View Full Version : Need advice for puppy......

22nd November 2006, 11:55 AM
Does anyone have any advice on how to best transition a dog from free feeding (food access all the time) to set mealtime feeding ?
My mum has just got her new puppy he is 10 wks old and a good weight, she has only had him for a 2 days but he is not that interested in some of his meal. At the breeders they feed a really varied diet and leave kibble down all the time but my mum gradually wants to change to feed a mostly dry diet (kibble). He is really only interested in the wet part of his meal, his meat or yogurt etc and not that fussed with the kibble ?

We were thinking maybe just take the wet food away for a while and just give kibble each meal then eventually he will get interested ??
Is that a bit harsh or may that put him off his food or lose weight?

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated ?

22nd November 2006, 12:10 PM
Never ever ever free feed this breed -- I am surprised the breeders do as cavaliers will generally eat anything and everything offered.

Just have your mother leave the food bowl down for 15 minutes, three to four times a day. If pup doesn;t eat, up comes the food bowl, no cajoling, no big deal, and gets put away til the next scheduled meal. No treats in between meals. The pup should be eating regularly within two-three days. Missing a few meals is fine for a pup or a dog.

I'd suggest getting some good books on raising puppies too as good reference works. People here probably have some good suggestions!

For example:


There are also lots of good articles here:



22nd November 2006, 01:05 PM
We have been free feeding Rusty since we got him nearly 2 years ago. We put 3/4 of a cup of dry Eukanuba next to his water bowl at 8 AM and will replenish the food at 6 PM if it is empty. Water is refilled constantly when needed. Although he is 30 pounds, that is because of his size, not overweight. Vet says he is a perfect weight for his size. Generally, he only eats one bowl a day. Sometimes he will skip 2 meals. But, it is always there for him. We rarely give him large treats and training "rewards" are either his regular food (which he doesn't appreciate), cheerios, carrots or something healthy. He only gets real dog "treats" on special occassions and never has people food.

Cathy Moon
24th November 2006, 03:19 PM
When we first brought India home at 11-12 weeks of age, her breeder recommended that we mix a little scrambled egg, cottage cheese, cooked chopped meat or chicken in her dry food for variation. We put in a small amount. At first she seemed like a poor eater, but improved as she grew up and we got a second dog.

Barbara Nixon
24th November 2006, 03:34 PM
When I had only Monty and Izzy, I could leave the food bowls down. monty woukd eat his fill and no more, when the bowl went down and izzy would leave his until late evening.

Since Joly and especilllay Teddy this was not possible. These two have to be crate fed to stop greed. Izzy eats slowly but on time and sometimes leaves some food, which monty grabs. This si fine, as he could carry extra weight with no problem, even thogh he's 35lbs, because mvd has made him very skinny.

24th November 2006, 04:26 PM
I free fed Holly for a long time- partly because she was so fussy, and I found that if I left it then she'd eventually eat it all.

BUT- more over than not she was picky, and would select 'choice' bits of kibble and leave the rest (mainly the 'veggy kibble', I noticed) so I started doing what Karlin recommended above. It's worked wonders- even before Amber came, Holly now polishes off whatever is put in front of her. Amber on the other hand is a canine hoover. No question of free feeding with her!

Barbara Nixon
24th November 2006, 05:58 PM
I don't see any problem with freefeeding a single dog, provided the amount of food put down is measured and correct.

24th November 2006, 06:41 PM
Freefeeding in my book (and as a general term used by the breeders and trainers that I know) does not mean measured amounts though -- it means keeping a bowl full of food available at all times. Leaving the bowl down with the measured food for the day is... leaving the bowl down with the measured food for the day. :) Totally different concept.

The only problem with the latter is 1) more than one dog, and it is very hard to tell who is eating what and if all dogs are getting a fair share and 2) it potentially sets up a fussy dog or an inconvenient situation in which it can be hard for someone looking after the dog to get the dog fed. Not everyone has the ability to also leave a bowl of food down all day; most vets won't do this, nor will pounds.

Wild canids eat on a gorge and then no food basis and domestic dogs are well equipped to manage a fast meal at one or two times a day then nothing in between. There's no advantage to the dog to grazing all day; the concern of the breeders I know is that feeding in this way is very conducive to obesity in a breed that easily gets fat, and to finicky dogs. Cavaliers are recognised by vets as one of a handful of breeds prone to gross obesity (thisd is actually on a chart at my vets! And a cavalier is the breed on Royal Canin's Light Diet food... :shock:). MOST cavaliers I see are overweight. Very few are actually in fit weight (and all those seem to be on our monthly dog walks! :lol:). So I'd a big proponent of feeding a carefully measured amount, less treats, each day. :)

24th November 2006, 11:47 PM
Pleased to report we are getting somewhere with the feeding. We decided to take away all other food and just give the kibble (softened) gradually he is eating more. He still takes a fair amount of time to get interested but then once he has realised he only has a certain amount of time I think he will get a little quicker. The only thing I would say is he is really only interested in 2 meals a day and will consistently leave the third ?

Is it ok to only feed two if this is what takes his fancy ? OR
Should we split up what he is having in the two over three ?

He is 2.7kg (5.9 pounds) and is having about 1/2 a cup of kibble a day. Do you think this sounds normal or enough ?
My two would eat (or should I say inhale) and still do any amount in record time.