Does your dog eat so fast, you worry he might swallow the entire bowl along with his food? If so, a slow feeder dog bowl should make it to the top of your shopping list!
Eating too fast is not only an alarming (if sometimes amusing!) sight, but also a potential health risk for your dog.
Unfortunately, fast eating can cause a range of digestive issues. Alongside the obvious choking hazard that it poses, it can also cause vomiting, stomach aches, bloating, and even a life-threatening condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).
Luckily, dog bowls for fast eaters can help to solve the problem. Bowls to stop dogs eating fast typically feature deep grooves that force the dog to ‘work’ for each piece of kibble.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to five of our favourite slow-feed dog bowls – complete with a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision of your own.
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Our Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Recommendations
Take a closer look at the slow feeding dog dishes that we recommend over all others.
We review each in more detail down below.
OUR TOP PICK
The Company of Animals Interactive Feeder
Out of all of the slow feeder bowls we’ve reviewed, this one stands out the most. The Interactive Feeder from The Company of Animals benefits from a design that’s incredibly simple, but also highly effective.
The slow feeder has a flat plastic base, with rounded plastic ‘blades’ that get taller towards the middle. This significantly slows down even a hungry dog, forcing him to move the food around the plate to reach it with his teeth.
Suitable for both dry and wet food, the bowl is also very easy to wash. The non-toxic plastic can be cleaned in the sink or safely put in a dishwasher.
Though not entirely chew-proof, the plastic used to make the dog feeder is relatively strong and resistant to light chewing.
The bowl features a non-slip base, which prevents it from moving around the floor as your dog tries to get at his food.
Thanks to the flat shape of the base, it’s near-impossible for even the most determined pooch to tip over the feeder.
The Interactive feeder comes in two sizes: Regular (30 x 40 x 7.5 cm) and Mini (23 x 30 x 6 cm). The regular size can hold up to 6 cups of food, while the smaller option holds up to 2 cups.
For small dogs and puppies, it’s a good idea to go for the smaller size – they’ll have an easier time manoeuvring their food between the obstacles and won’t get frustrated.
Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
Next up, we have the Outward Hound Fun Feeder. This product has the shape of a standard dog bowl, but with raised ridges lining the inside.
These ridges essentially work as obstacles, preventing your dog from being able to get too much food into his mouth at once.
The bowl comes in five different varieties, each with a different colour and ridge pattern – including a spiral shape and angular waves, among others.
Every variety from this range will efficiently extend your dog’s meal by making him forage for his food and move it around the bowl to be able to get at it.
The non-slip base will help to keep the bowl still during mealtimes.
The Outward Hound bowl range is made from durable, safe plastic that doesn’t contain any potentially harmful chemicals or materials, such as BPA, PVC, or phthalate.
The bowls can be used for feeding both dry and wet food, and are easily cleaned. Thanks to their compact size, they even fit on the top rack of a dishwasher.
Each bowl style comes in three different sizes, enabling you to pick the right option for your dog. To make mealtimes even more fun and engaging, consider getting a few different bowl styles for your dog!
Decyam Pet Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
Ready for another greedy dog bowl? The maze bowl from Deycam features a complex pattern of ridges on the inside, helping your dog eat up to ten times slower.
The puzzle design provides a challenge for your pup, helping to mentally stimulate him and injecting an element of fun into mealtimes.
The rubber feet on the bottom of the bowl prevent it from sliding around while your dog forages for his dinner!
The Deycam Pet Slow Feeder comes in two sizes and four colours – black, blue, purple, and grey.
The large bowl can hold up to 6 cups of food, while the smaller option is suitable for up to 2 cups. Both dry and wet food can be used.
The large size has a diameter of 30 cm, making it one of the biggest maze dog bowls on the market, suitable for even the largest breeds.
The bowl is made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) – a strong, eco-friendly kind of plastic that is non-toxic and doesn’t pose any health risks for your dog.
The plastic is quite rigid, making the bowl bite-resistant and durable. Easily washed by hand, it also fits into the top rack of a dishwasher for convenient cleaning.
Classic Pet Products Steel Slow Feeder
Looking for a simpler solution? The Steel Slow Feeder from Classic Pet Products may be just the thing for your and your dog.
As the name indicates, this bowl is made from stainless steel, which makes it extremely easy to keep clean. Unlike certain plastics, steel doesn’t absorb the odour of dog food and is entirely chew-resistant.
Instead of a maze or complex pattern, the Classic Pet slow feeder simply features a raised centre. This encourages your dog to pick up food more slowly, extending the time it takes for him to consume his meal.
The bowl features a rubber rim along the bottom, making it entirely slip-proof.
However, the bowl is relatively tall, so it’s a good idea to watch your dog during mealtimes and ensure he doesn’t simply tip the bowl over to get at his food!
