I have a quick question if anyone could help me out. I am the proud owner of 2 Tri's brother and sister who are just over a year old. I took them to the vets the other day for their booster and a check up and was told Belle is a couple of pounds overweight. The vet obviously told us to try and feed them seperate thats ok if we are giving them chicken as they will eat straight away, but most of the time we are giving them a dry mix and it could stay in their bowls for hours until they are ready for it and Belle will eat both bowls if we dont stop her. Any ideas?
Feed them separately and pick the bowls up after say 10 mins put the away and put them out again at their next feed time ,it works we have all been there and done that hand and spoon feeding bit so as soon as they know its gone within a day or so they will clear their bowls at their feeding times .I have four and three are fed in their own crates and one outside and Poppy takes about 1 1/2 mins Rosie around 3 with Lily the same and lastly Daisy who munches her last bit about 15 mins after the other three have finished.:)
I'd echo what Brian said. I have two, and they both eat pretty much in less than a minute. I don't crate them, but I do move their bowls a good 3 feet from each other and watch them while they eat so I can make sure there are no arguments over food. (we rarely have these, but it's happened! my guys :l*v: their food!!)
That said, I know that some people have slower eaters. I would encourage you to pick up their food after 15 minutes. If they know they only get access to the food until you pick it up, they will very quickly learn to eat while the food is down. Right now, they are used to having access to the food any time they want so that's why they wait. I've never heard of a Cavalier starving themselves :smile: and keeping the bowl down obviously doesn't work for you if it's causing one dog to also eat the other dog's portions.
Dougall and Dotty are slowish eaters compared to Molly who eats like a propelled gormandiser. :yikes We have taught all three to wait. When we feed we tell Molly sit and wait, we give the other two their food about 4 feet away from her, we then give Molly her food. This gives the other two a head start. This might be an idea perhaps to start training for future. However, all three eat their food straight away, so the dishes are picked up within a few minutes of them being put down.
I used to free feed when I had a Golden and my first Cav, Mindy. That is until the Golden had to go on a kidney diet that was very low protein. I did as everyone suggested and put food down for 15 minutes and then lifted it. Honestly it took awhile before either dog would "agree" to this new feeding schedule - I guess until they both got good and hungry. In all honesty they both probably got fat from the free feeding. It was such a struggle to change their feeding pattern that I swore I would NEVER do that again. Since then we have had set meal times. My dogs are chow hounds and there is never a question of them leaving anything. They have never known anything different though. When we first got Max, Mindy used to leave 3 (and only 3) pieces of kibble in her bowl for him. That was astonishing to me because she was always the boss of the food when we had our Golden.
If you have dogs that are slow eaters, or on special diets, then instead of crates two wire panels can be used to make temporary partitions against existing walls.
I feed Grumpy William ( slow & will not start until the others are finished & he has an audience ) in a corner of the kitchen, screened off by wire panels.
Bridgette, greedy, pushy, & a food thief, has a special diet because of bladder stones and is fenced in another corner to stop her from getting to the other dogs' non-dietary food.
Tommy is on the other side of the baby gate, because he scatters his food over the floor & the chins would be there cleaning up before he has finished what is in the bowl.
The other four chins just have their bowls put on the floor. They all know the order in which they are fed, they eat at the same rate & they are polite to each other.
In the past I have fed eleven cavaliers all at one time, but you do need to be alert, and to have good tempered dogs.
Are you saying that beautiful little Japanese Chins are better mannered that all our beloved Cavaliers.:o
Thank you for the advice will start removing food as of today if it is left. Do you think we have left it too late to try and change their feeding habits or will they get used to it and tuck in as soon as we put it down in the future?
I'd say you will be fine. Trapper used to be very picky -he'd bark at his food and take ages to eat it - I didn't realise at the time that I was making matters worse by pandering to him. Then, when he was 4 we solved the problem instantly - a new puppy - therefore a threat to his food. He gobbles it down in double quick time now, just in case Bosco might manage to stick his little nose in it. :biggrin:
Originally Posted by corkscott
Like the others, I feed them in seperate rooms because they have had the odd little quarrel if they are together at dinner time.
It's never too late. I went through a stage of Murphy being a picky eater, we kept changing his food, and trying to feed him by hand, until given the 15 minute rule advice.
He was very quick to learn if he didn't eat what was put down, and quickly then it was gone. I never had that problem with Misty our 2nd though, being a rescue she inhales her food in case it's her last:biggrin: