Author Topic: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???  (Read 17265 times)

Offline mastiffmommy

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FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« on: April 22, 2005, 11:30:39 pm »
It would be interesting to see what you all think about free feeding, do you free feed or not??? If so why did you choose to. There are a lot of discussions going to about the pros and cons when it comes to the different methods of feeding.

Marit
what the lion is to a cat, the mastiff is to a dog

Offline Lupine

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2005, 07:20:05 am »
I free-feed Wolf dry food throughout the day (he only ever eats about a cup or two), but I also feed him a can of wet food every 12 hours or so.  This isn't a set schedule yet, because he's currently on meds for an infection he picked up at the shelter, and he really doesn't want to eat.

I have to sit there and point at his bowl to keep his attention on it.

 :P
sonya

Offline Carolyn

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2005, 08:30:59 am »
It's tuff with 3 dogs to free-feed, 1 senior, 1 adult & 1 puppy finally going off puppy food. Theres always the cat food bowl to steal a snack from!
Speaking of can food, Iv'e heard a lot of bad things about processing plants that you may want to reconsider using can foods.
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Offline mamadog

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2005, 10:44:52 am »
I free feed my babies. I usually end up filling their dishes 2-3 times a day, but they don't eat it all at once so they have food in their dish at all times. We put the cat dishes up on the counter so the dogs can't reach them, and we don't allow them to eat out of eachothers dishes either. (if someone stops eating, or is eating a lot more I want to know. You can't always tell if they share dishes)
Finn didn't always free feed. When he was housebreaking we had him on a schedule but he's almost a pro now.

Offline mastiffmommy

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2005, 12:01:11 pm »
I have heard a lot of people free feeding and loving it. I have never done, I think mainly because I have always had more than one dog. I think if is a great way to feed if it works in your home, here hmmmm well Buffy would end up as a rooli pooli, Zeus would sit infront of the dishes, guarding them, but not eating and Hera well she would suck up as much she could as fast as she could and then cough it up sounding like an automatic weapon. Also now when we have the puppy, it would complicate it even more and getting them potty trained I imagine would be way harder if they could snack all day long. Ohhhh and the cats food, the poor cat would never get any food at all if she had her food on the floor lol.... She has her own dining table on top of the dryer. I feed twice a day, morning and late afternoon and at lunch time I give a snack, they love carrots. And like the previous poster said, you may want to look into the caned food.

Marit
what the lion is to a cat, the mastiff is to a dog

Offline kildeskennel

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2005, 09:14:03 pm »
I used to schedule feed at certain times, about a year or so, I now free feed.  I fill bowls a few times a day when empty.  My two always eat throughout the day and I never have to worry if I am running late they are waiting hungry.  I also worried about bloat with schedule feeding, especially with the boys, they tend to eat so fast and seemed so hungry even when they had plenty to eat!  I was sure they were swallowing a ton of air to boot.  Now they feed at an easy pace and I love it! 
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Offline mastiffmommy

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2005, 10:56:11 am »
Thats great to hear, I take it you never have any problems with the boys getting "into it" over who is to eat in which bowl lol....

The bloat is an issue with these breeds, well not only with the giants but all breeds with deep chests, but more so with our big guys since they eat more. But after having followed the "bloat discussion" for ohhh gosh 25 years maybe, you realize that there are so many things that play a roll in wether they get bloat or not. When it comes to the feeding. A few things that makes it less "bloat risky" hmmmm okay that english is not very correct lol.... Anyway To feed them three times a day instead of two sometimes helps, also putting water in the kibble, not for so long so it gets soft, just so they have a slower eat, I also heard one breeder who used rather large pans/dishes put a couple of real large rocks (big enough for them not to be able to eat or swallow) then they ate around them, and that slowed them down quite a bit. I like to feed three times when they are young, then go over to two times a day, one of the danes I had, was eating three times a day alway though, it just worked better for her.

Marit
what the lion is to a cat, the mastiff is to a dog

Offline mirthfuleyes

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2005, 11:34:38 pm »
I think its always easier to free feed. Plus, the mastiff learns to provide for herself (nto always a good thing!). We free feed all our mastiffs and they are perfectly healthy and of good weight. The dogs know when they are hungry far better than I do!

nickerbokker

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2005, 11:42:27 pm »
so i have two crazy dogs....as soon as the bowls touch the floor they go friggin nuts and scarf it down, sometimes, followed by throwing it right back up and eating it again.  its lovely.  SO...heres my question....if i want to free feed, how do i go from schedules to free feed...im scared that if i put out lotsa food, they will eat until they die...seriousl y.

any suggestions?

