mix breed dog eating from slow feeder bowl

Slow Feeder Dog Bowls Australia -
The Complete Guide

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

Outward Hound Fun Feeder

  • There are five maze designs of different difficulty
  • The purple bowl is suitable for flat-faced dogs
  • Each design comes in three sizes
  • The material is BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free

Does your dog devour every meal like it’s the last food on Earth? You’re not alone. Many dogs gorge their meal as soon as you put their bowls down. We might not know the reasons for this behaviour, but we do know it’s unhealthy.

The best way to prevent your pooch from gulping food down is to transition from a standard dog bowl to a slow feeder.

In this article, we’ll show you some of the best slow feeder dog bowls Australia has to offer.

Alaskan Malamute puppies with empty bowls

Which Dogs Need A Slow Feeder Bowl?

Generally, all dogs could benefit from a slow feeder bowl. Slow eating causes better digestion, and what’s not to like about that?

However, there are cases where a slow feeder can prevent some health issues. Dogs that could use a slow feeding bowl are:

Dogs that gobble

A slow feeder bowl is, obviously, great for dogs that eat too fast. This is usually the case with adopted and former stray dogs, as they probably had irregular meal timing in the past (1).

But, it’s not uncommon to see our pooches that grew up having everything they need behave in the same manner. Some dogs simply enjoy food a bit too much, and can’t refrain from woofing it down in 5 seconds.

More often than not, swallowing kibble without proper chewing results in a big puree of puke, which isn’t something you’d want on your carpet. This bowl will slow their feeding time a lot.

“It’s easier to make it physically impossible for them to eat that fast than it is to train them to eat slowly.” - Karen B. London for The Bark

Dogs prone to bloating

Just like us, dogs can suffer from bloating. However, that can be very dangerous to them. Bloating causes their stomach to twist, which can interrupt the blood flow to their heart. In a lot of cases, it can be deadly.

Bloating can happen to any dog, for several reasons, amongst which fast eating is the most common one (2). However, there are some breeds that are more prone to bloating than others, like Boxers, Great Danes, German Shepherds etc. A slow feeder can lower the chance of your dog developing bloat.

Dogs dealing with gases

As you know, fast eating causes air gulping. The swallowed air has to come out on either end. In other words, it becomes either a burp or a fart.

We can safely agree that no one likes being around a farting pooch. Especially because they seem not to care about releasing gases in front of our noses.

Some dog breeds are more prone to gasses than others (3). Flat-faced dogs, like Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers, swallow a lot of air while eating, thanks to their snout shape. In these cases, a slow eating dog bowl can lower air gulping.


Things To Look For When Buying A Slow Feeder Bowl

Buying a slow feeder bowl isn’t rocket science and doesn’t require you to understand a bunch of fancy terms. Still, there are things you should pay attention to get your dog a perfect product.

Puzzle Difficulty

These bowls have ridges and valleys that are supposed to slow down the time your pooch needs to finish the meal. The more complex the design, the more it will take your dog to get the food out of the bowl and into the mouth.

When choosing the right design, you need to take into account your dog’s patience, which you don’t want to test to the extremes. Your dog finding a slow feed dog bowl too complex can easily result in giving up on eating or flipping the bowl upside down for kibbles to fall out.

Material

Most slow feed bowls on the market are made of plastic, but there are also models made of steel or ceramic. When choosing a bowl, make sure it’s free of all dangerous chemicals, like BPA, PVC, and phthalate.

Size

Size matters, and not just for the capacity. Bigger bowls have designs suitable for large dogs, while smaller ones are made with tiny snouts in mind.

Non-skid base

You don’t want your dog to start eating in the kitchen, only to end up finishing the bowl in the living room. A non-skid base keeps the bowl stationary and lowers the chance of being flipped.


The 6 Best Slow Feed Bowls In 2021

Now that you know what to look for in a slow feeder bowl, look at our reviews of some of the finest products you can find on the market.

