Sunday, February 3, 2013
A Canine Super Bowl
My Chihuahua, Ginger, is almost 14 years old now. She's now hypothyroid and has to take synthroid twice a day. Because of the thyroid problem she's ravenous all the time. When she was younger I could fill her dog bowl and walk away. She would kind of "graze" on that same bowl of food for several days.
Now she weighs 12 pounds and is overweight. I have her on a diet, and because she would eat a good couple of pounds of dog food if I allowed her to, I have to dole out her cup a day of food in two equal meals. It seems never to be enough for her so she gobbles her meals down, without even chewing. She literally just vacuums the dry pellets down her throat and, when finished, stumbles around hacking all that dry food caught in her gullet.
The vet says this gobbling can lead to a twisted stomach that could require expensive surgery. It can also contribute to her not properly digesting the nutritional value of her food.
In an effort to curb her voracious appetite I tried all kinds of high fiber, low carb dog food. Most notable of them has been the latest brand. It's called Nature's Recipe and is made wholly of Salmon, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato. The smell is disgusting, with a healthy hint of the scent of dog excrement. Alas, the scent didn't slow Ginger down a bit, nor has it curbed her ravenous hunger.
I finally found a suggestion on the Internet that made sense. One dog owner posted that she placed medium size rocks in the dog bowl. These rocks causes the dog to nuzzle around the edges of the rocks to get to her food and theoretically slows down her rate of gobbling.
The rocks provided a slight improvement. Where as Ginger used to vacuum down her half cup of breakfast in less than 45 seconds, the rocks extended her feed time by about a minute. A few days later I found that Amazon sells a feed bowl (above) that has four elevated nubs that force the dog to nuzzle down to get at her food, thus slowing them down a bit. I ordered it and it was delivered this week.
So yesterday morning I fed Ginger her breakfast and timed her feeding. This slow feed bowl might have added an extra minute to her feed time. Not a miracle cure but much better than before.
Not quite the "Super Bowl" I was hoping for but for $4 bucks it's $2,876.00 cheaper than a real Super Bowl ticket. :)