FEEDING FIDO A Special Report
TO IT THAN JUST
FOOD Louie waits for his home cooked meal.
How You Feed Your Dog Is As Important As What You Feed Your Dog
Healthy Feeding Strategies
This report is not about the type of food Content
Whether you are a new dog owner or that’s right for your dog - that choice is
have been a long time dog lover, you up to you and your vet, and there are Portion Size 2
likely already know that the care and countless resources available online and
feeding of your dog is the most offline to help you understand the Feeding Frequency 2
important part of your dog’s health and options available to you.
Speed of Eating 3
nutrition. Simply put, nothing has more
impact on your dog’s wellness than your This report is about other key aspects of Vomiting, Belching and Flatulence 4
feeding strategies and choices. feeding your dog that are recognized as
being just as critical to having a healthy
Anxiety and Food Competition 4
For decades, veterinary science has and happy pet as selecting the right Snacking and Treats 5
focused on providing the right levels of food. This report covers seven primary
vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants, issues related to dog feeding processes. Raised Feeders 5
calories and fat, in the right form (wet or Conclusion 6
dry) for your dog. There are big and
small companies offering various forms
of dog food, from wholesome, natural
and organic dog food, to committed vets
and dog owners that prepare
homemade diets of natural or raw foods
for their best friend.
“I encourage feeding 2
meals a day rather than one
large meal a day. This
combined with a product
like the DogPause® Bowl
could go a long way
towards reducing many of
the unpleasant effects
associated with rapid food
Brad Middlebrooks, DVM, Ohio
Different dogs need different amounts of food. No big news
there – just like humans, the amount of food your dog There is an emerging consensus among vets and dog
consumes needs to be related to his or her caloric nutritionists that feeding your dog twice or even three times a
requirements. The bigger and more active the dog, the more day is preferable to feeding your dog once a day. By dividing
food you need to give him or her at each feeding (and vice meal time into several events during the day, you reduce the
versa – the smaller or less active the dog, the less at each amount of food per mealtime and balance out the digestive
feeding). activity of your dog.
Most vets and clinical researchers agree: unless your dog is in By using multiple feedings per day rather than one single large
training for the Iditarod, is a heavy working or performance feeding, you help your dog better align his caloric requirements
dog, or you take him on very long walks/runs daily, avoid with energy needs throughout the day. No longer does your
feeding your dog more than 2 cups of food in a single feeding. dog go through one long cycle of digestion and energy
Why? Too much food, at one time, can cause problems with conversion as he or she digests a huge quantity of food.
digestion and can increase the risk of obesity and bad eating Instead, your dog is more continuously digesting and
habits. Furthermore, very few dogs need 4 cups or more of converting food throughout the day, which is healthier and
food a day (see the next section on frequency of feeding), so 2 better for him or her.
cups or less per feeding is generally plenty of food.
You know how you feel when you eat just one large meal a day
Most dogs are prone to eat anything put in front of them, and – your dog feels the same way when a huge meal sits in his
many owners fall into bad habits of just filling the bowl rather stomach. Break the total amount of food into multiple meals
than measuring the proper amount of food. It can be very easy and you’ll find your dog has more energy and has more
to just pour food into the bowl, and not even realize how much balanced behavior throughout the day.
you are over-feeding your dog.
One way to make sure you don’t overfeed your dog is to get a
food bowl that only holds one or two cups of food – this helps
with building solid portion control habits (for both you and your
dog!) and builds good eating behaviors over time.
Work with your vet in choosing the right food, and the right
amount of food, based on your particular breed, the size and
age of your dog, your dog’s activity, and any special
circumstances such as pregnancy. But remember, less is
generally more when it comes to
Speed Of Eating
Watering Your Dog Many dogs are food-motivated chow hounds – whatever you put in front of
Your dog needs to drink plenty of them just disappears. They will literally inhale their food, gulping it down in
water for the same reasons we do, minutes. If your dog eats his meal in less than 5 minutes, you have a bona
simple biology. Sometimes he’s just fide “fast eating dog.” While not all dogs are fast eaters, if you have a fast-
thirsty and needs hydration, but just as eating dog you should slow him down.
