Anti-Sling Bowls for Dogs: Feeding as an Occupation

Anti-Sling Bowls for Dogs: Feeding as an Occupation

Not only dogs that actually gobble their food benefit from an anti-sling bowl. For almost all dogs, this form of feeding provides additional activity and helps against boredom.

But make sure you choose a difficulty level that provides your dog with some activity value without just being a tiresomely annoying obstacle between him and the food he desires!

And a bit of variety is not wrong either. Because tasks only remain interesting in the long run if you don’t have to solve them every day.

Here is a selection of models that I know of myself or would buy if there was still room on the shelf:

Anti-sling bowl with recesses

Such anti-sling bowls with troughs are available in different materials and designs. Due to the depressions, your dog cannot use its lower jaw like a shovel excavator and can only empty the chambers one after the other. These bowls are easy to clean and suitable for BARF/wet food and moderate lurching.

Difficulty level: Pretty simple and frustration-free.

Anti-sling bowl suitable for: All types of feeding.

No products were found.

A silicone anti-slip bowl can go in the dishwasher.

Silicone anti-slip bowl 27 x 17.5 cm silicone bowl with different compartments.

SloDog slow feeder platePink bone-shaped hollow plate. Prevents snares in small dogs.

NEATER PET BRANDS anti-sling bowl with recessesAnti-sling bowl from the USA. Anti-slip knobs, nice design, and chic metallic color.

Anti-sling bowl with obstacles

With such an anti-sling bowl made of sturdy plastic, the dog has to lift its head from time to time and get its bearings in order to reach all the chunks of food.

I used a comparable model for my tedious senior for a long time. The difficulty here was just right to slow down the feeding and get him thinking a bit without being unsolvable.

Difficulty Level: Difficult enough for older and small dogs.

Anti-sling bowl suitable for: All types of feeding.

Anti-sling bowl for smaller dogsDelivery incl. clicker. Diameter of about 20 cm. Anti-slip knobs.

Anti-sling bowl with stars Available in two sizes and many colors! With us, he does a great job with raw feeding and keeps us busy for much longer than you might think. Clear recommendation!

Intelligence bowl for small dogsAn interesting concept for very small dogs (diameter 19 cm!) who like to work on new problems.

Forage plates with spikes

The lining plate made of plastic is also available in other colors.

Since the ‘mountains’ here in the middle are quite high, the dog has to search for his food a bit. However, the bowl is less suitable for smaller dogs with thick skulls and short snouts, as they find it difficult to get to the food in the middle and bump their noses.

Degree of difficulty: Here the dog has to search a bit for its food.

Anti-sling bowl suitable for: Without rim, therefore only for dry food.

Northmate® lining panel with 40 x 30 cm is also suitable as an intelligence toy for larger dogs.

Double Black Slow Feeder With a bit of fringe around it and slightly curved spikes.

Anti-sling bowls with grooves and patterns

Such anti-sling bowls in spiral designs and grooves are available in umpteen sizes and designs. I have a few bowls of this type and am satisfied.

However, I have to say that some dogs have to struggle a bit here. Because the grooves in these bowls are sometimes relatively narrow so that large dogs have to fish for some chunks with their tongues.

Level of difficulty: Here you have to make a little effort for the food.

Anti-sling bowl suitable for: All types of feeding.

The classic for raw food, wet food, and dry food Delivery incl. cleaning brush. Rather for small portions. Different colors.

Anti-slip bowl for large portions My older ones eat from this bowl. Various designs and colors are available. Can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher.

Anti-sling bowl as an intelligence toy

This monstrous anti-sling bowl with integrated paw play is not suitable for all dogs.

This requires a sophisticated problem-solving strategy and the use of paws (and certainly a little help at the beginning) before the dog can get to the food. Certainly too annoying for many dogs for daily feeding, but from time to time a challenge that encourages thinking.

Difficulty level: Extra difficult.

Anti-sling bowl is suitable for Dry food only.

