Stop The Mealtime Scarfing With These Slow-Feeder Dog Bowls
Make mealtime more enjoyable for everyone.
If you’ve been considering upgrading your dog’s bowl to a slow-feeder dog bowl to improve his eating habits, then you’ve probably also gotten overwhelmed at the number of slow feeders to choose from.
To help you narrow down your top options, we found the best slow-feeder dog bowls currently on the market (and asked an expert why switching to a slow feeder may be a great idea for you and your pup).
The best slow-feeder dog bowls have easy-to-maneuver grooves with rounded edges that won’t hurt your dog’s teeth, tongue and gums, and a non-slip base to keep it in place while he works his way through the maze. Here are our favorites:
- Best overall slow-feeder dog bowl: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
- Best stainless steel slow-feeder dog bowl: Neater Pet Brands Stainless Steel Slow Feed Bowl
- Best ceramic slow feeder: LE TAUCI Ceramic Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
- Largest capacity slow-feeder dog bowl: OurPets Durapet Stainless Steel Slow Feeder Bowl
- Best shallow slow feeder for smaller and flat-faced dogs: Frisco Silicone Slow Feeder Mat
- Best elevated slow feeder: Neater Pet Brands Raised Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
- Best budget slow-feeder dog bowl: Frisco Bone Shaped Ridges Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
Why might a slow-feeder dog bowl be necessary?
We asked DodoVet expert Morgan Fait, CVT, why a pet parent might want to consider upgrading to a slow-feeder bowl, and the main reason is “slowing a fast eater down!”
“Some dogs eat so fast that it all comes right back up!” Fait told The Dodo. “When they eat that quickly, they can also ingest lots of air, which can put barrel-chested dogs at risk for bloat.”
But slow feeders are also great for mental stimulation because most slow-feeder bowls are puzzle-like. And because your dog is eating slower, he feels like he’s actually getting more to eat and may actually end up feeling fuller than he did after mealtimes prior to the slow feeder.
“If you have multiple dogs that eat at different speeds, giving the guzzler a slower feeder can give the other dogs time to eat in peace,” Fait added.
Dogs who can benefit the most from slow feeders
According to Fait, the dogs who may benefit the most from a slow feeder are:
- Dogs who scarf down their food at every mealtime
- Dogs who have belly issues or are known to vomit after eating
- Puppies (“so they learn right away to eat slower!”)
- Hyper dogs who love mental stimulation
“Most dogs would get some benefit from a slow-feeder bowl,” Fait said. So your dog doesn’t have to be a vacuum to get something out of slowing down his eating habits!
What to look for in a slow feeder for your dog
There are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for the best slow feeder for your pup.
Design and depth of the grooves
All slow feeders feature some sort of maze-like pattern on the inside because that’s what traps the kibble and makes it harder for dogs to wolf down food. But for some dogs, if the grooves are too complex, they won’t want to attempt to eat from the bowl at all. So if you know your dog is persnickety, test out a few less-challenging designs before upgrading to something more detailed.
And also keep in mind that bowls with deeper grooves will be more challenging for smaller dogs. There are some feeders that are designed for smaller dogs and cats that are shallower and easier for them to eat from, and flat-faced dogs may also need a shallower bowl.
How much food can it hold?
Depending on a dog’s size, the bowl must be large enough to fit an entire meal’s worth of food inside. Food capacity is most important to take into consideration if you have a larger dog who eats a lot of kibble all at once.
Slow-feeder bowls are made from various materials like BPA-free plastic, silicone, stainless steel and ceramic, and each material has its pros and cons.
Most of these materials are top-rack dishwasher safe, but plastic and stainless steel are much less likely to crack or break during washing or if flipped over while your dog’s eating.
Stainless steel and silicone, compared to plastic, are generally more hygienic. But plastic bowls will likely be cheaper than any other material.
Is it elevated?
For dogs who need to have a raised food bowl for health or age reasons (senior pups can typically benefit from a lift), some slow feeders actually have attached feet that raise it off the ground a few inches. You could place a slow feeder on an existing bowl stand, but your dog may end up pushing it off the stand as he works around the grooves. Therefore, slow feeders with built-in elevation work best for those pups who need a lift.
The best slow-feeder dog food bowls for fast-eating dogs
These are the best slow-feeder dog bowls you can get your hands on.
The Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slow Bowl has over 80,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, with pet parents saying it has truly helped their dogs eat slower and keep food down. This slow feeder comes in multiple sizes (up to 4 cups) and various groove styles designed specifically for large or small dogs, and it’s made with dishwasher-safe, BPA-free plastic. Plus, it has a non-slip pad at the bottom so it’ll stay in place while your dog figures out the maze. And because it’s fairly shallow (under 3 inches tall), even dogs with flat faces can use this bowl with ease.
For those looking for a stainless steel bowl, which doesn’t hold odors, collect bacteria and is dishwasher-safe, this stainless steel slow feeder from Neater Pet Brands is perfect. It comes in two sizes (1.5-cup and 3-cup) and features a non-skid rim around the bottom and an inner column that slows down eating without making mealtime too difficult. This stainless steel bowl has over 1,800 five-star reviews on Amazon because it’s nearly indestructible.
The LE TAUCI ceramic slow-feeder dog bowl comes in three different sizes that hold between 1.5 cups and 5 cups of food. It also features non-slip stickers you can add to the bottom of the bowl, and because the feeder’s ceramic, it can be put in the dishwasher for regular cleaning.
Made with food-grade and dishwasher-safe stainless steel, the OurPets Durapet Stainless Steel slow feeder also has a non-slip bottom that helps it stay in place while your dog works around the inner column. It also comes in three sizes (small, medium and large), with the largest size being able to hold 8 cups of food, making it an ideal feeder for big dogs.
The Frisco silicone slow-feeder bowl is only 1.3 inches deep, which is the shallowest of all the bowls listed, making it perfect for flat-faced dogs. And because it’s made with silicone rather than hard plastic, small dogs and flat-faced dogs have an easier time navigating the grooves since they easily bend.
For older dogs who may need a little extra help bending down to their food bowl, the Neater Pet Brands elevated slow feeder makes bending down easier. It comes in various sizes to fit multiple sizes of dogs, and each bowl comes with anti-skid feet and leg extenders so you can adjust the height depending on your dog’s needs (up to 5 inches).
For just $8, you can pick up a quality slow-feeder dog bowl from Frisco for your pup. This bowl is made with BPA-free plastic, features a non-slip base, and can hold up to 3 cups of food. It’s also shallow enough to be comfortable for many different sizes of dogs, including flat-faced dogs, and the bone-shaped ridges are not super challenging for pups to work around but will definitely slow down their eating.
With the right slow-feeder dog bowl at the ready, your pup will slow down during mealtimes and be able to keep his food down while feeling fuller and more satisfied after eating. Slow feeders are a win-win-win-win, in our opinion!
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