My Dog Eats Too Fast
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Effects Of Dogs Eating Too Fast
Is your dog gobbling down like they’re starving? Eating too fast makes it hard for dogs to chew their foods even or really enjoy the taste of their foods. Many pet owners think it’s cute when their pooch eats their food too quickly, but this eating habit can present some problems for your furry friend. Here are some dangers of your dog eating too fast:
Arguably, the biggest side effect of dogs eating too fast is indigestion. When dogs eat too quickly, they are unable to chew their food properly. A few of them might chomp once or twice, but that’s all they do before they swallow. Much like in humans, chewing properly is the first step in digestion, but when your dog skips this stage, it becomes difficult for the rest of the digestive system to properly break down the nutrients in the food in a timely manner. In other words, not chewing properly puts the digestive system under more pressure than necessary, and this may result in gas, poor stool quality, nausea, loose stools, and several other canine health issues.
Food gulping increases the risks of choking. If your dog swallows food without chewing, the pieces may get stuck in the throat, resulting in the “ack” sound that many dog owners know too well. Other times, it could be due to the food going down the wrong tube or your pup taking bites that are just too big to swallow.
Another popular danger of eating quickly is bloat, formally known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). When dogs eat too fast, they swallow air along with their food, filling the stomach with air, fluid, and/or food. The resultant effect is that the stomach expands and may twist in the abdomen, putting pressure on other vital organs. When this happens, it reduces blood supply to those organs while causing severe pain and discomfort. Bloat is a life-threatening disorder, and it is reported to be the second leading cause of death in dogs after death. Even though immediate treatment may help, studies indicate that approximately 25 to 40 percent of dogs die from this medical emergency. Thus, prevention is the first and best line of defense. Early signs of bloating are excessive breathing, drooling, retching without producing anything, rapid heartbeat, and vomiting (mostly foam). If you notice any of these signs, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
4. Regurgitation or vomit
They are often considered to be one and the same, but they are quite different. When your pooch gulps his food, he also swallows air, and this may lead to throwing up food that’s usually not chewed or digested alongside bile or other debris from his stomach. In contrast, when dogs regurgitate due to eating too fast, the food seldom makes it past the esophagus, so it will look almost the exact same way it did when they ingested it. Unlike vomiting, regurgitation is quick and effortless since the food didn’t travel too far. Sometimes, there is no vomit as the pooch may just stop eating while trying to get the kibble down to his stomach
Dogs that gulp their food tend to burp a lot due to the air they swallowed while eating fast. While frequent farts are not a serious problem, they are a sign that your pet is experiencing discomfort from stomach distension and that something more severe is going on.
6. Weight gain
Another issue, while not a medical emergency, is that dogs that eat too quickly are more likely to overeat. The reason is that they often are less likely to realize that they are full and may end up begging for more and then overeating. While most dog owners adopt portion control as a measure against weight gain, dogs that eat too fast tend to beg and steal food due to their determination to shovel food into their faces. This makes them consume more calories than they can burn. Obesity in dogs leads to an increased in different types of cancers, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, and more.
How to slow your dog’s eating
Now that you know the negative impact of your dog eating too fast, how can you keep him from scarfing down his food too quickly? Here are some creative ways to slow down your dog’s eating.
- Slow feeder bowls
Consider investing in a feeder bowl, which is designed to slow down the pace of eating by allowing dogs eat a small bit at a time. They come in different sizes and shapes, so make sure you get the correct size so you don’t buy a slow feeder bowl that’s too small for your dog or even too big as this may defeat the purpose. An additional benefit of these bowls is that they can provide mental stimulation for your pet. Slow feeder bowls can be found here
- Food puzzles
Food puzzles are great because they make your dog work to uncover the food. It may take some time for your dog to figure it out, but the bonus points are that food puzzles encourage physical and mental activity.
- Cookie sheet or muffin pan
If none of the above seems to be working, you can simply spread your dog’s food across a cookie sheet, so he has to eat it in small amounts, which means he will be eating slowly. Alternatively, you can also put a little bit of his food in different muffin tins, forcing him to empty each cup separately. Both methods involving dividing his food into smaller options, and they can help eliminate excessive gulping.
While some dogs like to take their time to chew every little piece of their food, which is necessary to aid digestion, other dogs wolf down food too fast as if they are hungry all the time.
If your dog is a fast eater, you can encourage healthy consumption by using any of the solutions above. But if the behavior continues despite trying these tips, consider taking a trip to the vet to rule out any medical cause.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s blog at 12pm!