Dear Miss Behavin’: We got a sweet new puppy, Flower, last week who has quite the appetite. A few times, she’s eaten her meals so quickly that they come right back up! How do we slow her down?
First of all, congratulations on your new puppy! It’s good that she has a hearty appetite, but as you know, that will only get her so far if she isn’t keeping her meals down. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can try to help her slow her roll.
One option is to use her kibble as treats for training. This way, she won’t be taking in extra calories from training treats, and her kibble will be delivered one at a time each time she gets something right. This will help by slowing down her eating and teaching her something new.
If you don’t have the time for training sessions at meal times time, there are plenty of puzzle feeders or puzzle bowls available in pet stores and online. Puzzle feeders come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all with the goal of slowing down feeding in addition to providing mental stimulation. One example is the Kong, which can be stuffed with a mixture of kibble and wet food and frozen ahead of time. These are great to make ahead and use on days when the weather is hot, or when you’re strapped for time!
Of course, you can also make your own puzzle feeder at home. This can be as simple as scattering kibble on the floor, hiding food in boxes around the house for her to sniff out, or putting food inside old toilet paper tubes, pinching the ends closed, and letting her shred it open (just make sure she doesn’t eat the cardboard). Get creative, but don’t overthink it!