importantly, your dog needs water to
properly digest his food. Whether he’s It is important to slow down your dog’s pace of eating for three reasons:
digesting food consumed at meal
times, digesting treats you’ve provided
• Your dog’s ability to benefit from the nutrients in his food and get the full
during training or rewards for good
behavior, without proper water, your
benefit from each meal is related to the ability of his digestive tract to process
dog’s digestive system will be stressed the meal. Fast-eating dogs can sometimes overwhelm their digestive systems
and he will be highly uncomfortable. by swallowing large volumes of food very quickly.
Water should be made available to • Epidemiological (e.g., clinical study) research has shown a correlation
your dog at all times of the day and between the pace of eating and the risk of eating disorders such as bloat and
should be kept fresh and should not be megaesophogus; fast-eaters are at higher risk of having these kinds of
left in the sun for long periods of time. disorders.
Warm water does not help to cool
down a dog who’s essentially wearing
• Fast eating is often related to gagging, choking, vomiting, flatulence
a fur coat. Keep an eye on the water
(gas), and belching. While not necessarily health risks, these can be
level and make sure there is plenty to
drink especially if you have an active
indicators of digestive distress and can be minimized by slowing your dog’s
dog who may need a little extra after pace of eating down. In addition, it will make your dog more pleasant to be
a good run. Dogs have a finely tuned around after eating.
sense of knowing when they need
water and how much water to drink There are various techniques for slowing down the pace of eating for your
(this sense is rarer with food, as they dog. One technique is to put an obstruction, such as a rock or tennis ball, in
will typically consume anything put in the bowl. While sometimes effective, this technique is not recommended due
front of them). to bacteria and other contaminant risk as well as risk to the dog’s teeth or
Don’t worry about your dog over-
drinking, that’s exceedingly rare in
A more effective technique to slow down the pace of eating of your dog is to
use a bowl designed to slow down your dog through unique designs that
Your dog will thank you for it, even
force your dog to take his time as he eats his meal. An example of this type
when he drips and drools that water of bowl is the DogPause® dog bowl.
all over the floor.
“When large bites are
taken and swallowed too
quickly it stretches the
esophagus. This is why
dogs choke and gag on
food when they use open
feeders that do not control
t heir intake amounts.
Taking smaller bites
reduces that stretching
and also helps regulate
and maintain proper
Doug Hill, DVM, Colorado
Vomiting, belching and flatulence Anxiety and Food Competition
Having a pet with vomiting, belching, or flatulence problems Do you have a dog that displays what vets call "resource
can be inconvenient, irritating, and rather frustrating (not to guarding?" Resource guarding can include protective behavior
mention embarrassing.) When you think about it, your pet over a dog bowl full of food, toys, treats and even their
isn’t happy about this either – it’s not very comfortable nor is sleeping area.
it healthy if it’s happening repeatedly.
This type of behavior often leads to many emotional
Of these three issues, vomiting is a more serious issue as it responses, including nipping, shaking, and other signs of
suggests something more fundamental is going wrong with the distress and anxiety. Often times these responses are
eating and digestive process. If your dog vomits or magnified if there is another dog in the home.
regurgitates with any frequency (e.g., once a month or more
often), and the vomiting is not caused by ingestion of a Anxiety or arousal in anticipation of mealtimes can increase
foreign substance separate from their normal food, you should this agitated or aggressive behavior, which often gets directed
discuss this issue with your vet. If your dog is a fast eater, it is at the owner or other pet in the family. Learning the
highly recommended that you research and test a bowl antagonist of the dog’s behavior is perhaps one of the most
designed to slow down your dog’s pace of eating. Vomiting is important elements of curbing the behavior.
not natural for dogs, and many times a slow-feeding dog bowl
will reduce the frequency of vomiting and in some cases Take notice of the environment in which you are feeding and
eliminate it altogether. your own actions during feeding. It is important to talk to
your vet if you feel your dog is dangerous to yourself or
As far as belching and flatulence, those too can be a sign that another pet. In some cases you may need to separate dogs
your dog is eating too fast or is eating too much. Like from eating together and control the pace at which the dogs
humans, when a dog belches or has gas, he is using a few of eat. Slower eating can calm the dog and allow him to feel he
nature’s tricks to balance out the pressures in his system and doesn’t need to eat the food fast before it can be stolen or
equalize the pressure inside and outside his body. Often times taken away. Feeding time is a great time to instruct your pet
this pressure imbalance is a result of eating too fast and a on proper feeding habits and enforce positive behavior to
resulting rapid accumulation of gas in the stomach. help minimize aggression, fear and anxiety.
