Are Slow Feeder Bowls Good For Your Dog?
Yes, slow feeder bowls and mats can be very beneficial for your dog, especially if they are prone to eating too fast. Eating too quickly can cause a variety of problems, including choking, vomiting, and bloat. Slow feeders work by controlling the pace at which your dog eats and forcing them to eat slower.
In addition to slowing down feeding, slow feeders can also provide a fun and enriching experience that will help mentally stimulate your dog. Eating from a slow feeder requires your dog to work for their food, which can help satisfy their natural instincts to hunt and forage.
What is a Dog Slow Feeder?
A slow feeder for your dog can be any type of toy or enrichment tool that helps slow down your dogs eating. Slow feeder dog bowls feature a puzzling grooved center that creates separate compartments for kibble, effectively slowing down your dog's eating speed and making mealtime more challenging. Using slow feeders can reduce a dog's eating speed compared to eating from a regular bowl, and also make it a more interesting and enriching experience.
Some examples of slow feeders are a snuffle ball or mat, feeder bowl, licking mat, and even a DIY snuffle toy or game at home using your dogs bedding or a towel.
Benefits of Slow Feeder Bowls and Mats for Dogs
Let's take a moment to review the numerous advantages of using a slow feeder with your dog.
- Slow down your dogs feeding time. Using a slow feeder will greatly decelerate your dogs eating and force them to eat at a slower pace. Your dog will be more likely to chew and break down their kibbles while using a slow feeder.
- Help with digestion and reduce bloat. Slow feeder encourages your dog to take smaller bites, allowing them to break down their food more effectively.
- Reduce risk of your dog choking or vomiting. Eating too quickly can result in objects getting lodged in your dog's throat, potentially leading to choking and vomiting.
- Mentally stimulate your dog. Using slow feeder bowls and lick mats will provide an enriching and mentally stimulating experience for your dog by forcing them to use their sensing and work for their meals.
Drawbacks of Slow Feeder Bowls and Mats for Dogs
- Good quality slow feeders can be expensive. Pets can be costly, and slow feeders tend to be pricier than standard stainless steel dog bowls.
- Doesn't work with all dog sizes and breeds. Some larger dogs or other breeds with flat noses may struggle with getting into the deep grooves of some slow feeder bowls.
- Dog may not be interested. Some dogs may not have the same level of food motivation as others, and your pup may not show any interest in working for their food. Sometimes, they just prefer to be served on a silver platter.
Different Types of Dog Slow Feeders
Nylon Slow Feeder Trays
While slow feeder trays are shallower than traditional bowls, they are designed to be durable and ideal for smaller dogs or breeds with shorter snouts. We prefer these types of trays because they help eliminate any risk of broken plastic pieces that could be ingested.
Plastic Slow Feeder Bowls
While plastic slow feeder bowls can come in various fun and unique shapes, it's important to note that not all plastic feeders are made of high quality materials. If left out unattended, your dog may start chewing the slow feeder and possibly ingesting small pieces of plastic, which can be extremely hazardous.
Dog Lick Mats
Lick mats are the latest craze in the world of dog enrichment! These flat grooved mats are fantastic for applying your dogs favorite wet recipe and providing lots of mental stimulation. Licking has been shown to have a calming effect on dogs, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. If you want to learn more about dog lick mat benefits and recipes, check out our in-depth article here.
Snuffle Balls and Mats
Snuffle balls and mats are highly effective for hiding loads of kibble and treats. They are widely praised for proving to be a challenging enrichment tool for your dog and effectively slowing down your dogs feeding time. Some drawbacks to these enrichment toys is that they can be tedious to clean due to the numerous hidden pockets and snuffles, and some dogs may resort to ripping them apart to find the treats.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Slow Feeders
Why do dogs eat so fast?
Most dogs eat fast due to their competitive natural instincts. Irregular meal timing can also cause your dog to gobble their kibble quickly because they aren't sure when their next meal could be. It is important to note, an underlying illness can also make your pup feel more hungry than they are and cause them to eat quickly as well.
Are slow feeders good for my dog?
Yes, any type of slow feeder that helps control the pace at which your dog eats can be very beneficial. The upsides to a slow feeder far outweigh the potential drawbacks.
What type of slow feeder should I get my dog?
Depending on your dogs current diet will help decide which type of slow feeder will work best for your furry friend. For dogs on a raw food diet, a slow feeder bowl, lick mat, or nylon food tray are suitable options, but a snuffle ball would not be. Conversely, for dogs on a kibble diet, a snuffle ball or snuffle mat may be better suited.
Lets Recap: Are Dog Slow Feeder Bowls Good For Your Dog?
Yes, dog slow feeder bowls can be good for your dog. Using a slow feeder bowl can help reduce your dog's eating speed, prevent choking, promote better digestion, and reduce the risk of obesity. Slow feeders also provide mental stimulation and a fun enriching experience for your dog.