7 food bowls for dogs that eat too fast

These slow feeders can help put an end to scarfing.

food bowls for dogs that eat too fast
ByClaire Epting
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It’s no secret that many dogs are driven by food — my German shepherd certainly has never met a meal she didn’t like. To keep your pup from gobbling up their meal in seconds flat, the best food bowls for dogs that eat too fast are designed with raised portions that make mealtime an intentional challenge. These bowls come in a variety of difficulty levels, and some have unique design features, like heavyweight ceramic construction to prevent sliding around, or an integrated splash mat that keeps your floors clean. I reached out to two vets to find out more about what to look for.

The experts

Carling Matejka, DVM, is a mixed animal veterinarian and part-time emergency clinician based in Calgary, Alberta. She completed her veterinary degree at the University of Calgary in 2018 and began working at Alberta pet clinic Fen Vet shortly thereafter. Matejka is also a spokesperson for Solid Gold, a probiotic pet food brand with an emphasis on gut health.

Kerry Rolph, PhD, BVMS is a professor and the Director of the Center for Integrative Mammalian Research at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in Saint Kitts. She holds a certificate in veterinary cardiology from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and has a European diploma in Companion Animal Medicine.

What to consider when shopping for the best food bowls for dogs that eat too fast

Difficulty level

With the exception of wobbling options, the best slow-feeder dog bowls generally feature ridges that create narrow crevices your pup must reach into to access their food. Some options — such as maze-style bowls — feature more complex patterns that make it tricky to get the food out, while others have a single raised portion that offers a more moderate level of difficulty. According to veterinarian Kerry Rolph, PhD, BVMS, the type of bowl you should go with will depend on your dog’s own behavior and level of intelligence. “If you have a dog who tends to be over-energetic, going for a simple but robust design might be best, whereas if you have a dog who gets bored easily and really likes to think about things, then a more complex, puzzle-type bowl might suit them,” she explains. Keep in mind that dogs with flat noses — like pugs and bulldogs — may not be able to access food from bowls with deeper grooves; in that case, you’ll want to look for a slow feeder with a shallow design that works with your pup’s facial anatomy.

To give your canine an added challenge, you can try serving part of their meal in something other than a traditional bowl. “Food-dispensing toys, such as puzzle feeders or treat balls, can make mealtime more engaging for dogs and can slow down their eating pace as they must work for their food,” says veterinarian Carling Matejka, DVM. While these puzzle toys may not be able to hold all of your dog’s kibble, they can be helpful when used in conjunction with a feeding bowl. “Whichever choice you make, ensure it is one that produces calm, positive engagement,” emphasizes Dr. Rolph.

Other considerations

You’ll also want to think about materials when making your selection. Plastic and silicone are common and tend to be budget-friendly, but they may not be good choices for aggressive chewers, as pieces can break off if your pup gets a hold of the bowl in their teeth. If that’s a concern, you may want to go for a sturdier bowl made from stainless steel or ceramic. Ceramic in particular results in a heavyweight dog bowl that’s unlikely to slide around — ideal if you have an enthusiastic eater on your hands (but note that it’s pricier and can shatter if you drop it).

Besides standard slow feeders, you’ll find bowls that meet a variety of specific needs. For example, if you have a stressed pet, consider a bowl with raised nubs that encourage licking, an activity that may help calm them. And as far as preventing messes (a common problem with fast eaters), you might want to consider a feeder with an integrated splash mat to keep your floors clean,

Once you’ve selected the best slow-feed dog bowl for your needs, Dr. Rolph suggests supervising your pet’s first few mealtimes to make sure it’s the right fit. “This will allow you to really understand what your dog’s interaction style is, how to optimize their fulfillment, and also as an owner it can be fun watching our pets perform these tasks,” she states.

With all that in mind, here are the best food bowls for dogs that eat too fast.

