Here are the best slow feeder dog bowl that we’ll be covering:
- Best all-purpose slow feeder bowl: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
- Best for Brachycephalic breeds: Hifrenchies Healthy Slow Feeding Dog Bowl
- Best in (or for) show: OurPets DuraPet Stainless Steel Dog Bowl
- Best for weighing all your options: Lickimat Classic Dog Slow Feeders
- Best for wet food: LickiMat Wobble Dog Slow Feeder Bowl
- Best for the busy pet parent: PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder
If your dog tends to inhale his or her food before you’ve even finished putting it in the bowl, you know how frustrating speed-eating can be. Dogs who eat too quickly are more prone to digestive issues and may be more likely to regurgitate their food after eating.
Over time, this can lead to serious health problems that will only get worse as your dog gets older. If you’re trying to encourage your dog to eat more slowly, the easiest way to address the issue is to change the way they eat with a slow feeder dog bowl.
So What Is a Slow Feed Dog Bowl?
A slow feed dog bowl is basically exactly what it sounds like: it’s any feeding system that forces your dog to eat food more slowly as opposed to bolting it down. This can take the form of a special type of bowl, or it can get a little bit more elaborate.
You can buy special inserts, obstacles, or mats that will prevent your dog from eating too quickly. Inserts, obstacles or differently-shaped bowls will make it more difficult to eat quickly, while a licking mat is a textured feeding mat that encourages your dog to eat around several built-in obstacles.
Our recommendation for the best slow feeder dog bowl
Your dog’s bowl should fit both you and your dog in equal measures. In order to ensure that your dog is getting the most out of their mealtimes, look for:
Cleanliness: You’ll want a bowl that’s easy to clean and won’t retain any odors or smells. Look for bowls or mats that can be washed in your dishwasher or washing machine or just wiped clean with a damp cloth.
Versatility: The bowl you choose should be adaptable. In other words, it should be able to handle whatever type of food you or your dog prefer, whether it be kibble, raw food, or a mixture.
Practical Concerns: Look for non-slip feeding options, as bowls and mats alike tend to get pushed around while your dog eats. Keep an eye out for any sharp or protruding parts that may injure your dog’s mouth.
Breed Considerations: Get a bowl that matches the breed. French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, or other breeds with short snouts may not be able to reach into deep grooves the way longer-faced dogs can.
So what’s the best slow feeder dog bowl?
Again, the best slow feeder dog bowl really depends on your style, your schedule, and your sense of prioritization. Depending on what you and your dog need, check out some of the options below for a starting point as you begin your search for the perfect bowl!
Best all-purpose slow feeder bowl
Across the board, our favorite slow feeder dog bowl is the Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl. The bowl comes in a range of sizes, which makes it a good fit for nearly any breed. The unique patterning and textures on the inside provide plenty of obstacles to slow your pooch’s pace, and the overall design of the bowl is just fun to look at!
All Outward Hound bowls are dishwasher-safe, so they’re as easy to clean as they are to use. They are also suited for wet, dry, or mixed dog food styles.
Pros: drastically reduces dog eating pace, non-slip ring on bottom for a solid grip, bright and cheerful colors, funky design, practical and easy to clean, provide excellent mental stimulation during mealtime, easy to stack and store
Cons: depending on how aggressively your dog eats, you may want to keep an eye on them during mealtimes, as some customers have mentioned that their dogs develop a sore spot on the bridge of their nose from trying to push deeper into the bowl.
Best for Brachycephalic breeds
Brachycephaly refers to the shape of a skull that’s significantly shorter than is normal for members of that species. In dogs, this usually means breeds like Pugs, Boxers, French Bulldogs, or similar breeds with a “pushed-in” face. While the shorter face may make for an awfully cute appearance, it can also create complications when it comes to mealtime.
Hifrenchies Healthy Slow Feeding Dog Bowl is especially designed with this head shape in mind. The sturdy bowl is shallower than the average dog food bowl, which lets dogs with shorter faces get the food that they need without unnecessary strain.
Pros: the bars in the bowl force your dog to slow down while eating, durable construction with non-stick coating makes for a quick and easy clean, shallow construction makes a perfect fit for flat-faced dogs, simple and stylish design
Cons: the bowl is relatively light and easy for hungry dogs to push around, so you may want to consider using a spill mat to prevent any messes from striking at mealtime!
Best in (or for) show
If you want a nice, stylish-looking bowl that will still do the job and slow down your dog’s eating, the OurPets DuraPet Slow Feed Premium Stainless Steel Dog Bowl covers all your bases. As the name suggests, it’s a stainless steel bowl that will look right at home in nearly any kitchen.
