Gren, being a typical corgi, is a total food hound. He’s obsessed with those two most important times in the day: breakfast and dinner. Everything else is small potatoes in his little world.
When he was very small, before I taught him how to wait, I used to have to physically hold him back until I had put his food on the floor. Exhausted with his struggles, he would then eat sitting down. Lazy bum.
Nowadays, he knows to lie down and wait until we give him the okay to start eating. But when we do so, he leaps forward and swallows his food in less than thirty seconds. I’m not sure if you can swallow 3/4 cup of kibble in thirty seconds, but he can. And we really don’t think it’s very good for him. I’m afraid he might get indigestion.
Luckily, he’s a pretty small dog, so we don’t need to worry too much about bloat or any of the other more serious medical conditions that can arise from eating too fast; nonetheless, the food we buy him is pretty expensive, so it would be nice if he savoured it a little before shoving it down his gullet.
There are solutions you can purchase for this problem. There are food bowls with built-in obstacles that the dog has to work around to get to his food. And you can also buy large stainless-steel balls that you can just plop on the food, which the dog then has to negotiate to get to his food. Both of these options are fine, and they are proven to work. But why spend the money when you might have the solution lying around your own house?
The Pie is huge into baseball, and has played both hardball and softball over the years, so we have a lot of spare balls lying around. This softball is synthetic, so won’t degrade through exposure to doggy saliva. It’s also too large for Gren to pick up in his mouth and remove from his bowl. So he has to work around it, bringing his eating time up from 30 seconds to around 2-3 minutes, a marked improvement. We just plop it on top of the kibble after we’ve measured it into the bowl. It works great and it was free, whereas that stainless steel ball was $18 at PetSmart.
Don’t have a ball? Maybe try a can of corn or beans, or, in larger food bowls, several smaller cans, say, for tomato paste, all stuck in together. Whatever works for you.