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6 Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls of 2022

Dog sitting at home with dog food bowl
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Dogs that dive into their food bowl and inhale their kibble in minutes might look funny, but the truth is rapid food consumption can be downright dangerous. Eating too fast can increase the risk of bloat in dogs, a dangerous and potentially fatal twisting of the stomach. Dogs that eat too fast may also experience stomach pain, vomiting, and gas.

Enter the slow feeder dog bowl – a simple solution for pups that plow through their portions. 

With no shortage of options in a variety of shapes and sizes, picking the perfect fit for your best friend can be overwhelming. But don’t worry – we’ve gotten rid of the guesswork for you and compiled a list of slow feeder dog bowls for every dog, from petite pups with pushed in faces to the big dogs who use their muscle to get to the goods.

Our Top Slow Feeder Picks

What Are Slow Feeder Dog Bowls?

Dog waiting to be fed

Slow feeder dog bowls do exactly what their name suggests: they encourage dogs to eat more slowly by making food less accessible. 

The options range from bowls with “speed bumps” in the bottom, to ones with individual compartments for food, to add-ins that encourage dogs to navigate in order to eat up. 

The goal of these feeding options is to increase the amount of time it takes to consume a meal. But slow feed bowls also have an added benefit – enrichment! The right type of bowl can turn meal time into a game, encouraging your dog to get creative while they consume their food.

How We Chose Our Top Selections

With over 20 years of dog training experience and 6 years behind the counter at my pet retail shop, I know what dogs love, what pet parents appreciate and most importantly, I know what works for our four-legged friends. 

In addition to my own personal experience using these items, my selection criteria for slow feeding dog bowls included:

  • Overall product design and efficiency (does the bowl actually slow down consumption?) 
  • Value
  • Safety
  • Size options
  • Feedback and reviews from pet parents  

6 Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls of 2022

While slow feed dog bowls are a great way to help your chowhound, not every bowl works for every dog. Our top picks are broken down into categories that consider everything from the level of difficulty to specific canine dining styles.

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Best Overall Dog Slow Feeder Bowl

Our Pick: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slow Bowl

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl - Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

With three size options and a wide selection of colors and bumper types, this slow feeder dog bowl has something to offer nearly every dog. We love the BPA, PVC, and phthalate free construction and the nonslip base, since many pups can get carried away when it comes to getting those last few bites! The Outward Hound bowl is dishwasher safe and works with dry and wet dog food options. It’s a brightly colored bowl that looks cheerful and is sure to make your dog’s mealtime safer and more enriching.

Highlights

  • Variety of shapes and sizes
  • Can be used with both wet and dry food
  • Non-slip base
  • Easy to clean
  • Holds up to 5 cups of food

Things to Consider

  • Might be too challenging for some breeds
  • The plastic angles in some formats are hard and may irritate your dog’s chin
  • Some dogs resort to flipping the bowl

Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl for Large Dogs

Our Pick: Neater Brands Slow Feed Pet Bowl

Neater Pet Brands - Neater Slow Feeder

There’s a lot to love about the only USA-made slow bowl on our list. The “mountain range” design evenly distributes food throughout the twenty five individual feeder pockets, challenging dogs without causing frustration at mealtimes. This slow feeder comes with two customization options; snap the bowl into a base to elevate the bowl an extra 5 inches, or add leg extensions to raise it to over 7 inches high. With a whopping 6-cup capacity, the Neater feeder is the perfect choice for large breed dogs. 

Highlights

  • USA-made
  • Frustration-free dining
  • Adds on to convert to an elevated bowl
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Holds up to 6 cups of food

Things to Consider

  • Rubber foot pads may fall off
  • Looks kind of like a torture device
  • Some users report that the peaks irritate their dogs’ chins

Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl for Small Dogs

Our Pick: Leash Boss Flat Face Feeder

Leashboss Flat Face Feeder

Many slow feed bowls aren’t suited for flat-face breeds due to their deep reservoirs, which is why we love this option for smaller pups. Short-snout pups benefit from the shallow but challenging food pockets, and a gentle incline enables them to reach every last morsel. This feeder is the perfect option for brachycephalic breeds like French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Pugs because it can put those canine fart factories out of business for good.  

Highlights

  • Dishwasher safe
  • 5-year warranty
  • Works with wet or dry food
  • Safe for brachycephalic breeds

Things to Consider

  • Energetic eaters might spill food outside the feeder
  • Rubber foot grips slip off
  • Some users report that it doesn’t provide enough slow down

Best Ceramic Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

Our Pick: Le Tauci Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

LE TAUCI Dog Bowl Slow Feeder Ceramic

This ceramic slow feeder dog bowl is a great fit for dogs that like to chomp on the plastic bumpers or toss their bowl while they eat since it’s a hefty option. Weighing in at just over three pounds, the Le Tauci bowl is substantial enough that even the most energetic eaters won’t be able to budge it. We love the variety of sizes, patterns and colors, as well as the fact that the smooth surface inhibits bacterial growth. And it’s dishwasher-safe, which makes clean-up a snap!

