Eating too quickly is an issue for a lot of dogs, especially younger ones. Slow-feeding bowls are the best solution to this problem, but with so many to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. So, we’ve come up with a list of the best slow-feeding dog bowls that you can buy to help you decide!
These interactive bowls provide numerous health benefits and add an element of fun to dinner time. Let’s explore our favorite anti-gulp bowls plus everything you need to know, including the answers to the most frequently asked questions around slow feeders.
What are Anti-Gulp Slow Feed Dog Bowls?
Slow feeders are food bowls that contain obstacles your pet must navigate in order to reach their food. They reduce the speed of food consumption in pets that eat too quickly, encouraging healthier and safer eating habits.
When dogs eat too quickly, it can result in uncomfortable and painful indigestion, signs of which include sitting hunched over after eating. It’s also a choking hazard and in extreme cases, can cause gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat. This is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach fills with air and twists in a way that cuts off the blood supply. The symptoms of bloat include a bloated stomach and drooling, and it requires immediate veterinary treatment.
Slow-feeding bowls reduce eating time by around 5-10 minutes, preventing digestive issues and further problems. They also double up as a fun dinner time game, challenging your dog’s mind and exercising their hunting instincts. Mental stimulation not only enhances emotional wellbeing but also reduces stress and boredom which can result in destructive behavior.
Things to Consider When Buying Slow Feeders
Owners wanting to buy their dog a slow feeder should consider the design, material, capacity, and cleanability of the bowl.
You know your dog best. Make sure you pick a design that is not too difficult for their age and personality. If it’s too difficult, it could discourage your dog from eating altogether. At the same time, it shouldn’t be so easy that it has no effect on their eating speed.
You may want to consider other aspects of the design, too. Such as non-slip features if you have hard-floors or bowls that have a design to fit into feeding tables.
It’s also important to remember that certain designs are better for certain dogs. For example, bowls with narrow ridges aren’t best for dogs with large snouts as they could hurt their noses over time.
The material of the bowl is also important for both safety and durability. Plastic, rubber, and stainless steel are the most popular materials for slow bowl feeders.
Plastic and rubber bowls offer more complex design options and are softer on teeth, but stainless steel bowls are far more durable and longer-lasting. You also want to make sure that the bowl is made by a company that is trustworthy, uses no toxic chemicals, and has good reviews.
The size and depth of the bowl is arguably the most important thing to remember in order to keep feeding your dog enough food. Smaller sizes tend to hold between 1-2 cups of food, whilst larger ones tend to hold up to 4.
Because these bowls make food harder to reach, it can also make them a little harder to clean. But thankfully, these days, a lot of dog bowls are dishwasher friendly. So if you’re not someone that likes to spend ages scrubbing dishes – look for a bowl that is dishwasher safe!
12 Best Dog Slow Feeders
Let’s take a look at our 12 favorite slow-feeding bowls for dogs!
1. Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl – Flower
This plastic dark purple bowl by Outward Hound has a cute flower design that effectively reduces dogs’ eating speed by up to 10 times. It comes in two different sizes: mini at 8.6 x 2.2 x 9.5 inches, weighing 0.51 lbs, and large at 12.75 x 11 x 2.6 inches, and weighing 1 lb. The smaller size holds up to 2 cups of food whilst the bigger ones hold up to 4.
The bowl has vet approval, dish-washer safe, BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free and features non-slip grips to keep it sturdy on the floor. It’s very affordable and good value for money according to reviews, which praise the product’s effectiveness as well as the fun element of the design. That said, it is not a recommendation for dogs with longer snouts.
2. Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl – Spiral
Another slow-feeding bowl by Outward Hound, this time featuring a fun spiral design in a bright orange color. It’s also made from plastic and available in two sizes; mini at 8.6 x 2.2 x 9.5 inches and 0.51 lbs, and large at 12.75 x 11 x 2.6 inches, and 1 lb. The smaller size holds up to 2 cups of food whilst the bigger ones hold up to 4.
All of Outward Hound‘s products are high quality and more or less set the standard in terms of interactive bowls. Again, this bowl has vet approval, is easy to clean, free from toxic materials and chemicals, and has non-slip grips for ensured security. Reviews praise all aspects of the product’s design, which is best ideal for a breed with a small snout.
3. NOYAL Dog Slow Feeder Bowl
Perfect for small to medium-sized dogs, this slow-feeding bowl by NOYAL is 5.91 x 5.91 x 1.97 inches and can hold up to 1 ½ cups of food. It is available in five colors; red, blue, yellow, orange, and pink.
