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How to Make Your Dog Eat Slower

family-footerBeing a speedy eater isn’t just a silly dog trait—it can actually be dangerous to your dog’s health. It’s important to curb your dog’s food gobbling tendencies so that he or she doesn’t cause any harm. At Germantown Vet, we have a lot of experience dealing with fast eaters, and we can give you some advice about slowing things down.

If you need advice about your dog’s bad habits, give us a call at (240) 252-7467 today!

Why Is Your Dog Eating So Fast?

One of the first things to identify is  why is your dog eating so fast? Often, dogs that grow up with other dogs will have a natural instinct to eat their food as fast as possible to protect it from brothers and sisters. This can become an aggressive behavior if your dog feels he or she needs to protect what’s in the dog bowl.

Some dogs simply just have a very high food drive, which means they are highly motivated by food. This is something you can work on training out of your dog by slowly transitioning that drive onto something else, such as a special toy.

Why Is Speed Eating Dangerous for Your Dog?

Speed eating can lead to a number of different problems, such as vomiting, food aggression, and most importantly: bloat or gastric dilation. Bloat is a serious condition that can occur when a dog swallows too much air while eating or gulping down food. This can cause the stomach to distend and put your dog at a serious risk for the stomach to twist over itself. This can be fatal.

How to Slow Down Your Dog’s Eating

family-footerOne of the best and simplest ways to slow down your dog’s eating habits is by investing in an anti-gulp style bowl, such as this product sold by Amazon. These bowls have dividers built in so that your dog can’t put his or her muzzle into the bowl and gulp food down. He or she will need to work around all of the obstacles in the way to slowly work the food out.

Another option, if you don’t want to purchase a new bowl, is to simply take a few tennis balls and place them in your dogs bowl on top of his or her food. Assuming your dog doesn’t just pull them out, this can be an effective way to slow down your dog’s eating.

If you don’t have tennis balls around the house, you can also section your dog’s food into multiple smaller bowls, which is essentially creating portion control for your dog.

Call Us Immediately If Your Dog Has Bloat

If you suspect your dog has bloat and you live in the Montgomery County, MD area, including Germantown or Gaithersburg, call us immediately! Bloat can be fatal, and it’s important that it’s treated quickly.

Contact us online or by phone at (240) 252-7467 to schedule an appointment!

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