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Mealtime Rules

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I feed the dogs twice a day - around 8am and then again around 7pm. All of them eat their food fairly quickly. If they don't I pick it up after a few minutes.


They each have their own bowl and they all eat next to each other. They know they are not allowed to eat from any other bowl other than their own. I do keep an eye on them while they are eating though, just in case.

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I didn't/don't have time to read through all the responses.


but this is how we do things!!


about 9 in the morning, the dogs get food in their bowls.

since their bowls are on opposite sides of the room, they both sit in the middle until I say OK!


Wilson runs over and guards his food for about a half an hour, then eats.


Shelby wonders off and does something else.


they eat whenever they feel like it. and since my BF feeds Shelby to much, most of the time I don't even have to feed her at night because she still hasn't eaten all of her breakfast.




its a very lax.


but when shelby was a puppy, I would make her wait outside the kitchen for my command, then if she didn't eat within 10 minutes the food would go away.

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Odin eats 2.5 X a day, because I started using the nature's balance food rolls for C/T training. He gets about 1 cup canidae (old formula for another 15 lbs or so!) in the morning. If it's a work morning, that is about 5:30 am. He also may get a yogurt kong every 2-3 days sometime around lunch-early afternoon. Then he gets 1/2 cup food roll with training. Then he gets his big meal, 1.5 cups canidae, at about 9 pm, after his eve. walk. I didn't start out to feed him that way (so much food at the end of the day), but it was how he naturally eats. He may leave food in the am, but almost never in the pm.


Food, except training food, is in the crate. And he is super skinny, in my eyes, but I want to keep him that way because he does usually wolf it down. I always free-fed animals until my early 20s, when I met a cat (my heart cat) that grew slowly to enormous proportions before my eyes. Fat cats are pretty cute, but this was terrible for his health and in retrospect I'm shocked I let it get so bad before I did something! I had just always been taught that animals will naturally self-regulate and will eat what they need. Well, some will, I guess.


I think I would always schedule-feed now b/c it was so hard to put such a food motivated animal on a strict feeding schedule and diet AFTER having raised him free-feed, when it did become necessary later in life. I got him down from 23 lbs to 15 lbs (lost over a third of his body weight, actually down to a healthy weight for his size, which was HUGE) but even tho he remained on a schedule/diet for 8 years, he never quit wanting to be free-fed. When we would go home to my parents' house, who still free-feed their cat, he would sneak down to the automatic feeder in the basement and eat until he fell asleep with his head snuggled in the food. :rolleyes: And I never could help him get rid of all the loose skin.


Here's a picture of my Mesto, quite possibly the best cat who has ever lived (IMO). Also a lifelong example of why I won't free feed again- can't be trusted :D



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8am & 7pm are the approximate times my dogs eat. I started w/ twice a day because my first dog, the non-BC is a 'large' breed and it's better to feed twice to avoid any stomach twisting issues. So I've just kept to it. Feeding kibble only makes it easy, just scoop, scoop, scoop, scoop, done.


Everyone eats together, all bowls lined in a row (off the floor bowls). No way I could free feed 2 of the 4 dogs - as they would 1. eat everyone's share and 2. eat until they exploded (Jaida & Aero) wait an hour and do it again.


Also, free feeding doesn't let itself well to training your dog w/ treats because it's then harder to time when your dog will be motivated enough to 'work for food'.


I've never had a problem w/ picky eaters.

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I first read the topic title as "Mealtime rules!!", which is certainly the case with Allie. She gets about 1.5 c of good kibble, with a topper (one of: yoghurt, egg, green beans, certain people food scraps) at 6 or 7 PM, plus a stuffed kong and training treats at various points throughout the day. Her enthusiasm for food is such that I can use kibble as a training treat 15 minutes after dinner. :rolleyes:


On the other hand, my parents' dogs are free-fed, and will just have a mouthful or two at various intervals throughout the day. One is a good weight, the other far too thin (oddly, this one is the more enthusiastic eater) and both have a good amount of energy. The biggest issue they have with free feeding is that the food can spoil (mixed canned and dry), and that it attracts mice.

