Top 10 Best Slow Feed Dog Bowls and Puzzle Feeders

By their nature, dogs are opportunists. They descend from a species of hunting canines who had to eat when the eating was good, regardless of the situation. The instinct to gulp as much food as possible before anyone else can get to it is a survival mechanism ingrained in them to varying degrees depending on the lineage of your specific dog.

The conditions of your dog’s life may also provide further impetus to take up this behavior. If you should adopt a rescue, they may previously have been neglected or underfed in a situation where there were many other pets competing for food and attention. This can lead both to food aggression and to the habit of gobbling up food to keep it from the other dogs.

Certainly, not all dogs are like this. While most tend to eat quickly and with minimal chewing, some dogs pace themselves just fine. It can also be temporary — perhaps there’s a specific stimulus prompting them to eat faster than they normally would. If they’re getting more exercise than normal, they could in turn be hungrier than normal.

Whatever the case may be, eating too fast can lead to a variety of maladies. The first and most common is bloat, which is what happens when an excess of air is swallowed and their distended stomachs fold over themselves. It’s potentially fatal, so anything you can do to prevent it is worth the effort. Eating too fast can also cause vomiting or other gastrointestinal distress.

Having a slow feed bowl or puzzle feeder on hand for those situations where your dog insists on eating too fast is a great idea. Slow feed bowls tend to be simple designs that provide just enough of a barrier to slow your pup down. Puzzle feeders are great if your dog gets bored easily, regardless of their behavior at mealtime. By putting them to work for the reward of food, you get the double benefit of slowing them down while also providing a challenge that stimulates their mind. You don’t get paid without doing work, why should your dog?

Here’s our list of the top ten best slow feed bowls and puzzle feeders for everyone whose dog is a true chow hound.


1. Outward Hound Fun Feeder

slow feed dog bowl, dog puzzle feeder, dog puzzle toys

Outward Hound

A design enhancement on the old standard Brake-Fast, this simple yet clever bowl promises to slow down eating by ten times. Available in two sizes to suit your dog’s size, you can also choose from three different patterns. Or, buy all three and switch them up so your dog gets a new challenge each day. It’s not much of a puzzle, but provides just enough to slow your dog down while they eat. Another alternative to this style to consider is the Jw Pet SkidStop.

Need more options? Browse more Outward Hound products here.

Price: $8.07 to $11.99 (40 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Outward Hound Fun Feeder here.



Pros:

  • Available in two sizes and three styles
  • Significantly slows down eating
  • Small size holds two cups, while large size holds four
  • Top rack dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Easily flipped over by a clever dog
  • Dogs may be hesitant to eat from it at first
  • Prone to being chewed

Find more Outward Hound Fun Feeder information and reviews here.



2. PAW5 Rock ‘N Bowl Puzzle Feeder

slow feed dog bowl, dog puzzle feeder, dog puzzle toys

PAW5

As I mentioned in this post, I have a young husky mix. He’s still got a serious case of puppy brain despite being 70 pounds, which means two things. First, he scarfs his food when he’s excited. Not all the time, but maybe two or three times a week. Secondly, as a husky, he gets bored very easily. We bought this bowl to extend his mealtimes and give his brain something to work out. It’s not particularly challenging, but it requires him to work for his food, nudging it around the floor and spilling out a few pieces at a time.

I just pour his food in through the top and give it a bit of a shake to settle it into the bottom. However, the top does come off for feeding and cleaning, which is easy because it’s dishwasher safe. The holes in the lid are large enough for various sizes of kibble. My dog loves it.

Need more options? Browse more PAW5 products here.

Price: $29.95 (25 percent off MSRP)

Buy the PAW5 Rock ‘N Bowl Puzzle Feeder here.



Pros:

  • Provides the perfect amount of stimulation for daily feeding
  • Easy to fill and clean
  • Holds up to four cups of food
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Unless confined, your dog will chase this all over the house, leaving a trail of kibble
  • The thin plastic edges are prone to being chewed
  • Your dog may figure out how to get the top off

Find more PAW5 Rock ‘N Bowl Puzzle Feeder information and reviews here.



3. PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat

slow feed dog bowl, dog puzzle feeder, dog puzzle toys

PAW5

This was another product we tried with my husky puppy. The food filters down into the fabric rolls, creating a complex foraging dish that requires your dog to sniff out each piece of kibble. As an activity, it provided plenty of stimulation and slowed his eating down dramatically. For upwards of 20 minutes he would work on freeing food and nibbling as he went. There were a couple of drawbacks in that he’d routinely bite the fabric and either drag it around the house or shake it, spilling food everywhere. Since he was quick to eat it up, this wasn’t such an issue. The other thing to know is that it gets dirty in a hurry, so you’ll be tossing it in the washing machine with some regularity. As an occasional fun feeding time game, though, it’s exceptional.

