Monkey, my 14-month-old Saint Bernard, can be a little weird about food. Unlike many dogs, he does not scarf down his entire bowl of kibble as soon as it’s put in front of him. Rather, Monkey ignores it, pushes it around with his nose for a while, or in some circumstances, waits hours and hours to eat it. (My vet said it’s cool as long as he digs in eventually, which, of course, he always does.)
Still, when I was given a chance to let him try out the Slo-Bowl, I was excited. See, Monkey may take forever to get around to eating, but once he starts, he gobbles. And Saint Bernards are anatomically predisposed to canine bloat, which can be caused by eating too fast.
Plus, when Monkey was in puppy kindergarten, one of the first things we were taught was how to make a game out of eating. Only problem: I’m super lazy, so I never actually do the whole thing where I put the food into a toy, and I also hate how almost all of the toys require him to send food shooting across the floor, effectively making a huge mess that he may not decide to “clean up” (with his mouth) for hours.
The Slo-Bowl, however, sounded perfect AND easy for me to use, but I’m not the one who has to eat from it. Ultimately, it was up to Monkey to see if he liked it.
The Slo-Bowl is a dish with a maze inside of it so dogs “chase” their food through all of the ridges and valleys — like a hunt. And all I had to do was dump the food into it.
I was a little worried that the Slo-Bowl wouldn’t be able to hold all of Monkey’s food, but it fits four cups of food (yes, my dog is a beast). There are smaller bowls for smaller dogs.
At first Monkey was like, “Um, what is this thing, woman?”
But then he had a staring contest with it.
And eventually he decided he was willing to at least check it out. After all, it had food inside of it and he knows he likes that stuff.
Success! Once Monkey started eating from the Slo-Bowl, he was totally into it. No more nudging his food around with his face to make eating “fun.” Also, I was worried the bowl would slip around the floor, but it has a non-slip rubber base that actually works whether the bowl is on Monkey’s little mat or just on our tile floor.
Seriously: He loves his Slo-Bowl. Monkey’s been eating out of it for a few weeks, and though he sometimes still waits an hour or two after I put his bowl down, I can tell that he enjoys mealtimes more than when he ate out of that stupid silver bowl that all of the other dogs have. In fact, that bowl is now in the cupboard gathering dust, and I don’t see it making a comeback anytime soon (or ever).
Slo-Bowl is only $20 for a big bowl and $15 for a mini (my brother’s Chihuahua has the mini, and she loves it), and you can throw it on the top rack of your dishwasher (although I’ve noticed it gets a lot less dirty than Monkey’s previous bowl).
We spend so much money on stuff for our dogs in an attempt to make and keep them happy, and so many times we bring home the new toy or treat or whatever and they’re just not interested. In this case, Monkey loves his new bowl, so if you want to slow down your dog’s eating or even just make dinnertime a little more fun, the Slo-Bowl is well worth the 20 bucks.
The Slo-Bowl is a feeder that forces your dog to slow down when he eats by turning dinner into a fun game of hunting and scavenging.
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About the Author: Daisy Barringer grew up in San Francisco and didn’t let the fact that she’s a city girl keep her from getting her dream dog: a Saint Bernard. She and Monkey love to romp in the snow in Tahoe, visit dog-friendly bars, watch 49ers football, and drool. Yup, both of ’em.