HELP! Best way to feed pup. TIME RESTRICTED or PORTIONED “grazing” - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
Nikka Khrystyne's Avatar
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Southern California
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HELP! Best way to feed pup. TIME RESTRICTED or PORTIONED “grazing”

So lately my one year old GSD pups have not been eating all their food at once. This has been going on for around 3 months.

We feed them in their crates 2x a day and they usually will eat about half of their morning portion and then stop eating. Then after the dog park in the afternoon they will finish the morning portion off. Or sometimes they will finish it off throughout the early afternoon and just asked to be let in their crates to eat or sometimes finish it if when we leave them in to go somewhere.

At night when we give them their food they honestly just pick at it for a bit and we end up just leaving it in their crates & it’s pretty much always gone in the morning. I can hear them munching on it throughout the late night since I’m usually still up.

They are crated when whenever we leave. And regardless if we crate them with food during the day they still eat with randomness.

Is this a “bad” way to let your dog eat? They used to scarf their food down in the am and then again at dinner but their eating has started to slow down the older they get. They seem to only eat when their hungry. They straight up don’t eat if I try to set a time period for each meal if that time period falls during a time they aren’t hungry.

Their meals are portioned out and always in their own crates so they don’t really “free feed” and just eat out one bowl with a bunch of food we keep full.

But they do graze their own food since it’s in their crates. They don’t eat each other’s food. We’ve switched their kibble. We also feed partial raw and it’s the same. They’ll just leave food in their crates to eat when they get hungry and only eat smaller portions of each meal at once.

Should I just let them be? Since they are still putting on healthy weight and seem to be regulating their portions pretty well.

Also they don’t like to eat out of their bowls. They always just knock it out and eat it that way.

For the most part I don’t really even bother feeding it their bowls. Just leave the food one corner of their crate and they’re fine with that.

Has anyone else experienced this? Whether you feed raw or not?

Since they still getting their regulated portion of food each day should I just let them eat the way that works best for them?

Feeding times are usually during a certain block and never at the exact same time during the day.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 03:44 AM
car2ner's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maryland
Posts: 4,157
Good question. I guess if it isn't a hassle for you and they seem to be growing and healthy it might be all right. I wouldn't leave raw just out, though, and make sure you clean that crate floor well after they are done eating. What type of bowls do you use? My boy got fussy about his bowl, not liking to eat out of his stainless steel bowl. He has a ceramic pie plate for a dish and my gal has a ceramic bowl. Their water is in the stainless steel, though. He learned to deal with it.

I give my dogs a small breakfast with a time limit. If it isn't eaten I put it way. They get a larger dinner. They also might get some quality snacks throughout the day for training. I do try to keep the food from becoming the same old kibble each time by adding a boiled egg in their breakfast portion and a heaping tablespoon of various flavored canned food in the evening portion. Then they get a "dessert" of a trachea or a crunchy carrot.

I've never had a picky eater dog before getting a GSD. It used to be if my dogs didn't eat that meant they weren't feeling well. But I think our dogs can be more discriminating.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2018
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I mean it sounds healthier to me than giving them 1-2 big meals a day. You’ll avoid blot. I feed my GSD in a similar way but I do take away her food before she goes to bed. Think of it like it was you. You like to have snacks in between meals, right?
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