Shop the best food bowls for dogs that eat too fast

In a hurry? These are the best food bowls for dogs that eat too fast:

  1. The bowl with a fan following: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
  2. The bowl that provides a simpler challenge: Neater Pet Brands Stainless Steel Slow-Feed Bowl
  3. The bowl set that comes with a splash mat: BurgeonNest Slow-Feeder Bowl Set with Silicone Mat
  4. The insert that works with your existing bowl: Keegud Slow-Feeder Dog Bowl Insert
  5. The bowl that’s hefty enough to stay in place: LE TAUCI PET Ceramic Slow-Feeder Bowl
  6. The bowl that encourages licking to reduce stress: Lickimat Wobble Slow-Feeder Bowl
  7. The bowl for flat-face breeds: Leash Boss Slow Feeder for Flat-Face Breeds
  8. Also great: the puzzle toy for snack time: Outward Hound Interactive Treat Puzzle
  9. Also great: the snuffle mat for foraging: PET ARENA Adjustable Snuffle Mat

1. The bowl with a fan following

Expert Pick


  • Available in a wide range of sizes and styles
  • Highly rated by reviewers


  • Plastic material may not stand up to tough chewers

With a 4.6-star overall rating on Amazon after 109,000 reviews, Outward Hound’s best-selling puzzle dog bowl is a favorite among dog owners — it even comes specifically recommended by Dr. Matejka. The dishwasher-safe plastic bowl has raised, maze-like grooves that create crevices for your dog’s kibble to fall into. It’s also available in multiple sizes and designs to suit your dog’s meal and intelligence level, with capacities ranging from 0.75 cup to 4 cups. It has a nonslip base to keep it firmly on the floor, but keep in mind that the lightweight plastic may snap under pressure if an aggressive chewer gets a hold of it in their teeth.

One reviewer wrote: “This slow feeder has been a game changer when it comes to feeding my foster dogs! I love the design of the bowl and it is so easy to clean. I have used this bowl for several months and it does not show any signs of wear and is still in excellent condition! [...] I would absolutely recommend this product and I think it is a great way to help dogs slow down when they eat!”

Available sizes: 3 | Available styles: 9 | Material: Plastic | Dishwasher safe? Yes

2. The bowl that provides a simpler challenge


  • Pared-down design presents a simpler challenge
  • Stainless steel material stands up to tough chewers


  • Highly intelligent dogs may get bored more quickly

For dogs who find a maze-style bowl too challenging, this pared-down dog bowl for fast eaters may be a better fit. The sleek stainless steel bowl features a single raised portion in the center, creating a modest obstacle for your dog while they eat their kibble. With sizes ranging from a 1.5-cup capacity to a 5-cup capacity, it’s a bit more suited for medium and large dog breeds than small ones. A removable rubber rim around the bottom of the dishwasher-safe bowl ensures it doesn’t slide or tip over, making it a great choice for enthusiastic eaters who may push their meal across the floor.

One reviewer wrote: “Our 5-month-old lab literally inhales his food to the point that he will actually throw up after. I thought this design would be sufficient to do the job of slowing him down with the benefit of being stainless steel instead of plastic or silicone and not having a lot of little grooves to clean. It is perfect! I no longer have to dole out small amounts of food or supervise his eating. The rubber rim on the bottom also keeps him from pushing to bowl around the floor.”

Available sizes: 4 | Available styles: 1 | Material: Stainless steel | Dishwasher safe? Yes

3. The bowl set that comes with a splash mat


  • Complete set includes a mat, two bowls, and a slow-feeder insert
  • Silicone mat helps catch spills and prevent sliding


  • Takes up more space than a single bowl
  • Plastic insert may not stand up to tough chewers

If keeping your floors free of kibble and water splashes is a priority, this slow-feeder bowl set is a great selection — it includes a spill-proof silicone mat that catches any food or water that may escape your dog’s mouth. The set comes with two stainless steel bowls (one for food, and one for water) as well as a plastic slow-feeder insert with a raised flower design. Simply place the insert inside the bowl and fill with your dog’s meal — up to 3 cups. The mat has the added benefit of keeping your dog from sliding their bowl around the floor, which is particularly useful if your dog is an enthusiastic eater. For cleaning convenience, the whole set is dishwasher safe.

