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While most of the attention gets put on what goes into a dog’s bowl, the dish you pick to feed your dog with is important. While it may seem that any old plate or dish will work, in truth, there is a wide variety to choose from that meets differing needs. Some dogs eat too fast, some eat too slow, and some cannot stop eating. For many dogs, a slow feeder dog bowl is the best pick.
At A Glance: Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
Why Do Dogs Eat Quickly?
Some dogs like to eat very quickly, which can be motivated by a few different things. Sometimes this behavior starts as a puppy, when they compete with their siblings in the litter for food. Some pups feel they are competing with other dogs in the home for food and may feel anxious about it, causing them to gobble their food down very quickly. This is an innate survival instinct.
There are some breeds that are known to eat faster than others. Many food-motivated breeds like the Golden Retriever, Beagle, Corgi, Pug, Great Danes, and Bulldogs will gobble their food up as quickly as they can, without fail.
While sometimes eating too fast is a behavioral issue, other times it can result from an underlying health issue. Canines with invasive parasites may have trouble digesting food and always feel hungry. If you suspect your pup may be eating quickly due to parasites, it is best to check with your vet as soon as possible.
Dogs who eat too quickly are putting themselves at risk. Gulping down food too fast is dangerous, specifically for larger, deep-chested breeds. Eating too fast can put them at risk for gastric dilation volvulus, also called bloat. This condition is life-threatening and requires immediate medical treatment.
A good majority of the time, canines eating too quickly is a behavioral issue, and there are methods owners can take to slow them down. Using a dog dish that slows eating is an easy step owners can take that can have a very beneficial impact on their dog’s health in the long term. Along with trying a slow feeding option, owners can also break their dogs’ meals into smaller, more frequent sessions rather than two larger ones.
Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
There are a few distinct types of slow feeding dog bowls to consider. We’ve picked the best slow feeder dog bowls based on factors like price, customer reviews, durability, personal experience, and more to help you decide what might work best for you.
There are several different types of slower feeding pet bowls: stainless steel, ceramic slog, elevated, puzzle or maze bowl. All of these have different features and designs but work to accomplish the same goal, getting your dog to pull back on the reins at mealtimes.
Best Overall Winner: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
This popular pick by Outward Hound has a unique design that helps pups reduce a dog’s eating speed up to 10 times. Bowls are uniquely designed with ridges to help lengthen meals and slow down how fast your pup gobbles up that food. These bolds are made to keep them around for a while and also feature a non-slip base. This product also has three different sizes and five styles to choose from, so they work for pups of all different needs. Bowls are easy to clean and safe to put on the top rack of the dishwasher. These start at just $8. You cannot beat the value.
Our First Hand Experience With Outward Hound’s Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
Several of our paw parents on the Canine Journal team use these bowls and are very pleased with the results. They are very effective with eaters who will not slow down, regardless of other methods tried. Bowls are easy to fill with food and are reliable, affordable, and highly effective.
|Reliable and effective||Some pets can flip bowls over if they have the wrong size|
|Multiple sizes and patterns|
|BPA, PVC, lead, & phthalate-free|
|Easy to clean and easily portable|
|Compatible with wet, dry, and fresh foods|
|Top rack dishwasher safe|
- Starts at
Best Stainless Steel: Neater Pet Brands Stainless Steel Slow Feed Bowl
This is a top choice for owners who prefer a stainless-steel dish to plastic or ceramic and is designed to tamper down rapid eaters and prevent indigestion, overeating, vomiting, and bloat. This one is available in three different sizes: 3/4 cup, 1 1/2 cups, 3 cups, and five cups. There is an option for every breed of canine. Stainless steel is dishwasher safe as well as non-slip and non-skid. Bowl is designed to steady the eating rate, and it is not a maze or a toy. This steel does not retain food odors or collect bacteria. Unlike plastic dishes, animals are unable to chew through the steel material.
