Bella is a typical Lab. She loves food. She loves food more than she loves us. It's true. She's sprints to her cage when she spots her treats because she knows that's the only time we give them to her. She hates her cage, but she loves food more. She hates us leaving, but she loves food more. Basically, food is the most amazing thing on the planet for her. Unfortunately, she also swallows her food whole without chewing at all, which is terrible for her stomach.
We typically feed her kibble by filling an empty Gatorade bottle, but sometimes we don't have time to funnel every piece in the bottle. She's also such a pro at dumping out all of her food in one move by now.
I got this idea after seeing slow feed dog bowls and pacer balls. I just filled up Bella's bowl with a bunch of untouched toys and spread the kibble around them.
Now this technique probably won't work for dogs who actually enjoy playing with toys (or dogs who are smart enough to remove all the toys before eating). This trick works like a charm for Bella though because she only chews on stuffed toys and never bothers with anything else unless it's filled with food. Plus, she's definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed.
The only toy that she ever removes from her bowl is the red one because sometimes it holds kibble. We've tried the Kibble Nibble and the Tug-A-Jug. Neither have lasted very long in our household with a dog who won't let anything get in between her and sustenance.
Overheard in our household:
Hubby: Bella won't get her bottle. We need to leave and she won't get it.
[I look under the couch, which is where you can find her bottle 99% of the time. I grab it and hand it over to him.]
Hubby: Hey! How did you find it?
Me: Maybe because I looked for it myself rather than asking a dog to find it.