Dog trainers and Facebook pundits often advocate for such tough love feeding methods, but they likely don’t deal with the challenges of small dogs maintaining healthy weights. For petite canines like mine, there’s hardly any room for error before weight loss becomes a health hazard.
And then, just as I picked up the phone to call our vet, inspiration struck. I’d been researching the latest small dog science for The Small Dog Rules–the sequel to my book Downward Sizing Dog. This particular week, I’d been reading some cutting edge reports on avoiding doggie dementia and using mental exercise to do it — and realized breakfast could be a golden opportunity for enrichment.
Why not make mealtime mentally stimulating? Before I realized what I needed was the best snuffle mats for small dogs, I went through several other options, including bowls and puzzles
I pulled out our Outward Hound slow-feeder bowls first, and the girls both showed much more interest in their food. But not enough to encourage them to finish their entire meal. (We do still frequently use these for dinner, and if you don’t have any, now’s the time to grab the slow feeder bowls- they’re 70% off at Amazon right now).
I then turned to the more complex plastic puzzles from Outward Hound. Though these puzzles engage my girls, they (the puzzles, not the girls), are too small to hold a full meal. However, both Phoebe and Scout approached breakfast with newfound vigor, which was a victory in itself. And again, if you don’t have these, now’s the time to pick up a couple, as several designs are currently 48% off.