The design is simple, featuring random ridges as obstacles, but does the job well according to reviews. Its size and simplicity also makes it the perfect slow feeder for puppies.
It is super inexpensive, dishwasher-safe, plastic, and has four non-slip surfaces to stop it from sliding around on the floor. Buyers also mention that it is suitable for other pets like cats and lizards, too!
4. Neater Slow Feeder
Neater’s slow feeder comes in two size options; 12.5 x 8.2 x 2 inches which can hold 2.5 cups of food for smaller dogs, and 15.5 x 10.5 x 3 inches which holds up to 6 for larger breeds. There’s also an option that doubles as a water bowl for your convenience.
The feeder sports a spikey design for slow-feeding and comes in four color options; gunmetal grey, metallic silver, vanilla, and aquamarine blue. It is moderately priced, dishwasher-safe, non-slip, non-toxic, and made in the USA!
Many of the reviews reference how easy the product is to clean and how well it works for their dog. That said, a few of them thought that the feeder was made from stainless steel because of its shiny appearance. So remember that it’s made from plastic!
5. Leashboss Slow Feed Dog Bowl
Leashboss’s slow-feeding dog bowl features a star-shaped design that grabs and holds the interest of dogs and slows down their eating time significantly. The feeder is made from plastic, it’s fairly inexpensive and it comes in two colors; grey and blue.
It’s designed specifically to fit into raised feeding tables. Which are commonly used to support older dogs. Furthermore, reviews of the product praise all aspects of its design.
Small, medium, and large dogs can use this bowl as it comes in three different sizes; small, which holds 1.5 cups of food, medium, which holds 2 cups, and large, which holds 4 cups.
6. The Company of Animals Green Interactive Feeder
This interactive feeder by The Company of Animals comes in two sizes – mini and large. The smaller one is 9.06 x 11.61 x 2.36 inches and weighs 1.12 lbs, and the large one is 11.61 x 15.94 x 2.95 inches and weighs 1.65 lbs. It is suitable for dogs of all sizes.
The bright green feeder features oval-shaped ridges, emulating grass on the ground. It is a lot of fun for dogs, as it nurtures their hunting and foraging instincts, all the while encouraging healthier eating habits.
This feeder is on the expensive side, but it comes highly recommended by reviews, with some buyers calling it the best investment that they have ever made for their dog.
7. Neater Pet Brands Slow Feed Bowl Stainless Steel
This stainless steel bowl by Neater comes in two sizes, a smaller option that fits 1-2 cups of food, and a larger one that fits up to 4 cups of food. The bowl features a much simpler and less complex design, with a single block in the middle. That said, it does the job according to reviews and is super durable and long-lasting.
It is also dishwasher safe, designed to fit into most raised feeding tables, and best suited to dogs with smaller muzzles.
8. JASGOOD Slow Dog Bowl for Large Dogs
This bowl by JASGOOD is ideal for bigger breeds of dogs. It is 9.7 x 1.5 inches and can hold up to 3 cups of food. It features a windmill-like design and doubles up as a water bowl for convenience.
The feeder is good value for money and comes in four different colors; black, pink, blue, and green. It’s made from 100% recyclable polypropylene material which is free from toxic chemicals. Reviews praise the bowl’s simplicity and effectiveness, as well as how easy to clean it is.
9. Machao Portable Fun Slow Dog Feeder Mat
Machao’s circular slow-feeding mat is made from TPR rubber and comes in two sizes; small and large, and two colors – green and blue. The small one is 7.5 inches in diameter, and the large one is 10 inches. It’s very affordable and can either be used on its own or put inside of most standard dog bowls.
The reviews praise the convenience of the bowl for this reason, as well as how well it prevents gulping and how easy to clean it is.
10. ProSelect Dog Stainless Steel Brake-Fast Slow Feed Bowl
This slow feeder by QT is made from stainless steel and comes in three different sizes. Small, which is 1.75 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches and weighs 0.3 lbs, medium, which is 2.75 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches and 0.6 lbs, and large, which is 3.25 x 13 x 13 inches and 1.25 lbs. The small bowl holds 1.5 cups of food, the medium holds around 5 and the large bowl holds up to 8 cups.
The bowl has a moderate price and features a simple design of three cup-shapes that you can unscrew when you like. It has multiple vets’ approval, is dishwasher safe, and made in the USA.
Reviews are complementary to the product, but some do warn buyers to remember to unscrew the cups during cleaning. Otherwise, food can get stuck underneath them and go bad, becoming a health hazard.
