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Kol’s Tips for Food Gulpers

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Once upon a time, Kolchak was a food gulper.

He stuck his snout in the bowl, his mouth turned into a vacuum and he inhaled his food just as quickly as he possibly could. Food was just too darn delicious to slow down and chew. Woof that! Chewing? Who needs CHEWING?!
Wait? This isn’t a kibble eating contest?!

These days, he likes to savour his food. 

Kol takes deep sniffs to enjoy the scent, letting the aroma make his mouth water.He carefully tastes it and lets the flavours dance across his tongue. He savours each and every mouthful. He’s like the Gordon Ramsey of the Canine Cuisine world.

Yeah right. 

In truth, we just taught him how to properly eat his meals.

Sometimes, I think we humans forget that dogs are born into a pack. Sure, the grow up, they get weaned and they get to come live with us, but there is some valuable learning to be done at their Mother’s paws that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. She can’t teach them everything in 6 – 8 weeks. So, their humans need to fill in the blanks. One thing I’ve noticed that a lot of puppies need help learning is how to eat their meals. I sure know that Lu needs help!

Little cousin Luda is a food gulper.

Actually, Lu does everything with a special joie de vie.

Food gulping is a real problem, as inhaling their food also meals they inhale air which can lead to a dangerous ailment called Gastric Dilation Volvulus. He needs to learn to slow the woof down. So, we’re going to teach him. Armed with all the things Kol taught me about food gulping, I am determined to help Lu slow down and enjoy his meals.

Kol’s Tip #1: Get a Food Toy

Food dispensing toys were our savings grace at Casa de Kolchak. They’re brilliant on so many levels. They’re thinking toys. Dogs have to use their brains and their bodies to get the food out. The brain work tires them out and keeps them occupied, plus all that work slows them down. That’s what I call a win/win. Kol’s favourites were his Steggin’ Egg by Dogzilla, his Nina Ottosan puzzles, his Busy Buddy toys, his Kong and even a simple treat ball!

Kol’s Tip #2: Get a Special Bowl

Kol was uber-food motivated, but Felix? Not so much. He loves his food and gobbles it down, but if he has to work for it? No dice. For Felix, a better choice was a Slow Feed Bowl. These specially designed bowl put obstacles in the way, so that your dog can’t gulp down all their food at once.

Kol’s Tip #3: Make it Sticky

We have jolly good luck mixing kibbles up with sticky stuff – like canned pumpkin, mashed sweet potato or even canned wet food. Take the gooey meal and stick it to the outside edge of a bowl in a thin layer. Works like magic.

Kol’s Tip #4: Simple Solutions

Slowing down your food gulper doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. The neat toys and custom designed bowls are fun, but not really necessary. Want to slow down your food gulper on the cheap? Try spreading kibbles out on a cookie sheet.

Another DIY option? Put a rock in it. Make your slow down bowl buy putting a river rock n the middle of your dog’s bowl. Be careful though! You’ve got to pick the right rock. Choose a rock that is too large and heavy for your dog to pick up or fit in their mouth, make sure it’s perfectly smooth, so that teeth can’t gt caught on it and choose an unvarnished rock (not the craft store kind). Make sure it’s properly cleaned and sterilized before you use it!

Kol’s Tip #5: A shout out to my raw fed peeps! Kolchak was absolutely a raw gulper. It was a real issue as I was so worried that he would swallow a ginormous chunk of bone, obstruct his bowel and need a bajillion dollar surgery to fix it. We had to teach him to chew his bones and not swallow them whole. Here’s what we do:

  • Skip pre-ground mixes – or hand feed them one bite at a time.
  • Choose bones that are bigger than those usually recommended and feed larger cuts of meat.
  • Hold the bones in your hand while your pup chews, so you control how quickly they can chew their way through the bone.
Supervision is the key!
Not every food gulper is the same, so not all solutions will work for all pups! Keep your eye on your dog, keep trying new solutions until you find the perfect one. You may even find that changing it up and offering new solutions all the time is what your pup needs.
You guys are smart as woof and I bet you have some great idea to slow down food gulpers. What do you do?

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Tasty Tuesday: This toy is A-mazee-ing | Kol's Notes

Friday 8th of March 2013

[...] mentioned about 86 thousand times that we LOVE treat toys at Casa de Kolchak. Back in the day, when Kolchak was a kibble gulper, they really saved our bacon. Using a puzzle toy seriously slows down food gulpers and it was our [...]

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