Eat Slower, Get Some Exercise, Stay Busy!
You know the expression “wolfing your food?”
A very common concern of dog owners is that they eat too quickly. This can lead to lots of problems, from vomiting to bloating.
One of my favorite cures for this is the Kong Wobbler. It is an oversized, hard plastic Kong-shaped, slow feed toy. Unscrew the top, fill it up with your pup’s entire meal, and let them go to town.
My dog will eat a meal of kibble in about 15 seconds. No exaggeration. With the Wobbler, it takes her almost 10 minutes. That is a serious slowdown.
Just as important, the entire time she's eating she is thoroughly engaged. That means she is both mentally stimulated and physically moving around, getting a bit of exercise.
Any way you can find to build stimulation like this into your dog’s day-to-day schedule will make for a happier pooch and pooch-parent.
Once my dog really understood that the Wobbler meant meal time, I made it more complicated to extend the time she’s occupied:
- I let her see me fill the Kong; she knows food is imminent.
- I ask her to go into the bathroom and I close the door.
- I hide the Wobbler somewhere in the house.
- If you want to do this, start easy. Maybe just outside the normal feeding area. Then a little further away. Then under a chair. Putting the Wobbler in increasingly unusual places allows your dog to learn the game and not get frustrated.
- I open the bathroom door and run her through a few tricks. The I release her with, “Where’s your food?!”
- She hunts around the house until she finds it. Depending on how well I hid the Wobbler, this could add an extra 10 minutes to the game. If you have a backyard, you could extend the “playing field” out there. Nothing’s off limits!
There are two sizes: under 25 lbs. and over 25 lbs.
I like this toy enough that I consider it a “must have.” If you have a dog, you should have a Wobbler!