View Full Version : Feeding Time is a huge Production! help!

12th October 2012, 01:32 PM
Rosie is now 9 1/2 months and feeding time has become a production to put it mildly. We got Rosie from a lady who rescues dogs in her home until she can find them loving permanent homes. When we picked Rosie up there was 28 other dogs in the house varying, sizes and breeds. She was not house trained, (we are still working on that!) and feeding time I'm sure was a free for all.

Feeding time in our house has become an annoying game between Rosie and Homer, our 11 year old cat. Rosie won't entertain her food until Homer comes over and takes a nibble and if Homer won't eat she won't eat. This means that who ever is on feeding duty has to stand guard over the bowl and referee pulling Homer away but at the same time allowing him a nibble so it will entice Rosie to eat. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes but for the most part this can go on for 30 to 40 minutes.

We are feeding her twice a day. 1/2 cup of dry mixed with a teaspoon of wet mixed in.

What am I doing wrong and what can we do to speed up feeding time?

12th October 2012, 01:55 PM
Hmmm -- I would manage this the same way that is recommended to manage all eating issues (and a good normal feeding routine :D ).

1) Put the food down. Do not turn this into a production with the cat and make it vastly more interesting for Rosie (and involve attention from you!) -- just put it on the floor with no comment, no interaction, no eye contact.

2) Give Rosie 10 minutes to eat. If she hasn't eaten, or only eaten a bit, regardless of what Homer does or doesn't do (and NO interaction at all, just ignore Rosie, the cat and the food!), calmly pick up the bowl and put it away til the next SCHEDULED mealtime that evening. In between, NO treats or coaxing with the food bowl. Nothing.

3) At next scheduled feeding time, repeat the above process. 10 minutes to eat, no interaction, put bowl away after 10 mins.

This will almost certainly resolve the issue within three days. She will NOT starve and most likely will eat quickly and readily once she makes the connection that foodtime no longer involves a game, or you or Homer paying more attention to her -- coaxing her, standing around, etc.

You can also (and I would do this) feed her in say the kitchen for those 10 minute segments and put Homer somewhere else -- outside or another room with the doors closed. Or feed Rosie in her crate. I would not continue to have Homer be part of what has turned into a very rewarding and interesting game around feeding time for Rosie. :thmbsup:

Incidentally -- why only a teaspoon of wet food? IMHO kibble is a pretty dull and repetitive choice for feeding dogs. I'd at least give 1/4th that meal as wet food. And would consider some 'real' food instead :) (we have lots of recommendations and recipes in the Library section and even a fundraiser CD full of dog recipes) -- there's solid evidence that a broad range of essential gut flora do not thrive in monotonous diets and do best with a range of fresh, not processed food. I only use kibble as an occasional crunchy supplement or when travelling -- it's like feeding a child a lifetime of Wheaties. I intend to do a longer article on diet as I've been attending some science forums on the role of gut flora and diet in people and poor immune health and some serious diseases are increasingly seen as connected to a healthy gut -- which will not ever come from a processed, monotonous diet, no matter whether it is fortified with vitamins or not. The same surely applies to dogs and cats and other pets.

12th October 2012, 02:08 PM
Thank you Karlin. I will give this a try.
I have never had a dog before and was following the advice of the lady that we got her from. You are right about the food being boring, I will take a look at the recipes and educate myself. Do you feed your dogs once or twice a day? I've had conflicting advice on this.

12th October 2012, 02:57 PM
Really you can do either. With cavaliers, who easily overeat especially after they reach maturity, it can be easy to overfeed if opting for twice daily as people think the amount needs topping up! I use cat-sized bowls which will look properly full, and keep a strict eye on quantity and adjust as needed if anyone gains weight. :) I feed once a day but they get dog biscuits at bedtime and a nice treat like dried tripe during the day too.

A good guide to owning a dog -- puppy or adult -- is available free -- AfterYou Get Your Puppy:


Very helpful for dogs of any age and great with rescue dogs that might have little to no training! All positive methods from a great internationally recognised trainer.

12th October 2012, 08:08 PM
My girls are very similar, sometimes they wont touch their food until the other one shows interest, then they scarf it down. Now I feed separately in their crate, give them 15 minutes and if they havent eaten they wait till next time. I feed twice a day and use a mix of fromm gold adult & fromm grain free, with either some canned tripe or salmon oil. If Im cooking some meat or vegetables I will cut down on the kibble and mix some of that in. But I always use a measuring cup so I dont give too much. As Karlin suggested, I also use tiny bowls so they are pretty much full - it also keeps their ears cleaner if you dont use a snood.

