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What are your opinions?? The lady I got my Spoo from reccomends free feeding, so that's what we've been doing. We put the food away around 7pm. I would love to hear different views on this. My puppy (12 weeks old) poops 3-5 times a day! Is this from the free-feeding, the quality of food he is on, or normal?? He eats half Costco/kirkland puppy and half Blue Buffalo large breed puppy. Is this too much grains, I've heard that causes lots of poop.
 

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What are your opinions?? The lady I got my Spoo from reccomends free feeding, so that's what we've been doing. We put the food away around 7pm. I would love to hear different views on this. My puppy (12 weeks old) poops 3-5 times a day! Is this from the free-feeding, the quality of food he is on, or normal?? He eats half Costco/kirkland puppy and half Blue Buffalo large breed puppy. Is this too much grains, I've heard that causes lots of poop.
I always tell my adopting families to schedule feed until you know the baby's language and schedule for poops. (In one end and five minutes later out the other). So scheduled feeds means scheduled poops too. But once you have the house breaking down pat, I then tell everyone to free feed. I hate the way schedule fed dogs gobble down their food (they inhale it) and dont take the time to enjoy it. Mine are free fed, and there is a dish out for them all the time. Nobody over eats, they nibble all day. I know a lot of people feel differently, but that is my opinion.
 

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That makes sense, to schedule in the beginning. The idea of free-feeding feels right for us. I too have been around a few scheduled feed dogs that gobble up so fast and also tend to get territorial over their food bowl.
 

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Since this breed is subjected to Bloat I don't free feed. I never had with any of the dogs I owned.

I like schedule feeding because like arreau said its easier to potty train. I also like making my dogs work for their food this shows your dog you are alpha.
When you free feed the food gets stale, With poodles its seems like they are finicky and hard to keep weight on them so the stale food would keep them from eating much. ( it does with Enzo. right now he wont eat his food because of it being stale I add water to it so he wil eat it)

I don't even free feed my cats.
 

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We used to free feed... but then the dog got fat and now she gets one half cup in the morning, and one in the evening. I don't think this would be a problem with poodles, but I think it would promote picky eating like Roxy said.
 

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Free love, free feeding, grazing wolfs and other groovey things . . . .

What are your opinions?? The lady I got my Spoo from reccomends free feeding, so that's what we've been doing. We put the food away around 7pm. I would love to hear different views on this. My puppy (12 weeks old) poops 3-5 times a day! Is this from the free-feeding, the quality of food he is on, or normal?? He eats half Costco/kirkland puppy and half Blue Buffalo large breed puppy. Is this too much grains, I've heard that causes lots of poop.
I do both - a scheduled morning/evening meal with dry food left out for nibbles here and there. The scheduled is so that I can be sure that they get their 2x day Sea Meal. I free feed because many believe (and it makes sense to me) that it reduces feeding stress by not encouraging the dogs to gorge (I know I'll always have food . . .). Remember, these are deep chested dogs and are susceptible to bloat. Although some may seem it odd, but like a traditional Japanese meal, I consider it a compliment if my dogs belch afterward - and I praise them for doing so. With the thought that the dog can't bloat if he's belching!
About grains - I don't recommend them for a simple reason - you will never see a wolf grazing in corn/wheat fields - its just not their food. Its a very cheap nutritional source, and is a common filler in dog foods. The first couple of ingredients should be meat, meat and more meat (and avoid the 'by-products' - chicken beaks are a 'by-product'). Yes, its more expensive than let say 'Beneful' to get a really good high-quality food, but the dogs will eat less and will be generally healthier. Wheat allergies (its not on their natural diet - so we should expect it) are not uncommon. I also avoid 'sugar-beet' as well - this can mask health issues by making their poop look a lot better than it should. The dogs output can tell you quite a bit about it's general health. Since canines do eat the stomachs of their natural prey, they will tend to get legumes, a small amount of grains (in various states of digestion) as a natural part of their diet. This does not mean it should any near the top of the ingredient list at all. Brown rice is fine . . . but it should be towards the bottom. Oh - yeah - dog food ingredients are ordered by quantity - the most of something is at the beginning the least amount is towards the end. This is federal law.

In short, I agree with ArreauStandardPoodle, but with a twist - I also keep dry in their disk for their eating pleasure . . . and I only feed food that approximates what they would get in nature(I'm too lazy to feed BARF, but that's another story!).:decision:

Regards,
Mark, Jamie and The Poodle Gangsters!
 

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I've never free-fed any of the dogs I've had over the years. I was told that dogs, unlike cats, can't stop when they're full and might eat themselves to death. I don't know if that has actually ever happened, but it was enough to convince me not to do it.

I used to free-feed my cats until my youngest started putting on massive amounts of weight. Now he and my puppy get fed on the same schedule. When Teddy was younger, I was trying to feed him several small meals a day instead of two larger ones, but the result was that I could never predict when he was going to be hungry and sometimes he wouldn't touch the food, letting it rot in the bowl. I got tired of wasting money, so I switched to a twice per day schedule and now he cleans his bowl every time.

And then he burps.

And then he poops.

It's a beautiful thing.
 

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I do a little of both - you have to look at what everyone is considering FREE FEED. I do deal out the recommended morning doses and evening - BUT what typically happens is not everyone eats it all. Therefore I leave it out but it is not a on going free feeding amount of food either. And this seems to work most of the times, if I see an issue I may pull it up for a period of time and then it goes right back because I do not want a hungry dog:) and none of mine are anywhere near overweight.

