Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just wanted to see who does scheduled feeding or allow their dog to free feed. I have a standard who is a bit picky and tends to graze feed. I have had her on a free feeding program, but wonder if a schedule might be better for her. Thoughts?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,244 Posts
When Lily and Peeves were young we free fed kibble since neither was a glutton (especially Lily). We now home cook and there are scheduled meals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
We do scheduled meals. It was easier to housebreak and we kept it that way.
Interesting thought with scheduled in conjunction with housebreaking. We did that too, and then transitioned to free feed for some reason. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,296 Posts
I have been free feeding for 26 yrs. Never had a fat poodle, and always a fit one.

I have noticed that they have all had the same pattern of feeding. Nibble a little off and on through out the day then eat the majority of ther food after 7:30-8 PM. Poppy seems to save some for later and will often eat that last amount during the night.

I measure out 2 cups in the AM and if she runs out, which is rare, I dd a little more. She seldom eats more, usually right about 2 cups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I have been free feeding for 26 yrs. Never had a fat poodle, and always a fit one.

I have noticed that they have all had the same pattern of feeding. Nibble a little off and on through out the day then eat the majority of ther food after 7:30-8 PM. Poppy seems to save some for later and will often eat that last amount during the night.

I measure out 2 cups in the AM and if she runs out, which is rare, I dd a little more. She seldom eats more, usually right about 2 cups.
So that is just 2 cups for the whole day? This is very similar to what we are currently doing. Thanks for your input. I agree that it seems like poodles self regulate quite well...unlike the labs I grew up with!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,597 Posts
So that is just 2 cups for the whole day? This is very similar to what we are currently doing. Thanks for your input. I agree that it seems like poodles self regulate quite well...unlike the labs I grew up with!
Labs have a mutation in a gene that regulates appetite that prevents them from feeling full when they should. It is believed that this gene was selected for because it makes them easy to train when they always feel like they are starving. That's why so many are overweight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
If free feeding isn't an issue, I do not see any problem with it. What I did for Miracle in the morning was give her half of what she was allowed to have in the morning and then feed her the other half at night. Now she is in an environment with another dog and he eats canned food and I sometimes give Miracle Honest Kitchen, so I now have 2 scheduled feedings. My grazer went from eating a little throughout the day to eating twice a day and she's adjusted well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Labs have a mutation in a gene that regulates appetite that prevents them from feeling full when they should. It is believed that this gene was selected for because it makes them easy to train when they always feel like they are starving. That's why so many are overweight.
I have that gene too! :afraid: Kidding aside, there is something about anyone getting on the chunky side and once you do, your brain thinks you're hungry if you don't match that set point. They call it a set point. So you're hungry if you don't eat enough to keep you at that weight. It sucks. That's why it's hard to lose weight. But that's a little different I think than this specific gene in Labs.

Actually, that's quite sad to think of that. My Lab always seemed to be hungry and she had to be watched that she didn't get too fat. Once in a while she would and I'd then notice and have to cut her food back.

Anyhow, our GSD years ago free fed. He was so lean and just nibbled. But after him, all my dogs have always been on a schedule, including the poodles. Matisse could possibly tend to get fat if I weren't careful. He's kind of a piglet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,935 Posts
I have found it is best to follow whatever the dog wants, as long as they don’t over eat.

The only drawback to free feeding is when you work, the dog will need to go outside but nobody is home. So I wouldn’t do it if I weren’t home enough to let the dog out to relieve itself. Or when housebreaking a puppy, it’s easier not to free feed, so you can better manage their need to go.

With Beckie, my current female Tpoo, I tried for a while to feed her on schedule. But she wouldn’t eat when I wanted her to. It’s not what she needs/wants. She eats a little bit at a time, every few hours. I guess that’s what her metabolism needs.

Merlin will eat at mealtimes and he’s happy that way.

All dogs are different. Go with the flow !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,597 Posts
I have that gene too! :afraid: Kidding aside, there is something about anyone getting on the chunky side and once you do, your brain thinks you're hungry if you don't match that set point. They call it a set point. So you're hungry if you don't eat enough to keep you at that weight. It sucks. That's why it's hard to lose weight. But that's a little different I think than this specific gene in Labs.

Actually, that's quite sad to think of that. My Lab always seemed to be hungry and she had to be watched that she didn't get too fat. Once in a while she would and I'd then notice and have to cut her food back.

