Dog feeding tips
Most dogs know when it’s time for dinner – and as soon as they hear the rustle of the packet, they probably come running to the kitchen!
Mealtimes are often over very quickly for your dog, probably because they’re enjoying their bowl of Bakers® so much. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to make mealtimes even better – and longer-lasting - for your dog. Whether they bolt their food or try to get their nose into their neighbour’s bowl, read our tips for feeding your dog and make every mouthful even better.
Senior dogs may prefer wet dog food
This technique involves training, patience, and learning a new skill, all things that will help keep your dog mentally stimulated, whatever their age. Even better, it turns a normal mealtime into something more challenging, with their delicious bowl of food as a reward.
Put their food into their bowl (making sure they can see you) and slowly lower it to the floor, saying ‘wait’. They’ll probably dive for the bowl before it gets to the floor; if they do this, raise the bowl again and wait for them to stop trying to reach the food. Slowly lower it again, using the ‘wait’ command, and raise the bowl if they try to take it before it gets to the floor. Repeat as many times as necessary – if you manage to get it close to the floor without them trying to take the food, praise them and give them a treat!
The ultimate aim is to keep doing this, giving them a treat every time they make progress, until they can sit in front of their full bowl without eating it. You should then indicate to your dog that they can eat the food, and praise them for their good behaviour.
Slow things down
Our second dog feeding tip involves slowing things down a little. Most dogs are quite happy to bolt down their food, and it has little ill effect, but other dogs may benefit from taking things easier. Eating more slowly can help improve their digestion and reduce bloating, as well as making their meals last longer – which means more enjoyment!
To encourage them to eat more slowly, choose a special dog bowl that has big bumps in the bottom. This means your dog must eat around the bumps, which naturally slows them down. Alternatively, if you don’t find one of these in a pet shop, create your own by putting a large, dog-friendly item in the bottom of their bowl that they must eat around.
Choosing a dry food, such as Bakers® Adult Dry Dog Food, can also encourage them to eat more slowly as it requires more chewing the wet food.
Separate their bowls
If you have more than one dog, this dog feeding tip is for you!
You’ve probably noticed that if you feed both of your dogs (or more than two) at once, they eat very quickly and are prone to showing interest in their neighbour’s bowl. Even if your dogs get along very well, there may be a sense of competition here – and your dogs will both try to eat as fast as they can to make sure they finish before someone else can get a nose in!
If this is the case, either feed your dogs in separate rooms or at slightly different times. This will ensure that they can enjoy their food in peace, and may encourage slower eating.
Choose the right bowl
There are dozens of types of bowl that your dog can eat from, and surprisingly, the one you choose can make a huge difference to mealtimes!
For example, if your dog tends to push the bowl along the floor when they’re eating, swapping their plastic bowl for a ceramic one might make eating easier. Alternatively, if the bowl is a little too small, they may be reluctant to finish the food at the bottom. Tiny changes to your dog’s bowl can make a huge difference to mealtimes, both in terms of comfort and enjoyment! Read more about choosing a dog bowl.