Highlights

  • Variety of sizes and maze options
  • Heavy construction
  • Non-slip base

Things to Consider

  • Breakable
  • Might not be a fit for small-breed dogs

Best Stainless Steel Slow Feeder Bowl

Our pick: Neater Pet Brands Slow Feed Stainless Steel Bowl

NEATER PET BRANDS Slow Feed Bowl Stainless Steel

Sometimes basic is best, which is why we’re big fans of this stainless steel slow feeder dog bowl. The simple raised mound in the center of the bowl encourages gulpers to work for their meals whether it’s dry food or wet. It’s a dishwasher safe option that comes in two sizes. As a bonus, this bowl fits into most elevated feeders.

Highlights

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Durable
  • Two sizes available

Things to Consider

  • Might not be enough to slow down some dedicated eaters
  • There’s no rubber skid pad on the bottom so the bowl can “walk”
  • The small might be too big for some petite pups

Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Insert

Our Pick: Omega Paw Portion Pacer

Omega Paw Portion Pacer Feeding Ball

It doesn’t get much easier than this slow feed option! The Omega Portion Pacer is an elegant three and a half inch stainless steel ball that can be used in any type of dog bowl. Rather than puzzling through bumpers and channels, dogs simply have to push the ball around their usual bowl in order to get to their meal. It’s an easy-to-clean, dishwasher-safe solution that can be used in your dog’s water bowl as well to slow down speedy drinkers. Plus, we love how portable this insert is. You can easily bring it along for travel to slow down your dog’s eating while away from home.

Highlights

  • Fits inside most bowls
  • Easy to clean
  • Perfect for food or water

Things to Consider

  • It might be too large for some dogs
  • Can be noisy in metal bowls
  • Some dogs might be frustrated or afraid of it

Buyer Guide

There is no perfect slow feeding dog bowl for all dogs, so consider the following when shopping for your pooch:

Assess the level of difficulty. You want the bowl to slow your dog down but you don’t want it to be so challenging that your dog gives up, or flips the bowl in order to get a meal. Similarly, some bowls might be too easy and not up to the job. Consider your dog’s conformation and eating style when picking a feeder.

Choose the right size. Make sure that the bowl can handle your dog’s full meal ration with a little room to spare. An overflowing, too-small bowl will allow your dog to bypass the bumpers and humps meant to slow them down, and a too-big bowl might enable smaller pups to chow down unimpeded as well. 

Pay attention to materials. Passionate eaters might not be a good fit for plastic bowls, and skittish dogs might be put off by the clank of their tags against a stainless steel bowl. Also consider how easy it is to keep the bowl clean. While a maze of reservoirs might slow your dog down, those hard-to-reach spots could also be a bacteria breeding ground.

Shop for stability. Let’s face it, hungry dogs get creative when they want to eat, so if a bowl can be flipped, pushed, or otherwise manipulated to bypass the slowing features, it’s probably not a good fit. 

Slow Feeder Dog Bowls FAQs

Dog eating out of a bowl outside

Do slow feeder dog bowls really work?

Yes, but it depends on what type of bowl you get. Some are better than others due to the materials they’re made of and the distribution of the slowing elements. Certain bowls will also work better for large dogs vs. small dogs. It’s important to choose a slow feeder that it sized appropriately for your pup. 

Are slow feeder dog bowls good for puppies?

Slow feeder bowls are good for any dog – including puppies – that needs to pump the breaks on food or water consumption. That said, some young dogs might need help learning to eat from a slow feed bowl, so be prepared to support your puppy as they figure out how to chow down.

Can I put wet food in a slow feeder dog bowl?

It depends on the type of bowl you select. Some slowing elements might make it impossible to completely clean it out (for both your dog and for you when you want to wash the bowl). In the worst case scenario, some bumpers or pegs can actually trap wet food, leading to bacteria growth. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions to see if the bowl is recommended for both wet dog food and dry dog food. 

Slow Feeder Dog Bowls: Tips for Success

The only way your dog’s slow feed bowl is going to work is if your dog actually uses it! That means picking a bowl that’s the right size and complexity for your dog, but isn’t so challenging that your pup resorts to brute force to empty the thing. 

Don’t forget to give your dog a chance to examine your new slow feeder before you use it for the first time. If your dog seems unsure about the bowl or insert, do a few introductory training sessions with it prior to meal time. Sprinkle a few high value treats in and around the bowl to encourage your dog to investigate it at their own pace without the added pressure of being ready for dinner. Then once meal time rolls around your dog will be ready to safely dig in.

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