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What time to take food away at nite?

1740 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  gmcenroe
I was wondering since I'm a new Mom what time should I take away my puppy food? I"m taking it away at 6:30 and water away at 8:30 is that ok?????
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Are you free feeding? How old is the puppy?
I fed three meals when I brought my puppy home at 10 weeks, and switched to two at about 16 weeks or so. Taking up the food wasn't an issue.
I usually take away the water about the same time when I'm still housebreaking.

But food is a different story. In my experience 'free' feeding is a big problem. I put the bowl down and if that food doesn't get eaten, clearly I am overfeeding and can take it up until the next meal time (I feed twice a day). I want my pups to be lean and fit. And I ALWAYS want to know exactly when my pup last ate and exactly how much.

Our pup's 'normal' eating patterns are frequently a vital clue for us AND THE VET when something starts going wrong. And when my vet asks me when did my sick dog last eat, I'd sure rather give the proper and informed answer '1 1/2 cups at 7 am' then having to just stare back and say 'I have no idea'.

So not only will I be able to give real informed information, I will also know EXACTLY when the problem started up and not wait too long.

Additionally, a real easy way to help bond with our pups involves meal times! But I need a pup to be excited and waiting for the meal for it to understand and get that 'MOM IS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD AND BRINGER OF ALL GOOD THINGS'.

Some more good info on feeding tips are on these sites:

Um, this site also mentions how free feeding makes housebreaking more difficult:

These are specific to German Shepherds and how important for hip health that the amount they eat NOT be up to the puppy:

Quote:There are three methods described for feeding puppies: free choice, amount restricted, and time-restricted feeding. Free choice feeding is easiest but not appropriate in the prevention of orthopedic diseases and obesity. Amount restricted feeding requires recalculation of food quantity as the dog grows. Recommending that an owner feed 60% to 75% of ad libitum intake is not a useful concept, particularly for new pet owners. Time-restricted feeding may be the most practical; however, the appropriate amount of time is seemingly different among puppies. Some puppies consume too much food in 5 minutes, whereas others can have access to food for 30 minutes without overeating. Labrador retriever puppies, ranging in age from 8 to 34 weeks, fed two 30 minute meals a day are reported to have consumed 15% less than paired littermates fed ad libitum,(12) but final body weights were only slightly less in the time-restricted feeding group (28.3 kg versus 27.2 kg). One other useful piece of information is that growing dogs consume between 2.1% and 5% of their body weight in food daily matter when offered a palatable diet free choice.(13) There are no published growth curves for a variety of canine breeds such that an individual dog's growth could be compared with the breed average. This information may be available for certain breeds from large pet nutrition centers and may be useful to practicing veterinarians if compiled and published.
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Another great thing about feeding 2 or 3x a day to pups is they get on a "poop" schedule.
When free fed their time to poop can be all across the board since they could have been eating off and on all day.
I agree scheduled meals are best, especially for a pup.
I feed twice a day 12 hours apart, our dog takes less than 2 minutes to eat 2 1/2 cups softened kibble, she licks the bowl clean so there's no need to pick it up later.
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