Understanding Rapid Eating Risks For Dogs

Mealtime is often the highlight of a dog’s day, filled with excitement and anticipation. They eagerly devour their food within minutes, sometimes even seconds. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential hazards associated with rapid eating, such as choking and the serious medical condition known as bloat, or Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV). 

Why do dogs eat so fast?

Dogs often devour their food rapidly due to a combination of an instinctual survival response, and a competitive nature, especially if they sense other animals nearby. Dogs from larger litters may have developed a stronger tendency to eat quickly. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that the majority of dogs find mealtime incredibly exhilarating, contributing to their fast eating habits.

Health Risks:

A major health risk of eating too fast is choking. Just like humans, dogs can experience choking if they eat too quickly or swallow large items. The other extremely serious condition that dogs may experience from eating too quickly is bloat. Bloat occurs when dogs eat too fast, gulping in excessive amounts of air in the process. This causes the stomach to expand, exerting pressure on the organs, restricting blood flow and causing breathing difficulties. Bloat is a life threatening condition, and if not treated immediately, can lead to death in a matter of hours. 

Signs & Symptoms:
  • Swollen and hard belly
  • Dry-heaving but unable to vomit
  • Panting and drooling
  • Restless behaviour
  • Anxiety
Tips To Slow Them Down:
  • Slow Feeder Bowls are an excellent way to slow your dog down, these bowls are designed to make your dog work a bit for their food. Slow feeder bowls slow them down and prevent them from gulping in their food and excess air. 
  • DIY Slow Feeder Bowl: make your own slow feeder bowl by placing a small bowl, upside down, in a larger bowl. Place the food in the narrow ‘moat’ around the smaller bowl. You could also use a cookie tray or muffin pan as a DIY slow feeder. 
  • Feed them less, more frequently. By dividing their meals into smaller portions and spacing them out throughout the day, dogs can feel less compelled to quickly devour their food, as they know their next mealtime is not too far away. This approach allows for a more relaxed and measured eating experience, reducing their overall anxiety.
  • If you suspect that your dog’s fast eating habits stem from anxiety about their food being taken away, it’s advisable to provide them with a designated space for mealtime where they can eat without the presence of other animals or people. Creating a quiet and undisturbed environment can help alleviate their concerns and allow them to focus on enjoying their meal at a more relaxed pace. 
  • Feed your dog a nourishing and highly digestible diet. Perfect Bowl meals are an excellent choice, as the ingredients are abundant in nutrients and easily digestible for your furry friend. Check out our range of meals here.

A crucial aspect of being a responsible dog owner is understanding rapid eating risks for dogs. By being informed and following these tips, we hope that your dog’s mealtime becomes a safe and relaxing experience for all.

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