The “slow feeder” part of this bowl comes into play with the solid middle portion. By blocking off the majority of the bowl’s space, the DuraPet feeder forces your dog to slow down and eat their way around the bowl instead of charging right in.
Pros: thick metal construction, easy to clean, rubber ring at the bottom to prevent slipping or sliding on floor, slim build to reduce the amount of space it takes up
Cons: no lip, may not sit right in some dog bowl holders, and some customers report negative side effects from the metals used to make the bowl, so be sure to keep an eye on your dog for any signs of heavy metal exposure
Best for weighing all your options
Another solid option for a wide range of dogs, the Lickimat Classic Dog Slow Feeder is a great choice that lets you adapt your feeding style depending on your dog’s preference.
The slow feeder works as a non-slip mat if you want to feed your dog from a shallow surface. It also works as an easy insert for most bowls, in case you already have a setup that you like but need to slow your dog’s pace just a little.
Pros: very easy to clean, significantly reduces eating pace, suction cups help prevent sliding on floor, freezer-safe and dishwasher-safe, soft silicon construction that protects your dog’s delicate mouth, shallow enough to use for flat-faced dogs
Cons: the thinner material is relatively easy to tear, so if your dog is from a chewing breed, you may want to consider some sturdier options
Best for wet food
Wet dog food can pack in plenty of extra nutrients, but it can also get a little messy. The LickiMat Wobble Dog Slow Feeder Bowl protects your floors while still slowing down your dog’s eating habits and giving them lots of fun along with their food!
The recycled rubber material cleans your dog’s gums and teeth as they chew, while the fun texture makes them work to get all of their food. It also helps reduce stress and gives them something to play with when they’re bored or feeling anxious.
The shallow layout makes these mats a great choice for dog breeds with shallower faces or short snouts, but it works just as well for any breed or mix of breeds!
Pros: promotes licking behaviors that lead to better dental and oral health, environmentally friendly and safe, easy to clean, durable material that holds up to repeated washes and uses, large enough that you don’t have to worry about any choking risk!
Cons: not indestructible and can begin to break down after long periods of prolonged chewing, so if you know that your dog likes to nibble on their toys, you may want to pick the bowl up as soon as they’re done eating.
Best for the busy pet parent
If you don’t have the time to constantly monitor your dog’s food intake, or if you just can’t keep an eye on your dog at all hours of the day, PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder is a great solution!
The smartphone compatible bowl will dispense food throughout the day at a rate that you set, which means that you control how much food your dog eats at any given time. You can also check on your dog’s food status at any point using the user-friendly smart device interface.
Pros: stainless steel bowl is easy to clean, smart features make sure that your dog won’t get any more food than they need, special “Slow Feed” setting that dispenses food over the course of fifteen minutes for a steady, controlled eating rate
Cons: setup can be a little complicated, strict timer to control feeding schedule, and the Wi-Fi range is limited, which means that this is not a way to keep your dog fed while you’re on vacation
When it comes to your dog’s health and safety, mealtime is one of the most important parts of the day. Even if you already know that your dog’s speed-eating is a problem, you may still find yourself left with some basic questions, including matters like:
What can I put in my dog’s bowl to make them slow down while eating?
If you don’t want to buy a specific bowl or mat, obstacles and inserts are probably the way to go. Again, the main thing with changing your dog’s eating habits is to make sure that you make it difficult for them to inhale the food as quickly as they may want to do. Sometimes, the simpler the solution, the better it works!
The Omega Paw Portion Pacer, for example, is basically just a metal ball that takes up space in your dog’s bowl. The Harmony Navy Slow Feeder Insert, on the other hand, looks more complicated, but works on the same basic premise. The more crowded the bowl, the slower your dog’s eating time will be.
How else can I make my dog slow down when eating fast?
If you don’t like the idea of cluttering up your dog’s bowl, there are other options available. For the dog that likes to chow down throughout the day, you may want to try:
Puzzles like this interactive dog game can be a fun way for your dog to get nourishment and enrichment at the same time. The brainteaser aspect of the puzzle forces your dog to slow down while eating, but it also sharpens the mind, leading to a happier, healthier pup overall!
Similar to the above, stuffing toys like the iconic Kong toy are another way to make your dog really work for their treats! While they may not work as a replacement for a full meal, they can be a good way to add in some extra calories for your dog at a controlled, measured pace.
Snuffle mats Finally, snuffle mats like this Paw5 Woolly Snuffle Mat work on the same premise as the previous two options—they make your dog focus on finding their food instead of just scarfing it down immediately. Snuffle mats are a great option for dogs that are naturally prone to foraging around the dining room for any scraps!