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 Puppy feeding schedule

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Mountain Man

Join date : 2016-02-25

PostSubject: Puppy feeding schedule   Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:53 pm

Good day all,

I got my little Bundle of joy at 8 weeks she is 9 now and I am having trouble getting her on a feeding schedule.

Trying to have her eat 1/3 of a cup of acana puppy 4 times daily but she rarely gobbles her food.

I find that if I leave a 1/3 of a cup she will finish it on her own time but never on mine.

Is "free feeding" really that bad if I am still monitoring her intake?

Any advice would be great.
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Puppy feeding schedule   Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:35 am

Boy, can the answer to this get heated ... but with the crew here, probably not.

One school of thought will say that if she isn't hungry then the food's going to set there till she is.  They'll continue that with "You should give her time to eat and if she doesn't pick it up and add her next meal to it." or words to that effect.  The problem I see with that is she hasn't eaten everything by the end of the day then you really don't know how much she *has* eaten.  

Another school of thought will say that if she eats what she needs and doesn't try to over eat then you're fine with free feeding.  My problem with that is that as she grows and her metabolism changes, you're going to have to adjust how much of what she gets and truly "free feeding" her you might not realize how much she's been eating till you have an overweight dog.

I have two dogs, Avalanche is an Alaskan Husky who I free feed on the front porch - if anything he's slightly underweight.  If I take his food away from him, he honestly doesn't care ... I have to consciously make a note to remember to make sure that he has food available because he's *never* indicated he's hungry.  

Sasha is my Sibe and even on a limited diet with exercise, she can't lose weight - I'd like to get about 10-15 pounds off her.  She would seriously eat everything in sight if she had the chance.  (( oddly, the bag that contains their food is only about three feet from her bowl and she's never sneeked into it. ))

At night both dogs go out the front door for potty purposes so I have to pick up Avalanches bowl of food or Sasha would scarf it up.  Hence I really do have to remember to put food out with him when he goes out in the morning.

So my answer to your question is "well, yes and no."
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Mountain Man

Join date : 2016-02-25

PostSubject: Re: Puppy feeding schedule   Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:08 am

Thanks I am watching her intake pretty religiously so I am not too concerned if she is or isn't getting enough just curious if eati g at her leisure would cause bad habits down the road.
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Female Join date : 2016-03-16
Location : Tiffin Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Puppy feeding schedule   Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:14 am

In my case, with my dogs I don't allow free feeding, I have 5, soon to be 6 today. They get their food and have 10 minutes to finish, though they usually only need about 5. Rolling Eyes Then it gets taken away, if somebody doesn't finish their food I measure what is left and make note of who it was so I can watch and see if it continues. I also check their body condition to see if I need to adjust their intake. Most of the times unfinished food is just because the dog wasn't hungry.

My parents had problems with their great danes one would only eat if she started out by hand feeding him, the other wanted to eat at her own pace throughout the day, which didn't work because the others would eat her food after they finished theirs. I told her to feed like I do , just sit the bowls down and after 10 minutes remove them. It only took a couple of days before they figured out that they better eat now or they wont get anything until the next meal.

Enough of my rambling Laughing Yes eating at her leisure could possibly lead to bad habits, if you don't want a dog that free feeds. If you don't mind free feeding then it probably wont be a problem.
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Female Join date : 2016-02-10
Location : Reedsville, WI, USA

PostSubject: Re: Puppy feeding schedule   Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:33 pm

I don't see a problem with measuring out the daily ration of food in the morning and letting it sit out for her. I've done that a number of times over the years before I settled on free feeding altogether where I just kept the bowl full. My dogs never overate and they always maintained a healthy weight.

Unfortunately, we had a lot of accidents in the house, and I didn't attribute that to the free feeding until very recently. Also, two of our dogs became overweight in February because the food I had put them on was high calorie. That's why I had to swap to meal feeding (to reduce their weight).

I learned a few things from going to meal feeding. The biggest one is the accidents in the house stopped almost immediately. The second thing I learned is during the transition, they sometimes skipped a meal, but then they'd eat everything at the next one because they were hungry. They learned if they didn't eat when the meal was provided, it got picked up after ten minutes. After a week or two, they adjusted to the new routine and now eat at every meal with little prompting.

Personally, I think as long as you're measuring her food to make sure she doesn't consume too much, you're just fine to do it however it works best for you. It's crucial during puppyhood that they not become overweight because it can put stress on their bones, which can cause skeletal and joint problems later in life. If you notice she's having a lot of accidents, maybe try the meal feeding for a bit and see how it works. It can take awhile for some dogs to adjust to it, like what I described with my own dogs, but then she should get the idea and eat at each meal.

So to answer your question, no, I don't think there is anything wrong with free feeding as long as you're monitoring her intake and she doesn't gobble it all up within a couple of hours. If that happens, split the food in two and set it out in the morning and in the late afternoon.
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Female Join date : 2016-02-13
Location : Georgia

PostSubject: Re: Puppy feeding schedule   Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:49 pm

I give mine 1 cup, 3 times per day. When we get up I let him out to potty, then feed, then potty again. Then he eats again around 4, and the last time around 7:30
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