There are many lifestyle and dietary changes that can Making a change as simple as having the dog sit can enforce
promote balance in the digestive system. First, work with your a positive change in uncontrolled behaviors. If you have
vet to choose the type of food that best works with your dog. multiple dogs, and if one of your dogs eats much faster than
Next, ensure you have a balanced feeding approach of another dog and then consumes a portion of the other dog’s
smaller meals and slower eating. And finally, make sure your meal, you definitely want to speak with your vet and discuss
dog’s stools are timely and have the right consistency. using a feeder that is designed to slow down the pace of
eating of your dog. Your vet can provide valuable advice and
direct you to key resources for each individual situation.
“The main benefit to
slowing dogs down during
eating is that dogs that take
more time to eat swallow
Trent Gall, DVM, Colorado
Snacking and Treats Raised Feeders
Treats are a great way to train your dog and reward them for While many people believe raised feeders are beneficial to
good behavior. When humans think of treats we think of large and giant breed dogs, the reverse has actually been
something sweet, however for a dog, a treat is typically full proven to be true. Raised feeders should be avoided and
of fat, meat or a combination of the two. There are a wide only used on the specific advice of your vet.
range of treats out there that can meet the tastes of most
dogs. Epidemiological research on raised feeders has shown they
significantly increase the risk of bloat in large and giant
There are a wide range of approaches to dog training such breed dogs, and t here is no published researc h
as shaping (which is breaking down dog behavior in demonstrating positive effects on the dog's health.
increments), clicker training, dog whisperers, behaviorists,
acupuncturists, and thousands of books and DVD’s. The end As summarized in a recent American Kennel Club magazine
result has led to a huge industry of dog treats! Positive article (AKC Gazette, August 2007), Lawrence Glickman,
reinforcement seems to be the bottom line. VMD, professor of environmental health at Purdue University
School of Veterinary Medicine, tested the conventional
Positive reinforcement around feeding time may involve a wisdom of elevated feeders. Glickman and his research
treat or two to get the dog to sit and focus on the task in front assistants tracked 1,940 dogs for four to five years and found
of him, slowing down to eat and showing positive behavior that using elevated feeding bowls "...actually increased the
and developing etiquette. risk [of bloat] by up to 200 percent." Glickman further says.
"It's especially important for people to know when something
An excess of treats and snacks can have the same adverse promoted as preventive turns out to be detrimental."
effects on dogs as it does on humans, as treats are filled with
fat and calories. Over-eating applies to dogs too! Make If you currently use a raised feeder, or are contemplating
sure you monitor the treat intake as even small amounts can using one, speak with your vet. Your vet may not be aware of
add up to increasing weight gain. If you’ve used a lot of Dr. Glickman's research, which was also published in the
treats for training purposes, make sure to reduce the amount Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and
of food at the next feeding time to avoid an unintentional can best advise you regarding your breed and dog's health
build-up in calories in your dog. issues that may support the rare use of a raised feeder (e.g.,
your dog has severe arthritis).
Debunking The Myths
There are plenty of urban legends and
Internet postings that have no foundation
in fact or research regarding dog
feeders or dog feeding habits. Here are
a few favorites that can be easily
A plastic dog bowl turns a dog’s
Talk with any vet or dog professional
and they will likely tell you this is a long
standing urban myth. There is no
evidence supporting plastic as the culprit
for turning a dog's nose pink. However,
there are often other ailments and
allergies that cause a dog's nose to turn
pink. If your dog's nose pigment
changes rapidly, it is best to speak with
Stainless steel dog bowls are better
than ceramic or plastic bowls.
