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Why Do Dogs Eat So Fast? (And How to Slow Them Down)

Wondering why your dog eats so quickly? You will be interested to know that this behavior has roots in your pet’s “wild” instincts.

Does your dog eat too quickly? Photo: Lisa Yarost

I’m sure many dog owners all around the world have asked themselves, “Why do dogs eat so fast?”

I’ve owned several dogs in my lifetime, and every one was a fast eater, whether they were around other dogs or all alone.

Take my dog, Sweet Pea, for example. She never took time to taste her food. She would begin chowing down as soon as she saw the food heading toward her doggie dish. She never graded it, gulping down anything, from lettuce to pineapple to meat.


Could it be that a dog’s strong sense of smell enhances any flavor?

Why Do Dogs Do That: A Collection of Curious Canine Behaviors suggests an explanation for this “chow-hound” attitude, stating that it lies in the competitive instincts whenever “social carnivores’’ — such as wolves — bring down prey. The animal that eats faster is in a better position to survive and pass along its genes.

Fun Facts About Dogs: Inspiring Tabs, Amazing Feats, and Helpful Hints states that unaware of when they would get their next meal, wild dogs ate as quickly and as much as they could to ensure that their larger rivals would not have much to steal.

Slow Down Those Fast Eaters

You can buy special dog bowls made with different size knobs at the bottom. A dog cannot push the knobs out, because they are attached. This slows the dog’s eating down because it has to fish out the food instead of gobbling it down.

These bowls are easy to clean and easy to use. By slowing down their table manners, dogs may prevent problems such as vomiting, choking and bloat.

Another choice is to place a bowl upside down inside the feeding bowl. Put the food in so that it goes around the inner bowl, allowing the dog to get only a mouthful at the time.

Whatever method you choose, your dog will maintain better health and may even find that it enjoys savoring the good taste of its food.


Who knows? You may get noted as having the best table-mannered dog in the neighborhood, and your dog will think he has the best food in town. He will be saying, “Rufff, it’s s-o-o-o good!”