Hey Mighty Paw fam, Barbara here to share a little tip on how you can combine our slow feeder dog bowl with a homemade dog food topper!
Why would you do that?
First of all, it's a great way to add some nourishing oomph to your pup's meals in the form of extra protein, fiber and moisture!
But it's also a good hack to get your picky eater more interested in his food again.
Additionally, the extra moisture helps keep your pup hydrated.
That's particularly helpful in the colder winter months when the air is drier than usual and dogs tend to drink more as it is.
It also helps keep your pup more regular if they're having digestive issues!
Combine Our Slow Feeder Dog Bowl And This DIY Dog Food Topper To Level Up Your Pup's Meals
What's A Slow Feeder Dog Bowl?
If you don't know what a slow feeder dog bowl is, here's a quick recap.
Just like the name suggests, it's a dog bowl that slows your dog's eating down by up to 10x!
It does that because it features a built-in maze of obstacles that your dog has to eat around.
Our slow feeder dog bowl has a total of 6 ridges and one pull tab that acts as an additional obstacle.
It can be used on its own or you can place it inside our medium size stainless steel dog bowls. Any other dog bowls with a diameter of 7" will work as well.
The pull tab comes in really handy when you're looking to remove the slow feeder bowl from a regular bowl!
Good to know: Slow Feeder Dog Bowls are also commonly referred to as Puzzle Feeders or Interactive Feeders.
What You Need For The DIY Dog Food Topper
OK, now here's what you'll need to whip up your homemade dog food topper:
- 3 parts lean ground beef or turkey
- 1 part canned or homemade pumpkin puree
- A little olive oil (ideally cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil because it's less acidic)
The exact amount for the food topper depends on your dog's size and regular meal allowances.
The easiest way to make it is to whip up 4 days worth of topping. That way you can store it in the fridge in-between meals.
If you want to make a larger batch, you can refrigerate the food up to 4 days. The rest would need to go into your freezer to keep from spoiling.
How To Make & Serve The DIY Dog Food Topper
Step 1: Pour a little olive oil into a frying pan and add the ground beef or turkey. Brown it lightly, then discard the excess oil.
Benefits of lean ground beef or turkey for dogs:
- High protein content which is important for proper muscle growth and cell renewal.
- Low fat which is helpful for overweight dogs on a diet.
Benefits of olive oil for dogs:
- Great source of healthy fats (Omega-3 fatty acids), Vitamin E and phytonutrients (powerful antioxidants) which are important for a healthy, shiny coat and heart health.
Step 2: Add the pumpkin puree.
You can either use the canned kind you'll find in the baking section at just about any grocery store or make your own. If you buy the canned kind, make sure to get 100% pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling!
Here's how to make your own pumpkin puree:
- It's best to use smaller pumpkins because they taste better
- Cut off the stems and cut the pumpkins in half
- Bake them for 45-60 minutes at 350° F (180° C)
- Let them cool until they're no longer burning hot to the touch, then peel the skin off
- Transfer your halves into a food processor, add enough water to create a smooth puree and blend everything together. Tip: Add bone broth (without any condiments) instead of water for an even healthier version!
Benefits of pumpkin puree for dogs:
- Naturally rich in soluble fiber which helps with digestion issues like constipation and diarrhea. Also helps your dog feel fuller -> Great add on for overweight pups on a diet!
- Naturally rich in moisture which helps keep your dog hydrated.
- Naturally rich in vitamins A, C and B9, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. They're important for a strong immune system, proper thyroid, nerve, and muscle functioning as well as bone health.
Step 3: Mix everything together in the pan, then transfer it into a food storage container.
Step 4: Fill your pup's regular kibble or canned meal into our slow feeder dog bowl.
Use a little less than their regular allowance and top it off with the dog food topper you made. You can use 1 tablespoon for smaller dogs, 2 for medium dogs and 3 for large pups.
Step 5: Enjoy watching your pup forage through the ridges of the slow feeder bowl to get to all of their scrumptious food!
Step 6: Once your pup's done eating, you can simply put the bowl into your dishwasher.
...by the way, the picture below DOES show my pup Wally's used slow feeder bowl in the dishwasher...but he did a fab job "pre-washing" it!!
Ready to level up your pup's meals?! Check out the Mighty Paw products featured in this blog post:
Barbara Rivers writes regularly for Mighty Paw. She is a blogger, raw feeder, former dog walker and maintains the blog K9s Over Coffee.