11. Freefa Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Bloat Stop Dog Food Bowl
Freefa’s slow-feeding bowl for dogs has a swirly maze-like design that is both fun and effective in slowing down eating. It comes in two sizes; medium and large. The medium size holds up to 2 cups of food, while the larger option holds up to 6.
It’s made from silicone and comes in four color options; black, light blue, dark blue, pink, and green. All come with a free collapsible bowl for traveling.
It’s non-slip, non-toxic, and dishwasher safe. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive and describe the product as great value for money.
12. UPSKY Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Fun Feeder
This UPSKY food bowl is super inexpensive and has ridges for slow-feeding fun. Available in pastel pink, blue, and green, it is a very pretty addition to the home. It’s also made from non-toxic, eco-friendly plastic, so you can feel good about your purchase.
The bowl comes in one size for small-medium dogs at 7 x 7 x 1.5 inches and weighs 0.2 lbs. It can hold up to 2 cups of food.
It’s lightweight, non-slip, easy to clean, and comes highly recommended by reviews. It’s also named a ‘best deal’ on Amazon by coupon company Honey.
Slow Feed Dog Bowls: FAQ
When dogs are born, they have to scramble over their siblings to get their mothers’ milk. So they learn to eat quickly in order to stop others from stealing their food. It could also be a much older instinct from their canine ancestors who were constantly challenged for their meals in the wild.
Most dogs grow out of it when they find a safe & trustworthy home and realize that nobody is going to steal their food. But even then, some dogs never grow out of it, and certain breeds are just greedier than others!
Eating too quickly is not only a choking hazard, but it can cause painful and uncomfortable indigestion. In extreme cases, it can also cause bloat, which is a life-threatening medical condition that requires emergency treatment.
Slow-feeding bowls are the best products to help your dog slow down his eating. They place obstacles in the middle of the food that your dog must navigate in order to reach it. Most slow feeders reduce eating time by about 5-10 minutes.
Slow feeders encourage healthier and safer eating habits by slowing down how quickly pets eat. This reduces both indigestion and the risk of choking & bloat. They’re also very fun and mentally stimulating which is good for pets’ overall wellbeing, preventing anxiety and boredom.
Slow feeders are a very good idea for puppies. Puppies tend to eat way too quickly because they’re used to competing with their siblings for their mothers’ milk, and because their bodies are under-developed, the dangers of eating too quickly are a much higher risk.
Pick a bowl that is the right size for your dog, with a design that is not too hard or too easy for them to figure out based on their age and personality. If it’s too hard it may put them off eating altogether, and if it’s too simple it will defeat the point.
You should also consider other aspects of the design that suits you, your dog, and your home, like non-slip grips, bowls that are designed to fit into raised feeding tables, and bowls that are easy to clean.
The material of the bowl is important, too. Plastic and rubber bowls offer more complex design options and are softer on teeth, but stainless steel bowls are far more bite resistant and longer-lasting. You also want to make sure that the manufacturer has used no toxic chemicals.
Finally, remember that certain bowls are better suited to certain dogs, for example, bowls with narrow ridges aren’t intended for large-snouted breeds, and read reviews of the product to see if other owners have had a good experience with it.
To teach your dog how to use a slow feeder, start them off with an easy or beginner level one. Show them how it works so that they can get the hang of it, and something really tasty inside it. Finally, encourage them with lots of praise!
Dogs explore the world through their mouths, so chewing is only natural. However, excess chewing can be curbed with training. Let him know that dinner time ends once the food is gone by taking the bowl away.
If he still chews the bowl, tell him no with a firm tone of voice and cross your arms to let him know you’re upset with this behavior. Finally, encourage him to chew his toys instead, and shower him with praise when he does.
Alternatively, opt for a slow-feeding bowl made from stainless steel that can’t be chewed.
Whereas slow feeders were designed primarily to slow down a dog’s eating during their mealtimes, dog puzzle feeders are more toy-like and designed primarily to entertain and challenge dogs.
Most slow-feeding bowls are perfectly appropriate for both dry and wet food. However, be sure to always check reviews, as some designs that are harder to clean may pose a health hazard should food get stuck inside it somehow.
You could try to make your own slow-feeding bowl by placing a ball inside your dog’s regular food bowl. However, they may just take it out when they go to eat their meal. Store-bought feeders are a much better option because they’re designed by experts, so consider investing in one!
Those are our best anti-gulp food bowls for dogs. Slow feeders are essential to the health and safety of pets who eat too quickly. They also add an element of fun to mealtimes! We hope this buying guide has helped you to decide which product would work best for you and your dog. If you have any other recommendations, please let us know in the comments down below!