Despite this, the spaniel still bolts his food, often almost immediately regurgitating it. Any suggestions?


Neil McIntosh

This is a common problem in both greedy and fearful type dogs.

They make no effort to chew food and just swallow whole, dry kibble, often also gulping down large amounts of air.

Some will regurgitate and then be able to re-consume their meal without problems, although an acid burn of the oesophagus can occur if the problem becomes long term.

Sometimes soaking food can help a little but my preference is to try one of four solutions.

The first is simply to feed from a height, so that the patient has to stand up on his hindlegs to reach food.

Secondly, you can experiment with a few large (so that they cannot also be swallowed!) smooth pebbles placed in the food bowl so that the dog has to work around them to pick up food.

In very bad cases, dry food can be put in a two-litre plastic drinks bottle with a few holes cut in is so that the greedy hound has to roll it around to get food to drop out.

Last but not least there is the Buster Dogmaze from Kruuse UK, an interactive toy that allows the dog to see and smell food but requires it to use its nose, tongue and paws to chase individual bits of kibble to the exit points.

It can be particularly useful for easily bored dogs or to entertain dogs that have to be rested due to injury.