Kyjen Slow Feeders–A review
I don’t know about you but I have some serious food inhalers in my house. It’s not so much an issue now since I feed primarily raw and when I feed kibble it’s not in a bowl, but I am still really intrigued by the slow feeders I’ve seen. There were a few I’d seen previously but with a staggeringly high price-tag of nearly $40 (after tax) it just wasn’t a purchase I could justify. I was really excited when I got an email from the Kyjen company saying they had released their own slow feeders. Since I get a discount through a professional organization, I decided to give a few of these a try and test them out. So I got two different feeders, the “flower” style in pink and the “drop” style in teal (it may have had everything to do with the colors and not so much the designs). There are two other styles available that I did not try, the “hills” and the “coral”. Both “bowls” that I purchased are about 12″ in diameter and are around 2″-3″ deep and feature different designs that challenge the dogs in different ways.
Does it REALLY do that?
I guess the first thing to discuss is that it actually does what it is supposed to do. It seriously slowed down all the dogs (and one cat) who used it. Loki is a serious inhaler of food. I let him use a normal bowl once and he inhaled his 2/3c of food in about 10-15 seconds (including time where he coughed and choked on the kibble he sucked up). He sort of does this pelican move where he will shove as much kibble in his mouth with one bite and then try to swallow it–with or without chewing. I started out giving Loki the ‘flower’. I put his normal 2/3c kibble in the feeder, making sure to spread it all around so it was all spread out, and then put it on the floor for him. I let him eat and it was a huge difference, after a minute or two of him starting, I grabbed my camera and filmed the duration of his meal. I filmed for over 5 minutes 30 seconds before he got the last of the kibble, which means it probably took him between 6 and 7 minutes to eat the same amount of food that would normally take him about 10-15 seconds (video below).
I don’t have the same quantitative numbers for Shayne, but she is also an extremely fast eater, I used to put 3 balls in her bowl to slow her down when I fed her kibble. Now, I have to feed all of her raw meals frozen or else she will just swallow it whole or in huge bites. Any time I feed her thawed out ground raw, she will very quickly take bites and swallow large chunks of meat at one time, often causing her to have to really work hard at swallowing. Since the bowls are top-rack dishwasher safe, I decided to try them with ground raw venison. It was a bit yucky to fill, but it really slowed her down. What would normally take her about 10-20 seconds (at best) to swallow, took her about 5 minutes and there were zero moments of choking. Rio and Bandit are not typically speed eaters but both ate quite slowly and seemed to enjoy using the slow feeder bowls for something different.
- The bowl does what it says it will do, it slowed down every dog I used it with.
- The rubber bottom is fantastic! I used this on hard wood, carpeting, rugs, and ceramic tile flooring and it didn’t slide around.
- Being top-rack dishwasher safe made me more comfortable putting raw meat in the feeders, which I will continue to do with Shayne if I’m feeding thawed out ground meat or canned food because it slowed her down so nicely.
- It was “easy” enough that Shayne, my serial “pick it up and throw it/tip it over/destroy it” dog didn’t do any of those. If toys/puzzles are slowly spitting out kibble, Shayne will pick up and throw, tip upside down the toy to spill the food, or will try to break the toy through brute force but this toy was “easy” enough that she didn’t even try it.
- The dogs seemed to really enjoy eating out of the toys
- VERY easy to “fill”, just pour the kibble in the feeder
- I cleaned the bowls by hand a few times and they cleaned up easily
- Through repeated uses, the dogs learned skills to eat the meals quicker but it was still taking them more than 3 minutes to empty
- My typically slow eaters were not deterred by having to work for their kibble and actually seemed to have fun–Bandit, who never eats his dinner on the first go, actually ate all of his dinner using the feeder.
- Rio was able to pick up the “drop” feeder by gripping (barely) the “cone” in the center–he could only hold it for a second or two and never tipped it but it was possible.
- I’d love to see more intricate designs like the “flower”–the “drop” one was easier for all the dogs (though still took them 3 minutes or more) and that is the only intricate design for any of their slow-feeders, the rest are pretty bland.
- If there was a piece of kibble stuck somewhere, and Shayne tried to destroy the toy, I suspect that with some work she could. Though I suspect for most dogs this wouldn’t be an issue.
I really like these feeders! The product is really fantastic and does what it sets out to do really well. I would absolutely suggest these for people, even if their dog isn’t a fast eater, because it’s another fun and interactive way to feed their dog but is just as easy as filling a traditional bowl. I think the price, while still a bit high, is much more accessible for people, as they retail for $24.95 ($10-$15 less than another popular slow feeder).
Although I will carry some of these in my store, due to their size/weight, they will not be shippable. So, if you are interested in getting one of these awesome slow feeders yourself, and you are outside my local area, check out the Kyjen Store.