Friday, June 6, 2014

Slowing Down Dinner

I bought Isaac this dish called a slow feeder.  It has grooves in it, kind of like a maze.  If he pushes the food around to one spot, it gets a little wider and is easier to get his mouth in there.  Otherwise, he has to kind of lick the kibble out of the groves with his tongue.

Here is what the dish looks like.

It took Isaac 16 minutes to eat his dinner.  I timed him.  Normally, he finishes in less than three minutes.

It was really interesting to watch him problem-solve and figure out the best way to get the food out of the grooves.

Isaac is very smart and he is also very, very motivated by food.  About 10 minutes into his meal, it occurred to him to just flip the dish over and dump out the food.  However, the dish is designed to be hard to flip.  The bottom is weighted and the sides are kind of rounded, to make it difficult to pick up the dish with his mouth.  He tried nudging the side of the dish with his nose, but that only pushed it around on the floor.  Then he tried pawing at the edge of the dish, but that didn't do anything.  Then he tried picking it up with his mouth, and he did manage to pick it up a few inches one time, but he couldn't lift it enough to turn it over so he ended up just putting it back down.

He hasn't quite figured out that if he pushes the food to the one spot where the grooves widen, it's easier to eat it.  I'm sure he will figure it out soon, though.

I think this dish is a great idea to help dogs eat slower and also to work on problem-solving skills at the same time.

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