I know that this issue is not new to any of you, but I'm looking for some advice.
My 11-week old Chocolate lab, Bear, literally inhales his food. I know this is a common lab issue, but have tried everything I know. A few facts:
-He came from a huge litter (12 puppies). I believe this is part of the problem
-I feed him 4Health Puppy Formula 3 times a day. I always moisten it with water, and never exercise him hard after eating.
-He is not (yet) territorial, aggressive, or possessive over his food. In fact, I often take it away from him mid-meal, and he goes right into an attentive sit until I put it back down.
-I have tried Kong toys, large rocks in his food bowl, etc. He is currently fed out of a "slow feed" dog bowl.
-I haven't had any issues with bloat or GVD, but I'd like to prevent it entirely.
The Kong toys and slow feed bowl have helped TREMENDOUSLY in getting him to eat his meals more slowly, but they haven't changed HOW he actually eats it. In other words, it may take him 4-5 minutes to eat his breakfast, but he still sucks down every kibble without chewing it.
How do I get him to slow down AND chew his food? He's still very young, so I'd like to get a handle on it before he becomes an adult.
I appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks!
honestly - he's a puppy. lab puppies chew.
please not not remove food mid meal. this is more likely to create food agression if the dof has any leaniency towards that behaviour. because you/human = loose of food. there are tricks you can do so that you/human = wonderful things that are helpful to prevent ressource guarding. i can try to find the link later. but it involved adding kibble and higher valu things to their food.
4-5 minutes to eat 1 cup/1.5 cups of food is actually pretty slow. my dog down that in 1-2.
hand feeding, feedinf via frozen kong or other toy will help. not sure you can male a dog crunch their food. not sure how many dogs actually chew theor kibble. unless you want to try a kibble with bigger pieces
Just wanted to provide a link to corroborate Dryfo's advice to not mess with his food after you have given it to him. The organization at the link is devoted to safe child/dog interactions, is international and the advice on food guarding is just as applicable to big adult people as to children.
Doggone Safe - Home
Dogs generally do not chew their food. They grab and gulp. You can't make your puppy perform a behavior that is not natural to the species. He may chew up a raw turkey neck if you feed him one, but little kibble pieces don't need chewing.
Thank you all for your advice. I'm pretty new to this, just trying to do the best I can!
You are doing great! Asking questions when you aren't sure about something is being a great "parent" to your new Lab baby!
We currently have two puppies in the house (4 month old and 8.5 month old) and both of them inhale their food. Since there are a total of five dogs all living in this house and being fed in the kitchen twice each day, I am very familiar with them inhaling their food. I have to make sure to put the older dogs (who each get only 1/2 cup of kibble) down first, then the middle one (2 years on the 26th) and lastly the puppies…then I stand there and wait to grab collars and put them in a sit/stay until the older ones are finished!
They do eventually slow down but they never seem to start chewing their food!
Our Yellow Baby Girl "Dream A Little Dream" born December 16 2014
Our Chocolate Girl "Kona of the Storm" born August 8 2014
Our Black Boy "Angus Demetrius" born April 26 2013
Our Yellow Girl "Calliope" born January 6, 2006
Our TriPawd "King" - Shelter Rescue born late fall 2004
I wouldn't worry here unless the day comes you think he's overweight, and you have to be months away from that.
all pups are round and then one day they start growing up, and it works out fine.
before I got Rocky I read "feed three times a day all they'll eat in 15- 20 minutes, then pick up the bowl till next meal", worked out fine for me.