Ray’s eating and drinking habits have always had their challenges!
Immediately after he moved in with us, we noticed that he would treat food as if it may disappear any moment. He would devour it in a few seconds. Initially he did not chew, but simply gulped… a very good reason for not giving him any of those “bone type” chews in case he choked. We started to give him his meals in stages so he could take breaks.
He treated water in much the same manner in that, regardless of how much water was in his bucket, he would gulp his way down to the bottom! We started to control just how much water went into his bucket! We later decided to add water to his food bowl so that he would consume water with his meal which, we thought, may lessen his visits to his water bucket.
All these ideas had some degree of success, but Ray was still quite aggressive with his meals.
Relatively recently, we have been putting a toy in his food bowl so that he has to work around it in order to empty the bowl. It has been quite successful, although he would eventually grab it and toss it out of his way!
Our latest venture is rather different however, it should be understood that Ray has two bad habits when it comes to food. He gulps it down very fast if he can, and he gets very frustrated and irrational if he cannot eat easily. As an aside, giving Ray a frozen Kong to keep him quiet really frustrates him, and he becomes very agitated and irrational.
Our latest idea is a compromise. We bought a giant Kong that has a removal weighted base, and a single hole in its side. The concept is to simply put his food inside the Kong, and all Ray has to do is roll it around so that food falls out. It appears to be working quite well so far, except when it is nearly empty! At that point, simply rolling it is rather “hit or miss” as to whether anything comes out, so Ray then resorts to picking it up and dropping it! The other slight drawback is when he starts kicking it around (he would be a good soccer player!), his food goes everywhere and we often have a frustrated Ray staring at the refrigerator, or the stove. We know that there must be a piece of food under there!
At the time of writing this, he is still “playing” with his giant Kong at most meal times. It will be interesting to see how it develops!