While we were at my parents' over the holidays, we didn't have a gate separating the girls during meal time. Barley thinks that all food should be hers and Rye is so respectful of Barley's space that she'll back away from her food and let Barley have it all. Rye is also the slowest eater in the world, so I had to stand guard during every meal to make sure Rye could finish her food without Barley swooping in.
When our friends at Chewy.com reached out to see if we wanted to test out the Outward Hound Fun Feeder, a slow-feeding bowl, it seemed like the perfect solution to get Barley to slow down long enough to let Rye finish her food.
We chose a regular-sized feeder that came in a fun flower design, but Outward Hound also has other colors and designs, including a teal circular design and an orange spiral design.
The first thing I noticed about the feeder was just how large the feeder is. The diameter is about 12 inches and the highest of the edges is about 1.5 inches. The bowl also has a nice rubber ring around the bottom to keep it from sliding, so it's easy to use on our kitchen floors. The packaging says it can hold 4 cups of food, but I didn't test it out to see if that much actually fits since the girls would go into a tizzy if I poured food into a bowl and then took it away. The first picture shows what it looks like with Rye's 3/4 of a cup in it and there's definitely room for plenty more!
The packaging also says it's dishwasher safe for the top rack on low heat, but this is way too big to fit in the top rack of my dishwasher, so I had to hand wash it before letting Barley test it out. It fit in the sink easily, but it was hard to dry it out with all of the look nooks and crannies.
Barley was very excited to dive into her first meal served in the Fun Feeder.
Unfortunately, I don't think she actually enjoyed the Fun Feeder. It seemed like it was difficult for her to get the food out. I don't know if that's related to her past dental issues--her one canine tooth isn't exactly smooth, so it might have scraped a little when she tried to squish her nose into some of the smaller crannies--some of them are only half an inch wide or so. Either way, I could tell she was uncomfortable using the feeder and after she finished her one meal out of the Fun Feeder, I didn't want to make her use it again. I think she would enjoy it more if it were a softer, rubbery kind of material instead of really hard plastic.
Rye, on the other hand, was interested in the Fun Feeder from the moment I opened the Chewy box, so she was more than happy to give it a chance.
According to the packaging, the Fun Feeder gets dogs to eat "up to 10x slower to help prevent bloat and regurgitation." Rye doesn't really need help slowing down, but it absolutely did make her dinner last even longer (which I didn't think was possible). It took her over 5 minutes to finish her 3/4 of a cup of food! (For comparison, Barley finished her dinner in about 45 seconds in her normal bowl while Rye was eating.)
Her nose did crinkle a bit as she tried to get into some of the tighter spots, but she didn't seem to mind that at all.
Since it's not the easiest bowl to wash with all of the skinny little spots and Barley didn't love it, this probably won't be my first choice when I want to give the girls a meal in an interactive feeder. We like variety, though, so it's nice to have this one in our arsenal to switch things up a bit and if Barley had been comfortable with this, it would have been exactly what I wanted for meal times at her grandparents' house!
Disclaimer: We were provided with one Outward Hound Fun Feeder from Chewy.com as part of the #ChewyInfluencer program in exchange for our honest review.