Should You Use a Slow Feeder Dog Bowl?

Updated: January 19, 2024

Do dogs need a slow feeder bowl? When should you use a slow feeder dog bowl vs. a regular bowl? You might be wondering whether or not to purchase a slow feeder dog bowl. Dog bowl slow feeders, snuffle mats, and puzzle bowls all have their advantages. But, which is best for your dog? And do they actually need to slow down their eating? In this article, we’ll go over how to determine if you should use a slow feeder dog bowl.

Let us explore some benefits of owning a slow feeder dog bowl, how it can benefit your dog over time, and some potential pitfalls to avoid.

What Is a Slow Feeder Dog Bowl?

Dog food bowls with a lot of impediments built into them are known as slow feeder dog bowls. These slow feeders are made in a wide range of materials, from stainless steel to brightly colored plastic. Slow feeder dog bowls also include a number of challenges for your dog to overcome in order to get a hold of their food. These bowls, some of which resemble miniature labyrinths and mazes, and others which resemble games or puzzles, can help aid in the prevention of severe medical issues in furbabies.

"Slow feeder dog bowls will help prevent your bloat in dogs when meal times are slower and more carefully regulated."

Acid reflux in Dogs

Pet parents place kibble within the raised pieces and their dog eats between the ridges. Doing this will take some time so this causes your furbaby to eat slower than when using a regular food bowl. These are some advantages and justifications for why you might think about getting a slow feeder dog bowl, depending on your dog’s needs.

Prevents Vomiting

A slow feeder dog bowl prevents the majority of dogs from vomiting and choking due to lesser volumes of food being ingested at a time. This is particularly true, especially for dogs who devour their meals instantly. With the help of slow feeder dog bowls, meals can be digested more efficiently as a result.

Prevents Bloat in Dogs

Dogs who eat too quickly and inhale air as they chew their food will experience bloat and belch or fart. Slow feeder dog bowls will help prevent your bloat in dogs when meal times are slower and more carefully regulated.

These kinds of eager eaters frequently consume air in addition to food (aerophagia). The air passes through the intestines and is expelled as gas. On the other hand, the air in the stomach can cause it to bloat and become enlarged. The likelihood of the stomach flipping over and resulting in gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) increases if the dog subsequently plays or rushes around immediately after eating.

Emergency surgery is necessary for this life-threatening condition. So, anything that makes eating safer, like slow feeder dog bowls, therefore, seems like a good idea. A slow feeder does exactly what it says on the label: It slows down your furbaby's food ingestion to reduce air intake.

Offers Mental Stimulation

When using slow feeder dog bowls, dogs are challenged with how to get the food, and thus are mentally stimulated. The dogs’ ancestors worked for food in the wild and today, problem-solving to eat mirrors their innate habits. Mental stimulation is important for dogs. It lessens boredom, which results in lessened frustration and problematic behaviors like excessive chewing and barking.

With mental stimulation, dogs are far less likely to overeat when fed in this manner, as though their brains are better able to distinguish this as a meal rather than a treat or snack. However, some dogs quickly figure out the patterns in stainless or plastic slow feeder bowls, limiting mental enrichment. Snuffle bowls used as slow feeders provide a different puzzle every time, to keep mental stimulation.

Preventing Obesity

Slow feeder dog bowls can also help prevent obesity. According to Pittsboro Animal Hospital, obesity can be correlated with several health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Most often, obesity is caused by overfeeding and/or lack of exercise. Feeding your dog all of their meals from a slow feeder dog bowl can slow their eating and keep them more entertained. Of course, slow feed dog bowls alone will not prevent obesity if overfeeding.

Better Digestion

As said, some dogs may vomit after eating because they consume too quickly. These slow feeder dog bowls provide your furbaby the time they need to fully digest their meal, ensuring that they will get the right nutrients and be far less likely to vomit afterward.

For additional digestion support, you can give your dog Probiotic SoftSupps®. These probiotics for dogs help support healthy digestion. And you can feed the dog probiotics in the slow feeder bowl with your dogs food or as a treat. Probiotic SoftSupps® are made with whole ingredients and no fillers, so that they act as more effective probiotics for dogs.

Drawbacks of Slow Feeder Bowls

We have enumerated that the slow feeder dog bowls have a lot of advantages, so it is quite impossible to imagine that there would be any drawbacks.

Ingestion of plastic. If you are using a slow feeder dog bowl that’s made from plastic, there are chances that your furbaby may end up ingesting small pieces of plastic, too! If your dog is prone to chewing on items, a slow feeder bowl made of plastic might end up a chew toy.

Damage to the teeth or nose. There is a chance that your dog could chip their teeth if they are overly excited while eating. If the slow feeder dog bowl is made out of some hard material and puzzle patterns, some dogs might grow frustrated attempting to get the food, which can be a possibility.

The difficulty of cleaning. Slow dog feeders with a lot of crannies and nooks will be difficult to clean for pet parents. Bacteria can easily grow if not properly and regularly washed.

Luckily, you can get all the benefits of a slow feeder dog bowl while avoiding these drawbacks by opting for a snuffle bowl.

The Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

In order to avoid potential damage to the teeth or ingestion of plastic, you can get all the function of a slow feeder dog bowl with a snuffle bowl. If you are looking for an easy to wash bowl that slows down meals, the Pet Parents® Forager® Bowl the best slow feeder dog bowl for you because it is machine washable!

slow feeder dog bowl

Designed with comfort in mind, the Forager® Bowl was made with our proprietary SoftSnout® Material, the softest material available for slow feeders, so whether your furbaby uses Forager® Bowl once a week or every single meal, it will not irritate their noses, gums, or tongues. Additionally, our proprietary anti-slide backing was designed to hug the floor to equip a slide-resistant feature to resist the strongest of noses while foraging!

Use Forager® Bowls as a travel bowl, a mental enrichment toy, or an interactive eating experience to encourage slower eating habits, and even increase feeding motivation for your furbaby.

So, should you use a slow feeder dog bowl? Well, in most cases, yes! From preventing bloat to providing mental enrichment, there are many benefits from dog slow feeder bowls. But, it is important to find the right type of slow feeder bowl for your dog. In many cases, your dog may benefit from a snuffle bowl rather than a traditional plastic bowl.

"The Forager® Bowl was made with our proprietary SoftSnout® Material, the softest material available for slow feeders."