|Sturdy and durable||Not as long to eat from as maze or puzzle bowls|
|Dishwasher safe||The non-slip rubber ring can come off|
|Effective at slowing eating down||Not as effective for every pet|
Best Ceramic Slog Feeder: LE TAUCI Slow Feeder Ceramic
Some pet owners prefer a ceramic bowl, which helps prevent canine chin disease (muzzle folliculitis and furunculosis)and the spread of bacteria. Ceramic is nonporous, very easy to wash, and does not hold onto bacteria. Most of the time, it is also very sturdy and heavy, preventing pets from pushing their bowls around the room. This option, from LE TAUCI, is highly effective and well-reviewed. This one is microwave safe, which is helpful for owners who like to heat up their pup’s chow. The sturdy ceramic material is chew-proof and stands up to wear and tear. These are heavy and have a non-slip base, meaning they stay put and do not tip over. Bowls are designed to be used with any kind of food and to reduce eating speed rates by about 10 times. There are multiple colors and maze designs to choose from.
|Ceramic prevents bacteria buildup||Color may come off|
|Durable ceramic material||May damage the teeth of aggressive eaters|
|Easy to clean|
|Slows speed eating down x 10|
|Multiple colors and sizes|
Best Elevated Slow Feeder Dog Bowl: URPOWER 2-in-1 Elevated
This raised feeder will help improve digestion and lessens the strain on your pup’s hips and joints. Feeder bowls are designed to be spill-proof and non-slip. It is also adjustable 2 four different heights, which is quite helpful. This bowl stand can adjust to reach 3.4-inch, 8.1-inch, 9.7-inch, and 11.3-inch heights. This comes with a slowing water feeder designed with a floating disc to tamper down drinking speed and avoids spills, splashing, and choking. The raised design helps reduce stress on the neck joints and spine. This one-piece design is easy to adjust, clean, and store.
|Large size||Grooves are deep, and some pets cannot reach the food|
|Sturdy||Some owners do not like the floating disk in water bowl|
|Slows down eating and improves digestion|
|Prolongs eating and drinking|
Best Puzzle Bowl For Dogs: DR CATCH Puzzle Feeder
Some pups do very well with puzzles or maze feeders. Sometimes these mean the same thing, but a couple of distinctly different styles are out there.
This puzzle feeder is designed to make pets work to get their food. It is an interactive and fun puzzle toy that they must solve to find their meals or treats. It can keep pets entertained for a long time. It works with pets of all ages and provides much-needed mental stimulation. Along with helping your pup calm down with eating fast, this challenging toy will help reduce boredom, prevent anxiety, and offer some stress relief. Owners report that this toy is durable, sturdy, and easy to clean, and pups do not get bored. This is also a fun way to get pets to take medication, as owners can hide the medicine in a treat, which pups then must hunt for. This comes in several colors and starts at $11.99. Dogs can maneuver through this puzzle with their noses or paws.
|Interactive||Some pets figure out quickly|
|Mental stimulation||Too challenging for others|
|Very effective at steadying eating rate|
|Aids in better digestion|
Best Maze Bowl: 2PET Slow Feed Dog Bowl
This maze feeder comes in eight different colors and designs. It works to stop pets from eating too quickly. This helps to prevent vomiting, bloat, choking, and gastrointestinal discomfort. This maze feeder comes with a rubberized non-skid bottom and works for most small to medium-sized pups. Medium size holds up to 2 1/2 cups of chow, so it can be used for any size.
