Dear Sadie,

My Basset gets so excited about meal times! She gets two meals, one in the morning and one in the evening. My
concern is that she eats so fast—it seems like I just put the bowl down and the food is gone! Is this too fast? What
can I do to help her slow down?

Fast Food in Franklin


Dear Fast Food,

Great name! Yum! Oh, sorry, you mentioned food and I got a little focused on that.  You are right to be concerned because,
although we bassets like to eat and enjoy every opportunity we get to do it, eating too fast can be dangerous. We bassets are
prone to a condition called “bloat”.  This is a serious condition caused by air getting into the stomach and intestines causing
them to twist and constrict. The constriction cuts off blood flow in the abdomen causing a drop in blood pressure and damage to
internal organs. This is a very painful condition that can be fatal if immediate (twenty minutes to an hour max) treatment is not
obtained. Be prepared for the worst by having the contact information for a 24/7 vet at hand; if you suspect bloat, act
immediately and don’t wait.  Better safe that sorry. Watch for you dog attempting to vomit, showing anxiety or restlessness, being
“hunched up”, and a bloated or distended abdomen.  Check out Wikipedia for more information.  http://en.wikipedia.

It is good that you are feeding two smaller meals per day rather than one big one as the will help minimize the likelihood of her
getting bloat. To help slow her down while eating, make sure breakfast and dinner are calm times; not too much other activity or
noise going on while the food is being prepared and served, Don’t feed right after a walk or other exercise, and wait at least an
hour after eating before doing any moderate activities like taking a walk. Having this same issue myself (eating too fast, not bloat
thank goodness), I got a special bowl called a “Brake-fast” bowl. It has molded cones in it that makes me eat around them,
helping me to slow down.

A few precautionary measures and you can help your girl eat with gusto yet slow enough to be safe.  Bon Appetite!
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