Dogs have an inborn instinct to eat as much as possible as fast as possible. Dogs that wolf down their food are at risk for health problems, ranging from the minor problem of gassiness (big problem from the owner’s point of view) to a more serious and life threatening health problem known as bloat. Here are some ways to stop a dog from wolfing down food and prevent health problems associated with food wolfing.
Rock the Dog’s Food Bowl
A couple of rocks in the dog’s food bowl will slow his eating down. Find a couple of smooth rocks that are too large for the dog to swallow. Wash the rocks thoroughly and place them on top of the dog’s food so he will have to take his time and root around to get at all the food in his bowl.
Dog Bowls Designed to Slow a Food Wolfer Down
Dog food bowls and dispensers can be found at pet stores that are specifically designed to slow a food wolfing dog down at meal time. The food bowls make eating a time consuming task for the dog and a dog food dispenser will only dispense a little bit of dog food at a time so the dog is unable to wolf down a large quantity of food at once.
Dog Food Toys and Puzzles
Dog toys and puzzles designed to hold kibble require the dog to work for his food and will only give him a little food at a time. Dog toys and puzzles will slow down the eating process and also provide playtime and exercise for a dog. Most dogs that wolf down food are also overweight, so the additional exercise provided by a food toy or puzzle helps to get extra weight off.
Turn the Food Wolfer into a Food Grazer
Instead of putting the dog food in one bowl, scatter the food around so the dog has to graze during his meal. If feeding the dog dry kibble, scatter kibble on the patio, in the grass or across the kitchen floor. Don’t worry about a mess on the kitchen floor, a wolfer will inhale every last crumb, it will just take him longer to do so.
If feeding the dog canned or moist dog food, place small amounts of dog food in several bowls located in various places so the dog will have to hunt for it, thereby eating his meal more slowly.
Dog Breeds Prone to Wolfing Down Food
Any dog, regardless of breed (including Heinz 57 mixed breeds) may be food wolfers, but some dog breeds and their mixes are more prone to being wolfers. Cocker spaniels, corgis, basset hounds, beagles, dachshunds, pugs and Labrador retrievers are most likely to wolf down food.