One reviewer wrote: “My dog would inhale his food causing reverse sneezing and gagging. This compartmentalized bowl slows him down maybe 4X-5X. Works like a charm. He hasn't had any episodes since I started using the bowl. The nonslip mat keeps it in place and no more pushing the bowl around the kitchen floor.”

Available sizes: 2 | Available styles: 3 | Material: Stainless steel, plastic, silicone | Dishwasher safe? Yes

4. The insert that works with your existing bowl


  • Intricate design heightens difficulty level
  • Can be trimmed to fit your bowl


  • Won’t fit in dog bowls smaller than 5 inches in diameter
  • Silicone material may not stand up to tough chewers

If you want something that works with your existing setup, this slow-feeder insert nestles snugly inside any dog bowl with a diameter of 5.5 inches to 8.5 inches, and it can be trimmed to fit bowls as small as 5 inches. Made from flexible silicone, the insert creates a tricky obstacle for your pooch as they try to get the kibble out of the grooves. It stays securely fastened to the bottom of your bowl with a series of suction cups, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping around. Note that this insert is on the challenging side, so it’s best for intelligent breeds who enjoy a difficult task. Although the brand doesn’t disclose cleaning recommendations, multiple reviewers reported it’s dishwasher safe. The one drawback? The softer, more flexible material may be tempting for chewers.

One reviewer wrote: “I am very pleased with this slow feeder attachment. The suction is great; I've never had an issue with the insert slipping or coming out when my dog is eating. I like how I can pack just the attachment when we're traveling, and I know our destination already has dog bowls.”

Available sizes: 1 | Available styles: 3 | Material: Silicone | Dishwasher safe? Not specified (but several reviewers put it in the dishwasher without issue)

5. The bowl that’s hefty enough to stay in place


  • Hefty ceramic material doesn’t slide easily across the floor
  • Aesthetically pleasing design


  • May not be challenging enough for some dogs

This maze bowl for dogs is heavy, weighing 2.9 pounds, making it a good choice if you want to ensure your pup’s bowl doesn’t slide around while they eat. (For context, the first pick on this list weighs 8.8 ounces, making this bowl five times heavier.) To further keep it in place, the dishwasher-safe bowl also comes with a set of optional nonslip silicone feet. Functional yet stylish, the dog maze bowl is made from elegant ceramic with a handwritten font on the front, and the raised arches inside provide a moderate challenge for your dog. There are two sizes available, with one accommodating up to 1.5 cups and the other up to 3 cups.

One reviewer wrote: “I think this slow feeder bowl is both attractive and functional, and a reasonable price for its high quality (rare combination)! I have had it for a few weeks, and can attest it easily withstands the vacuum inhalation appetite of my Siberian Husky. So far she has not seemed to want to try to move it across the floor as it is quite heavy, and it also comes with little stick-on silicone feet that help increase the friction.”

Available sizes: 2 | Available styles: 6 | Material: Ceramic | Dishwasher safe? Yes

6. The bowl that encourages licking to help reduce stress


  • Wobbling effect keeps dog engaged
  • Raised nubs encourage licking


  • Not effective when used with dry food only
  • Rubber material may not stand up to tough chewers

According to vets, licking can be a soothing, repetitive behavior that can promote calmness in dogs — so if you have a stressed pup, it might be worth trying this wobbly dog bowl for fast eaters that doubles as a lick mat. The raised nodules create a bit of resistance as your dog licks wet food, while the wobbling motion keeps them engaged in the task. The flexible rubber bowl holds about 2.5 cups of food — for best results, use wet food or a mixture of wet food and kibble. You can even use this feeder to supplement your dog’s meals with a midday treat, such as pumpkin or peanut butter. Stick it in the freezer a few hours beforehand to give your pooch an added challenge.

