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Old 02-05-2015, 05:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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free feeding vs scheduled

We started a once a day feeding schedule with our dogs long ago when we had Nytro who was food aggressive with other animals and it has stuck through all this time and has worked well.
I like it as we can control how much our dogs eat and everyone is able to eat around other dogs, even my sister can bring her dogs over and we can feed and there are no issues.
We now have T-Bone who has full food issues, he lives as though he is starving even after getting fed. he isn't aggressive towards the other dogs, but as he gets older i worry his obsessiveness towards food could lead to issues.

We have thought about free feeding our dogs so that he sees food as always being available so he doesn'e have to obsess so much but at the same time i dont want him to gorge out and become possesive over the feeder.

Anyone have some ideas?
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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free feeding vs scheduled

If he's a dog that tends to eat more than necessary, I wouldn't do it. I do free feed my dogs, always have and probably always will. Not to the extent some people do. I just fill their bowl and let them eat when they want throughout the day, but I do restrict when the food is down. I put it down twice a day for about four hours and they eat when they want.

Both of my dogs are amazing at regulating their own diets, they don't eat more than necessary and neither are overweight at all. If I measured it out I doubt they'd be eating more than 2-2.5 cups a day.

I think it really depends on the dog. I know a lot of people whose dogs would be obese if they fed the way I do.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe try feeding him two meals a day instead of all at once. My boy will act starved if he gets one meal a day, even if it is the same amount that he would normally get in two feedings.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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We do the 2 meal times/day as well - breakfast and dinner. If we didn't I think my dog would chew her own paw off.

We also - per our vet - supplement with an evening snack of cooked vegetables because we're trying to get her weight down a bit, but she acts like she gets fed once a month.

Seriously - if she' in a dead to the world sleep and you tip toe ever so quietly over to the cupboard and stealthily remove a snack - like you're a wanted criminal performing a jewel heist - then turn around on ballerina feet...you'll fall right over her.
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
 

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Originally Posted by Jazzy&Veronica View Post
We do the 2 meal times/day as well - breakfast and dinner. If we didn't I think my dog would chew her own paw off.

We also - per our vet - supplement with an evening snack of cooked vegetables because we're trying to get her weight down a bit, but she acts like she gets fed once a month.

Seriously - if she' in a dead to the world sleep and you tip toe ever so quietly over to the cupboard and stealthily remove a snack - like you're a wanted criminal performing a jewel heist - then turn around on ballerina feet...you'll fall right over her.
This made me laugh. I feed Camo twice a day as well. A cup in the morning, a cup in the evening, and a few treats per day (never exceeding 5).

He acts like he has never been fed, he has to go in his crate while we eat. The one time I didn't crate him to try and train him on how to act during human meal time, he jumped up on the table and had 1/2 the food on my wife's plate in his mouth before I could get a hand on his collar and pull him down. Never again, we will just skip that training and crate him during meal time.

Another bad food habit he has is as soon as he is let out of the crate he has his head in the kitchen sink licking plates, or looking for plates to lick. Down works, he drops to all paws, then immediately jumps right back up. This takes four or five times before he will stay down and go find a toy.

I have been working on this behavior daily for a year now with zero progress. No amount of treats, positive reinforcement, or redirection has made him stop his hunt for food.

It is a behavior I will never give up on working on, at least he does not jump up on the kitchen counter anymore, so that is some progress. lol

He never whines or barks for food though, he is just always on the search for more than we allow him.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
 

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My dogs constantly think they're starving to death.

I feed twice a day with treats in between, and you'd think they haven't seen food in a year. I'm working with Maggie on staying off of the counter (who am I kidding? This is the dog that got into the cupboard above the fridge.), and I cannot leave any food unattended on the table. If I get up, the food needs to be shut in the microwave or something or it will be gone. Maggie is tall enough that her head is table height. She's also learned to be really quiet and sneaky.

I tried free feeding with a previous dog. He plowed through the entire bowl in minutes, then got sick, then starved for the rest of the day. He never did learn to moderate his consumption, so I gave up and went back to feeding twice a day.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I wonder if there is a correlation between acting starved and scheduled feedings vs. slow eating and free-feeding. Looking at the responses of everyone who feeds on a schedule, I see that my dogs are totally different. They have been free-fed their entire lives and they never act hungry, never beg for food, wouldn't even dare touching our food if we left it out, and are perfectly fine with leaving food in their bowl if they're full. Very interesting.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BCdogs View Post
I wonder if there is a correlation between acting starved and scheduled feedings vs. slow eating and free-feeding. Looking at the responses of everyone who feeds on a schedule, I see that my dogs are totally different. They have been free-fed their entire lives and they never act hungry, never beg for food, wouldn't even dare touching our food if we left it out, and are perfectly fine with leaving food in their bowl if they're full. Very interesting.

My dogs are the same way, I can leave my dinner plate on the coffee table while I go to the restroom or do whatever and they won't touch it. With our scheduled feeding twice a day they don't act hungry either, but if they get all of it in one meal they will stand by their food bin wanting another meal later on in the day.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
 

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Grown dogs need once a day! Pups all they want.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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We are free feeding our Pitbull Terrier. She is around four months old now. I can fill her bowl, and she will sometimes eat only half, then an hour or two (sometimes three or four) later, she will eat a little more. I put one bowl outside on the porch in the early morning (around 6:00 a.m.), and a second bowl in the afternoon. Sometimes she does not finish the second bowl.

Note: I've been experimenting with different additional foods, which our dog likes. Started when we first got her at two months old with Bananas, and Banana Chips, which she loves! She likes the Banana Chips much better, which I use for training/treats. Then I gave her Cranberries which she like at first, but now will not eat plain.

I started mixing Oatmeal (cooked) with Bananas, and mix with her dry dog food. She eats less at one sitting whenever I mix in other stuff with her dry food.

However, when I mix in even just one small egg (including the shell), she devours almost a full bowl !!!

Recently I cooked up White Potatoes mixed with Shredded Green Cabbage. She likes that too, but when I mix with her dry dog food, she will not eat the entire bowl in one sitting.

She also loves Sweet Potatoes and Yams, and sometimes will chew on a large Carrot, and eat the Carrot.
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