With every purchase of a product, the company donates to help a pet in need. These maze-shaped bowls work to keep mealtime fun and nutritious. Bowls will slow down canine eating time by 10%. The product is very easy to clean. It is made from plastic with a silicone grip bottom. It works very well with dogs. Owners even report good results with cats.
|Holds a little more than some other options||Some dogs can pick up bowls and dump out food|
|Multiple colors and maze designs|
|Medium and large size|
|The maze shape helps prevent vomiting and aids in better digestion|
Best Dog Bowl For Fast Eaters: KUNWU SUS304 Stainless Steel Dog Food Slow Feeders Ball
Slow feeders are fantastic tools and work well for many dogs. However, they do not work for all. For various reasons, some owners and pups prefer a standard bowl but still need to find a way to reduce their fur baby’s eating rate. This stainless-steel dog food ball can be a wonderful tool for these pups. The polished stainless steel dishwasher-safe ball works for all pups and breeds with fast eating habits. It is heavy-duty, thick, does not rust, cannot break, and lasts very long.
The ball comes in small, medium, and large options, so there is something for every size of pup. This is a very simple design. Owners place the ball in their pet’s food bowl and then add the food. This is an excellent option if you are still determining how well your pup will do with a puzzle or maze feeder. The simple steel ball is not invasive but very effective at slowing down those gulps.
Our First Hand Experience With Slow Feeder Balls
“We use this ball with our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who loves to gobble up his food quickly. The ball is smooth and slippery, making it difficult for him to remove it from his bowl. The ball forces him to eat around it, making gobbling chow down much harder. He eats much slower with this ball and love that we can use our existing dog bowl with it (or on the go with a travel bowl).”
– Sadie C., Canine Journal
|Easy to use and clean||Some owners report only mild results|
|Long lasting||Not as effective for some dogs|
|Versatile, works with any standard dog bowl|
How To Pick A Slow Feeder
When it comes to slow feeders, there is no one-size-fits-all option. Dogs are all unique creatures and develop independent habits. Not every fast eater has the same issue, so not every product will work for them. Make a list of your pup’s eating needs and prioritize the characteristics you are looking for. Once you have considered all your dog’s needs, you can start the research process, look at reviews, and try out a few products. Keep in mind that sometimes owners must try one or two products out before they find the one that works best for their pup.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Slow Feeders Good For Dogs?
Yes, slower feeding tools can be very beneficial for pets of all ages. Along with slowing the rate at which they eat and lessening the risk of indigestion, choking, vomiting, and bloat, these interactive feeding methods keep pets mentally active. Instead of rapidly gobbling up their meals in a few moments, they must engage, which can also reduce their stress levels. Many vets will suggest slower feeding methods if canines have anxiety, eat too fast, or are food-guarding. Larger breeds, in particular, do well with these, as they have a higher risk of bloat. However, these are beneficial to any size or breed of canine.
Will My Dog Get Enough To Eat From A Slow Feeding Bowl?
Yes, your pup will get the right amount of food. It will simply take longer to eat. You, as the owner, are in control of how much kibble goes into the feeder. Therefore, you can monitor how much they eat, add more if they are having trouble getting it all out, and better control the amount they eat.
Are Slow Feeders Frustrating For Dogs?
Sometimes puzzle and maze feeders may be frustrating for dogs. This is why it is essential to do your research and pick a suitable size bowl made of high-quality, pet-safe materials. Bowls that are too small can increase frustration and anxiety as it may be tough, if not impossible, for dogs to get the food out. Owners do not want to introduce anything that will make feeding time more stressful, so ensure you have gotten the right size for your pup.
Wondering What To Put In Your Dog’s Bowl?
Picking the perfect pet bowl or slow feeder is only the first part of the process of providing your pup with complete and healthy nutrition. It is always a good idea to periodically reevaluate what you are feeding your dog. There are many different options on the market, which are only growing. All natural, holistic, grain-free, raw, human-grade, and freeze-dried products are all increasing in availability. Transitioning a pup to a new food is a big deal and not something that should be done at the same time as introducing a slowing feeder. However, periodic reevaluation of what you feed your pup is simply part of being a responsible pet owner. Regardless of the bowl, slow feeder, and food you choose, make sure to keep food stored securely, keep trash cans closed, and keep those bowls fresh and clean.
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