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Swollowing food without chewing

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by Zana, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Zana

    Zana Forums Regular

    Nov 15, 2017
    I know its about food, but it also is probably a behavior problem too.... I think?

    For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why kota would swallow her kibble instead of chew it. At first I thought maybe her mouth hurts as when we adopted her from the shelter, they said she needed dental work. (I adopted a rat terrier mix a long time ago who would only eat here n there until he had dental work and no problems after, but he was a picky eater)

    Then I switched her kibble slowly to a smaller size so she won't choke on her kibble.
    After dental surgery, it was soft kibble for a while. When we got the ok from doc for her to eat hard kibble we started giving her dried hard chicken as a treat. She chewed easily and did not show a hint of pain if she did, but when it came down to eating her kibble she'd swallow without chewing.

    For a while no one could be in the kitchen when she had food. She'd stare at me until I go sit down in the living room than she would eat. Thus I couldn't figure out why she would swallow her food.( if she caught me looking at her she'd stop and stare)

    Today, I was able to be in the kitchen and she allowed me to peek. It dawned on me. As I noticed she would pick up as much of the small kibble in her mouth as she could. Lift up her head and swallow. I counted how many swallows it took. 4 gulps before she looked at me and I turned my head away with my eyes looking at her and she went back down n did it again.
    (and it looked painful too)

    That being said am I right that she is a dog who is inhail her food. Because she chewed her hard chicken treat no problem.

    I went to the pet store and bought a kongs and a slow feeder bowl. I'm going to test the slow eater bowl and see if she will chew her kibble tomorrow morning and use her kong at her second feeding. Maybe fed her early than normal til she learns how to use the kong and them make it more difficult n engage. I will make a video if it will help so u can see what I'm talking, about... If she'll let me.
  2. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    So glad you bought the slow feeder! I was going to suggest that!

    Logan also just gulps his food without chewing! He does the same with dog biscuit treats! Drives me nuts!

    Laddie used to stare at me too! He was protective about his food!

    He gulped his kibble as well!

    I used a steel ball in their dishes that helped to slow them down! I will try to find my old post and share it with you! Let us know how the slow feeder goes!

    If you can ask your vet for a referral to a canine dentist that might help too! Give you further advice. Can you just give soft food until you resolve the issue?
  3. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    I taught mine to eat their kibble piece by piece by giving their kibble in a home made dispenser when they were younger. I just used plastic water bottles and cut kibble sized holes in it (have to sand the holes so they aren't rough) they push the bottle around and kibble comes out a piece at a time, so that's how they learnt to eat it. Plus they actually loved the challenge of getting their own kibble with the dispenser.
  4. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Remember, their forebears had to bolt their food. I don't worry unless someone throws up.
    SheepOfBlue likes this.
  5. Zana

    Zana Forums Regular

    Nov 15, 2017
    I've been told that eating canned soft food all the time is not good for the teeth. I've always been told that if you do canned food to mix it with hard kibble. She already has 5 teeth pulled. When I raised my mutt in alaska from when I was a teen, at age 16 (his age not mine) his teeth were still good. The vet even said his surprised his teeth did not rot or have much tarted. He asked if we brushed his teeth and I said no. We fed left overs, hard kibble n raw bones from different kinds of animals. ( reindeer, caribou, moose, musk ox, ect.) Doc said keep it up. He also told me to just feed hard kibble if possible and if I do add soft food to mix it.

    So unless kota loses all her teeth or gets another dental where teeth are pulled, I believe in hard kibble is better for the teeth.
    ghggp likes this.
  6. Roberta

    Roberta Premium Member

    Apr 26, 2013
    Chicago area
    I am owned by 3 shelties - 2 seniors and an 8 month old puppy. My 13 year old (Rex) has always been a picky, sloooow eater. The 10 year old (Avery) swallows his food whole without chewing. The puppy (Maxine) likes to eat fast too - but at least she chews her food. I feed them dry kibble (Fromm grain free) which is pretty small.

    Avery has never had any issues swallowing his food whole although he does occasionally (rarely) throw up, usually next to my bed in the middle of the night where I can be sure to step on it and notice what it was that woke me up (sorry if this is TMI).

    My biggest concern is chew treats. I don't give them raw hide because I've read so many cautions about choking and intestinal blockage. I do occasionally give them other chew treats, but I have to admit it makes me nervous, particularly because Avery tries to swallow his whole. I would love to find a safe chew treat because it would be good for their teeth.

    Just out of curiosity - I'm wondering if the "fast eaters" on this forum have a weight problem? I feed all 3 dogs separately - the same amount. Yet Avery is mildly "stout" while the other 2 are not. To be fair, Avery has arthritis in his front paw so his walks are shorter - and sometime he finds a way to weasel his way into the other dog's food. Sorry for the long post.
  7. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    :yuckyuck :ROFLMAO::(:sneaky::hungover:
  8. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

    Aug 31, 2009
    New York
    I have a fast eater. She chews most of her food, but I do have a stainless steel ball in her bowl to slow her down. I worry about bloat from eating too fast. She does not have a weight issue. She seems to be one of the rare shelties, who eats ravenously, but does not gain much weight.
  9. Shelby's mom

    Shelby's mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 4, 2012
    Shelby is a slow eater but she also does not chew her food I have no idea why. She has no problem chewing her chew bones or carrots. Just her food she doesn't chew.
  10. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 17, 2010
    Katy came out of rescue with gulping issues that would often result in her being sick. At the time the slow feeder bowls on the market were ridiculously priced. ( I noticed recently competition has introduced some affordable models.)

    A fellow blogger gave me my solution muffin tins. Katy has her dinner in a mini muffin tin. It slows her down enough to keep her from gulping and she likes the challenge.
    Jams likes this.

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