2in1 intelligence game bowl Here the dog has to struggle quite a bit and YOU need chunks of food in the right size.

Anti-sling bowl for on the go

Such a foldable silicone bowl with a structured base is easy to take with you and use on the go.

I find the idea funny. But the bowl actually only helps against swallowing due to its size and the small knobs on the bottom if you gradually fill in small portions.

Difficulty: Fairly easy.

Anti-sling bowl suitable for: All types of feeding

Silicone folding bowl with structure Anti-sling bowl to take with you on the go. Folded up very space-saving.

Ceramic or stainless steel anti-sling bowl

Anyone who is bothered by the fact that most bowls against slinging are made of hard plastic will also find a small selection of suitable products in the range of ceramic and metal bowls.

Difficulty level: Quite simple and frustration-free, since there are usually not-so-small-scale forms offered here.

Anti-sling bowl suitable for: All types of feeding.

Ceramic anti-skid place you can get the AniOne ceramic anti-slip bowl with 700 ml or 1200 ml from Fressnapf.

Kerbl Anti Dribble can also have an effect on hasty drinkers.

More ideas about the anti-sling bowl

You can try retrofitting your normal bowl with the ‘Gobble Stopper’. I only mention this for the sake of completeness, because the part costs about the same as one or the other new anti-sling bowl.

Since I didn’t  find a stainless steel anti-sling bowl that really convinced me, this part might be a good alternative if you absolutely insist on a bowl made of metal:

LOVING PETS gobble stopper simply pin it into the normal stainless steel bowl with a suction cup!

You can also try to make your own anti-sling bowl.

For example, put a  heavy rubber ball in the normal bowl. Dogs often overlook the fact that they could remove this ball out of sheer greed.

A  muffin tin can also be used to discourage the dog from wolfing down large morsels at once. Simply spread the lining over the openings in the sheet metal. For small dogs, a large ice cube mold is sometimes suitable for this.

Of course, you have to look carefully at such ‘homemade’ solutions to use non-toxic materials for the dog!

For which dogs is an anti-sling bowl useful?

A dog bowl appears on every dog ​​essentials list.

From our point of view, feeding dogs from a round bowl is so normal that very few people ever question how useful it actually is for the dog.

But: Foraging and eating make up a large part of the active time for animals in the wild. You no longer have to laboriously collect or hunt for your food but to have it presented in bite-sized chunks at fixed times is pure luxury.

But unlike us, our dogs have no opportunities to fill their free time in a meaningful way. This can lead to boredom.

So why not use feeding time to satisfy our dog’s natural need for foraging, nibbling and licking, and mental stimulation?

I have already described what good activity should do in my general article on dog activity.

Anti-sling bowls can be filled without much effort, are available in many different levels of difficulty, and offer a great opportunity to let the dog work a little for his food.

This enriches our dog’s everyday life and helps against boredom.

Anti-sling bowls are therefore not only suitable for dogs that actually sling excessively!

Of course, there are dogs that don’t need any further challenges in everyday life.

A weak or demented old dog that already has problems eating certainly does not need an anti-sling bowl. And a dog that is already overworked and has difficulty relaxing does not need any further animation when it comes to feeding.

Why do you want to prevent the dog from snuggling

It’s a well-known fact that some dog breeds, such as retrievers and beagles, typically gulp down their food in a matter of seconds.

Just because it looks wild doesn’t mean it’s problematic. However, loops can certainly lead to problems.

For example, if the dog becomes so frenetic while eating that it chokes on almost every meal, coughs regurgitates chunks, swallows again, chokes again, etc..

The food is not just literally inhaled by some dogs .

Then, as the owner, you stand next to each feeding under high tension, look on the internet for information about the Heimlich maneuver in dogs and look for a simple solution to get the stress out of this situation.

Eating too quickly can also cause a lot of air to be swallowed up in the stomach. This can lead to burping, vomiting, or gas.

Many owners want to prevent the dog from snuggling because this is considered a risk factor for life-threatening stomach torsion. This connection has not been proven, but understandably it is not a chance that one would like to take.

