How to cut back on food
I've never had to worry about Elton's weight. He doesn't need to lose any pounds, but I'm scared I will have to if he continues (and I provide) to eat like he has been.
Elton has been a picky eater. I would feed him in the AM, come home from work and the bowl still had food but would add to it. The last vet visit he had lost a pound but the vet was not concerned.
I bought him new food to start last week but he was left with a friend while I was on a work trip. The food was mixed until he changed to all new food. He can not get enough of this food and is now constantly barking for more. I know if I give him more it reinforces the behavior but I have given in the past two days. He doesn't need to lose weight so adding green beans will do nothing. Would you switch to one meal a day from 2? He is at an ideal weight so I don't want to get to a point where he is overweight. Just train myself to work on restraining from giving in?
The couple he stayed with have two cavaliers. They told me they would run to his food. Must be tasty because they all love it. I like it because he doesn't have the stomach issues and he seems to be scratching less if any so it has helped with any food allergies.
Well, looks like he has food still in his bowl since I fed him at 6:00, so I might be ok. The food I started him on is Fromm. I've tried several different ones (grain free/limited ingredients) but looks like he is doing good with the salmon
If you do cut down, though it seems he has resolved the problem (he must have heard you were thinking of cutting it down!)
but I wouldn't say cut from 2 meals to 1, i would just decrease the size of each of the meals :)
Eddie our old poodle used to never finish his meals until we brought Fletcher home. Now that there is 2 dogs in the house he chows down his bowl (same amount of food, same food) twice a day. The dogs eat in their crates too so its not like Fletcher is eating his food.
Sorry if this question is bratty, but are you leaving the food bowl down when you go to work? So he can sorta kinda free feed? Perhaps that might be part of the problem. Everyone likes to see their babies eat a good meal, believe me Mr. Monster is not the best eater and he's super small for his age (5 years old and all of 31 lbs) When he started school last September I put him on a more strict meal/snack schedule. It has really helped he's actually eating more because he's hungry at meal and snack times. So I really believe in this approach.
If you ever want to cut back on food just do it slowly and if possible increase activity.
Glad this new food is working for Elton, but I think you answered your own question. As long as you are giving him his normal portion, eventually he will learn that barking for more food won't get him any.
Originally Posted by anniemac
Every time I visit my parents they swear I dont feed my dogs!! Cavaliers can be so convincing sometimes, and even though he makes you feel guilty I am sure you are not depriving him of anything :).
I would say keep two smaller meals a day since it helps with digestion and makes him feel like he gets more food. I only feed the girls 1/4 cup twice a day along with fruits and veggies for treats. Gracie is still a bit overweight but Lady seems to be doing well with this amount. And maybe start taking the food away after 10-15 minutes - that will encourage more regular eating habits since he will know that he has to finish his meal or he wont get any more until the next meal time. But like Melissa said, with two dogs I don't have that problem at all anymore, they scarf their food down for fear of the other stealing any!
I have not really thought about free feeding vs. meal feeding. I did a quick Internet search but I will see if it has been discussed in more detail here.
Originally Posted by MomObvious
Elton is 11 almost 12 lbs. Sometimes k we 12 so I really didn't think I needed to worry about obesity. I see that it actually helped Mr. Monster eat more. It seems like there are pros and cons to each. The cons I noticed on free feeding (besides could lead to obesity). Less likely to be food motivated for training (did not notice with Elton), but the big one is that an owner may not notice if a dog is sick. I can see that.
The cons of meal feeding for me are carving out a set schedule, may lead to food aggression and eating when they may not be hungry.
I don't know what to do. I feed 1/4 a cup two times a day. If I switched to once a day at nigh, then I can monitor him more. I need to do more research.
I certainly wouldn't feed more simply if he is barking for more -- not if he is in good weight right now.If you have a successful feeding schedule I wouldn;t change it. It doesn't really matter if sometimes you just feed him once a day for convenience. You could give all his food in a treat ball or in a kong packed with some wet food/mashed banana etc and let him have some fun with it and work at getting it out, especially if left alone all day. :) Many trainers say this is the best and most rewarding method for feeding all dogs (though for singleton dogs like Elton only, if no one is supervising -- don't leave multiple dogs alone with a high value item like stuffed kongs as it can lead to fights.).
Thanks Karlin. I have tried to put his food in one of those treat toys and he doesn't want anything to do with it but it's a good idea for others. I have tried a kong and the same thing but will try it with what you suggested. Really Elton has one thing he plays with his Rupert and toy and chasing balls. I wanted to try one of those activity toys Nina Ottason has but I feel it will join the pile of his unused toys. He is a strange but funny little guy :)