Friday, January 19, 2018

Split Opinions on Outward Hound Fun Feeder

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. 


This isn't my very favorite interactive feeder. We have several others that I think make the dogs think a little bit more, but as far as slowing dogs down, this definitely works! I also like that this one doesn't move around. A lot of our other feeders require the dogs to move around the house and roll things around--which they love, but it's not always convenient if I'm trying to cook dinner while they eat and someone's rolling their dinner between my feet and the stove or they get their dinner stuck under the couch and need rescuing. The Fun Feeder keeps the dogs busy without needing wide open spaces!

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.

12 comments:

  1. Interesting! Mad Dog doesn't need helping eating any slower either haha, but good to keep in mind!

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    1. Maddux definitely doesn't need this bowl, either! But maybe something to keep in mind for future pups and fosters :)

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  2. Madison and I are super slow eaters too and don't need anything to make us slower. Bailie is a speed eater. Mom got her to slow down as a puppy because she comes from a litter of 14, she gulped down her food without even chewing. She steals out of the cat slow feeder, so we are trying this one out with her this month but haven't gotten to it yet. Stay tuned. We expect her to love it.

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    1. I'm looking forward to hearing how it works out at your house! Rye really seemed to be even more excited about dinner when she ate out of this one--but if she slows down too much more, she'll still be eating dinner when breakfast rolls around again ;)

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  3. Since we add wet things to our dogs' food, I can't really use one like this. We have more simple slow feeders. We used to have one of those green ones (I forget what they're called) and it really did slow Cricket down though, but they are kind of a pain to clean!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. I know the feeling! Soth has a couple slow feeders but since he eats mostly wet food and I've started adding water to his dry food, they don't really work for us anymore. The girls mostly have dry food for meals and then I stick the wet stuff in their Kongs to occupy them while I work, so this is perfect for getting them to slow down at meal time :)

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  4. We are definitely going to try this with our Ramble. He eats so quickly - we are always worried about him choking. We have one with a plus design in it, but he has figured out how to maximize his eating time.

    Monty, Harlow, and Ramble

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    1. It sounds like sweet Ramble is too smart for his own good :) Barley tends to figure any sort of puzzle out quickly, too, and they don't slow her down for long! This one seems to really make Rye work because it has so many different sizes of nooks and crannies, so I hope it works for Ramble, too!

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  5. My girls eat out of Fun Feeders every night (I have four different ones) - similar to Barley & Rye, the dog that needs to slow down (Boca) doesn't exactly seem to enjoy the feeder, but I feel it's safer for her to eat kibble this way. Ruby, already a slow eater, loves working for her food.

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    1. Barley usually likes working for her food, but this one just didn't click for her. I really think it probably has to do with her dental issues, so Rye gets full control of this Fun Feeder and I let Barley use the other interactive feeders so everyone is happy :)

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  6. I wish they made slow feeders for the raw food, but I just can't imagine how they could do that. If they were on kibble, I think this would drive Delilah batty. She has no patience when it comes to food. :-D

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    1. I've seen some stainless dog bowls with like a little hump in the middle, but that's probably the closest to a slow feeder for raw food that I know of! Barley loves to wolf her food down, but she also enjoys working for it, so I was a little bummed this one didn't click with her--thankfully, we've got other options and Rye embraced this one whole heartedly.

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