#1: Best Overall: Outward Hound Fun Feeder

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • There are five maze designs of different difficulty
  • The purple bowl is suitable for flat-faced dogs
  • Each design comes in three sizes
  • The material is BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free

When it comes to slow feeders, bowls by Outward Hound are one of the most popular options on the market, for valid reasons. Fun Feeders, as they like to call them, come in a variety of styles and sizes, so you can surely find one that suits your pooch well.

Fun Feeder bowl styles range from simple waves to more complicated options like flowers and mazes. High ridges are supposed to make it hard for your ravenous beast to gulp the food as soon as you pour it into the bowl.

According to the manufacturer, the Fun Feeder slows down your pooch’s eating time 10 times. That is definitely true with the Turquoise and Orange bowl, which are the toughest ones in our opinion. They make your dog work to get the kibble out from the valleys.

Flat-faced dogs usually struggle with reaching food inside a slow feeder.  If that’s the case with your pooch, the Purple Flower style could be what you need. The ridges are just the right height, allowing your dog to eat comfortably, but without the possibility of gulping everything at once.

Bowls are made of food-safe materials, so they’re BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free. To clean them, simply put them in a dishwasher on the top rack.

Verified Review - 01/05/2021
Best Bowls!
"I love these products. They are a little bit more expensive than some other designs but well worth the extra dollars. The material is extremely sturdy and it slows my Labradors right down when they eat. I have used the same bowl design for six years (it was finally time for an upgrade). This design is easier to clean than some of the other brands that I rotate meals through. Will continue to purchase these bowls and highly recommend them to other dog owners"

Pros

Cons

  • There are five maze designs of different difficulty
  • Slightly pricier than other slow feeders
  • The purple bowl is suitable for flat-faced dogs
  • List Element
  • Each design comes in three sizes
Cell
  • The material is BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free
Cell

#2: The Runner-Up: Zenify Dog Bowl Slow Feeder

  • Suitable for dry, wet and raw food
  • One size that’s suitable for dogs of different sizes
  • The bowl is bite-resistant

Slow feed bowls don’t need to have super complicated maze patterns to be very effective at making your pooch eat at a slower pace. This option from Zenify proves that. Ridge obstacles are simple, they prevent gulping without frustrating a hungry pooch. After all, you don’t want your pet to flip the bowl upside down and enjoy the food off the floor, do you?

This slow feeder comes in only one size. The dimensions of 20x20x5 cm, which makes the bowl suitable for dogs of different sizes, ranging from Boston Terriers to Labs. However, it might be a tad too large for small puppies and flat-faced dogs like Pugs.

The bowl has a 500 ml capacity, which is around two cups of kibbles. You may also use it for wet and raw food, as there are no weird-shaped obstacle corners that cause food bits to get stuck.

This slow feeder is made of high-strength ABS material, and it’s food-safe and phthalate-free. It’s bite-resistant, meaning it won’t snap during your pooch’s determined bowl cleaning session. Thanks to the anti-skid bottom, the slow feeder stays in place during eating. On the other hand, those rubber feet make it unsuitable for dishwashers.

Verified Review - 17/05/2021
Slows Down Fast Eaters
"This bowl has definitely slowed my puppy down although I’m sure he still just sucks it up!! The design makes it a little less easy to clean, but we put dry food in ours which probably makes it a little easier.
Does the job I wanted it to."

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for dry, wet and raw food
  • Rubber feet may detach if washed in the dishwasher
  • One size that’s suitable for dogs of different sizes
  • List Element
  • The bowl is bite-resistant
Cell

#3: Best For Wet Food: Dogit Go Slow Bowl

  • Simple obstacle design makes the bowl suitable for wet food
  • Made of sturdy plastic that withstands chew bites
  • Comes in capacities ranging from 300 ml to 1.2 l
  • Dishwasher-safe

When it comes to kibbles, complicated maze designs can be challenging. But with wet food, they’re plain frustrating. The food gets stuck in weird corners, and your pooch is unable to reach it. If you feed your dog with wet food, this slow feeder from Dogit is what you need.

The design of this bowl is simple, yet effective. It has five round obstacles, one in the middle, and four around the edges. They work well at slowing down your pooch’s eating time, without making it a complicated activity. This is what makes it an ideal bowl for wet food. With that being said, flat-faced pooches might still struggle with it, since the bowl is pretty deep.

You can find this slow feeder in sizes ranging from 300 ml to 1.2 l capacity, so there’s an option for dogs of all sizes. It’s made of sturdy plastic and will last a very long time. Even though the packaging doesn’t claim it’s chew-proof, many customers say their notorious chewers weren’t able to destroy it. To wash it, simply put it in your dishwasher on any cycle.

Verified Review - 4/10/2020
Great Idea And The Dogs Have Taken To It Straight Away. Yes.
"Nice big bowl that allows for a half meal, breakfast. Room to stir the ingredients, and keeps the dogs from swallowing their food. They lick it out slowly. Very good. Can be heavy with food."

Pros

Cons

  • Simple obstacle design makes the bowl suitable for wet food
  • It can slide, regardless of non-skid bottom
  • Made of sturdy plastic that withstands chew bites
Cell
  • Comes in capacities ranging from 300 ml to 1.2 l
Cell
  • Dishwasher-safe
Cell

  • Made of durable and recyclable plastic
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food
  • Comes in two beautiful pastel colours
  • The brand offers a lifetime warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee

If we would categorize slow feeder bowls by their obstacle difficulty, this bowl by the Real Good Company would be somewhere in the middle. It has high ridges with decent space around them, making eating a challenge, but not an impossible task.

The bowl comes in two pastel colours, green and blue. It’s made of plastic, but it seems high-quality. According to the manufacturer, it’s food-safe, non-toxic, durable and recyclable. It doesn’t hold onto food stains or odour, which can be removed with a quick rinse. And even if wet food dries down and becomes sticky, just put it in the dishwasher and let it do its job.

This slow feeder only comes in one size. It’s 21 cm wide and 5 cm tall, so it’s suitable for most dogs. However, Pug and Bulldog puppies may have a hard time reaching some areas. But, you can always try and see for yourself. The brand offers a lifetime warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee in case you or your pooch aren’t satisfied with the purchase.

Verified Review - 17/07/2020
Does It Job 
"Works well for my labrador puppy in slowing him down while eating. Holds a cup of large puppy biscuits. Downside: slides around easy on the tiles or create bottom so i have to put a blanket/ towel down before he eats. Will need to upgrade when he older."

Pros

Cons

  • Made of durable and recyclable plastic
  • Flat-faced dogs might struggle to reach food
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food
  • List Element
  • Comes in two beautiful pastel colours
Cell
  • The brand offers a lifetime warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee
Cell

#5: Best Multifunctional Slow Feeder: Lickimat Wobble Boredom Buster Slow Feeder

  • Bumpy texture helps remove bacteria and food bits from a dog’s tongue
  • Can be used for all types of dog food
  • Made of non-toxic natural rubber
  • Suitable for dogs of all sizes

If a classic slow feeder bowl and a lick mat had a baby, this Wobble from Lickimat would be it. It has the best of both worlds. It slows down the eating process and works well not just for kibbles, but spreads, raw and liquid food, too.

The bowl has a textured, bumpy pattern all over the inner part. It requires your dog to lick the food off of the texture, thus slowing eating. Licking generates saliva, which protects your dog’s teeth and gums and improves digestion.

As the name suggests, the bowl wobbles while the dog’s licking it, which makes eating an even more fun activity. You can spread things like peanut butter, yogurt or purees, and your dog will take the time to enjoy these tasty and healthy treats. This is great for pooches with separation anxieties, as you can keep them entertained while you’re away.

The Wobble is made of non-toxic, food-grade thermoplastic. The rubber surface works as a scrape on your pooch’s tongue, removing food bits and bacteria that cause bad breath. The bowl is freezer, microwave and dishwasher-safe, so you can use it as you would any regular plate.

Verified Review - 10/04/2021
Like It
"Easy to flip and add stuff to it and clean it."

Pros

Cons

  • Bumpy texture helps remove bacteria and food bits from a dog’s tongue
  • Excellent for sticky food, so-so for kibble
  • Can be used for all types of dog food
  • List Element
  • Made of non-toxic natural rubber
Cell
  • Suitable for dogs of all sizes
Cell

#6: Best For Large Dogs: JW Skid Stop Slow Feed Bowl

  • Suitable for the largest of dogs
  • Thanks to its weight and rubber base, the bowl doesn’t skid around
  • It has a food capacity of 6 cups
  • Made of bacteria-resistant sturdy plastic

Most owners of large dogs can agree on one thing: finding pet products for your big pooches is hard. Whether you’re buying a dog coat or a food bowl, these things usually come in sizes suitable for dogs between 10 and 30 kg. There are exceptions, of course, like this slow feeder from JW.

With the dimensions of 33.5x33.5x10 cm, this slow feeder bowl falls into the jumbo category. It’s ideal for dogs ranging from Labs to Great Danes and English Mastiffs. It allows you to pour up to six cups of dog food inside. The design is pretty simple. It has four obstacles that almost connect into an X shape. Your hungry dog will eat at a slow pace, without struggling to teach kibbles stuck between the ridges.

The slow feeder is made of heavy-duty plastic that’s both rust-proof and bacteria resistant. It’s also safe for use in the dishwasher. It has a thermoplastic rubber base, which keeps the bowl from sliding around the floor. However, even though it’s TMR, the bowl is not microwave-safe.

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for the largest of dogs
  • The arches around the base allow the dog to flip it upside down
  • Thanks to its weight and rubber base, the bowl doesn’t skid around
  • List Element
  • It has a food capacity of 6 cups
Cell
  • Made of bacteria-resistant sturdy plastic
Cell

The Verdict

There are many reasons why dogs eat fast, and not a lot of ways we can stop them from doing that. The best tool available for stopping them from gobbling down food is a slow feeder dog bowl.

Fun Feeder from Outward Hound easily wins first place on this list. With three sizes and five designs available, you can find the one that suits your pooch best. But, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, Zenify has everything a good slow feeder should have. Whichever product you end up going for, it should be the one that makes your dog feel challenged, not frustrated.

Want to learn more about dog bowls? Check out our below guides:

FAQ

Can a slow feeder help with losing weight?

It’s no secret that dogs love food. In most cases, they express their enjoyment by eating fast. When that happens, they manage to ingest way more food than they need to feel full. That’s because the stomach needs to digest food first before sending a signal to the brain.

A slow feeder makes your dog eat at a low pace. That way, they actually chew and swallow food, allowing the stomach to digest before they even finish their meal.

Are there any disadvantages of using a slow feed bowl?

As long as you buy a high-quality product, there are no real disadvantages to using a slow bowl in general. To make sure this type of feeder is safe for your dog, always purchase a product made of food-safe, quality materials. Furthermore, keep an eye on your dog for the first few times using the bowl. Frustration caused by difficult puzzle designs may cause your dog to chew on the bowl instead.

Are plastic slow feeder bowls safe?

Plastic is durable, easy to clean, affordable and moldable. The last one is the main reason why most slow feeder bowls are made of this material. Some complex puzzle designs couldn’t be achieved with steel or ceramic.

In general, plastic bowls are safe, as long as they’re made from non-toxic or BPA-free materials. If the plastic snaps or breaks, replace the bowl and dispose of it.

References
  1. PetMD Editorial. January 28, 2020. “Controlling Your Pet’s Eating Behavior”. PetMD. Retrieved May 15th, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_multi_controlling_pets_eating_behavior
  2. Grognet, J. Nov 03, 2016. “Bloat (or GDV) in Dogs — What It Is and How it’s Treated” American Kennel Club. Retrieved May 15th, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/bloat-in-dogs/
  3. W, Arnett. Feb. 04, 2020. “Dog Farts: Why do they happen so often and how can we help?” Waunakee Vet Clinic. Retriever May 15th, 2021. https://waunakeevetclinic.com/blog/171924-dog-farts-why-do-they-happen-so-often-and-how-can-we-help
  4. London, K. September 2016. “Tips to Stop Your Dog from Eating Too Fast” TheBark. Retrieved May 15th, 2021.  https://thebark.com/content/tips-stop-your-dog-eating-too-fast
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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