When it comes to eating habits, dogs can be just as varied as humans in that some can be much slower or much faster than others. No dog is an exception to the possibility of forming poor eating habits, large or small, no matter the breed. While the act of scarfing food down as if he’s never been fed before in his life may fit our perception of a larger dog’s eating habits, the same behavior can just as easily be attributed to the Chihuahua that lives next door.
While it may be funny to see a dog eagerly finish a meal and sometimes even ask for more, eating too quickly can become a health hazard. Choking is always a possibility, especially for a smaller dog who may be trying to eat kibbles that are just a little too big for him. There are more serious issues as well, including things like bloat, which can be life-threatening and results from a dog taking in too much air along with his food. These risks can mean that you’ll need to take steps to prevent your dog from feeding in a frenzy.
While there is no real way to help your smaller dog recognize the risks that come with fast eating, there are plenty of solutions to help him adjust to a much slower pace. Introducing these tactics can put your dog in a much better situation when it comes to his health, and can make feeding time a little less taxing on you. Smaller dogs can also benefit from slower eating habits because they cause them to slow down entirely just to get a meal in, which can be helpful for a hyperactive dog that needs a minute to breathe every now and again.
When it comes to slower eating, consistency is key to getting your dog adjusted to the new pace and speed. These methods can also be used with puppies before they even have a chance to develop poor eating habits and will begin showing results for any age of dog within just a day or two.
The tools necessary to help your small dog to eat slower is heavily dependent on which method you’d like to try. However, you’ll need to either create or purchase these tools beforehand, that way you can quickly shift into the new setup to form the new habit.
In addition, ensure that your dog is getting the right food for his age and size, and take into account any other health conditions he may have that could affect which type of food he eats. Small dogs benefit from smaller kibble sizes to prevent choking. Always read the ingredients in your dog’s food to make sure they’re getting the nutrition they need.