Managing Your Dog’s Fast Eating

Optimum M7 Why does your dog eat so fast

Photo by Helena Lopes

Managing Your Dog’s Fast Eating

Many dogs tend to eat too quickly, which can lead to a multitude of problems such as choking, vomiting, and even canine bloat. Whatever the reason may be for their fast eating, it's important to take action to manage the issue. There are a few different methods you can try to slow your dog down at mealtimes.

What causes dogs to eat fast?

One of the primary reasons a dog might eat fast is competition for food. For example, when multiple dogs live together, they might feel the need to eat it quickly before other dogs in the home can get to it. Another reason is anxiety or stress, which can lead them to consume their food rapidly. Dogs who have had to go without food for a while may also eat quickly, as they are unsure when they will be fed again. Finally, some dogs just love their dog food and will devour it quickly without realising the implications.

What are the implications of fast eating?

When your dog eats their food too quickly, they can end up ingesting air along with their meal. This can lead to bloating, which is not only uncomfortable but can also be life-threatening. Additionally, fast eating can cause your dog to choke or vomit, and, in some cases, even lead to stomach twisting or blockages.

Managing the causes of their fast eating

Fast eating is a common behaviour for dogs, but even if the reason behind it isn’t cause for worry, it’s best to manage it so it doesn't harm their health. Once you’ve figured out the reason for this, there are a few different methods you can try to slow them down.

Consulting your vet

The first step to managing your dog's fast eating is to speak with your vet to rule out any health issues. They can also advise you on the best diet for your dog, taking into consideration their breed, age, and weight, which can help slow down their eating.

Trying different methods to slow your dog’s eating

One method to slow your dog’s eating is to switch their diet to a more filling food that takes longer to eat. This can include kibble that is specifically designed for fast eaters or foods that are high in fibre. Another method is to use a special slow feeder bowl that has ridges or obstacles that force your dog to take their time when eating. You can even make your own slow feeder by using an old muffin tin. Flip it upside down, place on the floor and sprinkle dry kibble pieces in between the cups. This will have the effect of creating obstacles that your dog will need to manoeuvre around while eating.

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is another effective way to help slow down your dog's eating. Whenever they eat at a slow and steady pace, give them lots of praise and a small treat. Over time, they'll learn that eating slowly is a good thing and may even start to enjoy their meals more without feeling the need to rush through them.


Fast eating is a common behaviour amongst dogs, but it can have serious implications for their health. By understanding the causes of fast eating, you can take steps to manage the issue, so your dog can enjoy their food slowly and digest it properly. For more advice on caring for your dog, check out our pet care blog.


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