I recently adopted a five month old
puppy from a rescue. I have to
say that out of the 20 plus dogs of various ages and breeds that I have owned
in my life, never have I experienced one that devours their food like a
Turkey Vulture eating road kill off the side of the interstate! Newfoundland
Skylar, I realized had a rough start in life as a pet store puppy, meaning she was brought up in a puppy mill situation where she had to possibly fight off several dogs that shared her 4 x 4 cage for every piece of kibble that was strewn onto a feces and urine soaked floor. If you are not aware of puppy mills and puppy brokers click the link below.
Because this breed has its health issues the worst possible nightmare entered my mind as I watched her gulp down her kibble. GVD, aka, Bloat! Bloat is a deadly twisting of the intestines usually seen in large breed dogs. One of the reasons this can happen is that the dogs gobble their food too fast and take in air at the same time. If the air has no way to escape you will see the dog’s stomach getting bigger as the air fills it. However, what is happening inside the dog is something even more serious than a fat stomach, the twisting of the intestines. If you don't know the signs of bloat and if emergency help is not sought out immediately, you can lose your dog within an hour.
Years ago I had a close call with this disease with my Newfoundland Bentley, however I was fortunate to recognize the signs and got him to the veterinarian before the intestines had time to twist. Bentley was not a fast eater like Skylar is, but Bentley had gotten himself all worked up due to an impending thunder storm and then came in the house and gulped down a lot water causing air to get into the stomach. So there are variables as to why bloat happens, and it is said not to allow your large breed dog to exercise ½ hour before or after a meal. In Bentley’s case the meal was water.
Read about Bloat here
But I digress, let’s get back on track! I happened to get an email from PetFlow.com expressing their remarkable deals. In my quest to find the perfect toy that will not expire within a week of its use by my dogs and the neighbor dog's who come to visit, I opened the petflow page. Not finding much in the toy department I went on too see other dog items, because let’s face it, once you are online for anything dog it’s like having a bag of open potato chips, you can’t have just one!
With this new search on dog items I came across the JW Pet Skid Stop Slow Feed Dog Bowl (what a mouthful!) Over the years I had heard of the ‘Break-Fast Bowls’ and have even recommended them to customers but they can be pricey. The premise of the Slow Feed Dog Bowl is the same; there are barriers in the bowl to make it harder to get to the kibble out so in theory the dog slows down the eating pattern thereby taking in less air.
Actually this can also be done by putting an unopened can of vegetables into the dog’s bowl, but that might hit the range of the Crazy dog lady scale among your friends.
So for a whopping six bucks, (much cheaper that the Break- Fast Bowl) I ordered one and waited anxiously for its arrival.
Finally that day came and as soon as I pried it out of Brody and Skylar’s teeth as they thought it’s sleek design and scent of plastic automatically made it a chew toy, I began the testing!
In a normal dog food bowl it took Skylar 2 minutes and 10 seconds to get through the 2 ½ cups of small kibble. In the Slow Feeder bowl, it took her nearly 6 minutes 30 seconds to eat through 2 ½ cups of the same kibble.
In my view this bowl works for what it is intended to do and I give it a 4 paws up for intent, its ease of use, and its pet friendly price. However it is not ‘skid proof’ as you can see in the video. You may want to try placing a rubber mat or a rug under it. On a positive note, the bowl moving along the floor may also have helped slow the eating. But then again, Skylar’s head is as big and powerful as the pumpkin in Charlie Brown’s “The Great Pumpkin” so for a dog like a Golden Retriever or a German shepherd who may be a bit more gentle, the bowl may stay in place.
JW Pet Skid Stop Slow Feed Dog Bowl http://www.petflow.com/product/jw-pet/jw-pet-skid-stop-slow-feed-dog-bowls
Compare the Break- Fast Food Bowl which sells from 9.95 to 24.95 depending on what site you go to. If you like a metal dish Break- Fast makes them as well. It will come down to choice and price for most.
click here for the BreakFast Bowl
To see a video of Skylar and the JW Pet Skid Stop Slow Feed Dog Bowl in use
Until next time happy training!