12th October 2012, 08:20 PM
Wow we have a feeding time zoo going on at my house as well. The last few weeks Fletcher has be down right frantic about his food. He freaks out barking and running in circles the second he even thinks I'm going to take out his bowl. I mean frantic!!!!! And its like he looks thur me when I give him the chill out command his focus in on nothing but that bowl full or empty. My husband thinks I'm not feeding him enough but I give him 3/4 cup dry kibble with fresh fruit or veggies (a small handful) twice a day, he's 8 months old. He does get kibble pieces as training treats during the day too....... He is not guarding his bowl once he gets it tho which is good but its only a matter of time like this. He doesn't look thin or fat to me but.... I don't know. I'm at a lost.

12th October 2012, 08:35 PM
ahhh you feed 3/4 cup twice a day?? Im only doing 1/2 cup twice a day and Lady is soooo skinny (8 months) but the vet scared me about giving her too much! Maybe I should up it a bit??

12th October 2012, 10:13 PM
ahhh you feed 3/4 cup twice a day?? Im only doing 1/2 cup twice a day and Lady is soooo skinny (8 months) but the vet scared me about giving her too much! Maybe I should up it a bit??

Every dog (like person) is different. I switched to feeding twice a day when he stopped eating his lunchtime meal shortly after he was 6 months old. Fletcher is slim in my opinion however I cannot easily feel his ribs when I run my hands down him. We all know its better to have a cavalier that is on the slim side however my dog acts like I starve him. HOWEVER, since he is a puppy he's naturally going to go thur growth spurts that is going to increase and decrease his appetite just like human babies. It also depends on the kibble too I think. Fletcher is on Wellness Core Adult. I'm going to measure out what I give for treats during the day just to compare his total amount per day to recommending feeding amount. Also Fletcher has exercise changed recently since he was swimming a lot and pool season is over. We walk 3 times a day, 1 mile in the morning 1 mile at noon and about 3ish miles in the evening unless its raining because my spoiled pup hates rain.

12th October 2012, 10:16 PM
ahhh you feed 3/4 cup twice a day?? Im only doing 1/2 cup twice a day and Lady is soooo skinny (8 months) but the vet scared me about giving her too much! Maybe I should up it a bit??

Every dog's food needs are different, but in general, dogs that are lean live longer. That's probably why your vet said that. The best guides for how much to feed your dog are your own hands plus a weight scale. I weigh Tess frequently since one pound up or down on such a small dog can be significant. I feel her ribs a lot, too, and check that her waist line looks good, with a clear tuck (have to check through the feathers, LOL). Here is a useful guide to refer to: http://www.purina.com/dog/weight-and-exercise/bodycondition.aspx

FYI, my Tess weighs 18 lbs and she gets a total 3/4 cup of food daily, divided into two meals. She dropped about 3 lbs a few months back and has remained steady since then. Her vet is very happy with her weight now.

If you really feel your dog is too thin, try giving just a bit more daily for a couple weeks and see what happens. But I do think that is today's "age of obesity", we often look at dogs and think they are thin when really they are a healthy weight.

13th October 2012, 03:35 AM
Just in the interest of "more info" is helpful, Rose is a little over 2 years, and weighs 17 lbs. She gets one rounded 1/4 cup of dry, 2 tsp. of oat bran and about 2 tbsp. of wet food twice a day. 17 lbs is her "ideal" weight, she was on a flat 1/4 dry to lose a lb. ;) .

Lady Hoop
26th October 2012, 04:06 AM
Lady was a strange picky eater as well at first until I adopted the method Karlin suggested. It really does work like a charm. My mother in law ignored this method for a while and finally tried it and it's worked for her as well. They are little gluttons and will not go starving. They soon learn they better eat when it's offered or they will stay hungry!

Lady gets 1/2 cup twice a day at the exact same time every day. She knows when her meal time is. She goes to her food cart and bites it. HA! She was at 1/4 cup twice a day and when she reached 6 months we upped her to the 1/2 cup twice a day. We are pretty strict with it and give her training treats are the 1/2 calorie bites. She gets bully sticks whenever. Haven't made it to he home cooked meals yet. Don't know that I will. I need to read more on it.
She is 7 months @ 10.3 lbs.