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Why Is Free-Feeding Bad For Your Dog

Animals

Why Is Free-Feeding Bad For Your Dog

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Many people think they know what’s best for dogs. Unfortunately, some feeding programs can actually be dangerous for your fury friend. The incorrect feeding, the timing of feeding in relation to exercises or a sudden change in food can contribute to the development of bloat and torsion.

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One of the easiest and the healthiest ways to keep your dog trim and healthy is to feed him on a schedule. Free feeding means leaving a bowl of dog food on the ground at all times and letting the dogs decide for themselves when and how much to eat.  There are many reasons why it is better to avoid free-feeding, and these are the main ones:

Health Problems

When food is left out all day lots of dogs become ‘grazers’.  They’ll eat a bit here or there, never sitting down to a full meal. They weren’t meant to be grazers. Herbivores were meant to graze. That’s why you see rabbits, horses, cows, etc. grazing throughout the day. Dogs are most carnivorous. They were meant to eat a big meal and then digest it over a certain period of time. That is how their body is set up and that is the best way for their metabolism to work.

Being In Charge Of Your Dog

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It’s important for your dog to know that you give them the food. You control this important resource. By placing your dog’s bowl and then collecting it 15 minutes later you send a subtle signal to your pet that you are in charge. For those who are currently being held hostage by your dog remember, being in charge of your dog is not a bad thing.  Scheduled feeding is just one way of communication.

Training Issues

Does your dog have any house training issues?  Dogs are easier to house train when they are schedule fed. If you know when your dog eats you start to know when your dog needs to go out.  If your dog eats whenever and however much he or she feels like you’ll find that it is much more difficult to housebreak your pet.

How Many Times a Day to Feed Your Dog

Each dog will develop its own eating pattern.  Some dogs eat all of each meal, some eat all of one meal and part of the other, and some skip every third or fourth meal.  Any marked deviation from a particular dog’s eating pattern should sound an alarm.  Every dog should be observed for a while to insure that nothing is physically wrong.

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A puppy should be fed 3 meals daily. Give your puppy access to the food for 20 to 30 minutes at each meal, and then pick up the bowl until the next meal. It may take a few days to gauge how much your puppy can eat at a sitting.

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When your dog is 12 to 15 months old and has switched to the adult dog food, you can feed him twice each day. Remember to take away the bowl after each meal.

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