Dear Tabby,

Our dog eats his food so fast! He gobbles it up so fast that sometimes he even throws it right back up. What can we do to slow down our fast eater?

Wolfing down food in Woodland Heights

Dear Wolfing down food,

There can be a number of reasons why your dog is “wolfing” down his food. Sometimes, dogs who have known food insecurity in the past are very eager and aggressive eaters. Or, if you have another dog in the house, the added pressure to get their fair share can cause dogs to eat too quickly. And then some dogs just eat fast -- for no other rhyme or reason. No matter what is the cause of your dog’s fast eating, there are a few simple things that you can do to slow him down a bit.

Build his confidence

If a dog doesn’t feel confident due to a traumatic past or living in a home with other animals, try feeding him in a quiet, safe location free from the hustle and bustle of the house. You can also try feeding him in his crate to help him feel extra “safe.”

Feed on regular schedule

If your dog never quite knows when his next meal is coming, he might feel inclined to gobble it down quickly. If you feed your dog at the same time every day, he’ll come to recognize the pattern and might slow down his eating.

Feed smaller meals more often

If you’re only feeding your dog once a day, he might be getting too hungry, causing him to eat too quickly. Try instead to feed him two to three smaller meals a day and see if this helps him to slow down.

Try different feeding setup

You can buy special bowls that make it impossible to gobble down food, or you can try a do-it-yourself hack. For instance, if he has a non-tipping bowl, try turning it upside down and putting his kibble in the outer ring of the bowl. This will cause him to work hard to get to each piece of kibble and he might even have to chase the bowl around the floor a little. Both of these activities might look frustrating to you, but if you think about how dogs eat in the wild (chasing down their food and then methodically picking meat off of bones), this is exactly how he’s built to eat.

Did you know?

CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection) is hosting a special at their on-site clinic. For the whole month of February, when you bring two pets to the Cornelius Clinic for vaccinations at the same time, you’ll get $10 off the second pet's vaccines.

The Cornelius Clinic provides affordable vaccination and other basic pet wellness services, by appointments only, with curbside service. To schedule an appointment, call 281-600-8500.

Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at

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Tips for slowing down fast eaters

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