Why is my dog eating too fast. What to know and do about it

Last Updated on 2021-05-03 by Admin

Sticky Food in Dog Bowl
Sticky Food in Dog Bowl

When dogs eat too fast it can indicate a potential health issues. The cause of fast eating can be many. Many dogs eat with gusto and are eager to eat. However, if it appears the dog is inhaling its food instead of eating. It is probably time to look into why the dog eats too fast. That is especially true if the dog has changed its behaviour.

Please note, I’m not a veterinarian. I’m a dog owner dealing with a Boxer girl who started eating too fast after being spayed. But I thought it worthwhile to share my research on the topic.

Before looking at what can be done to slow down a fast-eating dog, lets look at potential causes. Manipulating the way the dog eats might not be the correct thing to do in some circumstances.

Why is my dog eating too Fast – What to Check

Was the dog recently fixed?

The research I did on spaying showed that a percentage of dogs gain weight after being fixed. I noticed almost immediately after Annie got spayed that she was way more interested in food than before. She also started eating faster and more. Other dog owners I know noticed similar changes in their dog’s behaviour after being spayed.

Potential Health Issues

Several health issues can cause a dog to eat fast. It might be wise to let the vet do some tests. For example, if a dog has worms, that can cause excessive eating. Dogs with Diabetes might also feel increasingly hungry and therefore eat too fast.

A dog with malnutrition may eat fast in an attempt to get missing nutrients. That is where a consultation with a dog nutritionist might be helpful.

Stress Factors

Dogs experience stress, just like people. When things change at home, dogs often change their behaviour. A new baby at home or a new pet might be more stressful on the dog than we recognize.

Some dogs can be highly susceptible to changes at home. The list below is just a shortlist of items to consider.

  • Were there changes at home?
  • New Pet or Baby in the home?
  • Were there changes in the food?
  • New medication?
  • Was the crate or bed moved?
  • Dogs History (new dog owner)
  • Is there a specific meal time where the dog eats too fast?

Changes in Food & Supplements

If the food has changed and the dog likes the new food better, it might cause the dog to eat faster. Food supplements can also cause a dog to feel hunger and be a cause of eating too fast. Look at supplements like probiotics and antioxidants, among others. My experience with probiotics is that they can introduce changes in metabolizing food. The same is true of Superoxide Dismutase. I noticed that Annie has a lot more energy when she gets Superoxide Dismutase. And she will also eat faster when on it.

How to slow down a dog from eating too fast

There are many things to slow down a fast eater. The items below are things that I tried to slow down Annie from eating too fast. Much depends on what a dog is fed. With a raw food or home-cooked diet, there are many options. When feeding kibble, the options are different because of the nature of kibble. Lets have a look at the options.

Feed the Dog more often

One of the first things I tried with Annie was to feed her three times a day instead of twice. Each meal is smaller, but the total amount of food stays the same as before.

Another approach is the review the number of hours between meals. And try to adjust the feeding time so that the time between each meal is the same.

Cut food into smaller pieces

For dogs on a raw food or home-cooked diet, cut the meat into small pieces. You could also try to puree the food. Then see how much that slows down eating time.

For canned food, break down the food with a fork and flatten it out in the bowl. That will force the dog to lick the food, instead of being able to eat junks.

Make the food sticky

I found that adding cooked oatmeal to raw or home cooked food works well. The oatmeal makes the food sticky. Annie often gets cooked ground lamb or beef, shredded vegetables and cooked oatmeal. The thick and sticky consistency of the food forces her eat slower.

When feeding kibble, try to soak it in water and let it expand. But be aware that many brands of kibble do not soak up water. Nevertheless, it is worth a try. Feeding Soaked kibble will force the dog to lick up the food, which is slower than eating hard kibble.

Slow feed Bowls, food ball and food toys

There are also slow feed bowls. Those are bowls designed to make the dog’s work to get their food. Unique balls designed to be take up a lot of space in the food bowl also cause a dog to eat slower. Because the ball needs moving around to get access to the food. Other options are food dispensers and Toys that can hold kibble.

Potential Health Issues from Eating to Fast

Eating too fast can be dangerous and even deadly(1.) to a dog. There is a condition called Turned Stomach, also known as bloat or gastric dilation. That condition can be fatal. The exact causes are not fully understood. It is assumed that when a dog is eating or drinking too fast, a lot of food and air makes it to the stomach very quickly(2.). That causes the stomach to bloat. This in turn creates an imbalance in the stomach, so the stomach expands and may even turn. The expanded stomach can cause damage to other organs nearby. A turned stomach will cut off the blood supply to other organs. Causing damage to the affected organs.

Gastric dilation is more common in larger dogs, but small dogs have also been affected. If that condition gets addressed immediately, it can generally be treated. However, when the condition is not treated within hours, surviving the episode diminishes.

Signs of trouble are

  • Throwing up food
  • Throwing up foam
  • Dog in pain, farting, burping
  • Stomach issues, dog turns and looks at stomach
  • Hunched appearance
  • Dog is pacing and restless

These are just a few of the potential symptoms. I’m all to familiar with those symptoms. And often have Annie come to me wanting a belly massage.


Many dogs eat with gusto. Some dog breeds like Boxers, more so than others. But eating the food too fast or drinking water too fast can become a problem and even be deadly.

My experience with Annie is that over time her behaviour has changed. As a puppy, Annie was eating slow. Later she would overeat. Then after Annie got spayed, food became number one. And that is when she started eating too fast. The good thing for me is that I know what the trigger is Annie’s change in behaviour.

It is essential to notice these changes in behaviour. When the behaviour changes without reason, it is good to have a veterinarian look at the dog.

Dogs experience stress in many situations. These stress conditions can be the cause of a dog eating too fast. Changing the food in such situations can add even more stress. It is better to eliminate the stress condition in such a case.

Many options exist to slow down a fast-eating dog. However, finding the optimal solution may require some trial and error.



(2.) Here are some tips to slow down your dog if he eats too fast from his food bowl https://www.petsafe.net/learn/my-dog-eats-so-fast-is-that-a-problem

How to Slow Down a Speedy Eater https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/4-ways-to-slow-your-dogs-eating/

Why Does My Dog Eat So Fast? https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/nutrition-feeding/why-does-my-dog-eat-so-fast

Bloat in dogs

Dog Bloat: How to Protect Your Pup https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/gastric-volvulus-bloat-dogs#1

How to Recognize the Signs of Bloat in Dogs https://drmartypets.com/bloat-in-dogs/

(1.) The pattern of mortality in dogs with gastric dilatation and volvulus https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32077192/

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