You’ve all heard me talk about the ‘happy dance’ – the jumping, wagging, purring and pawing that hungry dogs and cats do when they anticipate a meal. That enjoyment that we as pet-parents are looking for. Well lately, I’ve been hearing back from you and its to tell me that your dogs maybe enjoying their food a little too much! That the excitement is translating into them eating too fast and that in extreme cases, this speed can make them sick.
So here are a few tips to help slow your pup down and teach him that there is no need to rush, that this amazing new food is all for him and he can take his time eating it.
1) Serve the food differently – rather than putting the food in one lump, as a patty or even broken-up, spread the food around the bowl in a circle (you can use a plate to make this easier) so that he has to take a breath between mouthfuls.
2) If you have more than one dog feed them separately, it could be that your dogs are competitively eating; this happens when they think the other is going to steal their food, so they eat as quickly as possible.
3) Give all of your dogs individual food bowls and feed them in their own personal position, away from each other and if necessary at opposite ends of the room. It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how often I hear that you feed your dogs from the same bowl. As much as anything you cannot monitor the quantity they eat, when they eat together.
4) Routine is everything, try to feed your dogs at the same time each day, this creates a sense of security and will encourage him not to bolt his food out of hunger.
5) Raised bowls, I feed all of my dogs with raised bowl stands, I believe this helps with better digestion and better posture, it keeps the bowl in one place and stops the dogs chasing it around the kitchen, it also gives the dogs their own personal place to eat, especially if as I do, you always place it in the same position when they eat.
6) In extreme cases, when vomiting is occurring it may be necessary to divide the meals into smaller quantities, feeding more frequently throughout the day. In these circumstances adopting the little-and-often approach should work well.
Remember, like everything it’s about teaching your pets how you want them to eat, it might take a little time for them to understand, but I promise it will be worth it.