Last Updated on December 28, 2021 by Marco
If there is one thing we all know to be true of dogs, and puppies, in particular, they love to wolf down their food like there is no tomorrow. It seems that you may have only just set their dinner dish down and their meal is gone in the blink of an eye.
But why do puppies do this? And how can you stop a husky puppy from eating too fast?
Let’s take a look at the reasons why puppies eat so fast, how to help slow down a puppy that gulps its meals down too quickly, and what health problems may arise if this behavior is not curbed.
Why Does My Puppy Eat So Fast?
Dining With Wolves
In the wild, the ancestor of the modern-day domestic dog hunted in packs and fed in packs too. The alpha wolf got the best parts of the prey, and they ate first. Then the next wolf would eat their share, and so on. It was essential that each member of the pack ate quickly (literally ‘wolfing down’ their food to ensure that other pack members could not steal their portion.) Wolves knew not to waste any meat, and ate all that they could because they could not know when the next time they could eat would be.
Dogs Dining Today
So today puppies still exhibit this behavior of wolfing down their food, even though they did not hunt it in a pack, nor have to wait their turn to eat, nor need be concerned about other animals stealing their food (unless they belong to a multi-pet household, in which case there may be some legitimate competition.) It is just the way that your dog’s brain is hard-wired, and has been for millennia.
Puppies often eat too fast when they have competition. When they are very young and feeding off their mother’s milk, they may have to compete to find a position on their mom’s teat, and then they will grow accustomed to the sensation of her milk ‘letting down’, a process which they instinctively hasten by kneading her with their paws.
Learn more about: How Much Should A Husky Puppy Eat?
Therefore a puppy that has weaned off milk and has started solids will be looking for that same gratification, the quick eating which leads to a full tummy.
How To Help A Puppy That Eats Too Fast
Does your puppy have competition around them when they eat, thus making them feel like their food source is insecure? If this is the case then try shifting your puppy’s eating area away from other household members so that they can eat in peace without worrying about their food being stolen.
Is your puppy getting enough food for their age and their weight? Check the labels on commercial puppy food to ensure that you are feeding the correct amount of food, and the correct number of meals, per day. Puppies need nutrient-dense food because they are growing rapidly and laying the groundwork for a healthy adulthood. So it is essential that they are eating dog food formulated for puppies, not adult dogs.
You can always seek advice from your veterinarian regarding this if you are unsure.
How To Slow Down A Dog That Is Eating Too Fast
Other than giving them a quiet and private place to eat their meals, if this does not work then another option to explore is what type of dish you use to feed your dog with.
There are several slow-feeder dog food bowls available to purchase on the market today. They may be made of plastic or stainless steel, but the thing that these slow-feeder bowls have in common is that they have bumps, ridges, and grooves for the food to fall into, thus making it harder for the puppy to gulp food down because they have to ‘chase’ their food around the dish, and get their tongues into all of the nooks and crannies to retrieve the food.
You can check out what these bowls are all about, and other slow-feeding options, here.
What Can Happen If My Puppy Eats Too Fast?
In the short term, your puppy can swallow air if they gulp their food down, which can lead to tummy aches, burping, vomiting, and flatulence.
Too much gas in a dog’s stomach can end up in what is called gastric torsion, also known as bloat, where their stomach actually twists. This needs immediate veterinary attention, and even then the outlook is not good – 25 to 40 percent of dogs with gastric torsion die, and sometimes within minutes.
In the long-term, gulping down food can lead to overeating, which can result in obesity. This can lead to a range of health problems such as diabetes and arthritis.
So for all of the above-mentioned reasons, you can see why it is so important that you do not let your dog gulp their food down.
The Takeaway On A Husky Puppy Eating Too Fast
Puppies are hard-wired to gulp their food; it is normal behavior. But once they are on solid puppy food, this can lead to health problems so it is a habit that needs to be stopped.
Consider if your dog is gulping its food because it is actually hungry – evaluate if you are giving your puppy food of the right quality and quantity. Seek veterinary advice if you’re not sure about this. Try to feed several small meals over the day so that they don’t get so excited at dinner time that they scoff it down.
Take a look at the environment where your dog eats its meals – is it quiet and peaceful, or is it full of other animals? Feed your puppy away from other pets, and people too for that matter. This can reduce stress and therefore encourage your puppy to slow down at mealtimes.
If neither of these things seems to be helping then invest in a slow-feeder food dish for your puppy – this will force them to slow down at mealtimes. Plus they can make meal-times fun for your pup!