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Alaskan Malamutes => Alaskan Malamute Discussions => : Kaiko August 19, 2006, 08:34:21 AM

: Eating Habits Of the Alaskan Malamute
: Kaiko August 19, 2006, 08:34:21 AM
Hi Guys,

Pyscho Kaiko my growing not so little boy has an eating disorder (of sorts) I think!! He really is keen to eat fast, rapid and like a monster on amphetimes or too much coffee or both! You get the drift!

Basically whenever it is food time, we have to feed Meeka our Siberian and Kaiko separately (is this normal?) Otherwise it turns aggressive when normally they are fine together day or night.

Kaiko is 11 weeks, Meeks 7 Months but Meeka was never as boisterous as Mr K is even in her early youth. Kaiko cannot seem to control himself and muches though his dish at a frightning rate, when I try to take the dish away he demostrates slight panic an agression and is frantic for return to the food, I am almost frightened to put my hand near his dish but he does need to chill because when he grows to the big boy he will.....well you know the story.....

Generally his temprament is of an Angel but not at food time?? He gets fed around 3 large mugs of food per day, he is in good shape ratio and weighs in at around 15Kg. I suppose the question is - I am feeding him enough?

Thanks for any help you can give me on this Guys and Oh with regard to my earlier post of will his ear stand up please refer to the attached pics for your enjoyment.


: Re: Eating Habits Of the Alaskan Malamute
: Saint and Mal mom August 19, 2006, 02:40:27 PM
The thing I want to address first is his food aggression towards you. First of all, this is not acceptable at any age. Before you give him his food, every time, make him sit and then you decide when he will be served. That way, he knows that YOU are in charge of food, not him. If he shows aggression when you mess with his food bowl while he's eating, say "No!" and take it away. Make him sit, then give it back to him. Show him that you are the boss and you may decide to mess with his food, but he may NOT be mean about it.

Secondly, my Malamute Zoey eats pretty fast as well. She never wolfed down her food as you are describing, but I wouldn't worry too much about it unless he is choking on the food or throwing it up because he isn't digesting it well. If he starts having a problem with that or you just want him to eat a bit slower, I suggest getting something to put in the food bowl with the food, so he has to eat around the obstacle and it takes him a bit longer to eat it all. Maybe a rock or ball or anything not edible.

Sounds to me like you are feeding him enough as well. The last thing you want is an overweight puppy, because once they put the weight on, is soooo hard to get it off!

Oh, and when we first got our Saint Dolly, Zoey was a bit bigger than her and always a bully at food time. I practically had to supervise them all the time when they ate or else Zoey would push Dolly away from both food bowls and eat it all. She wasn't starving, she just didn't want Dolly to eat anything! Supervise your 2 when they eat and if one bothers the other at all while they are eating, say, "NO!" and pull them back to their own food bowl and say "Here" so they know that's the food bowl they belong near. And make sure both bowls are apart from each other a ways. That helps some.

It just takes time. Malamutes are very boisterous and even bullies at times! But you must be firm with them. They will learn eventually. By the way, your guy is awfully cute!
: Re: Eating Habits Of the Alaskan Malamute
: patrick August 20, 2006, 01:23:10 AM
I agree with establishing who is pack leader BUT I also think the puppy needs to feel secure that he is not going to lose his food first.  With him frantically gulping and guarding his food it definitely is in his mind that someone is going to take his food and he of course (in his mind)will certainly die of starvation!  And you don't want to develop the habit of devouring his food like that either because that can be a cause of bloat as he gets older.

I have had ZERO food aggression over the years because I have food down at all times  I have never had an obese dog - the dogs self regulate their intake.  And the dogs never develop the mind set that someone is going to take their food- it is a non issue cause there is always food

You do have to be careful to not overfeed your puppy but there are ways to increase his consumption and keeping his tummy pleasantly full without adding calories. Although his weight is good 3 mugs of food really is not very much for a large breed growing puppy.  Rice, green beans are 2 good ways to having him feel full without increasing a lot of calories.  I also offer fresh foods in between meals - the puppies particularly like slices of sweet potato.  Apples, carrots etc are also good.  The puppy really shouldn't reach the point where he is ravenous by the time meals come around. It is very difficult to work with food aggression when the puppy has it in his mind that he is starving to death!! Little snacks will help.
: Re: Eating Habits Of the Alaskan Malamute
: Saint and Mal mom August 20, 2006, 03:47:10 AM
Although I very much agree that the nutricious snacks you suggested are a wonderful idea and add to make a dog's diet more balanced, I am not in favor of free-feeding. We did have a dog who was free fed all the time and he was overweight. And once he was, we never could get that weight off him.
: Re: Eating Habits Of the Alaskan Malamute
: LuvmyMal August 20, 2006, 09:43:28 AM
I had the same issue with Nala until she was approximately 6 months old, she would always gulp her food down in hopes that Tonka would not take it, which was never the case. I actually hand fed her many times a little at a time to try to calm this down. I developed the pack heirachy soon after I noticed that nothing would stop the gulping of food. Tonka has one color bowl and gets her bowl down first (in the dining room) Nala has another color bowl and gets her second (in the kitchen far away from Tonka) Nala would often barge in on Tonkas meals and try to eat it also, but not anymore. They also must sit before I put the food down and stay until released. It was hard, but it works. Now they can eat very close together and after one finishes eating they go lie down until the other is finished then they get yogurt for dessert. I also fed Nala in her crate when she was a pup that seemed to help a little also helped so she would not go potty in there. I can take the food away and stick my hands in bowls at any time and they know that if my hand is there they must lift their head up and let me check it out. We have never had human food aggression and I consistently touch them while eating from their faces to their tails.

He is an absolute doll, I personally don't recommend free feeding for mals or huskies just with my personal experience with the breeds that they will eat what you put down, no matter how sick it makes them. It sounds to me like you are feeding him enough also.