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Feeding Schedule

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Hi all! So I have had Cash for about 5 weeks now, and as a new mommy I am seeking some advice.

So normally our routine feeding schedule for the day is really no schedule. I feed him when I get up and he normally doesn't eat right away so I just leave the bowl in there until he eats and then just leave it in there empty. When he starts to play with it around lunch time I fill it again, then I feed him around the time that we eat as a family and leave it in his space until he is hungry again and decides to eat it.

What I am wondering is if I need to start creating a real schedule for him so that he gets fed around the same time every day and needs to eat at that time. I know that it's probably not the best thing to let him decide when he's hungry and we are actually having trouble with training because he is in no way interested in treats. I feel like I need to be more firm with him in the sense of creating rules and boundaries to the household, and not treating him as if he is the ruler. Ahhh, lots to think about and learn for me!

Any thoughts?

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As a general rule my dogs have 15-20 minutes to eat thier food, then it gets put up for the next scheduled meal. My Border collie is not a big eater and I found myself getting anxious over her not eating and adding things, leaving food down all day etc hoping she would eat. She would pick at it when she wanted and like your pup would not work for food rewards no matter how good they were (she would snub her nose at steak, chicken etc) In agility I reverted to only using a tug reward since she was not interested in food and it all came crumbling down when we actually started competing and I wanted that focus on me rather then toy or agility equipment. Then I decided I wanted to train for competative obedience and Rally and was trying to figure out how to do it with toys rather then food etc. Long story short, I woke up and got a grip one day and decided she would only eat dry kibble, and only have her bowl for 15 minutes. She did go hungry for a day or two and I would just keep offering the same bowl at each meal and started offering less at each feeding to where she would clean her bowl. Within a few weeks I had a different dog, we are now training obeience with food rewards only and she is eager to work for food. When we do alot of trick training I cut her food back for the day. I have never left food bowls down for my dogs, but because Truly always looked "thin" to me she got me suckered into accomidating her and creating a monster. If I know I'm going to train before lunch I don't feed her morning meal at all and just feed after my training sessions. She's still no chow hound by any means and is picky about training treats but after almost two years of her spitting things out in training she now eagerly works for treats. I still pick up almost full bowls of food every now and then after her 15 minute meals, but she will usually eat it all on the next go round and I don't sweat it anymore and honestly she hasn't lost a single pound over it.

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The only time I worry about a dog not eating is when they let themselves get extremely thin, to where I feel if they got sick they would have no reserves. Generally speaking a puppy will eat what it needs, so if it doesn't, it may be time to cut back to 2 meals a day.

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I agree. TrulyReady gave good advice.


Another advantage of managing eating habits is that you are able to better monitor their intake - amount and regularity. Then, if you see any change in routine, that is a clue that something medical may be going on, and you can watch more closely.


Consumption and defecation are two major signs I watch for when assessing my dogs' health. Demeanor is another major sign.



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