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The BC3 includes one rabid food guarder, who is the same dog with food allergies, so she can't always eat what the other two get. In addition, free feeding would lead to a short legged, blue eyed, adorable, red and white 80 lb border collie very quickly. Shoshone is the dog who broke into a snap locked kibble bin, scattered kibble all over the house, (we were finding kibble bits and chewies in closets, behind doors, etc, for a few days after this) and ate so much she looked like she'd swallowed a basketball.


I feed early in the morning, after a trip to the park and before I start my work day, then again around 5:30 or so. Sam's weight is pretty easy to regulate, we're watching Buzz's weight closely because of the chemo, Shoshone's weight has crept up in the last few months, I think because she's running around less.


Raw homemade for Buzz, again because of osteosarcoma, good kibble +additives for the girls. Other than Buzz's appetite being depressed from chemo, the only time any of them refuse anything at all to eat is when it's very hot. Then they beg for ice cubes.


Ruth n the BC3

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I feed twice a day. Two small meals a day gives the dogs less of a wait(I've heard that can be hard on a tummy and have done some research, but not anything extensive), is said to reduces risk of bloat and it gives my IGs two highlights - Sheltander, they're like your dogs in that they would happily eat themselves aboslutely sick, and have done so...conveniently the night before an agility trial in one particular case. :rolleyes:


Quynn is a slow and somewhat reluctant eater, though. I've found it to be a common complaint among fellow Border collie people, that their dogs would happily give up eating in order to work or play. I give the dogs 15 minutes to eat(the girls finish in less than a minute, unfailingly), and then pick up. Quynn will eventually get hungry and eat a meal at a good pace, then slow down again. He's slightly underweight and I've been cooking for him and adding to his kibble(chicken stews, broths, raw turkey necks, eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, plain yogurt), and he'll eat it, but slowly and often has to be told several times to finish.


He wasn't always like this - when he was a pup he would literally inhale his food, barely chewing, if at all. I had to put tennis balls in his bowl(nowadays he would simply ask to play with the ball) or spread it out on a cookie sheet in order to slow him down.

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Mine are very fast, non-picky eaters who get 2 meals a day (and left-overs from my dinner). They eat breakfast while I sneak out the door for work, and have supper around 8 p.m. If Lou is competing and he's running early in the order (say, in the first 10 dogs), I won't feed them breakfast until after his run, and allowing for an hour or so to cool down and recover. Generally, they run PN here first so it doesn't happen often that the dogs have a delayed breakfast. Having to look at Wick's devastated expression when she hasn't been fed breakfast - it's not pretty! However, I don't want Lou running a big field course on a full stomach. I know I wouldn't want to run for 12 minutes shortly after having a big breakfast!


They eat their "home" meals at their designated spots. Bear and Wick's bowls are quite close together (about 2 feet) and Lou's is at the other end of the hallway (because there isn't room for a third bowl near Bear and Wick). Wick finishes her 1.5 cups per meal in about 12 seconds, Bear in about 20 seconds (he only gets 1 cup per meal) and Lou takes a leisurely 25 seconds. It's quite disgusting, really. :rolleyes: There is no encroaching on other bowls, and when everyone is done, they take turns licking each other's bowls.


If I free-fed, I would be broke, and the dogs would need bigger crates. :D

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I feed twice a day, on the 7o'clocks. In the AM they get ground raw with yogurt or something. The 3Ws eat side by side and very fast. Sport eats more slowly, so he eats where I can sit and watch, as Piper will walk right up and eat his food and he will let her. As Sport eats kibble and canned or kibble and raw, I don't want her eating his food, or getting his prednisone!


In the evening I feed whole to the 3Ws, and Sport gets kibble and canned. They still eat more quickly than him, so we repeat the watching routine.


Briggs was free fed when he was young and single as he almost never ate. When the greedies came along, he learned to eat fast!


I can't imagine feeding once a day, I think they would be so hungry! And Woo would barf regularly.



