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pros and cons on self feeding

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  • pros and cons on self feeding

    I believe it was on the old board that I mentioned that I was doing a project for a little group of girls (for my daughter) about dog care and was asking for ideas. I got plenty of ideas. Now I'm trying to put things together in my mind to get things ready for this project.
    I'm needing some opinions on the pros and cons on letting your dog self feed. I use to do it all of the time until I got one that wouldn't stop eating and now I have to feed them twice a day. My other dogs never got fat from self feeding. I do know it is possible for dogs to get fat by doing this.

    So please offer up any pros and cons you may have, how you feel about it, or what ever you have to say. Thanks
    "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."

  • #2
    I have a self-feeder in the doglot, because last time we were out of town, my step-son, fed my female on the carport all weekend, when she was locked up in the LOT !! So after that I fill up the feeder when we are away and just tell him to check them everyday.

    So I quit using it when we were home and feed them 2 x a day and I can't keep enough weight on them that way, they are very hyper going and doing something all the time, so I keep high performance in the self feeder and my female stays around 45lbs and the male around 65lbs.


    • #3
      I guess for some dogs it is ok ... but you really can't monitor how much your dog is eating ... if they were to start losing or gaining weight you can't say if it's due to an increase/decrease in food consumtion.

      It's also not really normal dog behavior to munch throughout the day... in dog/wolf packs if it's edible it's gone ... and as a "pack leader" you decide when your dog eats.

      i've personally never free fed my dogs, but if it works for you and your dogs then i guess it's ok.


      • #4

        as long as dogs in good weight. My Coonhound started plumping out, so she got regulated. I always free feed my pups, as they vary the growth rate so much. One day they'll eat all that is put down and grow, then two days later they hardly munch and are stable in size. When I've had little dogs, I free fed them.
        Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


        • #5
          It really depends on the dog. I always just left dog food out all the time,I got my mini poodle,he will eat till he barfs then eat some more so now everybody gets measured and 10 min. to eat. The vets actually like when you do that way you know exactly how much they are eating and if someones eating habits change.


          • #6
            I have 3 dogs and I just keep the bowl filled, only 1 dog is a little plump but he's older and I see him eat less often than the other 2 so I think it's just lack of exercise not overeating. With the free feeding I have less arguments at the bowl as all 3 have different times they like to eat. Also since I'm gone all day the dogs only have access to food for about 1/2 hour in the morning and several hours in the evening, so unless it's the weekend they don't really free feed all day. They can leave food too, just because there's food available doesn't mean they always eat.


            • #7
              I really know this fly’s in the face of logic. I self feed three from the same bowl. I have one who has in the past shown food aggression, and I used to feed from two bowls. Once I stopped the aggression, I moved to one bowl. I correct him with any misgivings and they are all fine. The piglet (the food aggressive one) is slightly overweight and I mean slightly, however they are all good and free feeding works well for me.


              • #8
                We free feed, Mine also like to eat at different times.. I even have one that likes to eat when we go to bed then she runs in to snuggle. None of mine are over weight,.
                "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"


                • #9
                  Just some comments...I really am not pro free feeding.

                  Food left out all day is not fresh. Food should be stored in airtight containers, and if it has so many preservatives that it can be left out in the open without any detriment, you have to question the quality of the diet.

                  You never know what has been crawling through it. Food attracts bugs.

                  Free fed dogs can be harder to housetrain. Housetraining is easier when the dog is on a schedule and elimination can become predictable.

                  Free fed dogs are often overweight.

                  Free fed dogs can be difficult to monitor their intake. Often, not eating is one of the first signs of illness, and if you don't know if the dog is eating or not, you miss this entirely.

                  Meal feeding provides wonderful interaction and wonderful bonding between dog and owner. All good things should come from the owner and feeding is an easy "good thing". Free fed dogs feed themselves and miss that interaction.

                  Free fed dogs often guard their bowl and food. If there are children around, this can provide a dangerous situation between dog and child.

