Stopping Your Pet from Gulping Down Food

Does your pet seem to gulp down his food like there’s no tomorrow? Do you wonder how he even chews it, let alone tastes it? Eating too fast is a hazard for your pet, and you should look into correcting this behavior. Below, a Fayette County veterinarian answers some of your questions.

What’s the Risk of Eating Too Fast?

Eating too fast presents a choking hazard, first and foremost. In addition, eating fast is often linked with greedy behavior—this means that your pet could become aggressive or hostile if another pet or even a person approaches the food bowl while your pet is eating, because he perceives the outsider as a competitor for food.

Rapid eating also allows excess air and food into the stomach rapidly, which sometimes can cause swelling and dilation of the stomach cavity, leading to serious health problems. Ask your Fayette County vet more about the health risks of rapid eating.

Why is My Pet Eating So Fast?

A variety of factors might be causing your pet to eat too quickly. Your pet may have learned it from a young age—competing for food with his littermates, or gobbling down meals at a shelter before other animals could intrude—and the behavior has carried on to his later years. If you have other pets, your rapid-eating pet might think they’re competing for the food now, even though nothing of the sort is happening.

Medical issues can also be to blame—for this reason, it’s best to set up an appointment with your Fayette County veterinarian as soon as you think your pet is gulping down food.

What Can I Do to Stop the Behavior?

Several methods of feeding might help. If you’re home in the day, try feeding your pet smaller meals more often instead of large ones a few times a day. You can also try placing a ball or other object in the food bowl, making your pet eat around it to slow consumption. Consult your Fayette County veterinarian to make sure these techniques are safe for your pet.

Commercially-available products might help as well. Some food bowls are designed to not allow pets to take large bites, and some dispense small portions of food at regular intervals. Ask your Fayette County vet if these might help your pet curb his habit of gulping down food too quickly.


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