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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Feeding questions for puppies

This forum is so helpful, and such a great place to get opinions. Much thanks. When we got Che, our wonderful breeder suggested we have food out all the time. We have never done this before; our previous dog needed a very carefully monitored diet, and he ate three meals a day. Do others leave kibble out all the time? (I know I now enter controversial territory re: commercial kibble, but he is doing so well...). The other question is when to switch off puppy food. Right now he is eating small breed puppy, Royal Canin and Nutro. We are fine with commercial products, all our previous dogs lived past 17. But we have never had a toy breed before. Thanks for any opinions!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 09:53 AM
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I think most people will tell you it is best to put the food down at meal time and pick it back up if they havenít eaten it in a reasonable amount of time. Especially with puppies, this will hopefully give you a more predictable elimination schedule. I will admit that I did not do that with Molly. She has never been particularly interested in her food and would go long stretches without eating. She was a very small puppy and young adult and I was always worried about her getting hypoglycemia from not eating. I started leaving the kibble out and found that she would eat it, just not at normal meal times. I am a stay at home pet parent and could get her outside to potty when needed. After about 18 months of age her appetite started coming around and she does eat pretty much at regular times now. Leaving her kibble out worked for us. Molly is still a tiny, quirky, little girl!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 10:38 AM
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I am absolutely 100% against leaving food out all the time. It harbors bacteria and turns dogs into picky eaters. it also makes fat dogs... a real problem in this breed, caused by owners, not the dogs themselves.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 11:21 AM
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from Sabine "1. Free feeding only works with kibble, which is simply the least ideal type of food to feed, due to its highly processed nature.
2. Very few dogs actually self-regulate well enough to just eat enough to maintain a healthy weight. Sure, such individuals do exist (I've had one of my own), but they are very rare exceptions. Also, see #1.
3. If you don't feed scheduled meals, it's much harder to realize when an animal is off their feed due to stress, discomfort, pain, illness.
4. In our times, with many dogs being couch potatoes and not even getting the mental stimulation of regular walks (let alone more vigorous exercise, like performing in dog sports or doing actual work), meal times are a major highlight of their day, something they very much look forward to. Why take away one more of the few major stimulants?
5. House training. If you control when food goes into your dog, you can reasonably predict when it's going to come out the other end. Not so with free feeding.

And 6. which I throw in...The biggest thing with free feeding is that your dog is not as motivated for food rewards when training. Nearly all trainers want you to bring your dog in HUNGRY when coming in for classes. It's the number one motivator with dogs,some definitely more than others. Kibble is the least motivating generally. And depending on the type of training situations ,it's better to use something more enticing than kibble."

http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index....eeding_puppies
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 11:25 AM
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Sabine "While there is nothing wrong with feeding a particular food if your dog does well on it and you feel comfortable feeding it, the question is whether you have a basis of comparison and whether the formulation of the food has changed over time. I have seen the effect a better food can have on my own dog. When I adopted him from the shelter, he was a thin little puppy with a brittle coat and a rather strong "doggie odor". I didn't know better yet, fed an average quality food and thought the change in his appearance was stunning, except for the severe reactions he still showed whenever he picked up the occasional flea and got bitten before it died. He had gained weight, the odor improved and his coat was softer and shinier. I was happy and didn't think that any further improvement was possible - until he had been eating a really high quality food for about a month. His allergy to flea bites disappeared entirely, the muscle tone became much more defined, his coat even glossier, softer and most important, much, much denser. The doggie odor vanished.

If I hadn't at least given the better food a try, feeding it long enough to see results (depending on the individual dog this takes about 4-8 weeks), I would still have been convinced that my dog "did just fine" on the lesser quality food. Now I clearly see the difference between "doing just fine" and truly thriving. Every step up the "quality ladder" will bring improvements, the stray dog who used to survive mostly on garbage will do better once he gets a daily ration of even a relatively cheap food because it supplies more essential nutrients; and a dog who was fed a grocery store brand is guaranteed to improve on a better quality product as well."
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 11:34 AM
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As long as you are counting calories and measuring out an appropriate quantity of food per day it doesn't matter if your dog has one, two, or three meals a day. They will usually let you know if they want to give up a certain meal time. The same goes for leaving the kibble down longer. They will not get fat if they are eating the appropriate amount during a single day. Now leaving a whole bowl of kibble down at all times is another story! You will end up with an overweight dog.
As far as puppy food goes I wouldn't worry about it. Many brands do not have a puppy food in their line and are good for all life stages. You just need to adjust the feeding amounts because puppies require more calories than adult dogs. If your dog is doing well on the puppy food you can certainly continue with that until they are closer to a year old and then switch over to the adult formula.



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