                  Multiple dog households often create competition between the dogs when free fed. Often one dog overeats while the other cannot eat unless the more dominant dog allows it.


                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone for your replys. A lot of info from everyone.

                    SwissNChow I'm going to add a lot of your ideas to the hand out I'm going to be using at this little class. Thanks so much.
                    "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."


                    • #11
                      Pixie, here's another against self-feeding for all the other reasons given, plus one more. If you travel with your dog to shows or competitions (or even if you board your pet), you want a dog who eats when fed. The only time I leave food down is for young puppies-I feed a meal then leave down dry food for them to munch if they need too.
                      Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                      Groom on!!!


                      • #12
                        I, too am against free feeding for all the reasons above. I use to try to free feed from the time my Aussies were puppies, but they were still always too over weight for the show ring. Now all our dogs get a small meal in the morning and a bigger one at night and they are all doing better with that, and we can tell when they are off their food that way too. We feed our small dogs the same way.


                        • #13
                          i personally dont like free not AGAINST it...just dont like like said before free feeding decreases the amount of interaction between pet and human. you should ALWAYS be able to take your dogs food away from them...and anything they have that you want. free feeding dosnt encourage this behaviour...if they arent used to someone making them sit for their food or do any kind of command then they arent going to appreciate it when they have something that isnt theres and you want it and they wont let you take it. ALL our animals are fed on a schedule. even the cat. my dog is raw fed so there is no free feeding with that. he eats twice a day, gets a few treats and thats that. my ex boss free feeds her dogs...but she claim'd it was because she didnt have enough time in the morning to schedule food amounts. personally i think it was just pure lazyness on her part..also if you time the amount that the food is down (my dog gets 15 minutes to START eating his food or it goes back) then it kind of makes the dogs/cats think oh boy we better start eating RIGHT NOW or else its going back and we go hungry! bucky (cat) gets fed in the morning. once hes out of dry food thats it. too bad so sad you ate it all. he gets some canned food at night...and believe me..he is ALWAYS upstairs a hlf hr to an hr before the normal feeding time waiting around! LOL! free feeding can encourage feeding aggression problems with multi dont know WHO is eating what amount of food...and personally i think that dogs eating at diffrent times of the day isnt very good...if your in a rush to get out the door and throw some food down how do you know if your little piggy didnt decide to go munch on the extra food left laying around because your other dog didnt eat? i would also feed seperately when feeding multi dogs so you know WHO eats WHAT and WHEN. my fiance has 3 will eat all the food. so we sit and watch to make sure that the other two cats eat their fill...and then pick up the leftover food. i always always always pick up the food bowls...even if there is food left. you walked away okay your done then. i normally wait 2 to 3 minutes to see if they will walk back. if they dont then they are done and the food goes back.
                          some animals just dont know when to stop eating. how many of you guys free feed your cats too? just curious...
                          im not saying free feeding is BAD per say...just that I personally dont think its really worth it to do.


                          • #14
                            I believe it depends on the dog. With my whippet, I fill his bowl every day since it holds just over the correct amount for his size. He free feeds during the day and night. The next morning it's empty. He doesn't guard his food, shoot he likes to share. It was never a problem when he was showing, he's always had a good appetite.

                            We also have a rescued PWC who lives primarily outside. He is completely opposite, so his food is portioned and given twice a day. If we don't he will eat too much and is already an easy keeper.


                            • #15
                              When I had one dog I used to free feed and she did well. I always checked the bowl daily so I knew just how much she was eating and when she wasn't eating. Since I have to walk my dogs to go potty I always know if they ate and how much by what was coming out the other end!

                              When I got my pet skunk I couldn't free feed anymore since he would eat everything, with that whole eat, puke, eat puke, eat more food, repeat. No free feeding is working out well now that I have two dogs and they need two different foods so I have to keep track of who is eating what so no one gets sick.