The 6 Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
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. To suss out the best from the rest, we teamed up with veterinarians and canine behaviourists to form a panel of independent experts. After months of research and several dozen slow feeder bowls later, we were finally able to agree on this list of our favourites.
Before our list of reviews, we'll also dive into what you need to know in order to find the perfect slow feeder bowl for your beloved pooch.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
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
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
Third Choice -
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
Australia's Best Slow Feed Bowls Reviewed
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. These are the best of the best, the slow feed bowls that seemed to help our beloved puppers eat their meals in a less rabid fashion. Let's check them out!
What sets this product apart from the rest?
"The Outward Hound Fun Feeder is the industry leader when it comes to slow feeder bowls and the option that I highly recommend. It's made from BPA, PVC and phthalate-free meaning it's safe for your dog. It's also expertly designed to limit food intake and reduce the chances of your dog flipping the bowl. "
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.
The Outward Hound Fun Feeder being tested by our independent expert team.
According to the manufacturer, the Fun Feeder slows down your pooch’s eating duration by ten times. Our team of independent experts share that 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. All styles come in three sizes, which sets it apart from our second choice that only offers one size.
I also appreciate how the 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.
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 just 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?
I'm not thrilled that this slow feeder comes in only one size. The dimensions of 20 cm x 20 cm x 5 cm though, 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 Zenify Dog Bowl Slow Feeder being tested by our independent expert team.
The bowl has a 500 mL capacity, which is around two cups of kibbles. I was also able to 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. Unlike our number one choice, those rubber feet make it unsuitable for dishwashers, so handwashing is best.
When it comes to kibbles, complicated maze designs can be challenging. But with wet food, they’re plain frustrating. Trust me, the food gets stuck in weird corners, and my pooch is unable to reach it. If you feed your dog with wet food, I can safely say 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. Our panel of experts note it works 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.
The Dogit Go Slow Bowl being tested by our independent expert team.
Unlike our second choice, 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.
If we would categorise 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. Our team of experts like how 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.
Similar to our second choice, 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. Because of this, I appreciate how the brand offers a lifetime warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee in case you or your pooch aren’t satisfied with the purchase.
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 is different from any other on this list and 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.
The Lickimat Wobble Boredom Buster Slow Feeder being tested by our independent expert team.
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. Our panel of independent experts note that 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.
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 kg and 30 kg. There are exceptions, of course, like this slow feeder from JW.
With the dimensions of 33.5 cm x 33.5 cm x 10 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. My hungry dog was able to eat at a slower pace without struggling to reach 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. Like our second option, 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.
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, our independent team of experts note that 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.
Dogs prone to bloating
Just like us, dogs can suffer from bloating. However, our experts point out that it 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, of which fast eating is the most common cause (3). 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 (4). 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.
What I 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 consider to get your dog a product that's right for them. Here's what our expert panel recommend:
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 longer it will take your dog to get the food out of the bowl and into their 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 in frustration to get the kibbles to fall out.
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 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.
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 (either accidentally or on purpose!).
The Final Verdict
There are many reasons why dogs eat fast, and not a lot of ways we can stop them from doing so. The best tool available to stop them from gobbling down food is a slow feeder dog bowl.
Our team of independent experts were all in agreement that the 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, we also think 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:
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 slow pace. That way, they actually chew and swallow food, allowing the stomach to digest before they even finish their meal.
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.
Plastic is durable, easy to clean, affordable and mouldable. 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.
- PetMD Editorial. January 28, 2020. “Controlling Your Pet’s Eating Behavior”. PetMD. Retrieved September 6, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_multi_controlling_pets_eating_behavior
- London, K. December 8, 2021. “Tips to Slow Down a Dog Who Eats Too Fast” The Wildest. Retrieved September 6, 2023. https://www.thewildest.com/dog-behavior/tips-stop-your-dog-eating-too-fast
- Grognet, J. September 21, 2021. “Bloat (or GDV) in Dogs: What Is It and How Is It Treated?” American Kennel Club. Retrieved September 6, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/bloat-in-dogs/
- Paretts, S. January 10, 2020. "How To Stop Dog Farts". American Kennel Club. Retrieved September 6, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/how-to-stop-dog-farts/