Does your dog gobble their food at lightning speed? Do you find your dog bored with eating out of the same old bowl? Feeding time in most homes is a missed opportunity to turn feeding time into a enrichment activity that is mentally rewarding. It also turns a 1 min feeding frenzy experience to a 5-10 min activity. It can even help with behaviour problems such as fear, Anxiety and boredom if used in the correct way.
Choosing the right maze bowl
There are lots of different types of maze bowls out there, in different sizes, Different patterns, different depths, and made from different materials. You need to ensure you choose the correct type of maze bowl for your dog as choosing the wrong one can turn an existing enrichment activity to a frustrating one. for example, a flat nosed breed or a puppy will need a very shallow maze feeder in order to get the food, too deep and they will not be able to reach the bottom. A larger dog on wet food or raw will need a durable one that is also washable. Being specific to your dogs needs is important to finding the perfect maze bowl for your dog.
Benefits of a Maze bowl
If your dog is a the type to rapidly eat their food, Maze bowls can
- Decrease the risk of chocking
- Decrease the risk of Vomiting after eating
- Decrease gastrointestinal discomfort
- Decrease the chances of your dog getting Bloat a.k.a. Twisted Gut ( a life threatening condition when they glup air when eating and/or drinking)
- Turn a basic need into an enrichment activity
- Slows down the eating process
- Can be used for all type of feed including Dry, Kibble, Wet and Raw
The downsides of Maze bowls
Although we have seen the wider benefits of Maze bowls with dogs in our care, there are a few downsides to them
- If an incorrect bowl is chosen or a dog is not introduced to them correctly, it can turn a positive experience into a negative one
- Hard to clean – due to the intricate shapes of the bowls, they can be rather fiddly to clean so correct cleaning brushes are needed to get into the grooves
- Type of material – if the you have a dog with a strong bite, chunks of the plastic or rubber can become a hazard
- Messy – depending on the dog, maze bowl eaters can be more messy than normal bowl eaters especially if wet food or raw is part of their meal
Lola being a Pug is a natural food gulper and will eat her food as fast as possible. I introduced her to a slow feeder 2 years ago as the benefits for her outweighed the negatives. She has several bowls with different patterns that get changed around to keep it interesting. She has very shallow bowls to accommodate her short snout. Lola is kibble and raw fed and has durable, washable plastic bowls that get washed immediately after feeding.
Does your dog use a Maze bowl?