I free feed my dogs. I know that's not the recommended way to do it, but they are both at a healthy weight and we've never had an issue, so it works for us. I also know some dogs that would eat until it made them sick. These are the dogs that will benefit from the Aikiou Dog Bowl (pronounced IQ). It is specifically designed to slow down dogs who would otherwise inhale their food.
I love the design of this bowl. It looks like a giant dog paw, and all the different compartments can hold dog food. This was actually the first slow-feeder dog bowl on the market back in 2008, and the company has since made some tweeks to the design to make it more challenging for dogs.
I love the idea of slow-feeder bowls and treat dispensing toys and games because they allow your dog to do what he is naturally programmed to do – forage for his food. The design of this bowl helps to reduce ingestion speed, which in turn promotes weight loss, reduces the risk of bloat, and helps digestion. It also replicates a canines natural behavior which has been shown to reduce anxiety.
Each “toe” of the bowl has a sliding mechanism that you can adjust to make it easier or more difficult to slide. Your dog will need to slide it each way to reach all the kibble. Then there is the large middle compartment that is covered with a wheel that must be turned to reveal each of the six internal compartments. I really like the way this video shows how this dog used to eat before he used the Aikiou Bowl. In a plain metal bowl he could scarf his food down in 20 seconds, and it took him over 3 minutes to eat his meal from the Aikiou Bowl.
The one thing that caught my attention while watching the video was how difficult this bowl looked to clean. I have a boxer with drooly jowls and this bowl looked like it would be a nightmare to wash. As you can see, my question was answered at the end of the video. It does take a little more time to clean, but the pieces come apart easily and it actually doesn't take as long as I thought it would.