How Do Slow Feeder Dog Bowls Work?

A slow feeder dog bowl is a bowl with built-in obstacles that help slow your dog down while eating.

Some dogs are always hungry. No matter what time of day it is, they’re always down to chow down some food. 

Did you know a slow feeder dog bowl can correct your dog’s overeating habit? But any innovative dog product also has downsides.

Explore the pros and cons of slow feeder dog bowls and how they work.

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Do slow feeder dog bowls work

Are Slow Feeders Good for Dogs?

Yes, slow feeder dog bowls are a great way to correct poor eating habits in dogs.

They come with a lot of benefits, such as:

  • preventing bloats 
  • reduced risk of swallowing foreign objects
  • preventing acid reflux
  • fixing behavioral issues
  • lesser risk of choking
  • reduced vomiting
  • mental stimulation.

Slow feeder dog bowls have built-in ridges, grooves, pockets, or a raised center.

These obstacles are designed into the bowl to help slow your pup from gulping their food down in seconds.

Do Slow Feeder Dog Bowls Work?

Yes, slow feeder dog bowls work. They are an effective safety measure if your dog is eating their food too quickly.

They also have a lot of benefits for your dog, which we will discuss in detail below. 

But first, let’s talk about when your dog might need to use a slow feeder bowl.

Does My Dog Need a Slow Feeder Bowl?

If you think your dog is eating too quickly then a slow feeder bowl may be what you need.

Before getting a slow feeder bowl for your dog it is best to first try and determine why your dog is eating too fast.

There are several possible reasons for this, including:

  • Competition – If you have more than one dog in the house your pup may be feeling competitive and eats quickly because they think your other pups are competing. To prevent this, try feeding them in separate rooms, or at a distance from each other.
  • Hunger – It’s possible that your dog is just hungry. Look at how many times you feed them each day and how much you give them. If you’re only giving them one meal a day, break it up into two to four smaller meals throughout the day. On the other hand, if your dog only eats once a day for an unknown reason, look into what may be causing it.
  • Health issues – Your dog may have underlying health issues or behavioral issues you’re not aware of. Take them to the vet so they can run tests to determine the cause.

If these scenarios don’t apply to your fur baby, or you already know you need to slow down their eating, then it may be time to get them a slow feeder dog bowl.

Slow feeder dog bowls can help fix your dog’s poor eating behavior. But they have additional advantages which we will discuss below.

Why Do Dogs Need a Slow Feeder?

Dogs need a slow feeder dog bowl to help prevent health and behavioral issues, including the following:

  • vomiting
  • bloating or GDV
  • choking
  • distraction
  • lack of mental stimulation
  • obesity.

Some of these issues can lead to serious health problems for your dog. Using a slow feeder dog bowl can help.

Pros and Cons of Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

As with anything, slow feeder dog bowls have their own set of pros and cons. Let’s look at some of the benefits of getting a slow feeder for your dog.

Pros of Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

Prevent Vomiting

Regurgitation is common with dogs who eat too fast. They will swallow their food with little chewing and ingest a lot of air at the same time. 

These large chunks of food and the air can often come back up within a few hours of eating.

A slow feeder dog bowl can help prevent this problem by placing obstacles in your dog’s path to their food.

This prevents your dog from eating too much too quickly, making it easier for the meal to be digested.

Reduce Bloating

Bloating, belching, and gas or farting, are caused by dogs eating too quickly and swallowing air while doing so.

Bloat happens when your dog’s stomach expands, or distends, cutting off blood supply to both the abdomen and the stomach. 

The stomach wall may be injured as a result, and if not treated, other organs may be affected. 

Bloat can also put strain on the diaphragm, a narrow muscle that connects the chest and abdomen, making breathing difficult.

GDV, or gastric dilatation and volvulus, can be lethal for dogs if it’s severe and if not treated within an hour or two.

These issues are avoided when portions are more carefully controlled and consumed at a slower pace.

This is where a slow feeder dog bowl can help.

Lessen the Risk of Choking

Slower eating and smaller serving sizes, similar to preventing vomiting, will also protect your dog from choking. 

Dogs often eat quickly. This is especially true when they are extremely hungry, and it can result in choking and vomiting.

When eating fast your dog can take in too much food at once, without chewing it properly. Large portions can get stuck in their throat, preventing air from passing through.

Choking can be life-threatening, and can make your furbaby go into shock after just a few minutes.

A slow feeder dog bowl can help them eat slower using the specially-designed ridges and obstacles within the bowl.


Most dog owners also find that using slow feeder dog bowls can be useful as a distraction.

For instance, if your dog doesn’t like taking baths, you can use a slow feeder dog mat or bowl to keep them distracted as you bathe them.

It helps them focus on the task at hand instead of focusing on their fear of bathing.

Mental Stimulation

Most slow feeder dog bowls also provide additional mental stimulation for your pup. 

