Dog gulps food.

Posted by melissa-dixon
Aug 25, 2014
I have an 8-month-old golden retriever/Great Pyrenees who gulps food. I feed her twice a day and she is not aggressive toward me--I can pet her, remove her food, etc. The problem is that she literally inhales her food. I feed her inside her crate, as I have 3 cats and did not want to take a chance on her feeling as if they would steal her food. I have tried removing the bedding from the crate and scattering her food on the bottom, so she has to eat the kibbles almost individually. With each one she picks up, she takes a huge gulp. When she finishes eating, she always belches. I feel this could be putting her at risk for bloat. She eats very frantically, I'm guessing she was fed in a "community bowl" as a pup and had to get down as much as possible as quickly as possible to get her share. Any suggestions?
Posted by Preethi KOP
Aug 26, 2014
Hi Melissa,

Thanks for writing in to us.

Firstly, don't fret! You are by no means alone. We have a golden retriever and a lab cross at home and they are sure great candidates to demonstrate the problem you have described. There are many options to sort out this issue. I shall list a few and I recommend you try them and find the one that works best.

1. Feed small portions more frequently instead of one or two larger meals.
2.Add water to the kibble, it slows them down and keeps them well hydrated.
3. Buy a non-slip feeding bowl and flip it upside down to feed your dog. She will have to work her way around a small area to eat and will not be able to gulp too much food too quickly.
4. Split up the kibble into an old cupcake pan, placing a few kibble in each cup. Adding a little water to each one may work wonders!
5. Disperse the kibble over a large area of your lawn (you may want to make sure your cats are indoors). This will not only solve the problem but will also keep your pooch entertained for a decent while.
6. Drop in at your local vets/pet store and inquire about pet puzzle feeders. These too will work as #5.

If you don't have much success with the above and are really concerned for your dogs health, please speak to your local vet. There is a surgery called a 'gastropexy' that can be performed prophylactically- it basically involves stitching the stomach to the chest wall so that it always stays in place. When large breed dogs with deep, barrel chests eat too quickly, they can not only get bloat but can also get stomach torsion, which can quickly be fatal. The condition is called 'gastric dilatation and volvulous', in case you want to read up on it. If you decide against having the surgery, please have your veterinarian instruct you in first aid measures to help your distressed dog while en route to the veterinary hospital. This can be life saving!

I don't mean to scare you and I am sorry if I have, I just feel that it is always better to be aware of the risks and better prepared for if and when they do occur. Fingers crossed for you, I hope your dog never has any such problems!

Good luck with all the feeding regime trials. I hope you find one that works well. Please don't hesitate to write back to us if you have any other queries, we are always happy to help.

Preethi Saldanha