Vet says to free feed - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Vet says to free feed

I currently have a 4 month Rotti/X and will soon have a new GSD male. My vet was telling me with our Rotti girl to just go ahead and keep her food bowl full all the time. I'm not sure that I buy into that. I think it is too important to monitor what and how much your puppy is eating, and I think it is a very important tool to control when the dog eats to establish dominance. I expressed this to my Vet. and he still maintained that I should be free feeding. Then again, he also told me that I should be feeding Science Diet, (Go Figure ) so anyways, what is everyones thought on this?

Also, and maybe I should put this on a different post, but I am switching our puppy over to Canidae. I have read great things about this food, but I am a bit confused as to why they have one food for puppies, adults and seniors when everyone else has different food for different life stages. Any insight into this?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 04:34 PM
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Re: Vet says to free feed

If you have one dog and it is not a gobbler, free feeding can work. You will still know how much your dog is eating.

Two dogs - different. You will never know who eats what. Also makes house training more difficult, since eating stimulates a bowel movement and you will never be able to anticipate that with free feeding.

I prefer to feed mine two meals a day, 1/2 the daily food at each meal.

I don't use puppy foods - mine go right onto the adult food, but I'm sure someone else will address the canidae question.

Bonnie

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 04:35 PM
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Re: Vet says to free feed

Did the vet give a reason as to why they think it is good to free feed? I agree with you and would not and do not free feed. Knowing when your puppy eats and how much is also good for potty training let alone controling their weight too. When I feed Molly, I set the food down and she gets about 10 minutes to eat her food, whatever she doesn't finish in 10 minutes gets taken up and she will not get it until her next meal. She learns when it is time to eat, it is time to eat. You dilly dally around meal time you do not eat until the next meal. Plain and simple. Dogs like routine so we stick with a feeding routine as much as possible.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 05:14 PM
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Re: Vet says to free feed

I would not take this veterinarian's advice on feeding, neither on what to feed nor on how to feed, based on what he has already advised you.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 05:20 PM
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Re: Vet says to free feed

I am shocked that a vet would tell you to free feed!!!! Vets should know how many dogs are already overweight and if he tells you to keep your dog's bowl always full.... ... makes NO sense to me.
I strongly would discourage you to free feed. Mollysmom made some very good points about free feeding and I wanted to add that if you ever wanna take your dog to training and incourage his food drive... how is he gonna want any treats from you, when he has had the chance to eat all day and all night!?!?!?
My both dogs would be FAT if they were free fed. They have such high food drives that they would NEVER stop eating.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 05:52 PM
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Re: Vet says to free feed

The theory behind this (and the free fed dogs I've seen seem to support it)...is that food...which is always available in abundance at their every wim...no longer is something to guard, covet and gobble up. They know it's always there...no big thing. SO...with that in mind...it's supposed to prevent food aggression....and they also say that dogs...while they may gobble initially (especially if they've always been on a schedule)...will eventually only eat what they NEED. While I don't free feed (because quite frankly I just wasn't knowledgeable back when I first got my dogs...and now I feel it's too late to change)....I see many people that free feed with much success. A local trainer / behavioralist we work with pushes free feeding. He swears by it to prevent bloat as well...and his feelings on this are because the dogs just pick all day.......

p.s. - I started my puppy on Canidae all stage as well...she is doing great on it.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 05:53 PM
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Re: Vet says to free feed

My opinion: vets offer advice, but you aren't required to follow it if you don't think it is the best thing for you. That's not to say he may not be a good vet in other ways. But maybe nutrition isn't his thing. I think your instinct about not free-feeding is correct, for exactly the reasons you thought.

Tracy
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 06:56 PM
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Re: Vet says to free feed

As said if your dog is not a piggy and you have one well free feeding is okay. It allows the pup to eat at will and maintain ther blood sugar levels which are important in a little pup. But with 2 dogs and one of them already 4 months, free feeding would not be my first choice.

Science Diet - YUK!!! But guess who educates vets on nutrition? Hills.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 06:56 PM
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Re: Vet says to free feed

I forgot to say welcome to the board!!!!

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 08:07 PM
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Re: Vet says to free feed

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...597#Post726597 has more great info about free feeding (or rather why you probably should NOT).




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