Stop Dog Gobbling: Tips to Slow Down Eating

Do you have a dog who wolfs down their food in a matter of seconds? This behavior, known as “gobbling,” can be concerning for pet owners. It can lead to digestive issues, such as choking or bloating, and can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind dog gobbling and provide tips on how to slow down your dog’s eating habits.

Stop Dog Gobbling: Tips to Slow Down Eating

Why Do Dogs Gobble Their Food?

There are several reasons why dogs may gobble their food:

  • Competition: In multi-dog households, dogs may feel the need to eat quickly to ensure they get their fair share of food.
  • Hunger: If a dog doesn’t get enough food or is on a restricted diet, they may eat quickly to satisfy their hunger.
  • Breed: Certain breeds are known to have a predisposition to gobbling, such as Labradors and Beagles.
  • Medical Issues: Dogs with gastrointestinal issues or dental problems may eat quickly to alleviate discomfort.

Whatever the reason for your dog’s gobbling, it’s important to take steps to slow down their eating habits.

Tips to Slow Down Your Dog’s Eating

Here are some tips to slow down your dog’s eating habits:

1. Use a Slow-Feeder Dog Bowl

A slow-feeder dog bowl is designed with ridges and obstacles that prevent dogs from eating too quickly. By making it harder for your dog to access their food, they’ll be forced to eat more slowly. There are many types of slow-feeder dog bowls available, from simple designs to more complex puzzles.

2. Divide Meals into Smaller Portions

Instead of feeding your dog one large meal, divide their food into smaller portions throughout the day. This will not only slow down their eating but also help with digestion. It’s important to ensure that your dog is getting the appropriate amount of food for their age, weight, and activity level.

3. Use Treat Dispensing Toys

Treat dispensing toys, such as Kongs or puzzle feeders, are a great way to slow down your dog’s eating while also providing mental stimulation. These toys require your dog to work for their food, and the process of figuring out how to access the treats will slow down their eating habits.

4. Add Water to Dry Food

Adding water to your dog’s dry food can help slow down their eating and also provide additional hydration. It’s important to ensure that the food is not getting too soggy, as this can lead to digestive issues. Start by adding a small amount of water and gradually increase the amount as your dog gets used to the new texture.

5. Train Your Dog to Eat Slowly

Training your dog to eat slowly may take some time and patience, but it can be an effective way to slow down their eating habits. Start by feeding your dog small amounts of food at a time and rewarding them for eating slowly. You can also use a command, such as “slow” or “easy,” to encourage your dog to eat at a slower pace.


Dog gobbling can be a concerning behavior for pet owners, but there are ways to slow down your dog’s eating habits. By using a slow-feeder dog bowl, dividing meals into smaller portions, using treat dispensing toys, adding water to dry food, and training your dog to eat slowly, you can help prevent digestive issues and ensure your dog is getting the appropriate amount of food. If you’re concerned about your dog’s eating habits, speak to your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues.


Why does my dog gobble its food?

Dogs are descendants of wolves that had to eat quickly to avoid losing their food to other animals in the pack. Even though dogs are domesticated, they still have some of these instincts, especially if they have lived on the streets for a while. Additionally, some dogs may simply be too excited during feeding time or have learned to eat quickly to avoid competition from other pets.

What are the potential health risks of my dog gobbling its food too quickly?

If your dog eats too quickly, they may swallow air along with their food, which can lead to bloating, discomfort, and other digestive problems. Also, rapid eating can increase the risk of choking or vomiting, and in severe cases, can cause life-threatening conditions like gastric torsion.

What are some tips to slow down my dog’s eating habits?

One effective way to slow down your dog’s eating habits is to use a slow feeder bowl or puzzle feeder. These types of bowls are designed with ridges or patterns that make it more challenging for your dog to eat their food quickly. Another way is to divide the food into smaller portions and feed your dog several times a day, rather than just one or two large meals. Finally, try to create a calm feeding environment by removing distractions, such as other pets, during mealtime.

Scroll to Top