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Question
Posted by: Carine | 2010/06/12

Feeding issues

I have two mini schnauzers, both males, 6 months and one and a half years respectively. Since they were puppies i have always left their food out for them 24hours a day. They both tend to be " grazers"  and nibble whenever they feel like it. They dont over-feed and they are both normal weights. A dog trainer told me taoday that I need to only feed them twice a day, but im scared my dogs will get hungry and then over-eat when i do feed them. i also dont like the idea of restricting food if they dont have a weight problem. What should i do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Ad Libitum feeding has the following advantages and disadvantages

Advantages: simple to manage, ensures that the dogs have enough to eat, not labour intensive and has been shown that it can assist in reducing competition over food and subsequently fighting.

Disadvantages: can be wasteful, can lead to boredom feeding that may lead to obesity, greater risk of gingivitis/peridontal disease, food may have a reduced use for rewarding appropriate behavior.

Restricted Feeding

Advantages: no/less wastage, reduced occurance of obesity, dogs, more mentally stimulating.

Disadvantages: can be more labour intensive, may lead to aggressive behaviour between dogs

The main objective with regard to feeding method is that your animals do not get bored, receive adequate nutritional requirements and do not develop obesity (note that obesity is multifactorial in origin).

If you are happy with your feeding method and have an understanding of its advantages/disadvantages then continue. If problems do arise then change the system.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: CyberVet | 2010/06/12

Ad Libitum feeding has the following advantages and disadvantages

Advantages: simple to manage, ensures that the dogs have enough to eat, not labour intensive and has been shown that it can assist in reducing competition over food and subsequently fighting.

Disadvantages: can be wasteful, can lead to boredom feeding that may lead to obesity, greater risk of gingivitis/peridontal disease, food may have a reduced use for rewarding appropriate behavior.

Restricted Feeding

Advantages: no/less wastage, reduced occurance of obesity, dogs, more mentally stimulating.

Disadvantages: can be more labour intensive, may lead to aggressive behaviour between dogs

The main objective with regard to feeding method is that your animals do not get bored, receive adequate nutritional requirements and do not develop obesity (note that obesity is multifactorial in origin).

If you are happy with your feeding method and have an understanding of its advantages/disadvantages then continue. If problems do arise then change the system.

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