Good Golly: Gulping and Gobbling

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More like pounding: Talley`s jaw dropping approach to ravishing a food dish of its`kibble contents, bits flinging in all directions. At six years old she continues to eat (and I say that lightly) every meal as if it were her last. Many dogs are enthusiastic consumers of kibble: Talley is in a category all her own.

The gulping and gobbling of Talley led me to sit and write; so many of the Look What Labs behaviors can inspire an article. So what to do for these canine kibble pulverizers? It`s not pretty and it surely is not good for their health. I have long enthusiastically recommended the use of interactive treat toys to a) feed dogs who eat too fast and b) as a means of providing environmental enrichment. Here are some ideas:

  • Kong Wobbler (virtually indestructible)
  • Buster Cube (ditto) However both the latter can be incredibly noisy on non-carpeted floors. Just sayin`.
  • Tricky Treat Ball (not for the enthusiastic chewers)
  • Kong (soak kibble until mushy, stuff kong freeze and deliver= kongsicle)
  • Aikiou Interactive Dog Feeder
  • Specially designed divided dishes
  • A bowl with some fist sized rocks to eat kibble around. (dog flips dish=lost cause)
  • Barring all of the above, a “Go Find It” kibble toss out in the back yard.

A few months ago Talley was introduced to a raw diet, and currently is on an all raw diet. At first all was well; her gulping gobbling ways became tentative and exploratory with the unfamiliar texture of the raw food. Fast forward to a few nights ago: I observed in dismay as Talley, with gaping maw, yes, pounded into the dish of raw as in days gone by. A few minutes after devouring her meal it came right back up outside. And she ate it a second time. I know, fun right?

Slowing down Talley
Slowing Down the Gulping Gobbler

So, back to the drawing board. Brilliant idea number one: spread out the meat bits on a very large oven pan. Nope. The ravenous eater was slowed perhaps in a minor fashion. As I often do when stumped and need input, I turned to Facebook pals and soon had some great ideas. For those of you who feed raw and need to slow down a diner, read on. (if nothing else you may find it amusing) If you were a fly on the wall you may have overheard from hubby, in a joking way, “that dog is just way too much trouble.”

  • Give the meat frozen.
  • Distribute the meat in muffin tins.(Can see Talley flipping the tin)
  • Stuff the meat into large kongs. YES! I tried this and it worked like a charm in an extra large kong. Sure, a bit of extra work but not unreasonable. And surely better than the reflex food return.
  • Also, I suppose the aforementioned divided bowl could work.

As with any raw feeding, whatever is used needs to be thoroughly washed after each meal to avoid contamination. Kongs are amenable to hand washing or going through a dish washer. Good Golly, I think I have the gulping gobbling dilemma solved, with a little help from my friends. Oh and FYI, I do not spend a fortune on the raw diet food. A local Amish butcher saves supplies for me at .50/lb and often throws extras my way. The latter was a very fortunate find.

Until next Friday, Leslie Fisher PMCT CPDT-KA and the Look What Labs

Bridget: Company Spokesdog

“your pet positively trained” Rainwood Kennels, Elkton MD
Convenient to Bear, Newark and Middletown DE

3 thoughts on “Good Golly: Gulping and Gobbling”

  1. Great article. My mom’s dog has always vacuumed up her food like it’s some kind of race. I’ve found that sticking small, metal dipping cups (like the kind you find at restaurants when you order something with honey mustard or cocktail sauce) upside-down into the food helps. You can also use bowls if the dog dish is big enough. My dogs have to eat around the cups, and after they’ve gotten the food outside of the cups, they have to figure out how to move the cups and get the food underneath them (easy for my rotti-lab mix, little tougher for my mom’s rat terrier-beagle mix).

    Granted, neither of these dogs are bowl-flippers, so I don’t think this would help in that scenario.

  2. We have a brake-fast bowl for our one lab, it does not make her eat at what I would call a non lab pace. But it slows her down so that she now finishes about the same time as the other three , before our other lab passed away we used two one for each as they also wanted to finish first to check out the others bowl. Maggies still eats fast and but not at the bloat inducing rate she once did. Of course she will still counter surf in a heartbeat given the opportunity and when finished eating she HAS to check everyone elses bowls to make sure they did not leave a single speck. It amazes me how universal the ‘overdrive’ food thing is with labs, there just has to be some genetic piece or brain wiring that tells them they are never full. Or perhaps it’s the goof ball gene.


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