What do folks buy when they get a new dog or puppy? Why, a leash, collar, and bowls for food and water, of course!
Keep that water bowl, but ditch the food bowl, and begin making mealtimes a festival of training and enrichment for your pup. With 60% of his brain given over to processing scent, your dog would rather sniff, problem-solve, and forage, than eat his meal from a boring old bowl.
One option for bowl replacement is what’s called a “Kibble Ball” in my house. If I dawdle in the mornings my shepherd mix is certain to bring one to me, just in case. Omega Tricky Treat and Starmark Tetraflex kibble-dispensing balls are both available on Amazon.
Slo-Bowls and Green Feeders all create an interesting challenge for the dining dog, preventing his finishing a meal in a single gulp, and adding the enrichment of problem-solving, and additional time spent sniffing out bits of food in the nooks and crannies of the feeders.
My personal favorite is a steel or aluminum muffin tin into which I’ve put my dog’s food. Each muffin cup can be covered with a tennis ball, Kong, or other toy, to create a challenge in gaining access to his food.
Don’t have a feeder or kibble ball? Toss some kibble on the grass, and let your dogs graze for their meal.
A little time spent creating a more interesting feeding experience will pay dividends in a calmer, happier, pup.
The next time that it’s mealtime, invite your dog to play with his food!