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August 12, 2014

Putting Time Back in Meal Time

Eko and Penny are not just food-motivated, they are food-obsessed. Both are expert magicians when it comes to making food disappear. However, fast eating is both troublesome and dangerous for pups. When Eko used to inhale meals, he would immediately look to me and whine for more. It would take
Eko and Penny are not just food-motivated, they are food-obsessed. Both are expert magicians when it comes to making food disappear. However, fast eating is both troublesome and dangerous for pups.When Eko used to inhale meals, he would immediately look to me and whine for more. It would take 10-20 minutes for the food to hit his stomach and for the knucklehead to stop bothering me. In all dogs, but especially large breeds, bloat is a dangerous condition which can be brought on or made worse from speed eating.I have tried a number of different solutions and products for my ravenous pack, so I thought it would be worth sharing what’s worked for me in case you’re looking to put some time back into meal time. 12.1

These Kyjen slo-bowl feeders have become our go-to for most meals

For about ten bucks apiece on Amazon, these Kyjen bowls have been an invaluable investment. The bowls require the pups to really work to extract every piece of kibble. Both dogs are quite enthusiastic about the task.  The bowls dramatically slow how fast the dogs can eat and when the meal is finished there’s no whining for more. I also switch up the bowls between the two dogs to keep things interesting.

12.2

When breakfast needs a bit more adventure, I break out the Kong Wobbler. This scarred veteran has survived many a battle with Eko 

12.3

I recently introduced Penny to the wobbler. Not only does it slow down meal time, the wobbler also gives Penny mental stimulation and coordination practice

12.4

I had to give the pup a little help at first…

12.5

But she caught on quite quickly and then never took her eye off the prize

12.6

Penny loved batting her new toy around the living room and I loved how tired/content she was after her meal

12.7

I also rigged a camera to the Kong for a bit so we’ll have to see if I got anything good!

Penny was so enamored with the Kong that she wouldn’t stop playing with it even after I showed her the food was gone. I finally had to hide it behind my bed, but for some reason I’m not sure that will be enough…

12.8

“You can’t hide from me!”

If your dog is a speed eater like mine are, I highly recommend you invest in a product to slow them down. Whether a bowl, a toy or something else, slowing down meal time is an easy way to make your pups happier, healthier, and as an added side bonus, a little bit more tired.

I’m always on the lookout for novel ways to make meals a bit slower/more interesting for the pups, so if you have a favorite toy, method or product be sure to let me know!

Comments for Putting Time Back in Meal Time

  1. Victoria says:

    love Penny’s look in the last pic – classic – i actually have one dog who eats so slow (Muff) that the other dog steals from her bowl……however i have thought about those kylen bowls just to see if they would help my speed eater Rigby – might help w/his weight issue too!

  2. I have such a bowl too and it’s impossible to knock it over :o) I’m not sure if behind the bed is a sfae place for the kong… how about Fort Knox?

  3. We use those same dog bowls but we bought three different ones that we rotate through both dogs. They definitely work.
    We have something similar to the kong wobbler (called the Bob-a-lot by Starmark) which has lasted FOREVER. It has several different difficultly settings and so far, neither of our dogs has been able to chew any part of it. On the downside, they are hard plastic and they are NOISY against our tile floor. 🙂
    We also use the IQ ball for food and/or small treats. They have to push it around to get food out (or shake it, like Le Moo likes to do) and that constant movement does tire them out!

  4. audrey says:

    I bought one of those bowls, it did slow my Lab down from 2 minutes to 7 minutes at meal time, unfortunately, she found that instead of working hard with her tongue, she was determine to ‘suck’ up the kibbles. By doing that, I caught her chowing a couple of times. So away that bowl, I started mixing pumpkin/oatmeal blend diet soft food, she needs to lose weight anyway, and it worked, she doesn’t suck up her kibbles anymore and she has to slow down to lick up the meal and she’s lost almost 2 pounds, Vet says 5 more to go.

  5. Whee love that last pigture. Whee piggies never seem to stop being hungry even though whee have access to food, hay and water all day whee will always squeak when the fridge is open in case vegetables might be on offer!

    Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil
    xxxx

  6. fredrieka says:

    I used to eat real fast when momwithoutpaws first adopted me, I was afraid someone would get my food. So momwithoutpaws got her muffin tins and put a little of my food in each spot. I had to take my time. Now I am slower than old Cissy

  7. cute last photo. that is a nice price for those food bowls, we have a kong wobbler too but our’s is in much better shape, lol

  8. Gail Simburger says:

    The Kong is great. We use a toy that I believe is called the Satelite. It has central larger section with hole on top then 3 smaller round satelites attached with short “bridges.” The 3 satelites each has an opening that faces a different direction. Took a little time for Leo to get the hang of it, but now he bats it all over the place with his tail wagging the whole time! Definately would only use on a carpeted floor however.

  9. PigLove says:

    Oh boy – I’m thinking mom is going to invest in a bowl for me. Shakes piggy head. The torture! Snorts. XOXO – Bacon

  10. Alisa says:

    Samson used to inhale his food, but after chronic diarrhea in kibble, we switched him to a raw diet and not only did it clear up his tummy issues, it now takes him much longer to eat, sometimes 20 minutes! It’s great mental stimulation for him, Roo loves it too. Your dogs seem to do really well on kibble, but if you haven’t looked into raw, it’s worth a look. Each dog is different, but having done kibble and then raw, I don’t think I will ever go back.

  11. Georgia says:

    We have a ridgeback but find we have the opposite problem with eating. She is a fussy eater and takes a long time o eat her kibble. Sometimes she chooses not to eat at all. Can you recommend a dog food? Maybe if we find one she loves, we won’t have this problem.

  12. Emmadog says:

    Bailie has made great strides in slowing down the past 11 months. She no longer tries to jump on the counter and grab her bowl, she waits for Mom to hand her bowl to her. She is still the first one done at every meal, but she does chew her food these days. We’ve tried the food ball, and compartmentalized bowls, they have all helped. Coming from a litter of 14 and having to fight for every last crumb is a hard habit to break.

  13. Misaki says:

    I used to have a slow-down bowl too but I don’t eat so fast anymore

  14. dogdaz says:

    We have several food toys. Louise’s favorite is a purple plastic bottle with a screw off bottom that has a robe that she has to tug to get the treats out. http://dogdaz.com/2012/04/26/4-26-12-working-for-your-supper/ Sofie has a food cube that is a good challenge for her. Food can be slow and fun.

  15. Rene L. Hester Jensen says:

    My breeder recommends I add the same amount of water to her dry kibble & NOT allowing it to soak, but sit & stay, add the dry, then right away the equal amount of water & release to eat!

    I also want to mention a procedure called a gastropexy; It’s where they suture the stomach to the abdominal wall & it decreases the incidence of bloat. I had my female done when she was spayed, which was done laparoscopically! Anywho…ask your vet & go from there. I love the blog-keep up the great, interesting, & wonderful insights to your Rhodesian world, Eko & Penny are precious!

    Rene

    Rene’ L. Hester “Better one day of energy & determination than a 100 years of idleness!” ~The Dhammapada Sent from my iPhone

    >

  16. Love the Kyjen Slo-Bowls… they’re a huge hit with a lot of other dogs I know too!

  17. We have one of those wobblers too. Maggie doesn’t quite get it, but Jack loves it. I see that Eko picks it up in his mouth too (from the wear and tear) so doe Jack, I don’t know how it fits…

  18. Those are great ideas. I love the pic of Penny peeking over the bed! Daisy isn’t a speed eater, in fact she sits down to eat and chews each kibble. 🙂

  19. Just discovered your wonderful blog and will be following along from now on. I love Rhodesian Ridgebacks and your name choice for Eko! We are big fans of the Slo Bowls at my house too – I find that my finicky eater is much more interested in her food if she has to work for it.

  20. OhMelvin says:

    Melvin lobbed our wobbler through drywall. Hope you are luckier than us!

  21. Christine says:

    Do you think your slo-bowl feeders would be good to use as a water bowl to reduce the speed of water intake? My Labrador is awful at gulping down water as fast as possible, and then puking half of it back up. Yum! She seems to have no “off” switch with drinking her water, so I have to give her frequent, small amounts of water instead of being able to let her have continual access to water.

    I haven’t found anything yet that works to slow down her drinking and ice cubes aren’t an option. She thinks the ice cubes are toys so she’ll carry them around and then leave them all over the house to melt. Silly puppy!

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