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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to hear some opinions on why you should not free feed. I've had a very difficult time feeding Harley & taking her food away after 20 min. She's never anywhere close to being done. I understand that once she realizes it won't be available, she'll eat. I just wonder if it's necessary for a mellow/ laid back dog. She prefers to graze, and I'd be interested in hearing any reasons why I should not alllow it.
 

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Agent Squint
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They need to know and realize you're the hand that feeds her....she needs boundaries. And, free feeding can lead to being overweight, even if you don't realize you're feeding too much. Those are my opinions on why I do it. I keep my dogs trim and thin for working and free feeding doesn't allow me to monitor it as much. Plus, having multiple dogs, I can't just have food lying around all the time either.

But, for you for one dog, it probably isn't such a bad thing.

~S
 

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Aside from the other responses, a dog's digestive system is designed to go empty between meals, not have food constantly digesting. That is why Dog's will occasionally fast themselves.
 

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Agent Squint
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Kismet said:
Aside from the other responses, a dog's digestive system is designed to go empty between meals, not have food constantly digesting. That is why Dog's will occasionally fast themselves.
I didn't know that. See, that's why I spend so much time on here, learning new things.

Thanks!

~S
 

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i free feed biz
but he normally emptys his bowl in 10 minutes or so
and he knows the food comes from me
as soon as i pick up his bowl to go fill it
he will go sit in his crate until i put it down agian
 

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Agent Squint
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Biscanton said:
i free feed biz
but he normally emptys his bowl in 10 minutes or so
and he knows the food comes from me
as soon as i pick up his bowl to go fill it
he will go sit in his crate until i put it down agian
So, he empties it in 10 minutes, then you go fill it up again? And this happens all the time? Either I'm misunderstanding or you're going to have an overweight dog in the not so distant future.
 

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Ditto on Banterbull and Kismet, it's even healthy for a dog once in a while to not give them food for 24 hours.
It keeps them nice and trim which is the humane way for a dog to be.

Biscanton, I wouldn't keep refilling that bowl. You're going to make your dog fat and unhealthy.
Please don't take years away from his life, he's not still hungry he just likes to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ok, I do monitor the amount I feed (1 & 1/2 scoops) This will often last for 24 hours. She has never eaten more than 2 scoops a day.
Also, a neighbor gave me a dog igloo recently, so instead of crating her, she stays in the yard while I'm at work. Water, but no food. (My fence is 8 ft. privacy fence, and she's not a barker, which makes me worry less about her being stolen)
She doesn't have dominance issues, which is one area where food comes into play.
This info has been helpeful, so if anyone else has anything to add....
Thanks :D
 

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I free feed both my dogs and I have never had a problem but they are also crated for 8 hours a day so there are long periods with out food...Before we go to bed I take away food too
 

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I guess I free feed also, but what do is leave what he does not complete at meal time (1 maybe 2 cups of kibble). Its not like I allow him free access to 50lbs of feed. I don't see what the harm could be in that. He's healthy and does not gorge himself.
 

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There are a few reasons why free feeding can be harmful.

1) It can lead to finicky eating...after awhile, many free fed dogs turn thier nose up at thier food, and panicked owners start coming up with creative ways to make meals more enticing. This can lead to some major health issues.

2) If your dog is ill and needs meds, it can be more difficult to disperse those in a meal or even a treat.

3) It can overtime lead to obesity.

4) Dogs can stress out on trips and not eat if they are used to having food in front of them all the time...not eating can stress them out more. This is especially difficult for show dogs...they stress and don't eat at the show and don't show well.

5)It can lead to the bully "selective hearing.. if you aren't in control of thier food, they won't respect you.

6) Dogs in the wild do not get a meal every day..it's unnatural to thier digestive system. I fast my dogs one day a week. Free feeding keeps a constant supply of food in thier system..dogs can become lethargic and unresponsive.

7) If training, your dog will lack drive on a full belly. Witholding food and dividing meals into training treats is a great way to teach your dog respect and how to be responsive...a hungry dog makes a much better worker.

My dogs are fed once a day. If they are training, thier meals are fed as treats while training. They eat whenever I ask them to with no hesitation...I could put thier bowls down in the middle of a parade, and they would eat! They are healthy, lean, happy, responsive dogs, and it's so much easier to have them on a schedule...no stress to myself or the dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1) It can lead to finicky eating...after awhile, many free fed dogs turn thier nose up at thier food, and panicked owners start coming up with creative ways to make meals more enticing. This can lead to some major health issues.


This is Harley all the way. It never occured to me it might be linked to free feed.
This thread had been very informative.
 

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I do free-feed, but they get 1 cup in the morning, and 1 cup for dinner. It just works out that they don't eat it. I would never try to persuade my dog to eat, if it became finicky! If you don't want to eat it, then sucks to be you! lol. Unless the dog was sick...When Wilson, my old dog had cancer and wouldn't eat, i would give him anything he wanted, but that's a different situation.

I know the importance of NOT free feeding, but we seem to be doing okay. It's a personal choice, based on the individual dog i guess. Either way, as long as you aren't OVER feeding, i don't see the harm. As for giving meds...I just toss the pills down their throat. It's quicker, easier and you know for sure they got what they needed.

Interesting points tho!
 

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peeblerelf said:
I do free-feed, but they get 1 cup in the morning, and 1 cup for dinner. It just works out that they don't eat it. I would never try to persuade my dog to eat, if it became finicky! If you don't want to eat it, then sucks to be you! lol. Unless the dog was sick...When Wilson, my old dog had cancer and wouldn't eat, i would give him anything he wanted, but that's a different situation.

I know the importance of NOT free feeding, but we seem to be doing okay. It's a personal choice, based on the individual dog i guess. Either way, as long as you aren't OVER feeding, i don't see the harm. As for giving meds...I just toss the pills down their throat. It's quicker, easier and you know for sure they got what they needed.

Interesting points tho!



CC gets med at least 3-4 times a week, she is free feed, I always has food down weather its at home or work, I think she eats about 2-3 times a day. I think I have the only dog if you shake a pill bottle she comes running! she knows there is cheese comming. I don't think she's getting fat or anything. she does eat more than some dogs on here, but about4-5 cups a day, but she doesn't seem to be overweight or anything.
 

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Cookies Mom said:
peeblerelf said:
I do free-feed, but they get 1 cup in the morning, and 1 cup for dinner. It just works out that they don't eat it. I would never try to persuade my dog to eat, if it became finicky! If you don't want to eat it, then sucks to be you! lol. Unless the dog was sick...When Wilson, my old dog had cancer and wouldn't eat, i would give him anything he wanted, but that's a different situation.

I know the importance of NOT free feeding, but we seem to be doing okay. It's a personal choice, based on the individual dog i guess. Either way, as long as you aren't OVER feeding, i don't see the harm. As for giving meds...I just toss the pills down their throat. It's quicker, easier and you know for sure they got what they needed.

Interesting points tho!



CC gets med at least 3-4 times a week, she is free feed, I always has food down weather its at home or work, I think she eats about 2-3 times a day. I think I have the only dog if you shake a pill bottle she comes running! she knows there is cheese comming. I don't think she's getting fat or anything. she does eat more than some dogs on here, but about4-5 cups a day, but she doesn't seem to be overweight or anything.
It all depends on the individual dog. If she has a high metabolism, and is exercised intensely (i think that's a word :lol: ) then she will need more food then your regular lay around the house couch potato that does nothing. As long as she's a normal weight then I don't see a problem personally!

My grandpa's dog used to come running when he had to take his medicine too! They would hide it in licorice (he had a thing for licorice!). But he was also severely over weight. Mind you he hardly ever ate people food. He was a huge GSD and would have cereal, toast, and tea for breakfast. Leftovers from the night before for lunch with a Del Monte fruit cup for dessert, and whatever they were eating for dinner! Plus they didn't give him dog cookies, they gave him people cookies...Something i DEFINATELY wouldn't recommend! Mind you, he was their baby, and spoiled ROTTEN! He had his own room, and his own bed...and when he wanted his sheets washed (yes, you heard that right) he would take them off the bed and bring them down to my grandma. Then she turns to me and goes "oh...and he loves it with lots of fabric softener!" This is going a bit too far in my opinion, but it made them happy...
 

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Carrie ,
at what age do you switch to once a day feedings ? Puppies should still eat 3 small meals a day up to what age ?
I only feed pups 3 meals a day until they are 12 weeks..then they are fed 2 x's a day until they are between 6-8 months (depending on the size and activity level of the pup) At that point, I only feed once a day.
 
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