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Discussion Starter #1
I've been feeding my puppy three times a day since he came home at 9 weeks. His first meal is at 6am, lunch at 12pm, and dinner at 5pm with snacks in between. His vet says he's at a perfect weight and will be a big boy.

When did you start feeding your puppies twice a day? and did you increase the amount of food you gave them?

I've been getting conflicting information from all over. Originally I was feeding my puppy one cup of Purina Pro Plan per meal but noticed he was still super hungry afterwards. I was skeptical about increasing his food because I know they're at a high risk of hip displaxia and I didn't want him to be overweight. His breeder and the nurses at his vet recommended I give him all the food his little heart desired but if puppies are anything like children, I imagined he'd eat until he burst. I invested in a slow feeder and fed him a little over a cup per meal and noticed he was a lot more satisfied, less inclined to eat everything on our walks, and overall his mood and behavior improved drastically. I can relate, I'm not me when I'm hungry too. Does their appetite get smaller? If it does, when did you notice it with your puppy?
 

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While there are exceptions, standard poodles tend not to eat themselves into blimps the way retrievers often do. I've always let mine have as much as they want. With puppies I spread it out over several meals to keep them from gulping and puking. I switched to two meals a day for adults.
I used to put down 1-2 cups of Fromm or Purina ProPlan kibble morning and night for Snarky and Pogo. Both would eat only as much as they wanted and then step away from the bowl. I never picked the bowl up; I wanted them to be able to finish it later if they wanted. Pogo in particular liked to get up in the middle of the night for a snack. The amount they ate varied on exercise level.

Galen was a bottomless pit for the first few months. At about 5 1/2 months he started slowing. I'm still giving him three meals a day, but now he sometimes saves a bit for later.
 

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I forget when I switched even Javelin (who is just 5) to 2x per day instead of 3, but on a side note I did always hold about 1/3 of his total food each day out from his regular meals. I used it as training treats so I didn't have to worry about overfeeding him or leaving him hungry. I also didn't give his real meals from a bowl for quite a wile either. At least once a day I sat on the floor with him and fed him from my hand. It did tons of useful work in bonding him to me. If I didn't feed from my hand I put his kibble in a puzzle toy so he couldn't hoover it up like a glutton. After he had grown enough I know he helped himself to some of the adult dogs' food could be reached, but he never over ate. Poodles really are much more likely to ave weight problems from getting lots of table scraps than other things.

A little more to your actual question, we free fed when we fed kibble and there was always food in the bowls. Nobody at our house has ever been a glutton, even Peeves who is a GSD and would have been more prone to overeating than either poodle. For various health reasons we switched to home cooking when Javelin was about two and the older dogs were about 9. Doing so I put them on a limited ingredient diet that took care of things like excessive ear wax for Javelin and urinary chemistry/urinary crystals for both older dogs. The calculated portions based on weight were just right for the oldsters, but left Javelin often still hungry. I had to up his portions bit by bit until he was well sated by how much food I put out for him. I am always working to keep weight on him. He just has a crazy high basal metabolic rate.
 
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This is going back some years, but I remember that the first time I switched Mia to being fed 2x per day her energy levels seemed off. She was calmer being fed 3x per day, so I switched her back. I tried again a few weeks later and it went fine. I don't remember her age at the time.

What I'm suggesting is that there is no magical age. Try feeding him twice per day and see how he does. If it doesn't seem right, go back to three times per day for a few weeks, then try again.
 

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I don't know if it's ever been proved one way or the other, but I've heard that bloat prone breeds (standard poodles are one) do better with smaller more frequent feedings. Since my adult dogs have never been over-eaters, I figure I might as well let them be grazers. It does no harm and might help.
 

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We started with 4 meals a day when we first brought Noodle back, up until she was about 4 months old when we switched to 3. The UK Kennel Club says you can switch to 2 meals a day from 6 months old if you like, but if you'd prefer to keep him on 3 I'm sure that would be fine :) If you do decide to switch to 2 meals a day, he would still need the same amount overall (so more food in each meal) - I would start by looking at the feeding guide and then adjust according to his weight and exercise levels.

 

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I don't know if it's ever been proved one way or the other, but I've heard that bloat prone breeds (standard poodles are one) do better with smaller more frequent feedings. Since my adult dogs have never been over-eaters, I figure I might as well let them be grazers. It does no harm and might help.
This sounds familiar. I think it applies if you feed kibble - kibble produces more gas as it digests than a homemade diet, so to reduce gas formation, the idea was to feed smaller servings of kibble. I'm not 100% sure of this.
 

