How to Train Your Dog to Eat Slowly

Slow your dog's eating speed down by placing a large toy in his dish.
Slow your dog's eating speed down by placing a large toy in his dish. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Wolfing down dinner is one animal instinct that may be hazardous to your dog's health. Fast eating can result in vomiting, choking, regurgitation, excess gas and may lead to gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), a potentially fatal condition that occurs when a dog's stomach becomes enlarged with too much air, fluid and food. If your dog is a voracious eater, protect his health by slowing him down with the following tips.

Things You'll Need

  • Platter, cookie sheet or angel food cake pan
  • Large dog toy
  • Treat ball or puzzle ball

Spread your dog's food out over a large surface area (such as a platter or cookie sheet). This will prevent your dog from grabbing and gulping down large amounts of food.

Place a large, heavy dog toy, such as a Kong or rubber ball, in the middle of your dog's food bowl. This will slow your dog's eating speed down by forcing him to eat around the toy. If your dog throws the toy out of the bowl, try replacing its bowl with an angel food cake pan. The circular center of this dish provides a built-in obstacle.

Put your dog's food in a treat or puzzle ball. This type of ball is designed to release food as your dog plays with it. Plus, every time kibble drops out, your dog will feel like he is being rewarded for a job well done.

Talk to your veterinarian about switching your dog to another type of food. Your dog may not be able to digest the nutrients in his current food, making him eat faster because he is always hungry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult a veterinarian if eating super fast is a new behavior for your dog. Fast eating may be a sign of a more serious problem, such as diabetes or an internal parasite.

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