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We just adopted a new pup, a beautiful year old black Belgian Malinois yesterday. I have never seen a dog eat so fast. I have watched & listened and I am not even hearing any crunching (we are feeding her Hills SD Giant breed; pretty large kibbles). I hear MAYBE one or two crunches per meal (I feed her twice a day). I have already taken to putting warm water in the food, and it does appear to slow the meal down a bit, but I'm still not seeing or hearing any crunching. Now the dog is obviously digesting the food. The stools are large, and there are no kibbles at all, in any of the samples she has so lovingly provided for us. She has not thrown up at all--so my concern is not that the food isn't being ingested.

OK I have read here that dogs do not need to chew the food, in order to digest it. I get that, as hard as it is for me to see an animal not chew the food. For that reason, in this morning's trip to the pet store, I avoiding buying a new food bowl, with ridges that force the dog to eat slower.

But having searched for this issue in threads in previous threads, another point was brought up--that of choking. She has not gagged at all. But of course, the sample size is small (3 or 4 meals).

So my question--is choking on food not a matter of if, but when? Should I still go out and get one of those slow-eat bowls that forces the dog to eat one or two kibbles at a time? Is this anything I need to be concerned with? She has very high energy, is very affectionate. The only thing about her (obvious, we only got her yesterday) is that she looks a bit thin, but our dogs in the past have always put on mega pounds the first year after we adopt them, so this isn't a long term concern for me. I'm just worried about a potential choking hazard.
 

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I have a lab mix that inhales kibble instead if chewing. She doesn't choke or gag, but she's had lots of dental issues that, I think, could be at least partially alleviated if she would chew her kibble.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's interesting. Do you mean some food stays inside the mouth, not being chewed, that helps tooth decay?


I have a lab mix that inhales kibble instead if chewing. She doesn't choke or gag, but she's had lots of dental issues that, I think, could be at least partially alleviated if she would chew her kibble.
 

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FWIW I'm also thinking about brushing her teeth, although that isn't because of this, but because both of the previous dogs, the vets have said had tooth issues as they got old. So I'd just like to remove this as an issue if she lives 10+ years with us. Any ways, perhaps brushing her teeth would alleviate some of that problem?
 

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Brushing is good.

Chewing kibble helps keep teeth cleaner. Inhaling it does not. In either case, regular brushing will help a great deal.
 

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If the dog is inhaling the kibble at such a fast rate that you are concerned, then utilizing a slow-feed bowl of some sorts certainly isn't going to hurt. Alternately, you might want to consider some sort of food dispensing enrichment type of puzzle toy (kong wobbler or such) to both slow her down & also add a dimension of 'brain work' to her daily meals.

If she's actually too thin, then look for a slow & controlled weight gain (not 'mega pounds'. overweight dogs are much unhealthier in the long run than their slightly underweight counterparts)

One final note - brushing on a daily basis is never a bad idea.
 

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Fast eating can also contribute to the risk of GDV/bloat, which is deadly. I second the recommendation of using a slow feeder bowl, kong wobbler, something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
OK, I'll look around for a slow eat bowl.

Thanks for your comments.
 
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Dogs have an amazing gag reflex if something is too large to pass thru the esophagus. I worried when we first switched to raw and were feeding chicken wings. One dog would swallow them whole. But they always came back up to be chewed...ewww. Anyway, I don't worry about them swallowing kibble.
We try to brush teeth at least every other day. It really does help. It doesn't seem to make a difference when they are young, but as they age there is a huge difference in how long they keep their teeth.
 

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That's just it--her teeth are pearly white right now, but both of our earlier dogs (around 10 yo) had discolored teeth. The vets told us both had poor teeth, although not to the point of not being able to chew or requiring surgery. But I'd prefer to avoid having a huge bill several years down the road, for something that is easily preventable (or at least, we can alleviate a lot of the decay).

I'm stunned that her stools are continually showing up without any undigested kibble.

Well just to be on the safe side, I do think I'll buy a slow eat bowl.

We try to brush teeth at least every other day. It really does help. It doesn't seem to make a difference when they are young, but as they age there is a huge difference in how long they keep their teeth.
 

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Well I can hardly believe this, but I think I found out part of the problem here. The kibbles were too big! I was feeding her kibbles of Hills SD Giant Breed senior food, and she was not chewing them at all. I cut some in half, and sure enough she chewed (loud enough for me to hear) more with this meal, than all the others combined. I got the idea last night, when she darted in and started eating out of a bowl intended for our jack russell, which has some small kibbles. I was surprised to hear her chewing them. So I got the idea of cutting the larger kibbles in half. Two meals of that, and she is chewing those more than the small kibbles intended for the jack russell.

So now I need to find a food with kibbles about half the size of the giant breed kibble that I already have. I'll call Hills tomorrow and see if they can help me out. I want something larger than their "small bites" line, but smaller than the giant breed kibble.

Strange--I would have thought if anything would get swallowed without chewing, it would be a smaller kibble, not a bigger one. Oh well, looks like you can teach an old dog owner new tricks. :)

Between a smaller kibble and the slow eat bowl I think she'll be just fine.
 