Also with the bloating issue in poodles I worry that if their food is too restricted they might gulp too much too quick, and this causes gas big time as well.

3 of the 4 dogs are crates the the free feeding is in the evenings only and they are always supervised. AND when potty training, the schedule is the only way to do it. AND pups do tend to poop a bit more in my experience.
 

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I have always free fed my dogs.

I have tried scheduled feeding and I do this with the dogs who are not in the main house and they all eat fine but I prefer to free feed.

I think with free feeding you have to go by the individual dog and do whats right for them. I have a boarding client who thinks the auto feeder is the best thing in the world! lol He will eat and eat until he is full and then pass out on the floor. He is a bigger dog and for the first day he will eat every 5 minutes but once he realizes the food will be there he goes back to eating twice a day by him self.

Just wanted to add my dogs are not over weight, they are all within the normal BMI for their breed/size.
 

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That makes sense, to schedule in the beginning. The idea of free-feeding feels right for us. I too have been around a few scheduled feed dogs that gobble up so fast and also tend to get territorial over their food bowl.
True good point as well. Also I never feed in a crate. I read from one training book that this can create territorial issues. I do the kongs in their crates and most bones because mine all seem to get growly if they are all out at once with kongs and bones.
 

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Paris was free fed by her previous owner, and she was underweight and incredibly picky. She's still underweight and picky, but she'll eat most of her bowl of food now at least!

I don't free feed, because I personally need to know how much Paris is eating! She doesn't eat much, so if I was free feeding her, I'd never know if she was eating more or less, or at all. I am in no fear of her gulping her food down, as she takes nearly a half hour of picking and nibbling at her bowl of food before she's done anyway. lol!

My terrier has been free fed at times, but she starts tipping over to being on the overweight side when I do. And being older now she's going to switch over to a senior food soon, whereas Paris NEEDS the highest energy food I can afford! lol.


Personally, while I can see the benefits of free feeding (cos I HAVE done it previously with my terrier) I prefer being able to actually KNOW how much my dogs are eating by providing them with meals. I train and show Paris, I need to know if she's eaten in the morning or not, before we go and spend 8 hours at a show with only training treats with us!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Will the food go stale within a day in the bowl?? I have been taking note on how much I feed him every day as I don't completely fill his bowl, just do my 2 cup scoop every morning and he seems to munch on it all day. If he's finished it, which he usually does by around 6pm, I'll give him a little tiny scoop, maybe 1/2 cup or less before taking all food away before bed time.

So maybe I'm not completely "free feeding"? I do have him sit and wait after our morning walk while I get his food ready for him. He does this so well at only just 12 weeks... I'm such a proud momma. Poodles really are amazing and so smart! He's picked up everything so much faster than I expected.
 

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I am a big fan of scheduled feeding...easier to predict when they have to go potty.
It's also easier to keep track if they're not eating or eating less, etc. I am also a fan of frequent small meals (because of the bloat issue).

However, everyone has different opinions and advice on this board, so go with what is right for you.
 

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I like scheduled feedings for sure! I havent had a puppy in years and they do need to eat about 3 to 4 times a day so free feeding in the beginning might work easier.
My dogs know when its food time (8 am and 6 pm) and i also know their pooping schedule too because they always eat at the same time. Mister will actually throw up yellow bile if he doesnt eat when he's supposed too lol.
 

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I am a "clean freak" lol so "free feeding" is out of question ; ) ! Scheduled feeding is also essential for potty training IMO.

All posts considered - it looks like that it is actually matter of a personal preference combined with needs of an individual dog involved.

I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide : )
 

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I agree, I think it goes on personal preference and what works best for you and your dogs. Personally I don't free feed. I have one that LOVES to eat and I am sure would over eat, I have one that is picky, the other two would probably do ok. The problem would be, I would not know how much each dog is taking in if the picky eater was eating enough, if the BIG eater was eating too much, and if any of the dogs go "off feed" due to being ill. If one started to not feel well, many times the first sign is going off feed.

All my girls get feed two meals a day, so they are not given a huge meal at one time. I would never feed only once a day as that could well cause problems with bloat as they would have to put a lot of food in their stomachs at one time. IF I am going to take my dogs out for a hike or other physical excersize, I will feed a very small amount a little before and a the rest of the meal after to allow the stomach to not be full during the time of activity. Then they get their night meal as normal.

No matter what way you go, I totally agree with puppy training.. MUCH easier if you feed three scheduled meals instead of free feed. This allows you to know when the pup will NEED to go, which is normally right after to 10 minutes after eating.

Good luck with you pup! :)
 

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I am a big fan of scheduled feeding...easier to predict when they have to go potty.
It's also easier to keep track if they're not eating or eating less, etc. I am also a fan of frequent small meals (because of the bloat issue).

However, everyone has different opinions and advice on this board, so go with what is right for you.
Well said!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I wish I was a clean freak.

Haha, me too! But what is cleaner about scheduled feeding? Is it the predictability about the poo? I've been trying just to keep an eye on him, if he sits down and eats for a bit, I'll take him out after... but I might try to schedule a little more at least for this beginning potty training, see how it goes.
 
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