But even if you really just want to prevent the food from being eaten at record speed and the primary goal is to slow down, you should make sure that the dog enjoys feeding.

And even with dogs on a diet, an anti-sling bowl can help to distract the dog from counting the amount of food. Worked-out food makes you feel fuller.

Are anti-sling bowls fun for dogs?

Foraging and working for food is a lot of fun for many dogs.

But since dogs are individuals with their own character, not every activity game we offer is equally appropriate for every dog.

Do dogs like to work for their food?

From experimental observations in different animal species, it is known that animals, under certain circumstances, prefer to turn to an expensive food source (eg food released only by pressing a lever several times) than freely available food in a bowl.

This phenomenon is called ‘contra freeloading’ (as opposed to ‘freeloading’, eating freely available food). ( Source: Osborne 1977 )

The behavior is interpreted to mean that curiosity about a new food source could pay dividends in the wild in the uncertain future. In some moments, the motivation to collect information seems to be greater than the motivation to fill your stomach.

However, this effect decreases when animals are hungry or the effort to reach the hidden food becomes too high. Then animals definitely prefer to eat directly from a bowl.

Takeaway message when we transfer this to our dogs: Dogs like to work for their food and are always interested in finding new ways of getting food. But only if they are not too hungry or if the effort is not absurdly high.

If you offered your dog part of his ration free and another part in the anti-sling bowl, what would he choose?

Do not exaggerate! An anti-sling bowl should not cause frustration

Surprisingly, many supposedly fussy dogs would rather eat the food they are looking for than straight out of a bowl.

But many of these dogs also quickly give up and walk away when presented with a new anti-sling bowl or a new snack ball: the task is then simply too difficult!

However, the opposite effect happens much more frequently:

If the dog turns up, barks, and whines through its new anti-sling bowl, then it is frustrated. Be it because the task is way too difficult or because he is so stressed that he gets in his way.

Because you can also frustrate the dog enormously with an anti-sling bowl.

Not every dog ​​enjoys having to solve complex tasks at every feeding in order to finally get to his chunks of food. These dogs are much more motivated to eat than to develop new problem-solving strategies.

Of course, it is not our intention to make feeding an emotionally draining situation!

Bowls that are just time-consuming but not interesting to empty aren’t much fun for a dog either. A tired dog may be a good dog, but not necessarily a happy one!

Good employment should enrich and that is not measured in time!

Imagine you had to fish for minutes after each noodle while eating spaghetti.

Your ancestors were also hunter-gatherers, but I have strong doubts that would satisfy your natural curiosity and passion for collecting. Because the task is not really complex, but annoying and tiring.

Ideally, you should choose an anti-sling bowl that is not too complicated and allows natural behavior (e.g. for daily feeding it is better not to use a complicated intelligence toy where your dog mainly fishes for food with its paws or moves any plastic parts).

Anyone who feeds dry food should also consider leaving out the bowl altogether: you can simply spread food on the floor, put it in a box with a few balls in it, throw it on the grass in the garden or use a sniffing mat.

For many dogs, searching with their nose is more fun and makes them happier than having to laboriously fish for every chunk with their tongue.

In addition, variety is also a factor. Because curiosity and exploration are only given if you don’t already know exactly what to expect. Anti-sling bowls are not expensive, so feel free to switch them up and try different models.

Anti-sling bowls for BARF or dry food?

Pretty much all anti-sling bowls are suitable for dry food.

But what about wet food?

Anyone who offers meat in whole pieces when “barfing” rarely has a problem with the lack of employment value of the feed. In addition, half a chicken is rather difficult to squeeze into an anti-slip bowl.

If the dog cannot chew and bite properly but wants to choke down even the largest cutlet in one go, then for safety reasons you should possibly switch to ground food.

I have been using anti-sling bowls for raw food and wet food for years. Because even minced meat, smaller meat cubes, pureed fruit and vegetables, eggs, or milk products can be filled into many anti-slip bowls without any problems.