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Mine usually eat twice a day, but sometimes skip breakfast if there isn't anything thawed or ready to feed. They eat in the mornings before 11, and in the evenings between 7 and 10. Yeah, I'm not so good at keeping a schedule, but it seems to work fine for them.


They get raw/canned/canned fish in the AM, or leftover people food if we have any we are not going to eat and it is safe for them. The morning meal is small. This morning they each had a raw chicken thigh. On other mornings they have split a can of salmon, or two Nature's Variety ground raw patties (between three dogs, not each), or a leftover stale baguette. Recently we went through the deep freeze and I got to designate everything that was freezer-burned or old as "dog food," so they have been eating a lot of raw wild-caught fish, including salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon (it's all been frozen for more than a couple of years, don't worry). If they're eating raw stuff they get fed in the backyard, especially if it's fish as that results in fish flakes all over the place. I usually have to hold Fly's food for her while she eats, because she doesn't chew. If I just handed her a chicken thigh, she would swallow it whole. Hell, if I handed her a chicken, she would try to swallow that whole, too.


In the evenings they get kibble. Right now Solo and Jett are eating EVO, and Fly is eating Canidae Platinum, but I think I'll switch both Solo and Fly to EVO for old fat dogs and keep Jett on regular EVO. Fly finishes her food (about a cup) in less than 10 seconds and does not chew. What is more, like a pelican swallowing a fish, she employs inertial feeding meaning that she fills her mouth with kibble, throws her head back, and then does that head/neck thrusting thing that allows her to open up her gullet and let gravity assist the food going down. She has always been able to eat in peace, so as far as I can tell the only reason she does this is that she is a total glutton.


Jett eats like a normal dog. Solo picks up one or two kibbles at a time and chews them thoroughly (he is a great dog to feed raw, by the way, since he is such a good chewer) so it usually takes him almost 10 minutes to finish a cup of dinner.


Fly eats in the laundry room, door open, Solo eats in the hallway just outside the laundry room, and Jett eats in a crate. Fly is not dumb enough to bother Solo while he is eating, and Jett isn't either but I started feeding her in a crate back when she was and never changed the routine. They all eat really well, albeit at very different speeds. I like to space the dogs out during meals because even though they know not to kill each other over food, I want to be sure no one feels anxious while eating.

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I feed raw twice a day, the the meals alternate between bones and veggie slop. so if they had veggie slop in the morning they get bones for supper, or the other way round.


I dont need time limit rules, slop meals are usually done within 30-60 seconds, bone meals depend on the type of bone, but I am not about to force them to eat their bones faster lol.


they all have their feeding spots..Happy eats in Mistys crate, Misty eats beside her crate, Rusty in front of the back door, Electra beside him, Ripley in front of the stove, and Perky beside him. bones are eaten where the dog takes them, so long as its not on the furniture, usually they choose crates though.


I only have one problem eater, and thats Happy, she goes the most bonkers when food is being prepared, but once she has it, she no longer cares. we have to specially pick out bones for her that are thin and big(since she is our biggest dog) and they have to be thin, because if she cant crunch through it in one bite, she will just get up and leave. her slop, she takes her sweet time to eat, and usually leaves half of it in her bowl...I think my other dogs are just in a race to finnish whats in their dish so they can be the first in line to lick out Happys dish lol

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I feed twice a day and the times vary with whatever is happening that day. They all eat in the kitchen and it's over pretty quickly and rule has always been no hovering, no intimating, and no visiting the other bowls until everyone's finished. I feed kibble and recent started to add a little water, just enough to moisten it, as Annie was eating so fast that she was almost choking afterwards. The water helps it go down easier, it seems.


I've almost always fed my dogs twice a day. My dogs live an active life and I'd worry about all that food lying in their stomach if they only ate one large meal a day.


Years ago I free fed my dog (she was my only dog at the time). We lived in an old housetrailer at that time and, unfortunately, the food attracted some rather large rodents (ewuwwwww! :rolleyes: ). It's amazing how they can find ways to get inside. That ended that!

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