Are you tensed about your dog because he is a gobbler? Most dog owners wonder things like these, if their dog is tasting his food or just focusing on swallowing it. Dogs can be hasty eaters as if the kibble in front of them contains a bomb and it is about to blast that is why they have to finish the food ASAP. We will here discuss the possible reasons and consequences that your dog might face because of eating hastily. Obviously, you will find some solutions to this problem by the end of this article
However, dogs gulping food should not be a problem in most cases but there are some serious consequences that you as a dog owner should be aware of.
Problems faced when dog eats fast
- He might choke
The first and foremost danger can be that your dog might choke on his kibble. Most dog owners would agree on this. If he swallows his food without letting the teeth do their job (which is chewing) then the pieces will get stuck in his throat. When your dog is trying to swallow his meal in a microsecond, he will swallow air along with his food. Thereafter the food and air will expand in the stomach, which can cause discomfort and pain.
- He will feel bloated
A serious condition called gastric-dilation-volvulus or bloating can be experienced by your dog. There is no certain reason for what causes it but some veterinarians are of the view that if the dog eats too fast and gulps air with it, the stomach expands and it can then twist (volvulus) and even rupture. This prevents the gasses from leaving his abdomen and it can lead to cut off circulation to that organ as well as to the heart. This emergency is life-threatening and only surgery can cure this.
- He might throw up
Fast eating even causes vomiting and gagging. The “Ack Ack” sound he is making while eating is because the pieces of food are stuck in his throat.
Reasons for dogs eating fast
- Can be a medical condition
Initially, you will have to take him to his veterinarian to test any medical condition such as diabetes mellitus or a hormone-related problem like Cushing’s disease.
- Increased appetite
Eating fast can also be a side effect of any medication. Medications can increase appetite. This can be a possible reason.
- Competing behavior led to this
This can be a habitual reason which he developed at an early age as a puppy when he used to share his food with other fellows eating with him and he had to compete with them in the race of eating to make sure that he gets enough food before his siblings eat all of it. This behavior can become a bad habit in the future.
- Intestinal parasites stealing nutrients
There might be some intestinal parasite in his body which might be stealing some nutrients from the food that he has consumed and it may lead to increase in his hunger.
Tips and tricks to slow down his eating
If it is a medical condition then you need to take him to see his vet but what if there is no medical condition from which he is suffering then you can use some tricks to slow down his speed at finishing that meal.
- He is anxious about the competition
If your dog is worried that his fellow dogs will eat his share of food then what you can try is feeding all the dogs separately. This method will give them their space as none of them will be worried and stressed about competing and it will remove the anxiousness he is facing.
- Less food in single feeding
The other option you can try is giving him less quantity in one sitting. By scheduling his portion size, he will reduce his eating speed because he will be having less food to eat in one feeding.
- Increase the frequency of meals
Try increasing the number of meals he is having in a day. As humans, it is beneficial for dogs too to increase the frequency of meals. Divide the total amount of food he is having in a day into three meals.
- Slow feeder bowls
Slow feeder bowls are designed to make them eating slowly. These bowls come in different shapes and sizes, what they do is work as an obstruction between food and dog. He will have to struggle for a minute or two for finishing his meal. They look something like this,
You can find these in online and offline stores as well.
- Time for some DIY
- You can put a tennis ball in a normal bowl it will serve the function of a slow feeder bowl.
- You can put his kibble in a toy, he will have to take time to figure out how to roll it to eat.