Do you fill your dog’s bowl only for it to be gone in split seconds? Have you wondered why your dog has to have it all as quickly as possible? Many dogs struggle with eating too quickly, but did you know that it can be harmful for your pup’s health? Inhaling food can lead to dogs getting too much air trapped in their stomachs during digestion. The air trapped in the digestive tract can lead to discomfort and in the most extreme cases a life threatening condition known as Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) or dog bloat.
What is GDV and bloat in dogs?
Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) is a severe life threatening condition that can affect all dogs. It occurs when their stomach fills with gas causing the abdomen to “bloat.” In severe cases, the stomach can twist on itself causing severe pain, stomach and blood blockages, and stomach ruptures. Severe cases are more common in larger deep chested dogs, specifically males, but can happen in any size or breed of canine.
Why do some dogs eat so fast?
There are many reasons why canines can eat too quickly. If you adopted your pup when they were over 6 months old, it’s possible that they experienced food scarcity while being brought up. Food scarcity can cause pets to feel the need to eat as quickly as possible. This stems from not having regular access to food at a young age which could come from dealing with other dogs that were food aggressive or would eat more quickly, living out in the wild, or previously having neglectful or abusive owners.
If your dog eats too quickly and you’ve had them since they were a puppy, their eating habits could stem from anxiety. There are also some diseases that could cause your dog to suddenly start eating quickly like diabetes and Cushing’s syndrome. If your dog’s behavior has suddenly changed, a trip to the vet should be in order to make sure there are no underlying medical issues that need to be treated. Either way, your dog eating too quickly is always a threat to their health and should be treated as such.
What causes bloat?
The most common cause of bloat is eating too much too quickly, though the exact cause of GDV is unknown (VCA Animal Hospitals). This issue is likely when a dog is given one large meal a day, is malnourished, or is territorial. Bloat is also likely when a dog is anxious or exercising intensely after a large meal. Large breed dogs like Great Danes and Saint Bernards are also more likely to suffer from this condition due to their deep chests. Having a litter mate or parent with the condition also increases the risk of bloat.
Big Dog Mom
When canines consume food too quickly, gas becomes trapped in their stomachs and causes the abdomen to expand and feel hard and hollow from pressure. If the problem persists, the stomach can bloat to a point of cutting off circulation harming other internal organs, and in severe cases the stomach will twist on itself putting a dog’s life in immediate risk.
Ways to help prevent GDV and bloat
There are many ways to try to help prevent bloat and GDV in our four-legged friends:
First, make sure your dog is eating two or more meals a day. This will lower the likelihood that your furry friend will eat too quickly out of hunger or fear that they do not know when or if they will eat again. Here are a few ways that the pet industry is trying to help slow down dog munching:
Slow feeders are an excellent way of feeding your pooch without increasing the risk of potential bloat. They come in a variety of styles, with built-in grooves to help slow down your pup while they enjoy their meal. There are hard plastic versions that are similar to standard feeding bowls, as well as silicone mats that are excellent for spreading wet foods that can be frozen in the summer for an additional touch to encourage them to take their time.
For larger breeds, consider keeping their feeder on the ground (Saving Pets Changing Lives; Vet Help Direct). You can reduce the possibility of bloat and GDV simply by ensuring their food is as close to the ground as possible.
QT Dog’s Brake-Fast Bowl:
QT Dog has been dedicated to fighting GDV and bloat in dogs for many years. Starting with the premiere patented Brake-Fast stainless steel bowl, our feeders help slow down the chow through three raised stainless steel nubs in the center of the bowl.
As a dog owner who cares about their pet’s health, you can take steps to help prevent bloat and GDV. By educating yourself on the awareness of the bloat / GDV, you’re taking a huge step that could save your dog’s life. Consider slow feeders and snuffle mats to mitigate the risk of your four-legged family member from suffering.
Did you find this article helpful? We love feedback from pet owners like yourself. Share your experience in the fight against canine overeating and bloat / GDV.