The Steel Slow Feeder comes in two sizes – 24 cm or 28 cm in diameter.
For the bowl to be at its most effective, pick a size that suits your dog: if the bowl is too big, your pup may be able to get his entire snout into the deep part around the outside and eat as fast as he normally does.
Amazon Basics Pet Activity Center and Feeder
Last but not least, the Pet Activity Center and Feeder from Amazon Basics – a fun alternative to the standard slow eating dog bowl.
Intended for both dogs and cats, this feeder is designed to stimulate your pup and provide a fun, rewarding challenge.
More of a puzzle than a bowl, this feeder features multiple obstacles of various shapes and sizes. The patterns of raised ridges and poles force your dog to investigate, experiment, and forage to get at his food.
There are also compartments – including movable parts – that can be used for hiding treats for your dog to find.
Because of its structure, this feeder is only suitable for use with dry food. Made of durable polypropylene, it’s entirely safe for dogs and strong enough to be chew-proof.
Rubber feet prevent the feeder from sliding on the floor, and the flat shape makes it difficult for your dog to tip the whole thing over.
The Pet Activity Center and Feeder significantly slows down eating, and the challenge it poses to your dog will make every mealtime fun and engaging.
It comes in one size and three colour varieties – blue, purple, and green.
Recommended: Check out our guide to treat dispensing dog toys for further ways to slow down greedy dogs!
Why Choose a Slow-Feed Dog Bowl?
Eating too fast is a common problem with dogs of all breeds and backgrounds. In some ways, it reflects their natural instincts – wild dogs would have to compete for food.
Some of our domestic pooches still feel that if food is available, they need to bolt it down as quickly as possible.
In some cases, this behaviour can intensify when there are other pets in the house.
Also, rescue dogs that have experienced direct competition for food and may have gone hungry at times are more likely to eat too fast even when their circumstances have improved.
However, the fact that this behaviour makes sense doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for your dog.
Apart from commonly causing vomiting, it can result in a range of potentially life-threatening health issues, including bloat and choking.
A slow feed bowl prevents the dog from swallowing too much food at once, leading to healthier and more stimulating meal times.
Before we move on to the key features of slow feed bowls, it’s worth mentioning that fast eating can sometimes be the result of an underlying medical problem.
Dogs that eat too fast may be lacking in key nutrients, which could be due to parasites or the quality of their food. If you’re concerned about this behaviour, make sure to consult a veterinarian to eliminate any physical factors.
Key Features to Consider
Puppies love destroying stuff, and – let’s face it – many dogs never fully grow out of the destructive phase. Even calmer dogs will chew on the ridges and textures of a slow feed bowl, so it’s worth picking a product that’s sturdy and durable.
We all know how dirty dog bowls get, even when only using dry food. For your dog’s hygiene and your own convenience, pick a bowl that’s easy to wash either by hand or, if you have one, in the dishwasher.
Recommended Reading: Don't miss our five favourite subscription boxes for dogs.
Size and Shape
Slow feeder bowls come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Consider your dog’s size – especially the width of their snout – when choosing a bowl.
If the feeder is too small, your dog may have too much trouble getting to their food. As a result, he could become frustrated and abandon his meal altogether.
Most manufacturers provide accurate dimensions of their slow feed bowls, so it’s worth checking these before making a purchase for your pup.
No matter what kind of slow feed dog bowl you choose, prepare for a lot of foraging, sniffing, and pushing around during mealtime.
Choosing a bowl with a non-slip bottom will help to keep it stable while your dog is eating.
For very active fast eaters, it’s best to avoid bowls with high sides as they’re easier to tip over.
Calculate how many cups of food you offer your dog for each meal and pick a bowl that can easily hold that amount. This way, you won’t have to refill your dog’s bowl during a meal.
To ensure your dog’s safety, always pick bowls – slow feeding or otherwise – that are made of non-toxic materials.
You can do this by buying products only from reputable manufacturers and researching the material used to make the bowl.
Wet and/or Dry Food
Not every slow feed dog bowl is suitable for both wet and dry food. Some of the flatter feeders are only effective with kibble, and bowls with very elaborate ridges and complex designs may not be practical for wet food.
Before making a purchase, check that the bowl is suitable for the kind of food you plan on feeding your dog.
If you regularly offer your dog both wet and dry food during the day, it’s worth buying two slow feed bowls – one for dry and one for wet food.
You can even switch them around sometimes to add more fun to your dog’s mealtimes.
Every dog is different, so there’s no single bowl that will suit all of our furry friends. Hopefully, though, our recommendations and advice will help you find the perfect slow feed bowl for your hungry pup!
It may take a while for your dog to get used to his new bowl, but it will definitely help to keep him healthy and happy in the long run.