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Does Your Dog Bolt His Meals And Bones?

Do You Need To Slow Your Dogs Feeding habits Down?

Over recent years there has been a big push towards helping dogs stop eating so fast, wolfing it down; rightly so if they are on a dry, boring kibble diet. Dry food gets stuck and results in dogs coughing and choking as it shoots down the wrong pipe. There are different feeders on the market to slow the way dogs eat so they do not choke. There are bowls on stands for tall dogs, which now has been proven to actually be detrimental to healthy eating or Reducing the incidents of bloat in deep chested dogs.

A stressed or is more likely to either be a fussy eater or bolt his food. To explain more about behaviour do read here

Worried About Bloat In Deep Chested Dogs ?

Bloat is most prevalent in large chested breeds like Great Danes and Labradors etc. Most people are advised to feed their dogs on high feeding stations and add water to the kibble meals and in actual fact this is pretty dangerous. I know as it happened to me sadly with my dear Fly, a Labrador at the age of six, kibble fed and added water on a high feeding station.

Since then I looked into bloat and this was one on the main reasons at that time why I switched to a raw diet. When a dog is kibble fed the stomach doesn’t really have to work that hard and gets flaccid, very poor muscle tone, plus the added gas made during the digestive process of carbohydrates.

What Is Bloat?

Bloat is when the stomach fills with gas and twists at both ends so there is no escape for the gas. Also there is added pressure on the diaphragm and so difficult to breath and added pressure also to the heart.

We’ve all had dogs that break wind constantly on a kibble diet and very rarely, if at all, on raw. On a raw diet the stomach has to work and the muscle tone is perfect.

Vets are unsure what actually causes bloat but it is probably a combination of feeding a poor diet, drinking too much water and gulping in air. There are many other factors that can probably cause this issue but diet being the biggest they feel.

 How to reduce the risk of bloat
  1. Feeding a raw diet (food that doesn’t produce gas)
  2. Feeding bone which helps strengthen the muscles of the stomach
  3. Feeding low, there is no evidence that starts feeding from a high stand reduces the risk. In fact it may increase it. Here’s the link again from Dr Karen Becker
  4. Rest after meals. Give an hour before or after to be on the safe side.

On a raw diet the food will easily move down your dogs throat with no hazard

On a raw diet, your dog is  on a perfectly balanced, moist food. No reason to choke unless an underlying medical issue or you feed large solid chunks. Bolting down food is natural for a dog, they “Wolf it down”.

Dogs, unlike us, do not see their food as a social event to be savoured over a bottle of Lambrusco. To dogs, food is fuel to survive or something they can use to communicate their status, their fears or use as a tool of manipulation.

So please do not worry that they have finished their Bella and Duke food in two seconds flat. It’s normal behaviour and it isn’t going to do your dog any harm.  You can however enrich the experience as below.

Slow your dogs eating habit. It is beneficial

It is a good plan to slow the experience down and make it more of a brain game so they have to work at it. Use a slow feeder, likki mat or press food into the pockets of a bun tin. Treat it as an enrichment exercise.

The Benefits of dogs chewing on bones

We love to give our dogs chews and bones. They are great to strengthen jaw and neck muscles. On raw food dogs teeth stay clean and white with or with out a bone to chew.

What Are good Size Bones For Your Dog To Chew?

If your dog wolfs or gulps his bones down with one snap and gone,  it’s worth giving him a larger bone to make the work out more mindful and  last longer. Smaller dogs and puppies cope with chicken wings well. Puppies may play with them rather than chew initially. For larger dogs and puppies;  bigger bones such as a rack of lamb ribs or a chicken carcass will suit better. A natural chew from Bella and Duke is the Antler. Take care to choose the size appropriate for your size and strength of dog.

If your dog has taken in a whole chicken wing in one gulp don’t worry. His stomach acid will soften the bone and it will digest perfectly. Buy a bigger one from your butcher next time.

Make your dogs work for their food.

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