Stainless steel bowls are indeed tougher
Conclusion than plastic if you have a dog that loves
to chew on things. And while ceramic
In conclusion, there are many things other than dog food that are important to the bowls can break easily, they permit
health and wellness your dog. Here’s the cheat sheet: more decorative designs due to their
manufacturing process. Stainless steel is
Feed your dog smaller portions, multiple times a day. Avoid large portions no more resistant to bacteria than food
served once a day. grade plastic or ceramic material, (and
in fact, many low grade stainless steels
• If your dog eats his food in less than 5 minutes, find a way to slow him down a made in certain countries can harbor
little bit – even a little slowing helps minimize some health risks. Ensure he chews bacteria.) All types of bowls (stainless
his food and doesn’t just inhale it. steel, food-grade plastic, ceramic) get
• If your dog vomits with any frequency after feeding, speak with your vet and test equally as clean with soap and water.
a bowl that slows down eating speed. Many owners have found “slow feeding” You should wash your dog bowls
dog bowls like DogPause® reduce or eliminate vomiting. frequently, regardless of material, just as
you wash your own dishes. You can put
• Adjust the dinner meal portion size based on the quantity of treats you’ve most good dog bowls in the dishwasher,
provided your dog during the day. Treats have a lot of fat and calories (that’s just check the bowl’s directives to ensure
what makes them taste so good!) and failure to adjust portion size can increase it is dishwasher safe.
the risk of obesity.
• Always keep plenty of fresh water available for your dog. Don’t let your dog exercise after
• Wash your dog bowl frequently, regardless of material. Research has shown absolutely no
relationship between time of exercise
and eating in terms of risk of bloat.
You can't teach an old dog new
People with older dogs who have bad
eating habits often think the dog is
unable to learn or adapt a new
behavior. Making positive changes in
your dogs eating strategies applies to
dogs of any age. No matter what age
your dog, puppy, adult or senior, a
solution as easy as changing to a new
feeding bowl can be beneficial.
The Healthy Dog Bowl™
The DogPause bowl is the only slow-
feeding dog bowl clinically proven to
slow the pace of a dog’s eating. In
clinical tests conducted by professional
vets, DogPause demonstrated it slows
down dogs vs. standard dog bowls. As
vets will confirm, a slower eating dog
is a happier, healthier dog with less
risk of experiencing all sorts of yucky
things like gas, belching, vomiting,
gagging, anxiety, bloat, discomfort,
and snarfing down another dog's food
after they've inhaled their own You get
Clinical Trial Results:
The unique design of the DogPause®
dog bowl also ensures good portion
DogPause® Bowl slows down dogs’ rate of eating
control through its unique four feeding by 50%.
zones of 1/2 cup each.
For more information visit:
www.dogpausebowl.com In a clinical trial conducted at an independent kennel, and overseen by
clinical research vets, the DogPause® dog bowl was compared to a
typical open bowl feeder. The clinical trial was conducted across three
breeds: Labs, Rottweilers, and Pointers.
The results from the clinical trial demonstrate that the DogPause® dog
bowl slowed down the rate of eating by all dogs in the test by an
Special Thanks average of over 50%. This means that if a dog's average eating speed is
72 seconds, using a DogPause®dog bowl, eating time will be about 108
Dr. Larry Glickman seconds, on average. These results are statistically significant at the 95%
Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine, confidence interval.
Professor of Epidemiology and
Environmental Health By breed, Labs and Rottweilers were slowed down the most -- by an
average of 70%. Pointers were still slowed by a significant factor of
Dr. Brad Middlebrooks
Woodman Drive Animal Hospital
Dayton, Ohio Obviously, each dog is unique, and each eating occasion can be
somewhat unique. To further control for this variability, the results were
Dr. Doug Hill also evaluated by dropping out the high and low feeding time for each
DMV dog and bowl combination. Even in that case, the DogPause® bowl still
Golden Animal Hospital showed a 50% slow-down versus a standard feeder.
Dr. Trent Gall