Need more options? Browse more snuffle mats here.

Price: $39.95

Buy the PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat here.



Pros:

  • Machine washable
  • Stimulates foraging instinct
  • Effectively slows down eating time
  • Made of up-cycled materials

Cons:

  • Your dog might get bored of it
  • Quickly gets dirty (but is machine washable)
  • Especially rough dogs can tear it apart
  • Some dogs will pick it up and shake food free

Find more PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat information and reviews here.



4. Northmate Green Interactive Feeder

slow feed dog bowl, dog puzzle feeder, dog puzzle toys

Northmate

This Northmate product is a large, challenging surface meant to emulate throwing food into tall grass. The network of “blades” significantly slows eating time, making meals an intriguing foraging activity. Because of its size and shape, it’s harder than some other slow feed bowls to flip over. The rubber feet on the bottom will keep it from sliding around, and when they’re done, it’s dishwasher safe. You’ll need a decent amount of room for this to fit, but otherwise this is an interesting option to consider.

Need more options? Browse more Company of Animals products here.

Price: $34.77

Buy the Northmate Green Interactive Feeder here.



Pros:

  • Gripping rubber feet to prevent movement
  • Challenging surface designed as tall blades of grass
  • Large capacity
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Some reports of over-eager dogs hurting their eyes by diving in vigorously
  • Tall projections may not work for all sizes of animals
  • Large footprint may not fit in all feeding spaces

Find more Northmate Green Interactive Feeder information and reviews here.



5. Outward Hound Fun Mat Portable Dog Feeder Bowl

slow feed dog bowl, dog puzzle feeder, dog puzzle toys

Outward Hound

Closely related to the first item on our list, this is specifically aimed at pet parents who often travel with their fast eater. Made of flexible rubber, this can easily be rolled up and stowed in a bag for trips. Unlike the standard Fun Feeder, the ridge pattern is the same whether you opt for green, pink or teal. In addition to making a handy feeing mat while traveling, you could add this to the bottom of any standard bowl for an instant slow feeder.

Need more options? Browse more Outward Hound products here.

Price: $7.99 to $9.99

Buy the Outward Hound Fun Mat Portable Dog Feeder Bowl here.



Pros:

  • Flexible rubber rolls up for travel or can be used in standard dishes
  • Ridges provide a light challenge to slow down voracious eaters
  • Available in three colors and two sizes
  • Top rack dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Not as much of a challenge as other options
  • Easily picked up and chewed

Find more Outward Hound Fun Mat Portable Dog Feeder Bowl information and reviews here.



6. Kruuse Buster Activity Mat

slow feed dog bowl, dog puzzle feeder, dog puzzle toys

Kruuse

Worthy of inclusion on our interactive dog toys list, this involved activity mat is both customizable and expandable. When you first purchase this item, three activities are included: The Envelope, The Water Lily, and The Cone Cloth. Once your dog has mastered those, you can buy more here to keep it interesting. Since it involves a bit of work on your part, you probably won’t want to use it for daily meals, but it nevertheless is fantastic at slowing down eating and keeping your dog occupied for long stretches of time. We have this for our husky, as well, and he loves it. It takes him quite a while to figure out each time. With the expansions, it just about holds a full meal.

Need more options? Browse more Kruuse products here.

Price: $43.02

Buy the Kruuse Buster Activity Mat here.



Pros:

  • Large play area provides varied challenges
  • Expandable with new activities found here
  • Durable nylon construction
  • Comes with travel and storage bag

Cons:

  • Must be hand washed
  • Time consuming to set up for daily meals
  • Doesn’t hold a large amount of food unless expanded with other activities
  • Snaps may possibly pull off

Find more Kruuse Buster Activity Mat information and reviews here.



7. OurPets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy

slow feed dog bowl, dog puzzle feeder, dog puzzle toys

OurPets

A treat-dispensing ball can make a great puzzle feeder. Much like the PAW5 bowl above, this will require your dog to move it around a good amount to get any food from it. Though this holds a relatively small amount of food, usually under half a cup, it makes for a challenging meal activity. You can adjust the difficulty by changing the side of the hole on the inside, but this layer can also be left out for a simple treat ball effect. This would be best suited to mid-size dogs who are not known to destroy plastic toys. Very small breeds can get their bottom jaws caught in the opening and very large, destructive dogs will almost certainly break this apart. If your dog is relatively kind to its toys and just eats too fast, this could be a good choice for you.

Need more options? Browse more Our Pets products here.

Price: $9.99 to $18.99

Buy the OurPets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy here.



Pros:

  • Slow-release puzzle keeps dogs interested
  • Adjustable difficulty level
  • Comes apart for easy cleaning
  • Good for kibble or treats

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Smaller dogs may possibly get their teeth stuck inside the ball
  • Larger dogs may be able to break it
  • Rolling ball can be loud on hard floors

Find more OurPets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy information and reviews here.



8. Guzzle Muzzle Slow Feeder Bowl by Wag Haus

slow feed dog bowl, dog puzzle feeder, dog puzzle toys

Wag Haus

One method for slowing your dog’s eating is to spread the kibble out on a large, flat surface. This prevents them from grabbing a big pile of it at once. This slow feeder combines that with a traditional puzzle structure. It’s available in two sizes, the smaller of which holds 3/4 of food and the larger about one cup. The tray is constructed of food grade PVC and silicon and is easy to clean by hand, but can’t be put in the dishwasher. The silicon on the bottom keeps the tray in place and helps resist being turned over. It’s not the prettiest to look at, but it will do the job.

Need more options? Browse more Wag Haus products here.

Price: $19.88 to $24.88

Buy the Guzzle Muzzle Slow Feeder Bowl by Wag Haus here.



Pros:

  • Available in two sizes: small holds 3/4 cup, large holds one cup
  • Combines both a puzzle and a mat-style feeder
  • Increases feeding time as much as three times
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • May be difficult for dogs with short snouts
  • Not as challenging as other options
  • Design unlikely to fit in with home decor

Find more Guzzle Muzzle Slow Feeder Bowl by Wag Haus information and reviews here.



9. Bark Busters GameChanger

slow feed dog bowl, dog puzzle feeder, dog puzzle toys

BarkBusters

If your dog has figured out the rest of these, give the GameChanger a try. This is another one we bought to occupy our husky and I can attest that it is stingy. This will certainly draw out a mealtime. It only holds about half a cup of food, so I would utilize this either as a treat game or for the second half of a meal. It takes my husky upwards of half an hour to finally coax the last of the kibble out of this thing. When you first get it, you’ll want to be a little patient with it and supervise your dog. It’s designed to wear in, so at first, it will be slippery enough that the lid can easily be pried open. After some time, the material will stiffen and become harder to pull apart. It’s a tough device, great for thrashing and keeping your dog occupied. Available in blue, green, yellow, and red and you can mix and match the halves, if you so desire.

Need more options? Browse more slow feed dog bowls here.

Price: $29.39

Buy the Bark Busters GameChanger here.



Pros:

  • Very challenging puzzle feeder
  • Tough polyurethane encourages dog to chew and flexes in response
  • Safe for dog teeth
  • Quiet on hard floors compared to hard plastic treat dispensers

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Requires a break-in period before lid will stay on reliably
  • Must use smaller sized kibble
  • On the heavy side for very small dogs

Find more Bark Busters GameChanger information and reviews here.



10. AmazonBasics Dog Slow Feeder Bowl

Amazon

If you need something cheap and straightforward, Amazon offers three different slow feed bowls from their AmazonBasics line. Nothing fancy here, just food-safe plastic bowls shaped as either a honeycomb, soccer ball, or tic-tac-toe pattern. If your dog only needs subtle disruption, this should more than meet your needs. The honeycomb and soccer ball each hold 40 ounces, while the tic-tac-toe holds 50. All are backed by a one year warranty.

Need more options? Browse more slow feed dog bowls here.

Price: $3.06 to $9.49

Buy the AmazonBasics Dog Slow Feeder Bowl here.


Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Three shapes and patterns to choose from
  • One year warranty

Cons:

  • Not very challenging
  • Rubber grip doesn’t fully cover the bottom, reducing effectiveness
  • Shallow and prone to spilling kibble

Find more AmazonBasics Dog Slow Feeder Bowl information and reviews here.


Now that you’ve solved the problem of your dog eating too fast, it might be time to revisit what they eat. Try our best grain-free dog food post here. You may also want something to keep that food in, so take a look at our pet food containers post here.


Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.
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