The puzzle solving element of a slow feeder dog bowl is designed to be fun and to stimulate your pup’s mind. 

They have to really think about how they are going to get to their food.

Mental stimulation is an important part of a dog’s health and wellbeing. 

It enhances intelligence, develops cognitive skills, reduces stress, and can help reduce destructive behaviors, like chewing, biting, and barking, that can stem from boredom.

Helps with Obesity

If your pup eats too much and gains too much weight, a slow feeder dog bowl can help them lose weight.

Obesity increases your dog’s risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or hypertension.

Using a dog slow feeder lets you control their food portions easily and helps your dog from eating too quickly.

When it comes to helping your dog lose weight, the type of food you give them matters. 

Learn about other foods you can feed your dog instead of dog food.

Cons of Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

Possible Plastic Ingestion

Ingesting plastic may cause gastrointestinal distress and other health problems that could become serious. 

You can prevent this by choosing a slow feeder dog bowl that’s made from non-toxic plastic materials. 

Possible Dental Issues

Your furry pup’s teeth may be chipped if they bite the edges of a slow feeder dog bowl. 

They can hurt or damage their teeth, especially if the bowl is made of ceramic, hard plastic, or stainless steel.

Dogs that chew on hard plastic can also be exposed to toxic chemicals like BPA and phthalates.

You can prevent this by looking for a slow feeder bowl made with safe non-toxic materials.

And always check your dog’s bowl when you clean it to ensure they are not biting into it.

It Can Get Messy

Slow feeder dog bowls can make quite a mess. Especially if the dog bowl doesn’t have a non-slip base.

Your furry pup will push the bowl around in an effort to get any food that may be stuck in the bowl. It can get messy and be annoying to clean up.

You can look for a slow feeder bowl with a non-slip base or use a mat to stop the bowl moving around.

Difficult to Clean

Because slow feeder dog bowls are made with ridges and obstacles, it can be tricky to clean them.

You have to reach into every nook and cranny just to get the mess out. 

One way to make it easier for yourself is to get a slow feeder dog bowl that can go in the dishwasher, if you have one.

This way, you can save valuable time and effort when it comes to cleaning. 

Now let’s look at how you can use a slow feeder dog bowl.

How Do You Use a Slow Feeder Dog Bowl?

Slow feeder dog bowls are used just like any other dog bowl.

You put your dog’s food in the bowl and let them eat.

The difference with slow feeders is that you need to put their food inside the maze or obstacles in the bowl.

This way, your dog will be forced to go around the obstacles to get to their food. 

This will help them slow down their eating and chew their food even more.

What to Look for in a Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

Some important features that make a good slow feeder bowl for your dog include:

  • Safe materials – Make sure that the bowl you’re purchasing is made with non-toxic materials.
  • Non-slip base – Slow feeder dog bowls can make a mess, and a non-slip base helps prevent it from sliding all over the place.
  • Size – These bowls come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you get the appropriate size for your dog’s needs.
  • Dishwasher safe – if you’re trying to save time and effort when cleaning, then getting a dishwasher safe slow feeder dog bowl is ideal.

The Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl

These slow feeder dog bowls are available in a variety of sizes and maze patterns to meet your dog’s needs while also making feeding enjoyable.

Designed to slow down your dog’s eating by up to 10 times, to help with proper digestion and reduce overeating.

Watch how your dog’s natural impulses to scavenge and hunt for food kick in. 

These bowls are made of BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free materials and can be washed in the top rack of the dishwasher.

JASGOOD Slow Feeder Dog Bowl for Large Dogs

JASGOOD Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

With this slow feeder dog bowl, you can help your pup eat their nutritious food while lowering the risks of overeating and digestive issues. 

The spiral maze pattern allows your dog to have fun while discovering their favorite hidden goodies and slowly consuming nourishing food.

It’s made from food-safe materials, and has a silicone slip-resistant bottom to help keep the bowl in place. Best of all, it’s easy to clean and use.

CAISHOW Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

CAISHOW Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

The CAISHOW Slow Feeder Dog Bowl is one of the best out there. It comes in a variety of color options to choose from, and it’s perfect for small to medium-sized dogs.

Its adorable bone shape design is also unique and designed to make mealtimes more challenging for your fur baby.

It’s made from eco-friendly, non-toxic, and bite-resistant materials to ensure your pup’s safety. 

It also features anti-skid pads on the bottom to stop it sliding around, and it’s easy to clean in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

In this case, slow and steady ensures your furbaby’s safety. Slow feeder dog bowls are a great option if you think your furbaby is eating too much, too quickly.

Or, in some cases, you just want to control their food portions and help guide their eating behaviors to improve their health.

In any case, a slow feeder dog bowl is a great option to help your furry pup eat slower and better.

Now, let’s talk about how often you should feed your dog in a day