Food may be a way to their hearts, but it can also be the cause of something more sinister. Exercising your dogs too close to meal times is a big no no, we know this as it has the potential to cause catastrophic gastric problems. However, it can also be hazardous for your pet if they are a notorious ‘Speed Eater’ or ‘Food Hoover’ and meal times are over within seconds. Pets which seem to inhale food as though it’s going out of fashion, are at higher risk of serious health issues, as well as behavioural ones.
Magisso and it’s Happy Pet Project Initiative understand the benefits of paced eating, and are helping you keep your pets protected, with their latest beautiful creations.
First the risks, and what you need to be aware of:
Gastric Dilatation or Bloat
Rapid eating and swallowing leads to an excessive amount of gas & air in the stomach, which can cause it to expand. In dogs this may stay as simple bloat, which uncomfortable, with rest and mother nature, can resolve itself. For your feline friends bloat can become serious quickly, with vomiting, weakness, and collapse. It is thought that bloat is more likely if along with eating quickly, your pet also consumes large amounts of water.
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV)
What starts off as bloat in dogs, can become life-threatening if the expanded stomach also then rotates or twists. If this happens, an emergency surgery will be required.
Exercising too close to meal times increases the possibility of this, which is why the 45-60 min rule is advised. Larger breed dogs are more susceptible but it’s not exclusive. Symptoms of Bloat and GDV are similar, anxious behaviour, excessive breathing, vomiting, dry heaving, or drooling.
Inhaling food rather than chewing, increase the changes of gagging or choking. Puppies or smaller breeds are more typically affected by this. Your pets can choke on any sort of food, and its something you really want to avoid.
Increase In Food Aggressive Behaviour
‘Wolfing’ down food can also lead to food possessiveness, a problem increased particularly if you have children or other pets in the home. Even if this behaviour is against the norm, mealtimes can become a risky situation if they start to perceive others as threats to their food, and feel the need to defend it.
It’s easy to assume a pet who eats quickly is still hungry, or they may eat so fast they are not able to tell when they have had enough. Either way, over-eating is a health risk and something to keep an eye on.
So What Can You Do?
Slowing down the pace at which your pet eats can certainly help in the prevention of these problems, and one way to do that is with Magisso Slow-Feeding Bowls. Beautifully designed, made from cooling ceramics, your pet will have the fun of getting at their food from around the 3D shapes, giving them all the health benefits whilst extending the joy of mealtimes.