Offline Leah-n-boy-os

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2005, 09:24:06 am »
We free feed throughout the day, as Zeus is somewhat slow to eat, unlike Apollo.

We were having issues with the "bloat" in Apollo. My Vet recommended aquiring a "raised" feeding tray, so that Apollo did not have to bend down to eat. I cannot tell you how much this has helped!!! Both his food and his water are now at just the right height that he just dips his head , and the bloating is almost completely resolved. We got the "rack" (it's just a wire frame with two holes for the bowls to sit in) at PetSmart.
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Zeus (Heinz 57)
Onyx (Newfoundland)
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Offline Jason

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2005, 09:30:57 am »
I've always had Oreo on a scheduled feeding. Breakfast and dinner. If he leaves it in the bowl after 15 minutes, it gets taken away. The Dane rescue I got him from recommended it. Of course I have the opposite problems that most of you have, he doesn't want to eat everything and often leaves some food left in the bowl.
I too was concerned about the Bloat problem from the beginning, but even with scheduled feeding and all the other precautions, we still ended up at the emergency vet with bloat and torsion a few years ago. May you never have to experience that.

Rufiesmom

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2005, 09:51:41 am »
Wow! Did everything turn out okay?  What were the first symptoms?  Did you recognize it right away?  We were told to feed twice a day and take the bowls away after 10 minutes.  It has worked out well.  I think bloat is a scary thing for big dog owners. 

Offline Jason

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2005, 12:00:44 pm »
Wow! Did everything turn out okay?  What were the first symptoms?  Did you recognize it right away?  We were told to feed twice a day and take the bowls away after 10 minutes.  It has worked out well.  I think bloat is a scary thing for big dog owners. 

Oreo is fine now. Basically he woke me up around 2 AM one evening. He was stumbling a bit (kinda like he was drunk), blue gums and a distended abdomen. Got him to the emergency vet in time, they cut him open to get everything twisted back the right way. After a few days in the hospital, a few weeks of rest at home, lots of boiled chicken, rice and cottage cheese and he was good as new.That was about 3 years ago. I'm just glad it happened when I was home, because timing is critical.

GR8DAME

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2005, 12:30:03 pm »
What a nightmare. Thank goodnes they were able to successfully treat him.
Stella

Offline mastiffmommy

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Re: FREE FEEDING OR NOT???
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2005, 12:34:31 pm »
I have been there Jason, and it is horrible. I used to have danes and one of my girls had bloat, almost the same happened as with yours, it was real early morning and she started to puke, or rather try to puke, just foam and some kind of yellow gue, by then her belly was not bloated up, but I figured what was going on, so called my vet and he went into the office, she wasnt too bad that time, but when it happened again, we opted for the surgery. Scary isnt it..

I also feed on sched. but some of the big dogs I have had have been on 3 feedings a day. The bloat is a constant concern, and they keep changing what they say about how to prevent it. What they say today is partly but not all together the same as they said 20 years ago. So It can be hard to know how to deal with it and how to best prevent it. One study they have done shows that as good as all the dogs that come in with bloat has an empty stomach, so the key seems to be to not feed too much as once  but rather make sure they get food more often so they dont totally empty their stomachs, since it is the muscle bands that hang the stomach up that get stretched out and allows the belly to "turn" when it is empty. So freefeeding is I am sure a good way to prevent it, but for me it has never worked. I have always had older dogs and puppies or younger dogs at the same time, and for different reasons it has been easier to feed two or three times a day, and the potty training is so much easier on a dog that is not freefeeding. Had I only had one or maybe two, I probably would try it but for now it works well. One other thing that Linda Arnt, a K-9 nutritionist spec. in giant breeds say is that if we give the kibble in a little water (not warm or hot) just mix it in and feed straight away, that prevents moisture from the stomach having to be used when they eat, and that she states can prevent bloat.

Marit
what the lion is to a cat, the mastiff is to a dog