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The answer seems simple;– put food where the dog can get it , dog eats food, dog has been fed……or has it?

Forget for a minute all the hype & advertising: Dog food comes in two types – sticky or not sticky!


Food can be presented in a variety of ways;


  • loose on the floor

  • in a bowl on the floor

  • in a raised bowl

  • in a hopper –self serve

  • in a treat ball

  • as a reward/bribe


Loose on the floor/ground

Pros;- No washing up!

Cons;- surface could be difficult to clean ; bacterial growth, slipping,


Bowl on floor

Pros;- easy to regulate amount, clean

Cons;- might be a bit too easy for the dog –solved by using a large bowl with a brick sized boulder to slow down eating.


Raised bowl,

Pros;- as B

Cons;-This started out as a training aid for long legged breeds –feed them so they have to stand upright to eat & they are encouraged into good posture.

It has since entered folklore as prevention of gastric torsion with the rider that it is natural for a dog. This is incorrect- the natural feeding position of wild dogs is head down at a carcase. If too much reliance is placed on position rather than foodstuff bloat can become more likely.

If tipped the mess goes further!


In a hopper –self serve

Pros;- always available, only suited to non sticky food

Cons;- impossible to regulate ( more so for multiple dogs), removes a lot of owner/dog interaction, can lead to obesity or, surprisingly, pickyness


In a treat ball

Pro’s;- stimulation, makes the dog work for food

Con’s;-can be messy & requires advance preparation for sticky food


As a reward/bribe

Pro’s;- useful training or bonding aid.

Con’s;- can inadvertantly re-enforce unwanted behaviour, obesity


What to feed is another whole lot of thinking!

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