Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!
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Thread: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

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    Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    We are the proud parents of a 16 week old GSD female. We got her at 8 weeks.

    The breeder we got her from would feed them using a bowl and would give them a 30 minute "all you can eat" buffet. We've been cutting her food intake because she was a little chubby and we are trying to slow her growth now to try and prevent hip problems in the future. We read in a few studies that slowing down their food intake & growth in the first year can help reduce the chances of hip dysplasia slightly.

    Anyhow, she's always hungry for her kibble. We use kibble for training and hand feed her for her 2 meals a day to make sure we have a good handle on her mouth/bite and our hands. The problem we're having is that she NEVER chews her kibble. She just swallows them whole! Every other day or so she'll cough and a whole piece of kibble will fly out of her mouth. It's the cutest thing but I just worry that if it were a big piece of food she could choke on it. Any suggestions on how we can get her to eat more slowly so she actually chews her food?

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    Senior Member Equinox's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    My German shepherd puppy loves to inhale his food, too. He takes as much as he can in his mouth, gulps it all down, and clears his bowls in a good 30 seconds. I don't know about preventing hip displaysia, but keep on letting her eat like that, and she could bloat, which is very common among German shepherds. I would suggest
    1) Hand feeding her small amounts at a time
    or
    2) Placing a huge rock in the middle of her food bowl, thereby forcing her to eat around the rock, at a slower pace.
    I also break big treats into smaller bits so it doesn't get lodged in Trent's throat.

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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    Does adding water to their food help slow them down? Now I cannot remember what that was for...

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    Senior Member merrow's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    i was going to suggest adding hot water to her meal b4 she has it so it swells and is soft

    also rock in bowl is good or you can get special one with bits that stick up to slow down greedy eaters

    were her parents tested for displaysia?is that a healthy thing to feed less so they dont grow as much?

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    Senior Member Equinox's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    Most people add water to kibble if the dog isn'eating as much/picking at the food. Even if the food is moist, dogs that eat really quick will still gulp it down (at least Trent does), and that still makes me worried about bloat.

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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
    Most people add water to kibble if the dog isn'eating as much/picking at the food. Even if the food is moist, dogs that eat really quick will still gulp it down (at least Trent does), and that still makes me worried about bloat.
    Gotcha! Thanks...

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    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    Adding water is great as it insures the dog gets more of the water necessary as well. The Purdue bloat study still recommending not to wet down foods preserved with citric acid though. Too bad.

    Sassy used to be a master food scarfer downer. You could also get a food puzzle toy like the Buster Cube or Tug a Jug. I used to put all Sassy's food in the BC. I hate the design, noisy, hard to clean and goes under the furniture in a flash but the concept is a good one.

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    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    There's a quieter, round, more rubber puzzle toy available at JeffersPet.com. They last a long time. I've had a couple for 3 years now and the dogs love them.
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes. Being wise is learning from others' mistakes.
    Cally- 14 yo papillon, Moose the puppy, McKenna 8 yo pomeranian grand-dog, and chickens

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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    Right now she is only hand fed kibble or is feed through her Kong toys. We never leave feed her by dumping all her food in a bowl. I'm sure if I did she would inhale her food like Tent does!

    Do you think she will grow out of the food inhalation phase? Where she will slow down and chew her food? eventually we will feed her from a bowl when we know she has a soft mouth and will only occasionally hand feed her to checkup on the mouth.

    There are quite a few studies on food intake and hip dysplasia. Just google it.

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    Senior Member moluno's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    Juno's the same way. 3/4c of food inhaled in 5 seconds lol. Maybe it's a puppy thing. I'm not so worried about her not chewing it, I just don't think she should gulp so much up so fast. So I usually just keep pouring small amounts of her meal in her bowl to slow things down, or I put it in a food dispensing toy.

    I would imagine they eventually grow out of it... or I would hope so!

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    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    Sassy slowed down when she got sick at age 13 years. Not just a puppy thing.

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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    we used the big rock in the dog food bowl trick (suggested by a trainer at petsmart) and it worked for us. My dog had been eating so fast she was throwing up her dog food and it looked exactly like it had when it was in the bowl!

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    Senior Member amdeblaey's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=19445

    hopefully that site works-I think someone before mentioned it, but it's a bowl with obstacles per say.

