Does your dog wolf down their food?
At meal times, do you often wonder whether your dog even chewed? Some dogs eat really fast, and while this may seem harmless enough, it can actually lead to trouble. Dogs who eat quickly swallow more air than dogs who take their time, and unfortunately, this can increase a dog’s risk for a very serious (sometimes fatal) condition, called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). There is also a link between eating quickly and type 2 diabetes and obesity.
In order to get your dog to slow down at meal times, you need to understand why they are eating so fast in the first place! Here are a few reasons why your dog could be eating quickly, as well as some ideas to help your dog eat slower:
Are you feeding your dog often enough?
Do you feed your dog just once throughout the day? If so, your dog might be bolting down food because they are hungry! Rather than feeding your dog a single meal once a day, try feeding them a few small meals throughout the day.
Is your dog’s food nutrient and calorie dense?
Dogs, just like people, need food that is is full of calories and nutrients to feel full. If your dog’s food contains a lot of filler, try feeding them dog food that is high in fiber. Some dogs will start to slow down when their food is more satisfying.
Are there other dogs around at meal times?
Dogs tend to eat quickly when there are other dogs around because they don’t want any competition for their food. If you have more than one dog in your home, try putting them in separate rooms at meal times.
Our veterinarian in Levittown has just a few more tips to help you slow your dog down at meal times. Stay tuned for our next blog to learn more.