Does your dog gulp down their food at lightning speed? It's time to swap your Fido's existing dog bowl for a slow feeder dog bowl that'll keep them from eating too fast. Thanks to a unique rigid design, these bowls force your dog to slow down as they eat to reduce choking, vomiting, overeating, and other complications of eating too quickly.
In this guide to slow feeder dog bowls, we're breaking down everything you need to know about the handy feeding tool. Then, to help you find the perfect product, we're reviewing the best slow feeder dog bowls on the market today.
What Is The Purpose Of A Slow-Feed Bowl?
Slow feeder dog bowls are designed with one goal in mind: slowing down your dog while they eat. It is both fun and delicious for your dog. Unlike the smooth surface of most standard dog bowls, they're covered in ridges and bumps that force your furry friend to take their time. Here's what makes them so great:
- Supports healthy digestion— Even the best-trained pup can have trouble chowing down their food at lightning speed. These slow feeder bowls are exactly what you need to help reduce overeating behavior. By forcing your dog to slow down and chew each bite, a dog slow feeder decreases choking hazards, reduces vomiting, and alleviates the bloat and gastrointestinal discomfort caused by gulping down air as they eat.
- Encourages play during mealtime— Dogs have a natural instinct to play with their food, something this fun feeder dog bowls strongly encourages. The meal-lengthening ridges on the bottom of slow feeders keep your dogs more engaged and fully entertained as they eat. Often these bowls come with fun patterns, and some even come with multiple challenging mazes.
- Supports healthy weight— Eating too fast leaves your dog less satisfied, often causing them to eat more than they should. Dog slow feeders force dogs to take their time and enjoy every bite, helping furry friends adapt to a healthier pace and reduce overeating behavior that leads to weight gain.
When Should A Dog Use A Slow Feeder Bowl And The Benefits Of Slow Feeder Bowls?
Wondering if your dog's bowl needs an upgrade? While not every dog needs a slow feed bowl, it certainly can't hurt to use one. Even if your dog doesn't scarf down their food at record speed, a ridged dog bowl helps support healthy eating habits and weight maintenance. Plus, it makes mealtime even more exciting! Here are a few scenarios when a dog should use a slow feed bowl:
- Dogs that eat too fast and gulp down their food without chewing.
- Dogs that choke and cough during feeding.
- Dogs that vomit after mealtime or display signs of indigestion and gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Dogs that overeat or suffer from canine obesity.
You can always talk to your vet if you're still unsure if a slow feed bowl is right for your pet. Not only can they steer you toward the right types of products, but they can also offer helpful tips to make feeding time safer and more enjoyable.
What To Look For In A Slow Feed Dog Bowl?
Now that you know the benefits of slow feeder bowls, it's time to find the right one. Here are a few key features to keep an eye out for while you shop:
- Design complexity— The more intricate the design of the bowl, the slower it will force your dog to eat. With that being said, dog breeds with short snouts and flat faces may struggle to get food out of tight spaces and forego eating altogether. We recommend starting with a slow-feed dog bowl with a simpler design and swapping it out for something more intricate if you find that Fido is still eating too fast.
- Food safe materials— First and foremost, the bowl needs to be safe for your dog to eat from. Most slow-feed bowls are made from stainless steel, silicone, or food-safe plastic. Regardless of what material you choose, it should be non-toxic and BPA-free.
- Dishwasher-safe— For easy clean-up (especially with wet food), stick to slow feeder bowls that you can toss in the top rack of your dishwasher instead of handwashing.
- Non-slip base— Fast-eating dogs often push around and knock over their food bowls. A sturdy non-slip base prevents your dog from tipping over the bowl and spilling their food.
- Adequate size— Slow feed dog bowls come in a range of sizes, so you'll want to choose one that's proportionate to the size of your furry friend. While small dogs will do just fine with a little bowl, larger dogs will require a bigger bowl that can accommodate larger portion sizes.
The Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
Best Overall Slow Feeder Bowl
The Outward Hound Fun Feeder Interactive Dog Bowl is the perfect food bowl for pups that eat a bit too fast. The maze-like pattern forces your canine companion to eat at a healthier pace, helping reduce choking and vomiting frequency. Plus, a non-slip base holds the bowl firmly in place to prevent spills and messes during feeding time.
The Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl is made from high-quality, food-safe materials that are BPA-free and top-rack dishwasher-safe. It's suitable for use with wet or dry food and comes in two size options.
Our Verdict: This feeder is the best overall for a dog, puppy, and even cat. Works for dogs of all sizes and even flat-faced breeds. There are many channels in this feeder, and it can cause some frustrations to your fur baby, but over time, your fur baby will get the hang of it. While the channels may seem narrow, your large-sized dog should still be able to navigate its way through!
Best For Large Size Dog
Top dog Chews' Brake Fast Stainless Steel Slow Feed Dog Blow helps to slow down chow time and keep your furry friend entertained. The veterinarian-tested and approved bowl is made from stainless steel with a non-slip base. Three inner prongs prevent dogs from gulping down their kibble, choking, and overeating out of boredom. It can be used with both wet and dry dog food.
Our Verdict: This bowl is perfect for large breed dogs as it can hold up to 5 cups of kibble or wet dog food. Made with durable material, this is the best bowl for chewers.
Best For Medium Size Dog
Pet parents can't go wrong with the Harmony Mint Plastic Slow Feeder Dog Bowl. The swirling ridges force dogs to eat slow, chew each bite, and really enjoy their food. It's made from high-quality, BPA-free plastic that's durable and dishwasher safe for easy clean-up. The stylish mint green bowl comes in two sizes to accommodate dogs of all breeds and sizes.