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We just adopted a new pup, a beautiful year old black Belgian Malinois yesterday. I have never seen a dog eat so fast. I have watched & listened and I am not even hearing any crunching (we are feeding her Hills SD Giant breed; pretty large kibbles). I hear MAYBE one or two crunches per meal (I feed her twice a day). I have already taken to putting warm water in the food, and it does appear to slow the meal down a bit, but I'm still not seeing or hearing any crunching. Now the dog is obviously digesting the food. The stools are large, and there are no kibbles at all, in any of the samples she has so lovingly provided for us. She has not thrown up at all--so my concern is not that the food isn't being ingested.

OK I have read here that dogs do not need to chew the food, in order to digest it. I get that, as hard as it is for me to see an animal not chew the food. For that reason, in this morning's trip to the pet store, I avoiding buying a new food bowl, with ridges that force the dog to eat slower.

But having searched for this issue in threads in previous threads, another point was brought up--that of choking. She has not gagged at all. But of course, the sample size is small (3 or 4 meals).

So my question--is choking on food not a matter of if, but when? Should I still go out and get one of those slow-eat bowls that forces the dog to eat one or two kibbles at a time? Is this anything I need to be concerned with? She has very high energy, is very affectionate. The only thing about her (obvious, we only got her yesterday) is that she looks a bit thin, but our dogs in the past have always put on mega pounds the first year after we adopt them, so this isn't a long term concern for me. I'm just worried about a potential choking hazard.
Your dog is eating well, digesting food in a normal manner. Have no history of bloating or regurgitation, therefore you do not need to worry. No need to buy slow bowls. You may do one thing " Divide the meal into three parts. Serve each part with a gap of one minute. This way dog will be encouraged to chew food.
 

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I tried a slow feeder for one of my dogs. It slowed her down almost 30 seconds. Putting a large-ish ball in her bowl slowed her down more.
A Mal isn't a 'giant' breed, so no need to be feeding kibble designed for a giant breed.
I'm assuming you did your research before getting a Mal to know they are high energy, working dogs, and take a firm handler.
 

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A year old Malinois doesn't need giant breed senior kibble. They needs either a food formulated for adult dogs or an all life stages food.

As far as ways to slow down her eating, you can use slow feed bowls, spread the kibble out on a sheet pan, use a muffin tin with a portion of kibble in each cup, puzzle toys, stuff Kongs (and other tough, hollow toys) with kibble and broth, and then freeze the and give them to her frozen, of even toss her kibble out into the grass for her to hunt for.
 

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We just adopted a new pup, a beautiful year old black Belgian Malinois yesterday. I have never seen a dog eat so fast. I have watched & listened and I am not even hearing any crunching (we are feeding her Hills SD Giant breed; pretty large kibbles). I hear MAYBE one or two crunches per meal (I feed her twice a day). I have already taken to putting warm water in the food, and it does appear to slow the meal down a bit, but I'm still not seeing or hearing any crunching. Now the dog is obviously digesting the food. The stools are large, and there are no kibbles at all, in any of the samples she has so lovingly provided for us. She has not thrown up at all--so my concern is not that the food isn't being ingested.

OK I have read here that dogs do not need to chew the food, in order to digest it. I get that, as hard as it is for me to see an animal not chew the food. For that reason, in this morning's trip to the pet store, I avoiding buying a new food bowl, with ridges that force the dog to eat slower.

But having searched for this issue in threads in previous threads, another point was brought up--that of choking. She has not gagged at all. But of course, the sample size is small (3 or 4 meals).

So my question--is choking on food not a matter of if, but when? Should I still go out and get one of those slow-eat bowls that forces the dog to eat one or two kibbles at a time? Is this anything I need to be concerned with? She has very high energy, is very affectionate. The only thing about her (obvious, we only got her yesterday) is that she looks a bit thin, but our dogs in the past have always put on mega pounds the first year after we adopt them, so this isn't a long term concern for me. I'm just worried about a potential choking hazard.
 

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My only experience with those bowls. I watch my relatives' Boston and Boxer use those bowls and I would never even consider one. The dogs gulp at a fast rate, trying to get the food. I've expected them to end up with problems from how it makes them gulp so fast. Haven't seen anything happen yet tho. Maybe dogs with normal, long dog noses can do better at picking the food out slowly...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Today I finally got a slow eat bowl at Petsmart (Top Paw® Slow-Feeder Dog Bowl Replacement | dog Food & Water Bowls | PetSmart). It slowed her eating so much that she even was chewing some of the large kibbles I am giving her (earlier she was not chewing any of these at all). So I think we have a winner here.

As far as the large kibble, I have about 2/3 of a bag of large breed kibble that I was feeding our St. Bernard before he passed on to the dog pound in the sky. When that is all eaten up, I'll transition her to an ALS kibble.
 

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I can see how the bowl I got (see post above) might be an issue for dogs with more squared snouts (if that is what you are referring to). Mine has a pretty long one so the bowl still allows access to the food, while still forcing the eating to be more slow.

My only experience with those bowls. I watch my relatives' Boston and Boxer use those bowls and I would never even consider one. The dogs gulp at a fast rate, trying to get the food. I've expected them to end up with problems from how it makes them gulp so fast. Haven't seen anything happen yet tho. Maybe dogs with normal, long dog noses can do better at picking the food out slowly...
 
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