We have a Black Lab named Deuces who devours her food. We bought her one of those food bowls that have “bumps” in it, so she has to eat more slowly. But after we feed her, and in two servings, she still throws all of it up. What else can we do?
— Sarah, Henderson, Nevada
Dogs that eat too fast can definitely vomit and belch, but they also can develop bloat, a potentially life-threatening condition for larger dogs. I am glad you tried the slow feeding bowl, which, depending on the brand, uses grooves and nodules to slow-down fast eaters. I encourage you to try different bowls, however, to see if a different style will work better for Deuces.
If you’re certain the vomiting is from how fast she eats, and is not an underlying health problem, then I have one more thing for you to try. Feed her with a Kong Wobbler Dog Toy. Portion out her kibble, and then pour as much of it into the wobbler as you can. The wobbler will dispense kibble when Deuces pushes it over with her nose. She will have to do this repeatedly to finish her meal. She will learn how to do this quickly though, so it’s mentally stimulating for her too.
You may need to replenish the food several times during her feeding, but it will be worth it when she can only get a few pieces at a time. My dog used to eat all his meals in about 30 seconds. The slow bowl feeder slowed him down to four minutes, which is acceptable. But occasionally I use the Wobbler for fun, and it takes him about 10 to 12 minutes to eat his meal. Give it a try and let me know if Deuces improves.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to email@example.com. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal