Kongs Kongs Kongs
I love Kongs! I love any food dispensing toy, really, but Kongs seem to be the most diverse food-dispensing toy on the market. There are unlimited combinations of food and tactics to make it challenging for your dog to earn his dinner.
I was first introduced to Kongs while working at a humane society. We had limited resources and time so our go-to Kong recipe was to fill it almost to the top with kibble, then seal it closed with peanut butter and freeze it overnight. The Kongs were given to the dogs for breakfast. The kennels were always quiet during breakfast, not only because the dogs knew they had to be calm to get their Kong, but it also took them a while to get to the goodies. Depending on the dog, it would take about 15-30 minutes.
The dog food dish is lazy if you think about it. You put the food in, maybe make your dog wait for what you think is an appropriate amount of time, and when you say "OK" its like the starters pistol has fired and your dog scarfs down the food in 2 minutes. Nothing was gained from this experience. The dog's food was handed to him and he went about his day. Btw, this doesn't apply to you 'free feeding' people out there, I'll get to you soon enough. You could take a few extra minutes out of your day to stuff a Kong or put the kibble in a roll around toy and give your dog something to do. Make your dog think and use their brain to manipulate the toy to get food out. It gives them mental stimulation. Now, I'm not saying using a food dispensing toy will have a drastic impact on you and your dog's life, but it's a great way to start.
Food is a valuable resource, don't give it away for free.