One reviewer wrote: “Our corgi puppy LOVES her new LickiMat Wobble. I've started feeding all of her meals in it - her kibble mixed with a little wet food or greek yogurt. She gets excited every time she sees it, with or without food. She'll carry it around like a toy if it's empty (supervised of course). I love it because it is SO easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and keeps her busy for much longer than anything else we've tried!!”

Available sizes: 1 | Available styles: 4 | Material: Natural rubber | Dishwasher safe? Yes

7. The bowl for flat-face breeds


  • Shallow grooves are accessible for flat-face breeds
  • Elevated design eases neck strain


  • Plastic material may not stand up to tough chewers

If you have a brachycephalic breed, like a bulldog, pug, or Boston terrier, this slow feeder for flat-face dogs will likely be your best bet (although the previous pick is also a good option). It features shallower grooves that are designed to work with your pet’s unique facial anatomy, and provides a moderately difficult challenge. To boot, it’s elevated and tilted, allowing for less neck strain while eating — helpful for older dogs who may be dealing with stiffness. The 1.5-cup bowl has nonslip feet and is made from BPA-free plastic — while it’s relatively durable, it may not stand up to particularly aggressive chewers. Last but not least, this pick is dishwasher safe for easy upkeep.

Available sizes: 1 | Available styles: 2 | Material: Plastic | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Also great: the puzzle toy for snack time


  • Fan-favorite brand
  • Good for entertaining bored dogs


  • Won’t hold your dog’s whole meal

Designed with multiple slots for hiding your dog’s kibble, this puzzle feeder provides your pup with plenty to do — making it a great pick for pets who crave a challenge. In addition to enriching your dog’s mind, it also encourages your canine to use their nose to sniff out the morsels of food hidden under the sliding doors. Keep in mind it isn’t likely to accommodate your dog’s whole meal, but you can use it in addition to a conventional food bowl or another slow-feeding bowl. It’s also a great afternoon boredom buster for dogs who spend a lot of time indoors.

Made from durable plastic, it comes in 32 styles in varying levels of difficulty, so you can find a good fit for your pup. The drawbacks: You’ll want to supervise your dog as it includes small plastic pieces, and this pick should be washed by hand.

One reviewer wrote: “This thing is suuuuper! Instead of 5 seconds our pup spends 5 minutes finding [treats]. Lots of compartments to hide. Strongly recommended for fast eaters.”

Available sizes: 1 | Available styles: 32 | Material: Plastic | Dishwasher safe? No

Also great: the snuffle mat for foraging


  • Encourages dogs’ natural foraging behavior
  • Size is adjustable with drawstring


  • May not be realistic to use for every single meal

This snuffle mat offers another way to slow down your dog’s eating by encouraging them to use their foraging instincts. Simply tuck your dog’s kibble among the large felt strips, then allow them to sniff out each tidbit, piece by piece. An adjustable drawstring closure gives you the ability to raise the sides of the mat into a bowl-like shape, or you can simply lay it flat across the floor. However, it may not fit all of your dog’s kibble — and using it for every single meal would be a bit of a hassle. For these reasons, the snuffle mat works best as a supplement to your dog’s regular slow-feeding bowl. That said, it’s a great enrichment activity for fast eaters. When it’s time to clean it, the entire mat can be tossed directly into the washing machine.

One reviewer wrote: “I use this as a bowl replacement - my new puppy is a very fast eater and this helps slow him [down] quite a bit - he also likes just sniffing around even when there is no food- my older dog loves it too (also a fast eater) I wish I had known about this 12 yrs ago when my old pup was still a pup with digestive issues from eating too fast- this is fun and interactive gives them both a brain workout while eating slow.”

Available sizes: 1 | Available styles: 1 | Material: Polar fleece | Machine washable: Yes


Carling Matejka, DVM, mixed animal veterinarian and part-time emergency clinician in Calgary, Alberta

Kerry Rolfe, PhD, BVMS, professor and Director of the Center for Integrative Mammalian Research at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts