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nicoles94
10th June 2008, 12:34 AM
With our other dogs, we had a habit of always keeping kibble in their food bowls. They would eat at will throughout the day and were able to ration out their food through a 24 hour period. But Tybalt is another matter. He doesn't seem to have this ability to ration and could eat his whole allowance for the day in one sitting. I've taken to feeding him 1/4 cup of kibble at defined times throughout the day, such as morning, lunch and evening.

I've always had bigger dogs, and I'm not used to smaller dogs. Should I keep up this feeding schedule or will I eventually be able to leave kibble out for him at all times? There will be times when I won't be able to always feed him on schedule. I've read Cavaliers are prone to put on weight easily.

simonrickell
10th June 2008, 07:57 AM
One of the issues with leaving food down, is the leader is in control of the food. By leaving food down you are telling your dogs that they must be in a position of authority.

Ours get one feed a day - and if one of them does not eat it - then one of the others will. Next day he will probably be in a better mood to finish his own food. If no one is eating - then the food comes up.

Kristy
10th June 2008, 08:00 AM
great link:
http://roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

a short quote from the page:


Puppies between 8 and 16 weeks of age do quite well on 3 meals a day. They start out with about a large handful of kibble for each meal or about 1/4 cup. At about 4 to 6 months of age you may begin feeding your puppy twice a day, about 1/2 cup or so each time. Somewhere between 10 and 18 months of age you may begin feeding just once a day--with some really good eaters you may need to feed just once a day by 6 or 7 months of age.

Each time you feed your puppy, put the food down for approximately 15 minutes. If the puppy hasn't finished it after 15 minutes, pick it up and put it away until the next feeding time. Do NOT try to feed in between.

nicoles94
10th June 2008, 08:50 AM
One of the issues with leaving food down, is the leader is in control of the food. By leaving food down you are telling your dogs that they must be in a position of authority.

Ours get one feed a day - and if one of them does not eat it - then one of the others will. Next day he will probably be in a better mood to finish his own food. If no one is eating - then the food comes up.

I only have one dog, so no authority problems with dogs here. :)

But I have heard Cavaliers can be quite addicitive...:-p

nicoles94
10th June 2008, 08:52 AM
great link:
http://roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

a short quote from the page:

Ok, that makes me feel a lot better. I'm actually doing it right. LOL. Guess I'll keep on doing it.

Barbara Nixon
10th June 2008, 12:07 PM
The leaving food out metod works with some dogs and not others. I used to leave a bowl out, when I had just Monty and Izzy, as Izzy was very fussy and liked to eat in small nibbles. Monty wasn't greedy. They always wanted what was in the other bowl, so one bowl was fine and there was nearly always something left at the end of the day.

Along came Joly, then Teddy. Joly can be greedy and Teddy is a pig, who , given the chance, will stick his head in a sack of food and goblle gobble gobble. Even as a tiny puppy, he seemed to suck up his food without tasting it, then would see who's food he could steal. So we had to have Monty and Izzy, by now back to one bowl each , as Izzy fed better in a gang and The younger two fed in crates.

Now Izzy is gone, Monty gets his dinner in the kitchen, because he likes to savour his food and the others would steal. Should he have a really slow day (mum didn't put any tinned on to perk up the taste) and the kitchen door gets opened, he gets short rations, thanks to Turbo Teddy.

I would imagine the houesehold with multiple dogs, where a bowl of food can be left as a snack tray, is very rare. I could still leave a bowl for a singleton Monty to eat at leisure, but never for the others and so not for him.

I only feed once a day, with a morning snack of fish skin cube and , sometimes, a few small biscuits. A maximum of two meals , once out of puppyhood, would be more convenient for you and the odd late meal won't do any harm.

simonrickell
10th June 2008, 12:16 PM
I only have one dog, so no authority problems with dogs here. :)


I don't actually mean between dogs - but between the dog and you as pack leader

leesanlucie
10th June 2008, 01:01 PM
My dog doesn't ration her food at all.....she eats hers right away!:p
She used to ration her food before she was speyed....and now all of a sudden her tummy thinks her throats been cut so we have strict feeding times.
When our new pup comes each will have to be fed in their own crates as i cant have Lucie getting extra food.....she puts weight on very easily.

chloe92us
13th June 2008, 02:13 AM
I was ALWAYS a "fill the bowl as needed" type of gal- I never had a problem with any of the dogs I have ever had....that is, until I got my first Cavalier Casey. For the first two years, she had food at all times. Then, suddenly, and I mean *overnight* she porked up to 30 pounds! :eek: So, the free-for-all ended. Now all my dogs eat twice a day and that's it. She's been on a serious diet now for about 4 months~ the weight goes on so much easier than off!

In general, Cavaliers are piggies. They can be prone to over-eating so to help yours I would put him or her on a feeding schedule. That way, you can keep a close eye on the weight and change amounts accordingly. Good luck!

Karlin
13th June 2008, 09:11 PM
Some dogs are fine with free feeding but trainers and vets (and breeders!) generally won't recommend it, especially with more than one dog. The reasons are as some have noted that first (as you have found) there's the risk of obesity unless you put a strict amount down each day. That might work with one dog, but can lead to eating problems and also encourage the dog to start food guarding which can become a very serious -- and dangerous -- behaviour problem.

With more than one dog, free feeding risks 1) a potentially highly volatile feeding regime where dogs will fight for the resource, start food guarding, etc. This can and usually does start to escalate; 2) the inability to know how much each dog is eating, or to prevent one greedy one taking most of the food and getting fat while other dogs get very little; 3) difficulty getting a dog to eat when it is put on a special diet -- it is used to eating at its leisure but with several free feeding dogs, you have to totally segregate one of the dogs; 4) the inability to know if a dog has lost its appetite, which is often a very important signal for health problems.

Cavaliers are a very greedy breed -- very food focused and recognised as a breed prone to obesity too -- which is great for training as it is so easy to motivate with food rewards, but means you do need to manage their access to food in most cases and strictly keep an eye on what and how much they are eating.

This article (http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1549) is also good on how to feed and why.

PS I had my Lily in to the vet today and she has crept right up in weight -- she is a terrible scavenger from the street on walks and in the house. She's on cut rations going forward!