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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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free feeding vs food down 2x a day

a little history, my dog had major SA issues last year, they are behind us,thank god, but one of the things the trainer suggested we do was to go from leaving djangos food down all day to freefeeding. well, as soon as we started doing that, and with training in other areas, his SA went away and we have a very happy dog who, by the way, eats almost everytime i put his bowl down. here's the issue. he's put on weight since we've changed his feeding. i thought about switching back to leaving his food out to help with the diet. any thoughts? is it bad to switch from one way of feeding to another? as i think about thing,i believe his weight issue slowly started once we put his food down, he sometimes can't get enough food, and yes, it's my fault for also giving him a little extra every now and then.. big concern, is the SA coming back.would love feedback!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 06:17 PM
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I'm a big believer in food going down twice a day for 15-20 minutes. If they don't eat at one meal, they'll eat at one of the next two. I'm not quite sure what you mean by SA and how the feeding schedule would make a difference - would you explain?


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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well, i think the trainer(s) philosophy is that my dog needed to learn that nothing in life was free so by putting his food down twice a day vs. leaving it down all day for him to eat at his leisure taught him that things were under my control, and i guess if i control something, he doesn't have to worry about it, thus, helping with the issue of sepration anxiety, feeling he's in charge when we leave and being overwhelmed. all i know is that 3 trainers told us to do this and in a matter of one month with a combination of training, he got better. as i mentioned, we went to the vet today for rabies shot and put a pound and 2oz. i have noticed he needs to eat 3x a day. we have had issues in the past with him throwing up when his belly was empty for a while and i have cut back on treats due to the weight gain soooo, i put his food down (same bowl with 1/2 cup) and what's ever left is what he eats but sometimes he sits at my feet at night and wants more food. i guess i need tough love and not give in. he was 9 lbs now he's 11.2 oz. he's a small hav but i need to get his weight under control before it becomes an issue. he never cared for the food when it was left out all day that's why i thought i t might be a good "diet" for him.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for explaining SA - Separation Anxiety - dummy me. Since you've done so well on your training and feeding schedule, can you reduce his amount being fed? Maybe add a little wet food as an incentive? It doesn't have as much calories. Perhaps you could use a kong at night which would be fun for him to eat from and give him something to do.

Anything you can do to become the Alpha in the house will help. Are you feeding him after you eat? That is a pack leadership "trait". Also, any chance of doing some obedience or rally with him? That will help with the bond and may give him something else other than food to think about. Either that or just a short walk in the evening may help too. I know you've got trainers so, I'm sure they've already given you all kinds of great advice. I know the weight is worrisome but personally getting the SA under control is more important in my opinion. Oh one other thought - how about mixing his regular kibble with a light version of the same brand? That would cut calories without the amount. Also everyone loves the green beans - another thread talked about blanching them first if you use fresh or unsalted canned.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 09:44 AM
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I'm not sure leaving food out for Djangos will reduce his weight - he may eat more then, versus you being able to control it. I put food down 2x per day and the vet recently told me Cody needs to lose a pound. I'm trying to cut back on the amount he receives each meal since I know the issue is me - there never looks like there's enough food in the bowl! And hungry or not, that dog will beg for food every chance he gets! With great big, sad eyes that would make you think he hasn't eaten in days (versus 2 hours ago!)

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 09:55 AM
 
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hey there...i say you keep doing the 2X per day. You are solving more problems than just separation anxiety by doing so. Try to reduce the amount of food you put in the bowl and don't give in to your impulse to give a little more
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 10:01 AM
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I'm glad you explained the SA. I was thinking that you were talking about Sebaceous Adenitis, which is a horrible skin problem and often referred to as SA. (You can read about that here if you want.)

Like ankhesenamun said (and welcome ank!), you really are solving more problems by controlling the feeding. Just feed a little less to reduce the excess weight. If you really want to treat him, give him the low calorie treats or the green beans you were asking about earlier. Better yet, treat him by playing fetch or handing him a favorite toy.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 12:50 PM
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I free-feed Sierra.... Our life is rather unstructured....she will eat when she feels necessary....
She is a very independant Hav... I'm okay with this....

When she finishes her bowl and gets new we have routine of Sit, Paw, Look at me before the bowl is put down... same with when she gets something special mixed in her kibble...if she gets something extra, it's always after we've eaten...

Suzanne and her Sparkling Sierra, godmother to Dinky (*) and Baileys!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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thanks all for the feedback, and as usual, it's my issue not the dogs, it's not like opens the canister with food and helps himself! greenbeans, NO INTEREST! i will try them agian tonight, but so far, no go. i will cut his food back like i know i should, it's been soo hot here xtra walks are hard but he always gets one in the morning and one late in the evening plus a play session with the husband when he gets home. i've cut back on the daily trianing sessions due to the cutback on treats but i can always reward him with more hugs and kisses!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 03:37 PM
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Sounds like you are well on your way to solving the problem. Remember he didn't gain it all at once, and taking it off slowly works too.


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