Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Q: We got our dog from a rescue group. I know she was starved by her previous owners because she inhales her meals. Do you have any idea how to slow down the vacuum act? — via e-mail
A: Your pet's history may have nothing to do with the behavior. The instinct to eat as much as possible, as quickly as possible, is so strong in some breeds (and some individual dogs) that they can make themselves ill. These are dogs that will "counter surf" and "garbage dive" for any scrap of food they can scrounge.
Labrador retrievers, Beagles, Bassets, Cocker Spaniels, Corgis, Dachshunds and Pugs (as well as mixes with these breeds) are particularly prone to wolfing. Not coincidentally, these are also the dogs who most often lumber into my veterinary office looking as if they need to lose a pound — or 10.
Eating too quickly is a bigger problem than just eating too much: Wolfing can lead to excessive gassiness and may contribute to a life-threatening emergency commonly known as bloat. In that scenario, a dog's stomach enlarges with air. If the stomach then twists, a fast surgical response is required for survival.
1. To slow down a wolfer, choose a couple of smooth stones (make sure they are too big for your dog to swallow), wash them and put them in your dog's dish with his food. Arrange the food so the dog will have to move things around to get to his meal — thus making him take his time.
2. You can also find bowls already designed to slow down the speed of the food's availability, such as the Brake-Fast or Le Bistro food dispensers.
3. Another option includes food puzzles, which are toys that make a dog work to get food out.
4. One last easy solution? Scatter your dog's meal in the grass or on the vinyl flooring and let him "graze."
This article was written by a Veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Whale-watching crews spotted the fourth
baby killer whale of the season in the
waters off Washington State.
It’s a scary thing to think about, but here’s
what you can do to prepare for choking,
seizures or other common…
You're not a bad pet owner if your dog
doesn't know sit, down or come. But
these commands can be really helpful.
Being overweight raises your feline’s risk
of serious problems like joint injuries,
diabetes and surgical…
Before you buy chicks or ducklings for
your kids' Easter baskets, make sure you
know what you're getting yourself…
Want to find out how well your cat or dog is digesting his food? Well, our vet says the proof is in your pet's poop.
The active and playful Devon Rex’s high cheekbones and slender build make her look like a top feline model.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.