Gobble Stopper didn't stop gobbling

Jun 5, 2013 (Updated Jun 6, 2013)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review


Cons:Doesn't work in any of our dog food bowls

The Bottom Line: The Gobble Stopper's suction cup is easily released, even by a dog's nose - this concept is great but the execution was a complete failure.

The exact causes of canine bloat (gastric dilatation and volvulus - GDV) remain unknown but the condition’s end results are well known – it’s when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and then flips twisting blood vessels and preventing blood flow through the digestive system. This in turns traps gas causing a buildup of gas in the stomach. The stomach flips and this gas buildup continues to cause the stomach to swell and stretch.  If not treated immediately this medical emergency can and often will cause the dog to die. Medical emergencies in the dogs I’ve known with bloat have all concluded with surgery and lengthy recoveries. A list of simple suggestions can help prevent this condition. Because I’ve known two dogs who have suffered from this, and because Labrador retrievers are one of the breeds more susceptible to bloat, I’ve explored and used numerous products that slow their enthusiastic eating.

One of the causes that can trigger bloat is eating too fast (there are other suspected causes and behaviors to avoid but eating speed is one I can readily address).

Most Labradors LOVE food and their meal time is an opportunity to get enthusiastic. The Loving Pets Corporation’s Gobble Stopper offers a simple design that uses a suction cup to secure a barrier in the bowl. This bone-shaped plastic barrier is raised approximately one inch above the suction cup. The bone is 3 ½ x 2 ½ inches.  This Gobble Stopper is intended for medium-sized dog bowls (6 to 8 inches in diameter) and can be used in any bowls.

The claim is that this turns “ANY bowl into a SLOW FEEDER” and that this slows feeding by up to five times.

The Gobble Stopper also helps prevent vomiting and choking as well as bloating that are due to eating too fast. The raised canopy design “forces dogs to eat underneath” the raised bone.

It doesn’t work. It simply doesn’t.
Our rescue is a fast eater. That happens a lot with rescue dogs, or at least that has been our experience. Our previous rescue could never get enough food and was nearly panicky about eating. She would locate her food bag and the trash can it was in and drag both up stairs if hidden in the basement. She tried once to drag the large 30-pound bag out the doggy door.

Cooper, our current dog, is almost as frantic.  Because he has been recovering from a heartworm treatment it has been necessary to remain calm – even while eating. We opted to not let him chase his bowl ball (Everlasting Fun Ball) around the kitchen.  We use treat balls for feeding our hungry dogs. There are multiple benefits from using this process but bloat prevention is one of the primary motivations. Instead of chasing his bowl ball we allowed him to eat from his stainless steel bowl that’s generally reserved for water.

The suction cup won’t hold. It seems fine at first, but when the food goes into the bowl and the dog begins nibbling his kibbles the Gobble Stopper falls over. I tried this on a heavy resin bowl and a heavier stainless steel bowl. Both times it seemed secure until it was tapped by a dog nose. I tried placing a little moisture under the suction cup and then pressed it down to get a more secure seal. Again, a light touch released the Gobble Stopper. My other dog lifted it out of the bowl so she could get to the food.

This has an “easy-lift tab that enables quick removal for cleaning.”  When I initially tested this on the kitchen counter the tab worked to release the suction cup but had I waited just a few minutes it seems that air temperature changes in the room also release the suction.  It doesn’t work. Fortunately this cost less than $5 and I didn’t need to pay shipping since it arrived with a much larger order of other pet supplies.  It does not turn any bowl into a slow feeder. 

Slow Feeder Products
Everlasting Fun Ball (this works) 
Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball (definitely works)
Our Pets Durapet Slow Feed Bowls (didn’t slow down my Labrador)
Buster Food Cube (a waste of money)
Atomic Treat Ball (did not impress my dogs)

I have been in touch with the fine people at Loving Pets and asked if this had been discontinued since it wasn't visible on their website. They explained it was still available, that they were re-doing their site. They also were unaware of any problems and will have their product engineers look at this and they have thanked me for my communications with them.If I see that there is an improved, reliable product I will update this review.  

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