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Slow Feeder Bowls: Are They Right for Your Pup?

Dalmatian dog sitting with mouth open, woman out of frame tossing treat to dog.

Just like humans, dogs and cats have unique eating habits. Some have light appetites and are prone to undereating, while others wolf their food down too quickly for their own good. If you’re dealing with an under-eater, a slow feeder bowl could cause more problems than it solves, but adequate eaters can benefit regardless of how quickly they eat.

If your pet spends a lot of time alone and has no animal companions, slow feeder bowls can add entertainment to the day and provide mental stimulation.

Your pet will have the time of its life overcoming the different obstacles involved, which can reduce anxiety and encourage neater eating. If you’re tired of having to sweep after every mealtime, this is your solution.

What Is a Slow Feeder Bowl?

Slow feeder bowls incorporate various obstacles, forcing your pet to find how best to access their food. They come in a range of difficulty levels to cater to even the smartest pets. Some use obstacles, while others use maze designs or flaps that your pet must raise in order to eat.

Their unique anti-gulping design reduces choking and encourages your pet to work harder for their food. Puzzle feeders can alleviate a range of problems, from excessive barking to overeating. That said, not all feeders suit all pets.

Complex puzzles might be appropriate for a Siamese cat or border collie, but they can be difficult to master by less intelligent pets. It’s best to start with basic obstacles before working up to more complex designs.

The Benefits

  • Some slow feeder bowls keep your pet’s kibble underneath a flap, protecting it from birds and rodents.
  • Anti-gulp designs encourage your pet to drink without swallowing air.
  • Puzzle bowls can alleviate several symptoms of boredom and anxiety, from barking to pacing to furniture chewing.
  • The problem-solving feature in these products mimics your pet’s natural instincts.
  • A well-designed slow feeder encourages your pet to eat more slowly, reducing the symptoms of bloating.
  • Slower eating habits give your pet time to establish satiety, encouraging weight loss.
  • Your pet is less likely to make a mess with this kind of product
  • A flap-based water bowl design will keep debris out of your pet’s water.
  • These products reduce the risk of choking.

Speak With a Veterinarian About Slow Feeder Bowls

Slow feeder bowls can reduce the risk of choking, gas, and abdominal discomfort for cats and dogs. Voracious eaters often suffer from uncomfortable bloating and obesity. If the dog or cat in your life gulps down excessive air at mealtime, slow feeder bowls will address both problems while turning mealtimes into a raucous, gamified version of its former self.

If you’re still unsure whether the animal in your life can benefit from this kind of product, speak to our Germantown vets by calling (240) 252-7467.


What are the pitfalls of a slow feeder bowl?

Cheap, plastic slow feeders are often too soft for voracious chewers, so your dog might swallow small sections of the bowl. A poorly designed slow feeder can also be messier than an ordinary bowl.

Are slow feeder bowls bad for a dog’s teeth?

If your dog is an enthusiastic eater, a slow feeder could cause chips. However, if you have a polite eater, you shouldn’t experience any dental woes.

What is GDV?

Gastric dilation or volvulus is a form of stomach distension caused by gulping down air. This condition is serious and must be addressed aggressively. Slow feeder bowls are a useful preventative measure.

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