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This sounds familiar. I think it applies if you feed kibble - kibble produces more gas as it digests than a homemade diet, so to reduce gas formation, the idea was to feed smaller servings of kibble. I'm not 100% sure of this.
I free feed Gunnar. He's never been a glutton and actually tends to be a little on the thin side. I have free fed him since I got him. I started with a puppy formula but switched to Nutro Ultra and the same brand treats for training. The food is not gas producing as some other brands I've used. I keep a big bowl of fresh water and a bowl of food available to him day and night. He's quite fond of eating in the middle of the night and has a dog door if nature calls. :D
 

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We technically switched Peggy to two meals at 6 months, but we top up her bowl if she's ravenous, and we leave her kibble out for grazing if she doesn't finish it. Some days she's a bottomless pit. Other days she goes almost entirely without food, including higher-value options. She's good at self-regulating.

They're such intelligent dogs. I think knowing that food's always available actually prevents them from gorging themselves. (Generally speaking, of course. There are definitely some piggy poodles out there, especially if there's competition for resources.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Coco got his last booster shots last week and will be able to explore the world beyond our house in a few days. Due to a COVID outbreak at his regular vet, I had to visit a sister office. The vet recommended I keep Coco on the vet diet (Royal Canin GI) for a little while until he's older. I never thought I'd say this, but Coco was having the best BM, solid and with little to no odor. To celebrate, we began training again with apple slices with the skin peeled off. Well, that happiness was short-lived. After almost two weeks of beautiful BM, he's gotten diarrhea again. Is my puppy broken? Sometimes, I feel that if I look at him a certain way or hug him too tight he'll get sick again. He's that sensitive. Does anyone else have an overly sensitive spoo?
 

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My mini Beau is just turning 10 months old this week, we officially switched him over to 2 meals a day about 1 month ago. At first he didn't like it, but he adjusted pretty quickly. We had been feeding him about 1 1/2 cups, the breeder told us to let him have all he wanted and that he would let us know when it was too much. Well he did a few weeks ago he started leaving food in the bowl, or not wanting to eat at meal times. So we backed him down to 1 cup a day, and it seems to be working pretty well so far.
 

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I don't think you have a broken puppy.

How much apple did you give him? When Peggy was a puppy, she got an apple slice (singular). And she rarely finished the whole thing. I'd freeze them and stick one in a Kong tire to help with teething.
 

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When Poppy was on the canned RC GI I made some into treats - if Coco is doing well on the food it may be worth trying. I mixed some of the food to a batter consistency with water, spread it into the dimples in a silicon fat-reducing sheet, and baked until they were set, then left them in a very low oven to get crispy. Poppy loved them (she likes most food!), and they were a useful pocket safe treat.
 

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Well...I have a “piggy” poodle. 😉 I switched him to 2 meals at 6 months. He gets a morning snack and bedtime snack as well, along with “mostly” healthy treats (see the magical hotdog post) during training. Bobby is at a perfect weight and no digestive problems so this is a good schedule for him. I like to do a little training before each meal or snack. He’s hungry so he will do anything before feeding time. It’s just really a mini session though as he is hungry. So maybe a minute or less but all those mini sessions have taught him a lot through the last year and a half we’ve had him. Every dog and every situation is different though so do what works best for your pup. I really can’t free feed even if I wanted to because if our cat who likes dog food. And honestly, I do think Bobby would overeat. He is a total chow hound, or should I say, chow poodle. 😉
 

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I just want to add that Bobby’s snacks, which are part of his kibble ration, are eaten from treat dispensers and puzzle toys. Just another option for feeding. I actually have to give him snacks because he does barf bile when his tummy is too empty so I guess he does have that digestive problem but it’s not one that is related to diet or type of food. He’s had this issue ever since he was a young pup. Snacks solve the problem. It’s all a matter of doing what’s best for your particular dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't think you have a broken puppy.

