Do You Have A Gobbler?

Posted by Chris Chandler on


The Sodapup household has three dogs: Sugarplum, 5, is a cattle-dog mix; Buddy, also 5, is a black Lab; and Queso, 9, is a Shepherd-Husky mix. Each has their own eating style.

Queso is eager for her food but relatively patient. She spends most of her time outside by choice and is often reluctant to come inside. I know dinnertime is getting close when she paws at the door and asks to come in a half hour or so before it's time to eat. When I put her food in her bowl, she eats it right then and there but at a measured pace.

Sugar is downright strange about her food. She rarely eats or even approaches the bowl when it is put down. She will lay nearby as if she's considering it. Sometimes she'll approach it, pin her ears back, walk a few steps backwards and settle down to consider it some more. She will not eat if there's too much activity or movement going on around her bowl either. Oddly, she'll paw at the wall or the dog food bin, asking for her food but still won't eat it immediately.

This causes the problem of a bowl full of food sitting out. I often forget it's there and sometimes she'll walk alsp walk awayf from it, making it ripe for poaching by the other two. I've started setting a timer on our smart speaker for 10-15 minutes to remind me to pick up the dog food if she hasn't eaten it. This often results in a laugh for me because Alexa will sometimes remind me to "pick up the dog" instead of the "dog food." I spend A LOT of time putting her food down for her and then picking up a still-full bowl and putting it back on the counter.

Sugar is the only one who can manage her own food intake. She eats twice as much food per day as each of the other dogs. I put 2 cups into her bowl each meal. If it were Queso or Buddy, they'd eat it all EVERY SINGLE TIME. But Sugar will often leave food in her bowl. She seems to have an internal monitor for her intake that she follows easily.

Then there's Buddy. If you've ever have a Lab, you know they tend to be, um, "food motivated." Or food obsessed. Which is the case with him. I'm sure he'd eat the entire bag of dog food if I offered to him. Not only does he eat all of whatever is given to him, he gobbles it down in a frenzy as if he's not had a meal for days and isn't expecting more.

Buddy is a prime candidate for all of our stuffable Treat Dispenser toys. (See the entire collection here: An entire meal can be put inside. Sometimes we fill it with dry kibble only and feed. With a little planning ahead, kibble can be mixed with wet dog food, yogurt, apple sauce, mashed banana or other wet foods then frozen for a few hours for a longer lasting meal. Chewing and working to get food out of the toy provides healthy stimulation and challenge for dogs. And it will slow down your gobbler!


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