Our Verdict: This is the best for medium to large size as the grooves may be too deep for the smaller breed.
Best For Small Size Dog
EveryYay's intricately designed 'Take It Slow' Slow Feeder Pet Bowl helps your dog eat slower and stay engaged during mealtime. The dishwasher-safe bowl is made from high-quality, BPA-free materials for easy clean-up, superior durability, and long product life. A skid-resistant base keeps the bowl securely in place as your dog forages for their meal. And, the carved-out side makes it easy to pick up and set down your pup's food without spilling.
Our verdict: We find this bowl is perfect for small to medium size dogs or puppies. Built with strong material and non-skid pads can stand kicking, chewing, and can't be tipped over.
Best two in one
This adorable LEACOOLKEY Slow Feeding 2-in-1 Food and Water Bowl is ideal for taking on the go. The yin-yang design features two compartments: a 28 oz water bowl and a 16 oz slow feed food bowl. It's made from durable, food-safe plastic with a non-slip base that prevents splashes, spills, and messy mealtimes.
The water bowl features a floating plate design that makes it easier for dogs to drink and easier for you to clean. In the food bowl, intricate ridges help to slow down your dog's eating time by up to 4x. It can be used with wet food, dry food, and even raw food diets.
Our Verdict: We find this bowl to work the best for small to medium size dogs. This two in one bowl allow you to feed your dog kibbles and water.
Best Budget Friendly
Make chow time more exciting with the smartly designed Slow Eat Maze Dog Bowl from Boots & Barkley. The slow-feed dog bowl features a maze-like design that supports healthy digestion and keeps your dog fully entertained as they eat. It reduces choking, vomiting, and indigestion, helping fend off obesity and other feeding-related health problems. The 4-cup capacity slow feed dog bowl is made from durable rubber that's non-skid and dishwasher safe.
Our Verdict: This under $10 slow feeder dog bowl is the best deal you can find on the market. It is perfect for dogs of all sizes, even large breeds, as it can hold up to 4 cups of kibble.
Best Stainless Steel Bowl
Looking for a dog bowl that isn't made of plastic? Try a stainless steel option like this Stainless Steel Slow Feed Dog Bowl from Neater Pet Brands. While its design looks simple compared to more intricate puzzle feeder bowls, it's still effective at slowing down your furry friend while they eat. Plus, it fits neatly into most elevated feeders and can be tossed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Pet owners can choose between a small 1 cup bowl and a larger 4 cup bowl that boasts the same slow feeding design.
Our Verdict: This bowl is perfect for medium-large breed dogs as it can up to 4 cups of kibble. Dogs with larger muzzles may have trouble reaching the bottom of the bowl.
Best For Wet Food
This boredom-busting LickiMat Wobble Slow Feed Dog Bowl encourages play during mealtime while forcing your dog to slow down and enjoy their food. In addition to supporting healthy eating habits, it helps to reduce anxiety and destructive behavior. The semi-circular bowl tilts and wobbles as your dog eats to keep them more engaged. A dimpled rubber interior encourages dogs to lick off wet dog food, raw food remnants, peanut butter, and other treats. It's made from environmentally-friendly, dog-safe silicone that's freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe.
Our Verdict: This bowl is the best for wet food or wet textured treats like peanut butter, yogurt, or pumpkin puree. Unlike the other slow-feed bowls, this bowl can entertain and occupy your dog for a period of time. Not recommend it for chewers.
Best Ceramic Bowl
When it comes to ceramic slow feed dog bowls, you can't go wrong with one of Susan O Hanlon Pottery's Ceramic Slow Feeder Pet Bowls. The high-quality ceramic bowls are handmade with love using certified non-toxic clay and a lead-free glaze. Pet parents can choose from six size options and a range of color choices, including luxe ceramic finishes like speckled white, mottled blue-green, and light speckled blue. There's even one that's specially designed for fast-eating cats.
Our Verdict: While this ceramic bowl is on the expensive side, it is totally worth the splurge. Available in different sizes, and the dog loves it while it gets the job done.
Dog Slow Feeders FAQ
Q: How to keep the dog from chewing up its slow feed dog bowl?
A: If you have a chewer on hand, the best solution is choosing a hardy bowl that is resistant to chewing. Avoid materials like plastic that are not resistant enough to chew. Instead, opt-in for sturdier material like stainless steel or ceramic. In addition, keep an eye on your dog during the feed. Remove the bowl when finished so there won't be any chance of it getting chewed on.
Q: How to determine the correct bowl size for your dog?
A: The correct size should be determined by the number of cups of dog food per meal you are giving to your pet. For example, if you are feeding your dog 2 cups of food, you will want to pick one that can hold at least 2 cups. Always go up a size to reduce spillage or in case you need to increase the food amount.
Q: How To Clean Slow feed dog bowls?
A: Most slow feeders on the market are dishwasher safe, and place them on top of the dish rack. Always check the product before cleaning.
Q: Do Slow Feeders Help With Vomiting?
A: If your dog likes to chow down at lightning speed whatever you put in front of them, the chances are you will have to deal with vomit cleanup from time to time. The good news is, the slow feeder can help by allowing your dog to eat smaller amounts of food at a time. This allows proper digestion and allows your dog to enjoy the food.
Q: What are the disadvantages of using a slow feeder?
A: Slow feeders are generally safe to use unless the bowl is made with poor-quality material. Poor and low-quality plastic and other material can be dangerous to chewers as they can ingest it.
When shopping for a bowl, seek ones that are made of safe material with a sturdy design. And if you got yourself a chewer, keep an eye on your fur baby.