Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stopping dogs from inhaling their food

Some dogs – especially labs and beagles – truly “wolf” their food down. The bowl goes down – gulp, gulp, done. Often that’s followed by choke, puke – repeat as necessary. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear the poor thing is starving.

When it comes to food, dogs are designed different than we are – because they’ve got an incredible sense of smell, they’re more olfactory focused than we are. And because they have fewer taste buds, flavour really isn’t that important to them. They don’t need to chew and savour every morsel. Humans have flat teeth, designed for chewing and mixing food with saliva. Dogs are designed to kill, tear and cut (nasty huh), then swallow – digestion happens later in their very acidic stomach.

There’s a genetic component to this too. In times of food scarcity, your dog’s ancestors had to eat fast to get their share and survive. It’s hard to pause that kind of genetic programming.

Since your dog doesn’t need to worry about where their next meal is coming from, and because they can choke or vomit when eating too fast, here are a couple of things you can do to slow them down. A simple trick is to turn a regular dog bowl upside down. As shown in the above photo, the dog has to surf around the bowl’s edges to reach every morsel. Another option is to add water to their kibble to make it mushy. If either of those options don’t work, try the scatter approach – simply throw the full portion of kibble onto the floor in a scattered pattern – not on a pile – so your dog is forced to find each and every morsel.

Read more about dog digestion at:

1 comment:

  1. Never tried that, but we do have a Beagle who wolfs down his food. I bought a special bowl that is designed to slow down the eating. It has made a huge difference.