A common problem in puppies and young dogs is their ability to seemingly ‘inhale’ food, often not stopping to chew. This habit often originates from having to battle their littermates to share a single large bowl of limited food in order to thrive and get the meal they need.
However when they go to their forever homes, most will take this habit with them. It may be cute to see them so enthusiastic about their food; however this trait can cause serious health problems down the line such as bloat.
Many dogs have two meals per day, right? Puppies have not reached this stage yet, and to encourage slower eating try to split the same amount of food into smaller meals throughout the day. This will convince them that food is not in short supply but is actually regularly available. Another alternative is to place small piles of food throughout the house and garden, this ensures more time is taken throughout a mealtime and also allows them to use their natural ability whilst providing crucial mental stimulation.
You may or may not have heard people recommend the use of slow feeding bowls. These bowls are excellent if you have an adult dog that eats too fast. However puppies tend to become frustrated by them and can develop food aggression later on in life as a result. Due to this we recommend supervising the use of slow feeding bowls and to discontinue if the puppy shows signs of distress.
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