In fact, I now have a whole collection of such bowls in all kinds of designs and sizes. So I can always choose the right bowl for the current feed.

The limits are obvious: You should not choose an anti-slip bowl for wet food, from which the food could run out. So there has to be a high edge.

Does the material of the anti-sling bowl play a role?

If you are concerned about which materials are right for your own dog, nothing will change with the anti-sling bowl.

Because there are anti-sling bowls in the usual dog bowl materials from soft silicone to plastic and melamine to ceramic and stainless steel.

The advantages and disadvantages are obvious:

Plastic anti-slip pads

Plastic dog bowls are cheap, easy to clean, and dishwasher-safe. Depending on the material, you will find the largest selection of shapes and structures here. Probably most anti-sling bowls are made of plastic.

Depending on the value, however, plastic bowls are not known to be completely bite and fall resistant, quickly become brittle when fed externally, and can contain chemicals such as plasticizers such as BPA and phthalates.

So you should pay attention to the information the manufacturer gives about the material of his product. And you should probably consciously refrain from buying obvious China goods from the Euro shop.

Melamine anti-sling bowls

Melamine anti-sling bowls look very similar to plastic bowls. However, they are made of artificial resin, which hardens much more stable and chip-resistant than an ordinary plastic bowl.

However, dog bowls made of melamine are not entirely harmless. The consumer advice center warns that if used improperly, the melamine itself or formaldehyde can be transferred to the food. Both substances can be potentially harmful to health.

Improper use includes heating (defrosting food in the microwave!) or storing acidic foods.

Silicone anti-sling cups

This variant comes closest to looking for chunks of food in the grass. However, I’m still not a fan of these bowls. Because they magically attract animal hair and I therefore find them more difficult to clean than the other variants.

With very thin silicone you have to be careful that the dog cannot simply bite out whole parts.

And you should make sure to use an anti-slip bowl made of food-safe silicone.

Stainless steel anti-sling bowls

Stainless steel is easy to clean and fairly indestructible.

Many dogs and the dog people who belong to them are relatively unenthusiastic about the rattling that these bowls make when they are fed. I only use stainless steel bowls as outdoor water bowls, so I can’t comment on stainless steel anti-sling bowls.

But what I noticed during my research: there are actually no anti-sling bowls made of stainless steel that really deserve their name. This is because these bowls only offer one or more large elevations at the bottom of the bowl. That doesn’t seriously stop a roll for even a second, I would assume.

Ceramic anti-sling bowls

In terms of decorative value, ceramic bowls offer a high-quality alternative to bowls made of plastic or metal. However, ceramic is also relatively sensitive and naturally breaks if the bowl slips out of your hand.

But there are disadvantages here too. Because the glaze of ceramic bowls can contain heavy metals. So you should also make sure to find a bowl of the appropriate quality suitable for food.

Since different regulations apply to decorative objects than to food containers, you should refrain from letting the dog eat from ceramic everyday objects that have been used for a different purpose.

And you have the same problem with metal cups when choosing. Because anti-sling bowls made of ceramic do not offer any real challenge due to the few possible structures due to the material.

How do you clean dog anti-sling bowls?

Very few of us clean our dogs’ bowls as often as we should. Right?

With normal dog bowls, microscopically small food residues and dog slobber remain after each feeding, and germs could multiply. But at least superficially you can see whether the dog’s bowl has been licked completely empty.

The situation is different with anti-sling bowls with all their grooves and indentations. Leftovers and crumbs are often left behind here, for which even the most gluttonous dog had no desire to grope.

Anti-sling bowls must therefore be cleaned more frequently.

Thankfully, you can also clean most anti-sling bowls in the dishwasher. For ingrained dirt, you can also soak and rinse a dirty bowl before putting it in the dishwasher.

If you don’t have a dishwasher (does that still exist?), you should treat yourself to a cleaning brush that goes with the bowl and with which you can actually get into every crevice.

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