Anyhow, our GSD years ago free fed. He was so lean and just nibbled. But after him, all my dogs have always been on a schedule, including the poodles. Matisse could possibly tend to get fat if I weren't careful. He's kind of a piglet.
Yeah I know what you mean. My boyfriend gained a little weight as a side effect of a medication a few years ago and still hasn't been able to shake it! I agree it's sad to think of being hungry constantly. I prefer somewhere in the middle, so dogs are food motivated while still controlling their weight well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,296 Posts
So that is just 2 cups for the whole day? This is very similar to what we are currently doing. Thanks for your input. I agree that it seems like poodles self regulate quite well...unlike the labs I grew up with!
Poppy is crazy active so I have to feed her a food very high in protein, otherwise she eats a much larger volume of food each day, or she loses weight and is too skinny. I chose Purina Pro Plan Sport which is formulated for working dogs and sporting dogs. She is crazy about it and is very fit and with an amazing coat on this food.

As a puppy when Poppy was going through big growth spurts she would sometimes eat 3-4 cups per day and was still super skinny. As she matured her consumption slowed down to just about 2 cups per day. Of course, when she ate 3-4 cups while growing her " output " was much greater also. The Purina Sport guidelines for a 45 lb dog, which is Poppy's size is 2 to 2 1/2 cups per day. She just poops twice a day, once in the morning about an hour after getting up, then once in the evening, about 6:30-7 PM. Free feeding does not make her have to go out any more often than scheduled feeding.

I measure out 2 cups every morning and by measuring I get a good idea of whether she is eating normally or if she is "off her food". It is rare, but occasionally she runs out of food in the evening so I add a bit to her bowl. Quite often the food also "disappears" during the night....so she needs a little snack at night sometimes.

I grew up with beagles....if you free feed beagles they would explode...or their feet would never be able to touch the ground...they just hoover everything in sight. I sure like the free feeding poodle appetite better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Lots of great advice! Thank you for the great discussion. I am feeling better about my feeding with my Lilly. She just doesn't want to eat when I want her to. That is why she went to a free feed originally. We just couldn't get her to eat on schedule. She is healthy though and not over weight at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Labs have a mutation in a gene that regulates appetite that prevents them from feeling full when they should. It is believed that this gene was selected for because it makes them easy to train when they always feel like they are starving. That's why so many are overweight.
Very interesting! It matches my experience with labs. That bit of information would have influenced how we cared for our labs for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
My Irish setter did from bloat at age ten. He was fed once a day, as was the norm. I didn't want my standard poodle to die from bloat, so I did more research and found that kibble plus water equals kibble expanding and causing bloat. For this reason I free fed Magnum. He died from bloat at age eight. Now I feed raw.

I think that possibly if we'd had the kibble selection that there is now a different food may have worked out. I liked free feeding and Magnum never overate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
I have been free feeding for 26 yrs. Never had a fat poodle, and always a fit one.

I have noticed that they have all had the same pattern of feeding. Nibble a little off and on through out the day then eat the majority of ther food after 7:30-8 PM. Poppy seems to save some for later and will often eat that last amount during the night.

I measure out 2 cups in the AM and if she runs out, which is rare, I dd a little more. She seldom eats more, usually right about 2 cups.
Same here - always free feed and never worry about their weight. Louie who has his food available most of the day will not eat until dinner time..really late and he is as trim as they come. One dog I ever could not free feed was my Dalmatian who was a glutton and would have eaten until he exploded if we had let him..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,655 Posts
MF I also have 4 dogs in the house, if I were to free feed I'd have no idea of who ate why and when and one is on a special diet now. Lat night my daughter gave a a dental chew because all the others got one and this morning loose stool. So today I have to extra regulate her food. But I at least know why. For me it was also easier when I housebroke them. My poodle is a oh ok I'll eat now (mot times) my boxer was the same but now he wants to eat all the time, my cairn is a gobbler and will eat anything, my chihuahua well he is just old now, he was a gobbler in his young years . I think we just have to decide what works in our households and go with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
We free feed when possible. We had one spoo who had a very hearty appetite and a tendency to gain weight so while she was alive we had to feed meals. She also got canned, salt free peas mixed in her food to slow her down and baby carrots for treats!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,611 Posts
In my opinion it is definitely best to feed scheduled meals. Most free fed poodles I know are either very thin or very fat! Also that way you can monitor their activity after eating to try and avoid bloat, and you can easily gauge appetite, to know of something is possibly off with their health.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top