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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    thank you for all the replies. we will try the rock method once we begin feeding her regularly from a bowl. still hand feeding her a little at a time for now.

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    Junior Member Borzoi's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    Pardon me bringing up an old topic.
    I've used a slow down dish with me puppy from the beginning because borzois are prone to bloat, and she licks up the dry kibble as fast as she can.
    I decided to do the hand feeding method for her breakfast this morning, and fed her every individual piece but still she just swallowed it like pills.
    She is teething now, 17 weeks old and at least six front teeth have dropped out,maybe her back teeth are uncomfortable..
    Don't most dogs crack their food into smaller bits?

    Eleanor - Russian Wolfhound born Aug 7th 2010

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    Senior Member lil_fuzzy's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    My puppy eats his kibble whole too. If you're already handfeeding her then I wouldn't worry about it, because she will still be eating slow enough to avoid bloat. The puppy food is so small I can't really blame my puppy for swallowing the pieces whole, there really is nothing to chew anyway.

    My puppy used to be fed the frozen raw food patties, but I now mix a lot of kibble in with it, and that slowed him down considerably. He's gone from eating his meals in about 5-10 seconds to taking a minute or two, which I am quite happy with.

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    Senior Member SOKAIBA's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    Mine is a gulper too. He now gets half his meal in a genius Kong and the other half in a bowl I got from PetCo for gulpers, it is shaped like an iron cross on the inside so they can't get their snouts all the way in and have to lick the food into their mouths. It works pretty well, if I give him2 cups at once it takes him a few minutes to clear it out. He is also hand fed several times a week. I also make him avoid any strenuous activities for about an hour before or after eating.

    Kai

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    Senior Member Sibe's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    First, understand that dogs don't naturally chew kibble. There is no reason to, and their teeth and mouths are not designed for it. Gulping can cause health issues, so if you feed kibble then teaching them to go slow is important. I got my pup to slow down. When she was little, I would hold the bowl as she ate. If she ever gulped, I would quickly lift the bowl up so she couldn't eat anymore. Once she was settled and sitting down again, she could eat again. On days when she was just a gulping machine, I would hand feed her only a few pieces at a time, or if I was in a rush I would put the kibble in her Kong. She eats kibble very nicely now. Slowly, only a few pieces at a time, and partially chews it.

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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    I have two dogs and recently rescued the second one. My rescued puppy (5 months old) also inhaled food the first week she was here and the rescue organization said she'd been doing this for the month that they had her. They told me that they were adding wet dog food in her bowl to try to get her to eat slower and help digestion, but this was still not helping. Not only did she inhale, but she'd eat EVERYTHING in the bowl in about 15 seconds and then drink a WHOLE bowl of water. yikes!!!

    I followed this advice from another forum and it worked like a charm:

    1) I measured out the daily dose of food in a measuring cup, then throughout the day fed her just a little bit. Basically every time we passed the bowl I put a little food in there until the daily measurement was gone, so she would understand the bowl replenishes OFTEN, every time I see it there's food in there -- just make sure you measure so you're not overfeeding. (I also made her sit before I gave her the food)

    2) The second was that for 2 days I crushed the food up for her into smaller pieces. a) it's unpleasant to inhale powery food b) she learned it tastes better when you're not just swallowing it whole.

    3) On day 3 I reintroduced whole kibble (still doing step 1)

    After 3 days time she had started to chew the food and within a week she was totally cured of this habit. Now she takes a little mouthful and chews it beside the bowl so she's not even protecting the food, even with my other dog there.

    I hope this helps someone out there with the same problem.

    (I work from home, so if you can't be there with the dog with that level of intensity try this on the weekends - might take a little longer)

  21. #20
    Senior Member MagicRe's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy swallows food whole! Doesn't chew her food!

    not to convert anyone to raw, but when we first started feeding raw, my pug swallowed an entire drumstick...not a crunch, nothing, just down the hatch.

    'course, it came back up a few times before he finally got it to stay down, but even raw fed dogs can be inhalers....we call them stupid eaters or gulpers....

    it's hard to get them to stop.....mainly because dogs get the food to the size they think they can handle and then it's gone....kibble is small, so why not inhale it....

    when we fed kibble, one of our dogs...i swore he was snorting it like cocaine.....and then i started putting chicken broth in it...at least he slowed down enough to drink the broth....it was my broth, so there wasn't any seasoning in it.

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