Gulping down meals is not healthy for your pet. Eating too quickly is bad for the digestive tract and can lead to serious health problems. My Labrador eats like she’s never seen food before! If your dog eats like that too, you need to slow him down with a DIY slow feeder for dogs.
Eating too fast can lead to choking or gagging. It can also be the beginning of food aggression. Scarfing down food could even result in a condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), which is a very big concern. Rapidly eating dog food results in excessive fluid, air and food filling up the stomach.
This is followed by swelling of the stomach cavity. As the stomach grows, it can twist around on its axis (volvulus). This will make it impossible for anything to pass through the stomach into the intestines. If this happens, your dog could go into shock and possibly die very abruptly.
I don’t mean to scare you, but I do want you to understand that this something to take very seriously. Most pet owners make jokes and laugh when their dog gulps down food quickly, but it’s not funny. If your dog is a fast eater, this DIY slow feeder for dogs will help pace his eating and could even save his life.
Easy DIY Slow Feeder for Dogs
All you’ll need to make this slow feeder is a muffin tin and some tennis balls. You might have these supplies on hand, but if not you can pick them up at the Dollar Store for less than $10. Commercial slow feeders sells for about $20-$30.
As you’ll see in my video guide above, playing a game of hide-and-seek with some tennis balls, dog food and a muffin tin is a favorite with my pack. Place a small amount of kibble in each cup of the muffin tin, and then place a tennis ball (or other appropriately sized ball) over the food. Your dog will have to paw and nose at the balls to remove them in order to get his supper.
You can also flip the muffin tin upside down and place some kibble under the cups. Your dog will have to paw and nose at the tin to lift it enough to remove his snacks. As the muffin tin moves around the floor, a few kibbles will be released here and there.
Slow feeders are beneficial for any dog. Even if your dog is a slow eater, he’ll get added mental stimulation by using this type of food dispenser. Instead of just munching food out of a standard bowl, meal time will become play time.
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