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 free feeding vs scheduled feeding

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Sierra's owners
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PostSubject: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:18 pm

So our vet recommends free feeding because "the dog will only eat until they are full and they will not have feeding anxiety."

We feed Sierra (15 weeks old) 1 cup of kibble 3 times a day for a total of 3 cups. She does love her food. She will sit and stay until released to eat. Some days she eats slower than others.

Our concern is... with other breeds free feeding seems reasonable, however, neither of us have had a husky before.

So we would love to hear about which method (free of schedule) you use and pros / cons.

Thanks for your help,
Sonora
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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:25 pm

Huskies need boundaries not all dogs are created equal. Meaning... many huskies WON'T self regulate... Honestly? Free feeding is the reason millions of pets are overweight.

If scheduled feeding is working for you (and it sounds like it is) stick with it. I think it's way better than free-feeding.

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Niraya
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:29 pm

@Koda wrote:
Huskies need boundaries not all dogs are created equal. Meaning... many huskies WON'T self regulate... Honestly? Free feeding is the reason millions of pets are overweight.

If scheduled feeding is working for you (and it sounds like it is) stick with it. I think it's way better than free-feeding.

Quoted for truth.

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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:34 pm

I'm concerned that your vet actually said that the dog would only eat until it's full... did he say that because you have a husky and it's a misconception that ALL huskies self-regulate? Or did he mean it as "all dogs"?

Cause... I'm sorry- that's pretty crappy advice to a new dog owner. Our friends had a yellow lab that weighed 100 lbs... once they finally stopped feeding ridiculous amounts of food (SIX CUPS OF BLUE BUFFALO WILDERNESS A DAY), he dropped down to his healthy weight... 60 lbs... 40 lbs overweight. So yeah... go ahead and tell me the dog will stop when it's full... clearly that's not true.

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Niraya
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:39 pm

@Koda wrote:
I'm concerned that your vet actually said that the dog would only eat until it's full... did he say that because you have a husky and it's a misconception that ALL huskies self-regulate? Or did he mean it as "all dogs"?

Cause... I'm sorry- that's pretty crappy advice to a new dog owner. Our friends had a yellow lab that weighed 100 lbs... once they finally stopped feeding ridiculous amounts of food (SIX CUPS OF BLUE BUFFALO WILDERNESS A DAY), he dropped down to his healthy weight... 60 lbs... 40 lbs overweight. So yeah... go ahead and tell me the dog will stop when it's full... clearly that's not true.

More quotes for truth! Tori is letting it all out today!!! Hallelujah!

but seriously - she's right. A dog will eat and eat and eat more often than not.

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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:39 pm

Welcome!
If she turns out anyway like my Sierra Wink she will eat till she is a zillion pounds! stick with the 3x's a day since she is still a puppy and when she gets older change it to once or twice a day.
NO FREE FEEDING! we were told to do that with sierra and thats why she was over 60lbs when we got her, she is now a healthy 46lbs with 2x's a day feeding


you will also find that the warmer months she might not eat all she is given don't worry most huskies have a faze when the temps change.


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SabakaMom
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:38 pm

I have had two huskies that self-regulate. But I NEVER truly "free-feed". It's like a modified free-feed where I do not remove the uneaten breakfast food and then just add the dinner food to it. I never feed an unlimited amount. If your new little girl is loving her food and eating it when offered, there is no need to free feed. I do it because I have never had a husky who likes to eat. Some days when he doesn't eat at all, I will offer him a little more the next day. I think my method is confusing and just generally annoying to keep up with so I would not recommend it.

Like Tori, I am concerned that you received advice like that from your vet. I hide my modified free-feeding from my vet. I think she would frown upon it....
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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:54 pm

Can't believe the vet told you that!

Free feeding is rediculous. Most to all dogs will eat as much as you give them. 4 of my 5 Siberians would.

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Niraya
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:19 pm

@SabakaMom wrote:
I have had two huskies that self-regulate. But I NEVER truly "free-feed". It's like a modified free-feed where I do not remove the uneaten breakfast food and then just add the dinner food to it. I never feed an unlimited amount. If your new little girl is loving her food and eating it when offered, there is no need to free feed. I do it because I have never had a husky who likes to eat. Some days when he doesn't eat at all, I will offer him a little more the next day. I think my method is confusing and just generally annoying to keep up with so I would not recommend it.

Like Tori, I am concerned that you received advice like that from your vet. I hide my modified free-feeding from my vet. I think she would frown upon it....

This is a measured free-feeding. It's a lot of work when done properly. I do this method but I know at all times how much food Bella is getting.

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Tiff&Kya
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:57 pm

@Niraya wrote:
@SabakaMom wrote:
I have had two huskies that self-regulate. But I NEVER truly "free-feed". It's like a modified free-feed where I do not remove the uneaten breakfast food and then just add the dinner food to it. I never feed an unlimited amount. If your new little girl is loving her food and eating it when offered, there is no need to free feed. I do it because I have never had a husky who likes to eat. Some days when he doesn't eat at all, I will offer him a little more the next day. I think my method is confusing and just generally annoying to keep up with so I would not recommend it.

Like Tori, I am concerned that you received advice like that from your vet. I hide my modified free-feeding from my vet. I think she would frown upon it....

This is a measured free-feeding. It's a lot of work when done properly. I do this method but I know at all times how much food Bella is getting.

We did this method as well when we fed kibble. I would put 2 cups in each bowl, and that was all they got. The next day, if food was gone, I would refill, if not, they had to eat what was in the bowl.
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xxchristine
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:12 pm

Kota is 16 weeks and we have him on scheduled feeding. His mom, on the other hand, is on the free-feeding method. I won't lie though, before she was on free-feeding they had her on a regular schedule first. I think the younger they are, the less self-regulation they'd have. They don't really know any better. Our intention is to have Kota on a modified free-feeding when he's old enough, but that won't be for several more months.
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Niraya
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:03 pm

Just remember what works for one dog may not work for another dog. Just because the mother is free fed and self regulates does not mean the pup will.

I know SEVERAL adult dogs who are so obese because they are free fed. A large metal dish filled to overflowing everyday and the dog will eat it all and more if they give him more.


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kevo
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:28 pm

I free feed mostly because cali skips soo many meals that her breakfast will be ate at dinner, or if normal she will flip her bowl over in her crate, then clean it up over the course of the nite and into the morning. But i don't fill her bowl till she has ate the first "meal" (whenever she does finish it)

Mika on the other hand, she will eat the bowl of food- on and off- till its done. She has to survey all the other dogs to see what they have while she is eating hers.
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silvertoast
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:15 pm

we free feed layla. will give her about 2 cups in the morning if the bowl is empty. there has been times when i get home in the afternoon there is still food left. and sometimes still food there in the am. on the other side there have been a few times when i got home the bowl was empty and ill give her a lilte more. guess all dogs are a diffrent
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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:18 pm

That would be a modified free feed. True free-feeding means there is food in the bowl at all times. The fact that you are measuring anything means that it's not truly free-feeding Smile

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Sierra's owners
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:25 am

@Koda wrote:
I'm concerned that your vet actually said that the dog would only eat until it's full... did he say that because you have a husky and it's a misconception that ALL huskies self-regulate? Or did he mean it as "all dogs"?

Cause... I'm sorry- that's pretty crappy advice to a new dog owner. Our friends had a yellow lab that weighed 100 lbs... once they finally stopped feeding ridiculous amounts of food (SIX CUPS OF BLUE BUFFALO WILDERNESS A DAY), he dropped down to his healthy weight... 60 lbs... 40 lbs overweight. So yeah... go ahead and tell me the dog will stop when it's full... clearly that's not true.


Tori,

She has 2 labs...which one self admittedly...is overweight....but this was a generalization for "all dogs" Therein lied my apprehension...1. her dog is overweight and 2. not all dogs are created equal.

This was just one topic that raised a red flag for both my husband and I.

Thanks for your honest opinion!!
~Sonora
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Sierra's owners
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:31 am

@jbealer wrote:
Welcome!
If she turns out anyway like my Sierra Wink she will eat till she is a zillion pounds! stick with the 3x's a day since she is still a puppy and when she gets older change it to once or twice a day.
NO FREE FEEDING! we were told to do that with sierra and thats why she was over 60lbs when we got her, she is now a healthy 46lbs with 2x's a day feeding


you will also find that the warmer months she might not eat all she is given don't worry most huskies have a faze when the temps change.


Jennifer,

Thanks for the welcome. It seems Sierra is a popular name for a husky Laughing It also seems that they have more than their names in common. I am sure...given free reign...our Sierra would eat until she burst.

We plan on keeping her at 3x/day for awhile. At what age did you switch to 1-2x/day?

46lbs....our girl is 15 weeks and weighed in at 29.2lbs....guess that malamute portion is going to make a big difference.

Thanks again
~Sonora
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:24 pm

Sonora,
we adopted Sierra when she was 6 Smile and our boy Jack when he was just over a yr. so im not sure when to switch the food, i think she will let you know Wink

is she a full Mal? did i miss that? then yes she is going to be much bigger! female huskies should not be over 50 or 55lbs i think 45lbs is about normal if they are of breed stander.

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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:13 pm

I think she's a huskamute Jenn.

I switch to 2x a day (from 3x) once they were showing less interest in a meal. Usually around 4-6 months I stopped the lunch feeding and stretched their portions out over 2 meals instead of 3. If she's a chow hound and doesn't seem to show any disinterest in the 3rd meal you can still switch it to twice daily feedings around the same time frame. If during the switch she starts to throw up bile during the day you may need to feed more in the mornings or it may not be time to switch to 2x daily.

I switched most of my dogs to once daily feeding after a year. I don't think Rodeo will go to that just yet as his health is still questionable. He'll be a year on the 10th.

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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:54 am

@jbealer wrote:


is she a full Mal? did i miss that? then yes she is going to be much bigger! female huskies should not be over 50 or 55lbs i think 45lbs is about normal if they are of breed stander.

She is about 25% mal...but a growing girl in any case.

Thanks again for the advice!
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:04 pm

I do scheduled feedings for Chloe. Once in the morning before school/work and then one more time in the evening 4-6 ish. Since I have found a diet that she likes she will normally eat it all at once (or spread it across the living room floor). Anyways, I can keep track of how much she eats and her stools. For me there is not any downsides, but if I'm gone I either have to come home to feed her or have a family member do it but thats not a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:24 pm

Funny, I was about to ask this question (free feeding vs scheduled feeding) so I searched this site first, so as not to ask something that has already been asked ...and I came upon this post.

I always used the free feeding method with my previous dogs, but they weren't Huskies. I had a few German shepherds; an Australian Shepherd; a Shepherd/Retriever mix; an Australian Cattle Dog (?); and a Wolf Hybrid (Timber/Arctic Wolf 72% + Samoyed/Malamute 28%), before I got blessed with Tundra.

All of my dogs were puppies when I adopted them -- except for Tundra. I used good-quality kibble for all my pups, and left it available at all times in a large bowl, next to a large bowl of water.

None of my previous dogs became overweight, and they regulated their intake, sometimes sitting down to eat quite a bit, and sometimes just nibbling.

The difference is that they were puppies when introduced to this method. (Also, they weren't Huskies).

Tundra (my current and very first Siberian Husky), on the other hand, came to me at 1-1/2 yrs of age. For two days after I adopted him I tried to get him to eat kibble, but he wouldn't!! I was in a state of panic and then added warm water and canned dog food to his kibble, which he ate.

Since I had to mix canned food into his kibble, I then realized he had to be fed differently from my previous dogs because canned food spoils in the bowl, and he wouldn't eat just dry kibble. So that is how Tundra got started on a scheduled feeding routine, rather than a free feeding routine.

I did read somewhere (way back then) that if a dog is used to finishing all of his/her food in one sitting (as in scheduled feeding), that he/she will not easily adapt to free feeding, because the dog is used to eating the entire bowl. It also said that if the dog is introduced as a puppy to free feeding, that he/she will only eat what is necessary. I did find this to be true, since all of my previous dogs came to me as puppies, and none of them got fat as they aged.

Tundra is different, as I said, he came to me at 1 and 1/2 yrs of age, and wouldn't eat dry kibble by itself. Except, I now have him on Blue Buffalo Wilderness, and for the first time in his life with me, he will eat it plain, by itself!

I haven't tried to switch him over to a free feeding method, yet, because I also have been adding pumpkin, yogurt, green beans, and of course canned food to his meals (he may have Cushings, probably does, and his nutrition is so important at this point).

I do think, that at this point in his life (almost 8 yrs old) that he may not be able to switch to a free feeding method. But if I had adopted him as a small puppy I would certainly have tried the free feeding method, with a high-quality kibble.

I was hoping to find some answers here that supported the free feeding method, but even though I didn't, I have learned much from those who don't support it Smile (and I didn't have to post a redundant post asking which is the best method)

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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:09 am

With Anna I giver her 3/4 cup in the morning and 3/4 cup at night. I do leave her food down and if she doesn't eat it well then I guess she isn't hungry. Anna has always been a picky eater meaning she never comes running when it is time to eat. Anna KNOWS when she is not hungry anymore and will stop eating when she is full. I leave her breakfast, fed at 8 or as soon as I get up, down until about noonish and dinner, fed at 5 until 8ish. The only reason I leave breakfast down as long as I do is because she sometimes goes back to sleep on the couch when I get up in the morning and doesn't care for her food.
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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:46 am

@Tundra wrote:
I did read somewhere (way back then) that if a dog is used to finishing all of his/her food in one sitting (as in scheduled feeding), that he/she will not easily adapt to free feeding, because the dog is used to eating the entire bowl. It also said that if the dog is introduced as a puppy to free feeding, that he/she will only eat what is necessary. I did find this to be true, since all of my previous dogs came to me as puppies, and none of them got fat as they aged.

You will find there are plenty of cases that refute both claims. I know plenty of dogs who have been raised from puppyhood being free fed that are quite obese and always have been. Likewise those raised on scheduled feeds can go to free feeding without overeating...as with many things it will depend on the individual.

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PostSubject: Re: free feeding vs scheduled feeding   Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:01 pm

I don't free feed either of mine either. I feed them once a day (except for the rescue who gets fed more often to raise her weight). I don't take their food from them after a certain time either. Both of my girls will eat what they want when I give it to them and then nibble throughout the day. Their kibble is usually gone when it's time to feed them again the next day, but there are days when they don't really eat at all. If they still have a mostly full portion, I don't give them more until they've eaten the last portion. If they just have a little left, I will go ahead and add the full amount. Even at this, one of my girls is overweight. Even though we've had her since she was a puppy and she's supposed to be purebred sibe, I think she has some malamute in her which contributes to her bigger size. My rescue girl eats her entire portion as soon as I give it to her. I'm fairly sure she would eat and eat and eat as long as I continue to fill her bowl.
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