How much apple did you give him? When Peggy was a puppy, she got an apple slice (singular). And she rarely finished the whole thing. I'd freeze them and stick one in a Kong tire to help with teething.
Coco got about three quarters of an apple in the span of two days. I sliced them into tiny pieces and used them as training treats. I assumed they wouldn't be a problem since it's healthy. face palm
 

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My mini Beau is just turning 10 months old this week, we officially switched him over to 2 meals a day about 1 month ago. At first he didn't like it, but he adjusted pretty quickly. We had been feeding him about 1 1/2 cups, the breeder told us to let him have all he wanted and that he would let us know when it was too much. Well he did a few weeks ago he started leaving food in the bowl, or not wanting to eat at meal times. So we backed him down to 1 cup a day, and it seems to be working pretty well so far.
Wow. 10 months is the latest I've heard transitioning to 2 meals a day. Leaving food in the bowl? That'll be the day. The last time Coco left food in his bowl, he was 9 weeks old. lol

I had been feeding Coco 3 cups between three meals a day. On his last appointment, the doctor asked that we increase his food intake and said not to worry about him becoming overweight since he was a growing puppy. We're up to 6 cups a day and he eats it like it's nothing. I did notice he's a lot more satisfied after his meals and not dragging his bowl. However, reading everyone's feeding amount - 4 cups a day versus Coco's 6 cups makes me feel like a crazy person. But I suppose every dog is different.
 

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When Poppy was on the canned RC GI I made some into treats - if Coco is doing well on the food it may be worth trying. I mixed some of the food to a batter consistency with water, spread it into the dimples in a silicon fat-reducing sheet, and baked until they were set, then left them in a very low oven to get crispy. Poppy loved them (she likes most food!), and they were a useful pocket safe treat.
This sounds like an amazing idea! I'm going to do that today!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
When Poppy was on the canned RC GI I made some into treats - if Coco is doing well on the food it may be worth trying. I mixed some of the food to a batter consistency with water, spread it into the dimples in a silicon fat-reducing sheet, and baked until they were set, then left them in a very low oven to get crispy. Poppy loved them (she likes most food!), and they were a useful pocket safe treat.
How long was your Poppy on RC GI? I get the impression everyone believes Coco should stay on RC GI for life. One of the techs at the vet's office said it might be a lifelong thing. The last vet we saw, recommended Coco stay on RC GI until he's older. While RC GI has been a Godsend, it is a special vet prescribed diet or maintenance food. I'm just worried Coco isn't getting the nutrients he needs as a growing puppy.
 

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Coco got his last booster shots last week and will be able to explore the world beyond our house in a few days. Due to a COVID outbreak at his regular vet, I had to visit a sister office. The vet recommended I keep Coco on the vet diet (Royal Canin GI) for a little while until he's older. I never thought I'd say this, but Coco was having the best BM, solid and with little to no odor. To celebrate, we began training again with apple slices with the skin peeled off. Well, that happiness was short-lived. After almost two weeks of beautiful BM, he's gotten diarrhea again. Is my puppy broken? Sometimes, I feel that if I look at him a certain way or hug him too tight he'll get sick again. He's that sensitive. Does anyone else have an overly sensitive spoo?
I missed this part earlier so responding. I feel for you. Your puppy is not broken at all but of course you want to figure this out. Some dogs, unfortunately, have sensitive tummies, some worse than others, Bobby has a pretty good gut but our previous dog, Moose who was a Great Dane, had a horrible gut. We think he had IBS and we know, anxiety. I totally get the diarrhea thing and the fear of just looking at him wrong. Bouts of major diarrhea were a problem his whole life.😔
We had to give very strict instructions to anyone who dealt with him...No treats or food of any kind except what we allow. Our vets were thrilled and actually clapped when we said Bobby could have a biscuit!
It sounds like the food the vet gave you is working and maybe just stuck with that for awhile and use that for training for now. If that’s working, then maybe introduce, slowly, in small amounts, one at a time, over several days, small pieces of cooked hamburger or boiled chicken or turkey for treats and see how that goes. Moose couldn’t eat chicken at all. Turkey and beef were proteins he tolerated well. Scrambled eggs agreed with him too so pieces of that could possibly work. These foods are generally, but not always tolerable for sensitive tummies. From experience, you will have to slowly figure what works or does or does not, write it down and keep track. Every dog is different. Moose was on a limited ingredient food pretty much his whole life and that helped a lot. So if something works, then go with it. Moose had a small list of approved foods and that was that. I hope you are get this figured out soon. Dog diarrhea is no fun for your dog or you.
 
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