Fast Eating Behavior
My dog eats her food extremely fast. When she gets done, she tries to eat our other dog’s food. I put a rubber ball in the middle of her bowl to slow her down a little, but she still eats fast. Why does she do that and what can I do?
We all know that eating food too fast is not good for the animals and produces behaviors that are irritating to owners. It is hard to identify the source of “fast food” consumption. Sometimes animals come from an environment where they had to “compete” for their supper and fast eating becomes a learned habit.
Sometimes even puppies can establish rapid eating because they had to compete for both milk and their first foods with other litter mates. Stray animals can also be fast eaters because of their intermittent contact with food and competition with other strays. The reasons are many; solutions are not always easy.
First, you want to make sure there are no physical problems with your dog. Voracious eaters may have diabetes, a metabolic problem, or internal parasites. They need to eat because they are trying to replace what is lost to the other disease or an organism. It is important to make sure your dog gets a thorough health examination from your veterinarian including blood tests and fecal exam for parasites.
Putting a ball in the food bowl is a good idea, but you may want to try several large rocks. Also, I would suggest you feed the two dogs apart in separate rooms. Or you can tether both dogs in the room when you feed them to prevent competition over food. There are also some “puzzle toys” that you can stuff with your dog’s meal so that she really has to work to get the food out of the toy. Also, it may be easier to feed your dog smaller amounts two or three times a day if possible.
You may want to check the food you are feeding you dog. Some dogs digest some foods better than others and your dog may be eating fast because she is not getting nutrition out of her food. Talk to your veterinarian and try several high quality foods that have different emphasis on certain ingredients to see which one is the best for your dog.
With patience, some training, and the proper food, hopefully we can slow down your canine friend and keep her a happy member of your family.