So, you’ve got a speed-eater. For your cat or dog, mealtime is the best time, and the second you set down their food bowl, they’ve gobbled up all of their food. It may seem harmless, but eating too fast can be dangerous for your pet. Eating too fast can cause your pet to gag, vomit, or even choke.
Why do pets eat too quickly? There could be a number of reasons why. It’s possible they may have had to compete for food when they were part of a litter as puppies and kittens. Even though your pet is older now, the conditioning to eat as much as they can while they can may linger. It’s also possible they may not be getting enough digestible nutrition from their food, which can make them feel extra hungry and thus eat like they are ravenous. Or it could be something more serious such as a parasite preventing them from getting the nutrients they need.
To slow your pet down, here are 5 tips:
1. Start by talking to your vet. Rule out any parasites and ensure that they are getting the nutrition they need. If your pet isn’t getting the proper nutrition, you can begin introducing wholesome raw foods like Primal Pet Foods for optimum nutrition. A diet using quality human-grade ingredients provides your pet with the vitamins, minerals, and quality protein they need to stay healthy and full. Even if you’re only mixing a portion of raw food into your pet’s meal, some raw is better than no raw. Our complete and balanced Pronto Formulas for dog and cats are an easy way to introduce raw into your pet’s existing diet.
2. More frequent meal times. Instead of feeding your pet big meals once or twice a day, break it up and feed them smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This can make your pet less likely to wolf down their food during mealtimes knowing that another meal is coming soon.
3. Use a slow feeder bowl or puzzle toy. As natural predators, cats and dogs have an instinct to hunt for their food. Slow feeders and food puzzle toys are designed to make your cat or dog work for their food and take smaller bites. Not only will your pet be entertained, it will also help them to slow down when they’re eating. Planet Dog’s Nook star toy is a perfect fit for our Freeze-Dried Nuggets for dogs and cats!
4. Use a muffin pan, or Bundt pan. Similar to a slow feeder bowl, your pet’s food will divide up among the cups on a muffin pan, preventing them from eating it all at once. Or, flip the muffin tin upside down, so your pet has to work around the inverted cups. A Bundt pan has smaller, narrower spaces, and your pet will have to work their way around to get their whole meal.
5. Put a ball or toy in the bowl with their food. This obstruction in the bowl will make your pet work around it and take small bites due to a constricted space. Just make sure whatever object you put in the bowl isn’t easily swallowed. Planet Dog’s Recycle Ball can run some good interference on your pet’s eating pace.
Help your pet enjoy their meal at a healthier pace with these tips. Share this blog with other pet owners or save to your Pinterest pet inspiration board. #LiveLifeRaw