It's totally normal if your dog loves dinner time (especially if he is a Labrador), but if he finishes his meal in seconds, you should know there are some risks involved. That's why it is importat to learn how to stop a dog from eating too fast.
When your dog eats too fast, he swallows a lot of air. This increases the risk of suffering a condition called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), more common among big and giant breeds.
Dogs don't chew their food as humans do. This is a characteristic they inhereted from wolves. However, depending on what they are eating, they could choke if they don't chew first.
Why My Dog Eats Too Fast?
Before learning how to stop your dog from eating too fast, you need to know why he is doing that. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my dog hungry? If you feed him once a day, change to 2-3 doses a day so he won't be so anxious.
- Is my dog competing for food? If you have more than one pet at home, feed them in different rooms. It's possible that your dog eats too fast because he feels he has to compete for food with other pets.
If this doesn't work, or if you already feed him 2-3 times a day and don't have any other pets, ask your vet. Check there is no health issue related to this behavior.
Tips For Stopping Your Dog From Eating Too Fast
If you already tried options 1 and 2, there are some other possibilities you can try to stop your dog from eating too fast.
- Use a elevated dog's bowl. This is also helpful if your dog regurgitates the water after drinking.
- Use a slow-feeder bowl for dogs. You'll find them in any pet store. There are different types, but all stop your dog from eating too fast.
- Use food-dispensing toys or puzzles. Make dinner-time a game. And don't worry about giving your dog a bad time, he is a hunter, so looking for food is actually fun for him. That said, don't make it too hard, we don't want him to feel frustrated.
Try one method and if it doesn't work try the next one. Whatever it works, remember the amount of food per day is the same!