Dogs have a reputation for eating just about anything, and with good reason. Walk them down a city street and they’re on the lookout for something yummy to scarf up off the ground. Most of the time it’ll be something you and I would turn our nose up at, but to the dog its a yummy treat. These same dogs will walk into a home kitchen and look for crumbs in the toe-kick area under the cabinets and sniff the cabinet doors for drippings. Come meal time some of these dogs practically inhale their food. Cats are not exempt from this behavior. They may not gulp down every meal, but I’m sure there have been a few times when you’ve walked into a room to find regurgitated undigested cat food on the floor. Clearly the food was swallowed whole – inhaled.
When we’re kids and we eat too fast our parents can teach us to slow down. They may tell us its unhealthy for our digestion to eat fast. They may appeal to our vanity by telling us that when we eat to fast we eat more and gain weight. Usually kids learn to slow down with a bit of prodding, but its hard to make dogs and cats understand what we want and why we want it.
And the solution? Manufacturers have devised a variety of feeders to help slow ingestion of both food and water and they can be used by both dogs and cats. A slow feeder bowl is a regular bowl with a design inside. Some are simple like the one pictured here, but there are other bowls whose interiors look like mazes.
For drinking there are a variety of fountains for dogs and cats, but for dogs I especially like The DrinkBetter Bowl pictured here on the right. It not only reduces water gulping, but also reduces the amount of water that ends up outside the bowl. Another great choice is the Fresh & Clear water fountain. Its great for reducing gulping and its also great for sloppy drinkers – no more puddles on the floor from long wet floppy ears and heavy duty gulpers.