I have one of those dogs who, to put it quite plainly, doesn’t eat her food. No, she doesn’t eat it – ‘eating’ would insinuate that she actually takes the time to chew her food. Tula inhales her food the way a Dyson sucks dog hair off a carpet. She hits the dish, scoops as much as possible into her mouth, and swallows it whole. Tula is the reason that some dogs just can’t eat whole raw chicken parts – she doesn’t chew the wings, she jams them into her mouth and swallows, necessitating my sticking fingers into her mouth to pull out the entire pieces, before she chokes to death.
While every other dog is still busily chowing down, Tula is done and staring at me out of her crate, with a look that clearly says “Where the hell is the rest of my dinner?”. This isn’t an uncommon problem with Frenchies – I had just gotten an email from another owner, complaining about how nothing she’s attempted can get her chowhound Frogdog to slow the hell down, when the nice people at DogPause contacted me to ask if we’d try out their bowl.
I agreed to do so, with the caveat that I’d write a fair and impartial review.
The bowls themselves arrived, and they are definitely cute – bright colored plastic, with a smiling dog face smack in the middle. The bowl is divided into four equal segments, forcing your dog to eat from each, rather than just scooping the bowl’s entire contents into their mouth at a single go.
My concern was that the divided sections are both narrow and deep – an issue for a dog that doesn’t have a long, pointy nose. The only real test, I decided, was to turn Tula loose on a filled bowl and see how long it took her to eat from it.
Initially, the DogPause bowl works precisely as it’s intended. Tula rotated from section to section, grabbing a bite here and another bite there. She actually slowed down long enough to chew her food – something we’d never seen her do before. In fact, the bowl worked just fine until it came to the final bites of food. Tula’s flat face simply couldn’t get down into the bottom section of the bowl, and she became increasingly frustrated about getting out the last few pieces of kibble. I finally dumped them out on the floor for her, or she’d probably still be trying to get them.
Personally, I’d be more likely to buy this dish if it was made of heavier construction, preferably metal. I don’t like plastic bowls, and neither do most other dog breeders I know. They’re hard to keep clean, and targets for chewing (Bunny would go through one of these dishes in about ten seconds, flat). I also think that the dogs would do better with a dish they weren’t pushing across the floor. Finally, and most importantly, this dish just isn’t practical for a short faced dog breed. Bulldogs, Frenchies, Pekes, Pugs – all of them are going to have a really hard with this dish. Perhaps an alternate design, with shallower segments, might be available in the future.
In the meantime, if I had a piggy eating pointy nosed dog, this bowl would be a great solution. I have a second dish to give away to whoever writes to me first and asks for it. <- Update: the dog dish is spoken for!
Here’s our video review of the DogPause bowl: