Discover How Slow Feeder Dog Bowls Can Help Your Overweight Pooch

Dog bowl for slow feed eating. Specially designed bowl for the dogs, that eat too fast. dog feed in bowl with treats
© Yekatseryna Netuk/

Written by Katie Melynn Wood

Published: January 3, 2024

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Taking care of your beloved pet pooch means keeping track of their diet and exercise to help them stay as healthy as possible. Most dogs are good about self-regulating but some pups get overly excited when it comes to meals. This can result in overeating and weight gain, not to mention a big mess for you to clean up. If your dog tends to eat quickly, you may consider a slow feeder bowl. These are great for dogs to help control their weight as well since they help prevent overeating and gobbling.

How Do Slow Feeder Dog Bowls Work?

Corgi dog bent over interactive educational toy for, puzzle, slow feeder, pokes his nose into holes for hidden treat. Smart bowl, find dry food by smell. Pet training, mental activity, intelligence

Some slow feeder bowls require your dog to solve puzzles to get to the food or treats, providing enrichment along with their meal or treat.


Slow feeder dog bowls add obstacles or puzzles that make it more difficult for your dog to guzzle their food. In most cases, your dog will have to take smaller bites when using a slow feeder bowl. For dogs that eat too much or dogs that take large bites, slowing down can make mealtime longer. They are more likely to recognize the signs that they are full if their body has time to catch up to their eating.

There are a few different designs that help your dog slow down while eating. Some have grooves and walls to section off the food within the bowl. These can be purely functional or create a themed design. The idea behind this style is to add an obstruction to the bowl. Your dog has to eat slower as they move their mouth around the bowl. These are some of the most popular slow feeders.

A puzzle slow feeder bowl requires your dog to solve some sort of puzzle to get to their food. This isn’t the best option for all pups but can be a lot of fun for dogs that like games. It also slows them down when it comes to eating. Just make sure that your dog can solve the puzzle and is interested in it. If it is too difficult or they get discouraged, they might have trouble getting enough to eat. Frustration can also lead to destructive behaviors.

How Much Should My Dog Eat?

rottweiler dog holding a pet food bowl in mouth

Some dogs will beg for food and eat as much as they can at each meal while others are grazers, eating smaller portions throughout the day.


The recommended amount of food for your dog will depend on their breed, size, and activity level. Larger dogs need more food intake than smaller ones. For example, an English mastiff needs to eat quite a bit more food each day than a Chihuahua.

If your dog is particularly active, they might also have a bigger appetite. Puppies have their own nutritional needs to support their growth and development. Talk to your vet about the recommended diet and amount for your dog. They can also help identify weight issues and recommend a change in diet or specialized food for weight control.

You should also talk to your vet about how often to feed your dog. Some dogs can be fed once each day and regulate their intake. Others eat all of the food put in front of them at each feeding. In this case, you might need to feed them smaller meals multiple times per day. A slow feeder can also help with portion control for these pups.

Can You Put Wet Dog Food in a Slow Feeder Bowl?

Best Wet Dog Food

Wet dog food is good for dogs with dental problems as well as those who just prefer the meaty taste and texture.

©Javier Brosch/

Yes, most slow feeder bowls can be used with dry kibble or wet dog food. Just make sure to clean the bowl thoroughly between feedings. This is especially important for wet food, which tends to leave more residue behind. If you feed your dog a raw diet, take precautions to make sure the food is kept at the right temperature. If you leave it out too long, there is a greater risk of bacteria growth, which can lead to illness.

Risks of Obesity for Dogs

Fat dog

Obesity can cause health problems for your dog and make it harder for them to enjoy fun and games with you.

©Sue Thatcher/iStock via Getty Images

Why is it so important to keep your dog’s weight in a healthy range? Just like in people, obesity can lead to further health complications and even shorten your dog’s lifespan. Obese dogs have a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, urinary tract infections bladder stones, and even cancer. When they have routine procedures done, they are more likely to experience complications with recovery. Obesity can also prevent your dog from doing things that they love, such as playing and running.

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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