Controlling the Eating Behavior Of Your Pet


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A few weeks ago we had a post on controlling flatulence in pets where we talked about the eating behavior of some dogs where they gulp down food so fast that they swallow bellows of air with it. If your dog is eating his food fast, and exhibits obsessive behavior towards his food, don't worry. You can modify the behavior of your pet for the better.

Why is it bad to gulp the food down?

If your pet is a fast eater, then he won't chew his food properly and a big, unbroken piece can cause gagging or choking. It is also a sign of greedy behavior and can cause your pet to become aggressive if allowed to fester. If he thinks that anybody is competing for his food, he will become even more aggressive. The rapid gulping can also cause dilatation (swelling) of the stomach. As it expands, it twists around on the axis, thereby restricting the passage of food to the intestine. This can be extremely dangerous as your dog can go into a shock and die faster than you can do anything about it.

What causes it?

Although the exact reason is unclear, littermate competition can explain some of it. Puppies tend to compete for the mother's milk before it gets over. If you see a more markedly greedy behavior when other animals are around, it is a sign that your dog had some trouble during nursing. Also, there are certain medical conditions which can cause this behavior. Your pet could be infected with parasites which affect his ability to absorb nutrients properly. If the food is not nutritionally adequate, it would leave him hungry even after eating which can cause him to get greedy with it.

What can you do about it?

There are many solutions to this problem. You can try placing objects like balls or toys in the food bowl so that your dog is forced to eat around it, thereby preventing him from gulping it down too fast. You can also place a small bowl inside the large one to partition the meal. Pour food into the space between the bowls. He can only eat from the narrow space between the bowls. You can also try feeding him small meals at regular intervals through the day so that he cannot consume a lot in one go.You can also buy feeding

bowls which are designed to slow down the eating speed

. They have pegs embedded at the bottom, making it difficult for dogs to grab big bites at once. As far as the nutritional value is concerned, give only

easily digestible and high quality food

to your pet so that you can make sure that the nutritional needs are met.

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