11 Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls: Your Buyer’s Guide

slow feed dog bowls

123RF (Jaromír Chalabala) Hungry labrador with dog bowl is waiting for feeding.

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?

If your dog is a true chow hound, consider buying them a slow feeder dog bowl from this list of the best.

What Are the Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls?

Outward Hound slow feeder dog bowl Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Top rack dishwasher safe
  • Significantly slows down eating
  • Available in two sizes and three styles
Price: $14.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to fill and clean
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Holds up to four cups of food
Price: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Neater Raised Slow Feeder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Adjustable height
  • Spacing is safe on gums but slows feeding
  • Holds six cups of food
Price: $34.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
OurPets slow feeder dog bowl Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Heavyweight with rubber footing
  • Three sizes to choose from
Price: $20.60 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Machine washable
  • Made of up-cycled materials
  • Stimulates foraging instinct
Price: $39.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large capacity
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Gripping rubber feet to prevent movement
Price: $31.69 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kruse activity mat gifts for dog lovers Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable nylon construction
  • Large play area provides variation
  • Durable nylon construction
Price: $77.85 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
PetZone treat ball slow feeder dog bowl Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Adjustable difficulty level
  • Comes apart for easy cleaning
  • Good for kibble or treats
Price: $9.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very challenging puzzle feeder
  • Safe for dog teeth
  • Quiet on hard floors
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Pawzone Dog Puzzle Food Dispenser Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Adjustable height
  • Requires some interaction to get the food
  • Works with or without the tumbler
Price: $58.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
LumoLeaf Dog Water Bowl Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Slows down water drinking
  • Prevents water spills
  • Dishwasher safe
Price: $20.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Outward Hound Fun Feeder

    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

    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 colors with different patterns: orange, purple, or teal.

    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.

    Alternatives to this style to consider include the Jw Pet SkidStop, Super Design Anti-Gulping Bowl, or the Freefa Bloat Stop Bowl.

  2. 2. PAW5 Rock ‘N Bowl Puzzle Feeder

    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

    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.

  3. 3. Neater Raised Slow Feeder

    Pros:
    • Adjustable height
    • Spacing is safe on gums but slows feeding
    • Holds six cups of food
    Cons:
    • Made of cheaper plastic
    • Some units ship missing the legs
    • May be overly large for some dogs

    This slow feed option builds on the Neater Feeder idea while adding a clever slow feeding element. Using almost an eggshell pattern, these are generously-spaced yet effective at slowing gulping without damaging your dog’s mouth.

    Since some dogs also tend to choke when bending down to eat off the floor, the ability to raise this solves two problems at once. This is adjustable to 5 inches off the ground with the base and up to 7.5 inches with the leg extensions.

    This comes in your choice of four colors, as well as the “Double Diner” variant, which divides the space in half for use as a water dish.

  4. 4. OurPets Durapet Premium Stainless Steel Slow-Feed Dog Bowl

    Pros:
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Heavyweight with rubber footing
    • Three sizes to choose from
    Cons:
    • Not as complicated as other models
    • Made in India -- could be a turn off for some
    • Won't slow your dog down much

    If you’re looking for a stainless steel option, consider this model from OurPets. Compared to some of our other picks, the puzzle part of this one is a bit simpler, so it won’t slow your dog down quite as much.

    That said, it’s a heavy bowl with a molded rubber base, so it will resist movement while your dog eats. It comes in three sizes and is dishwasher safe.

  5. 5. PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat

    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

    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.

  6. 6. Northmate Green Interactive Feeder

    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

    This Northmate product is a large, challenging surface meant to emulate throwing food into tall grass. It’s not a slow feeder dog bowl as such, rather a kind of advanced feeding mat.

    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.

  7. 7. Kruuse Buster Activity Mat

    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

    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 as you might a more typical slow feeder dog bowl, 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.

  8. 8. Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy

    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

    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.

  9. 9. Bark Busters GameChanger

    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

    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.

  10. 10. Pawzone Dog Puzzle Food Dispenser

    Pros:
    • Adjustable height
    • Requires some interaction to get the food
    • Works with or without the tumbler
    Cons:
    • Fussier than other options
    • Your kibble selection will have to be relatively small
    • Too small for many pets

    Another option focused on activity, this combines two ways of slowing down eating. First, food is put into the tumbler at the top, which your dog must rotate to get it to spill out.

    Next, it drops onto a traditional slow feed style bowl below, which means that even if your dog succeeds in quickly rolling all the food out, they’ll still have to navigate the maze below to eat. This is a relatively simple toy, so it won’t provide much stimulation, ultimately, but it does add steps to the process of eating.

    The tumbler portion is height adjustable between about seven and ten inches to tailor to your specific dog. That means it’s certainly on the small side, so this is aimed at small breeds in particular, though you could use it as a dog treat dispenser, as well. This comes with a three year warranty to sweeten the deal.

  11. 11. LumoLeaf Dog Water Bowl

    Pros:
    • Slows down water drinking
    • Prevents water spills
    • Dishwasher safe
    Cons:
    • Doesn't work with food
    • Relatively small capacity
    • Some dogs will chew the retainer rim

    In addition to food, some dogs develop a nasty habit of gulping down all the water in their dish and vomiting that up, too. This unique dish solves that issue by limiting the accessible water to just a small bit of area, making your dog drink slowly.

    The bowl holds 35 ounces of water at a time, which probably won’t cut it for some larger dogs, but is perfect for smaller dogs who are more likely to make themselves choke on water, anyway. It has an anti-slip base and a wide footing that prevents being tipped over and spilled.

    When you need to wash it, put it on the top rack of the dishwasher.

Why Do Dogs Gulp Their Food?

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 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.

Underlying health conditions such as parasites may also cause a dog to gulp food. Along those same lines, feeding very cheap dog food without the necessary nutrients can cause malnutrition, which might prompt this behavior, as well. For this reason, you always want to choose a high quality dog food.

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.

Why Is It Bad for a Dog to Gulp Food?

Whatever the case may be, eating too fast can lead to a variety of maladies. The first and most common is that your dog can choke and throw up what they've just eaten. Not only does this mean they've wasted the food you've provided, it also means that they didn't get any nutrients that meal.

A more serious condition 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.

See Also:

Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs and may receive a commission if you purchase a product via a link on this page.

Read More
, ,