It’s not uncommon for a dog to gulp its food, especially when it’s a puppy. For some reason, I have seen Labradors having this issue more than any other breed. So, if your puppy eats too fast, then you are in the right place.
I am sure all of us, at some point in our lives, might have been advised to eat slowly and mindfully either by our doctor, parents, or teachers. The reason behind this is quite simple if we properly ingest our food, then the stomach can digest it properly and more efficiently. It also helps in the process of absorption of various nutrients.
But things are a little different in the doggy world. Dogs tend to gulp food without chewing properly, and during this process, they tend to swallow air inside along with the food.
All these things tend to cause a lot of trauma to their digestive system, directly and indirectly, the side effects of which may not be immediately visible.
Fast eating can lead to vomiting, improper digestion of the food, bloating, etc. In some severe cases, it can lead to food getting stuck inside the digestive tract that may require urgent surgery.
Being a responsible pet parent, we must correct our furry friend and teach them some table manners.
There are various ways to set things on track, which I will be discussing on this blog based on my personal experiences of pet parenting two Labradors who were a speedy eater.
Nothing is impossible when one has a firm determination, along with some dedication followed by specific rules and restrictions.
Here are a few tips that I am sure would come handy just in case your puppy eats too fast:
Training your pet for stopping and eating on command is a must, not only to help reduce the gulping habit but to also overcome any aggression related to food and all these should start right from the time you get your furry friend home otherwise things can go quite complicated once the dog turns into an adult.
You can also take the opportunity to train your dog during mealtime. You can do this by teaching your furry friend few basic commands and then rewarding him with some food, that way, you can control the amount of food that goes in one go if your puppy eats too fast.
Putting the bowl on an elevated surface:
Placing a bowl at a height diverts the dog’s attention from the food towards the height of the bowl. Your dog would continuously try to level itself while eating, and this will slow down the gulping monster quite a bit.
The height to which the bowl should be adjusted depends on the type of dog, for example, a Great Dane puppy is taller than a Labrador, so the height would differ for both of them.
You can try to adjust the height of the feeder a couple of times and find just the right height that you feel is perfect.
The ultimate goal is to reduce the fast eating habit without causing a lot of trouble for your dog.
Put some tennis balls in the feeding bowl:
If your puppy eats too fast, then you can use this trick to slow it down. It’s not that this trick works only with tennis balls, but it can work with anything of that sort as long as it serves the purpose, i.e., to create some distraction and work as a speed breaker to slow down your gulping monster.
I saved this for the last. Azadirachta indica, commonly known as neem. As we all know, neem by nature is bitter, and no one likes bitter things even in the doggy world!
I found this healthy trick accidentally. Neem kills stomach worms naturally, and for this reason, I used to make small capsules of freshly crushed neem leaves to feed my puppies to kill any stomach worms naturally.
One day I forgot to give neem capsules to my puppies and decided to keep it on their food and voila!! They showed a little hesitation while eating, but then they continued eating slowly.
Later I dried some Neem leaves and powdered it in a grinder and stored it in a jar. Every day I used to sprinkle some neem powder on their food, and this had helped me to stop their gulping habit completely.
The only catch with this trick is that it works mostly with puppies and not adult dogs because an adult dog would altogether refuse to eat the food most of the time.
So, these were my hacks to slow down these speedy furry four-legged creatures to make them happy and healthy.
You can try all these tricks in various combinations and try to make alterations and find the best match for your dog, and during this process, if you find something interesting, then don’t forget to share it with the ever-growing dog community in the comment section below.
I hope you have a happy parenting life with loads of fun!
If you are planning to get a dog, then you can check out my article on What to know before getting a dog?
I am a pet blogger at MPD. When I am not writing, I am sipping on coffee and spending my time with my family. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram.