Hi Everyone, Now that Oscar is home, we are trying to move Buzzy to schedule feeding. We put his food down in the same place his food has always been, and then put Oscars food in the ex pen with him. It took Oscar a day and he eats his food on schedule. We are 3 days in to it now, and Buzzy only ate 1 meal out of the 6. He is thin to begin with and doesn't love food, but he isn't "getting" the scheduled feeding thing. Any suggestions? Maybe adding chicken broth to entice him the next few feedings and then he will eat on schedule?
good for you for getting on scheduled feeding. Free feeding has many downsides. I like to show this letter from Sabine regarding finicky eaters.
"Letter from Sabine re. Finicky Eaters
Sadly this is something I hear about a *lot* in small dogs.
IMO, in most cases it's behavioral, and yes - the owners tend to make it worse. Especially when they start trying to tempt the dogs into eating by switching from one food to the next and to the next, and adding tasty tidbits, and even hand-feeding and begging the dog to eat. Essentially they are teaching the dog the fussy behavior, and to hold out until something comes along that strikes their fancy on that particular day.
And not only that - as people get more anxious about their dogs not eating, there's more and more negative energy and emotion that the dogs pick up on, making everything worse.
In a nutshell, people need to train their dogs to eat properly like they would train anything else (loose leash walking, tricks etc.), and try to not hover over them with all their anxiety while they eat. No feeding treats or snacks outside of mealtimes until the dog knows to eat regular meals, possibly a new plate/bowl that the dog hasn't associated with the whole process yet, maybe also a new location for feeding, preferably somewhere where the dog doesn't get distracted.
Small portion size, put down for 5 minutes, taken away after time is up, no matter how much the dog has eaten. If he/she ate some, cut the next portion by as much as was left, until you arrive at an amount that the dog *will* eat in one sitting. I know many popular sources say give the dog 15 minutes, but if you actually look at a clock while a dog is eating, you'll realize that is an awfully long time. The average dog eating out of a bowl will finish in 2-3 minutes."