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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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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.
 

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

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I cannot begin to say how much I disagree with everything this vet suggested. I am not shocked in the least bit though, as I really expect most vets to give me awful advice on nutrition and behavior. I want all good things to come from me, and food for most dogs is the most important thing and a very powerful motivator. I can easily teach the dog that his food is safe, and will only get better when I am around, but once a dog is taught that food is no longer important and will be just laying around all of the time I have lost my greatest training tool and my greatest NILF tool. Not to mention that most dogs will quickly become overweight. Science Diet will only line the Vets pocket while costing you more than a quality food (or at the very least just as much).

If it were me I would find another vet if possible, but I am not very forgiving with doctors and vets. Their responsibilities are too great and their actions affect what is most important in my life. I refuse to deal with stupidity from them, and the second I smell stupid I run like the wind.
 

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Your Fed recommended Science Diet, which must push because of high profit margins.

The answer to your question is simple, find a new vet, and let the vet know why.

As for open or controlled feeding, I think that depends on the dog.
 

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My Vet told me to Free feed especially after my dog had has spleen removed. His or the theroy behind it was it would help prevent bloat, because the dog could eat when he wanted to and as much or little as he wanted to. You could set your clock by this dog he ate at x time in the morning and x time in the evening. I knew how much he ate because I only put so much food in the dish.

I have free fed two of my dogs and they were still food motivated and toy motivated.
 

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<span style="color: #3333FF">I've always "free feed" and never had any problems regarding "treat drive" or training. I also measure and know exactly how much she has. She has to sit and wait when I give it to her, and she will, even if she doesn't eat it right away. I only have to pick it up if we have resident fosters. On another note, NONE of my dogs were ever overweight. I agree with the bloat thing too.....

BUT,4 months (IMO) is too young to free feed. </span>
 

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I started Riley and Lady on Canidae all stages a couple of months ago and they are doing great on it. They both love it and have had no bouts of diarrhea when starting on a new bag, unlike we have experienced in the past with new bags of other brands (and that was with mixing the left-over old bag with the new bag).

I personally would never free feed. Riley would not stop eating and I would have an obese puppy! Not to mention that it would make housebreaking more difficult...
 
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