberries, spinach, and sweet potato for a recipe rich with high-quality nutrients in every bite.
Once you’ve chosen a recipe, measure out the amount your pup
will eat in a day and divide it among the feeding schedule you’ve set. This
way, you know that regardless of the number of meals your dog eats during the
day, they’re only consuming the recommended amount of food.
We hope that all pet parents can use some of these tips to help
speedy eaters slow down and enjoy their meals!