Gently does it: best slow-feeder dog bowls for speedy eaters

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  • Do you ever feel your dog inhales rather than eats his food? While some dogs do delicately pick at their kibble, others wolf theirs down in seconds, leaving us sure it will cause indigestion at best, choking at worst. In fact, dogs that eat too fast are much more likely to suffer from bloating, regurgitation and canine obesity.

    If bloat escalates to gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), this is a potentially life-threatening condition where excessive amount of fluid, food and gas fill the stomach, blocking the entrance and exits to it. Speedy eating is thought to be a contributing factor.

    Happily, help is at hand. The best slow feeder dog bowls can slow down eating rates by up to 10 times. This helps to normalise digestion, and make dogs more engaged and less frantic about their mealtimes. These bowls typically have a ridged maze-like pattern, or lumps and bumps inside the bowl to force the dog to seek out the bits of food in the nooks and crannies. Like the best snuffle mats and best puzzle toys, slow feeder bowls are good mental stimulation, too!

    They come in many different designs and “difficulty levels” according to what suits your dog best. Also, a flat-faced dog has different anatomical needs to a long-nosed one – so pick whichever suits best. They can typically all be used with wet food, dry food or raw food.

    Best slow feeder dog bowls

    green slow feeder with bone shapes

    Caishow Slow Feeder

    Capacity: Up to 2 cups dry food | Colour: Blue, pink, grey, green, red, purple or lavender | RRP: From £8.99  |

    This anti-gulping slow feeder is designed for small and medium-sized dogs to slow their eating, and prevent them choking and other associated outcomes of gobbling their dinner.

    The puzzle consists of bone shapes, with deep crevices, which brings a fun element to mealtimes. Comes in a huge range of colours to match your doggy accessories.

    It has six rubber anti-skid pads to prevent the bowl from sliding about and can be used with all types of dog food.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Stainless steel dog bowl

    Neater Pet Brands Slow Feeder Bowl

    Capacity: 1 cup dry food or 3 cups dry food | Colour: Steel | RRP: From £13.99  |

    For those who like the silver vibe, this stainless steel bowl could be just the ticket. It is an ideal design for dogs who find the intricate puzzles too complicated and frustrating, as this bowl slows rapid eaters down without driving them crazy.

    Stainless steel is durable, doesn’t hold odours or collect bacteria, and is dishwasher safe. Suitable for all types of food.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Puzzle feeder dog bowl

    Decycam Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

    Capacity: S/M holds 2 cups; L holds 6 cups dry food | Colour: Black or blue | RRP: From £7.96 |

    Now this one is intricate. Ideal for the serious speed-eater, this puzzle maze design will make the meal a challenge, while also being fun and promoting mental stimulation. Designed to form healthy eating habits for your dog.

    Non-skid rubber feet underneath to prevent the bowl sliding. Suitable for all food types.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Raised feeding trough for dogs

    The Fluff Trough Elevated Slow Feeder

    Capacity: 2 cups food | Colour: Black, grey, purple or teal | RRP: £55.99 |

    This raised trough with non-slip feet is designed to help dogs who benefit from elevated feeders to prevent neck and back strain.

    In the trough, it has a “binge blocker” insert, providing separated food cells to encourage slower eating, prevent choking and maintain healthy digestion.

    While it is designed specifically for flat-faced pets, it can also help slow down dogs of all shapes especially if they benefit from elevated feeding.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or etsy.com
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Square slow feeder for flat-faced dogs

    Leashboss Flat Face Feeder

    Capacity: 1½ cups dry food | Colour: Blue or grey | RRP: £11.99  |

    Designed for dogs with short snouts, such as pubs and bull terriers. It has wider channels and shallow dips to enable flat-faced dogs enjoy the benefits of a slow-feeder bowl without driving them to frustration because they can’t reach their food. It also had a gentle incline to help smaller dogs reach their meal more easily.

    The maze design with raised tunnels will provide a puzzle to slow down your speedy-eating, flat-faced pooch.

    It has non-slip grips to stop the bowl sliding over a hard floor.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Buauty Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Insert

    Buauty Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Insert

    Capacity: 1½ cups dry food | Colour: Blue or grey | RRP: From £7.99  |

    This is a clever accessory. The windmill shaped insert fits into your regular dog bowl (4½–7in) to slow down your pooch’s eating and improve digestion.

    It is made of flexible silicon with powerful suction cups, and as it is removable it makes it very easy to wash. It is easy to secure to most dog bowls, as you can trim it along clearly marked lines to custom-fit smaller bowls. Compatible with wet or dry food.

    Remember, this is not a chew toy – your dog could be tempted, so do remove the bowl and insert after the meal.

    In the UK? View at amazon.co.uk

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