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I say twice a day. Lord knows going even twelve hours without food would make me very cranky. I also recommend no free feeding. This in itself can create the "lack of schedule" issue.

As for the cat box, I hear your pain. When I switched Cracker to a better food the snacking stopped.

I have a kitty who's seventeen, so good for you for 18! You say you are having a "pee war"..could it be stress from the new puppy? Could the puppy be causing difficulty for the cat to get to the box? Being 18 his kidneys are not going to be as good as a young cat and having bladder control issues is common (as is kidney disease)...
Please understand that cats do not "choose" not to use their box unless something is wrong.

The cat is fine - the dog and I are having a war on whether she is going to go for a 45 minute marking walk everytime she needs to pee.

I have a thread on that elsewhere.
 

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Feeding your dog once or twice can also be affected by the type of dog, whether it is a small or big dog. We feed lucy twice daily. Once first thing in the morning... usually about 6-7ish... then again at supper time... between 6 or 7ish. With this, she already has a good 'poo' schedule. She always goes first thing in the morning, and usually right before supper time.... sometimes its mid day tho. But even with us feeding her at supper time, its rare that she will need to poo at night.

Yesterday morning I was awoken to Lucy vomiting. I asked the vet about it today, and she said that even though we feed her at supper time, her tummy still will be empty by morning (kinda like ours), but sometimes their stomach acids will react, causing the dog to vomit. So she told us to give her a little more food right before bed.

So really... it depends on your dog.... also, once your dog is on a good schedule (with eating and eliminating) things will start to work out better for you! ;) Of course, your dog is going through a few new schedules, so it might take a little while to get the exact schedule down... but i think... like everything else that involves a dog... patience is key!! :)
 

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Oh yeah, I forgot about the early morning bilefests! When Miss Cracker was a puppy I would often wake up to the sound of retching at 4 am. It was "empty stomach" issues..I started giving her a little bit of kibble (around 10-15 pieces) just after our nighttime pee and the vomiting stopped. She grew out of it.
 

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I discussed feeding schedules with a woman at the DP just yesterday, she was shocked and almost appalled that Donatello only eats 1/4 to 1/2 a cup a day between the hours of 1 and 4 PM.

"It's better for him to eat twice a day. He goes so long without food! Doesn't he starve?"

I scoffed and asked her to take a good look at Donatello. "He chooses to eat that way. He refuses to eat in the morning, period. When I had left food down for him 24/7 for the first months I got him, he would eat in the morning... Then he stopped, he started refusing." So I work around the schedule he created and it's fine... On his own he'd only eat 1/4 of cup a food once a day in the afternoon, and everyone knows when it comes to something like eating- If a dog don't want to, he ain't going to!

He's gained a lot of weight since I brought him home, 5lbs to be exact, but he looks amazing. He's got the perfect "waistline", you can feel his ribs if you really try to, and his neck has fattened up... So I'd say Donatello's fine.

He never acts like he's starving when I put the food down either, he'll wag his tail the enitre time he eats, but he eats slowly and sometimes looks around...

It's all on what works for your dog, not so much what works for you but for them.
 

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I am going to state my thoughts on feeding and its going to be different than anything else anyone has posted. Its a bit different from the norm but I will state my reasons.

First off I feed a varied raw diet. Well mostly raw, I do some cooked items.

Secondly I vary from one feeding a day to two. In other words I got back and forth often.

Three, I vary feeding times often.

It doesn't lend itself all that well to managing bowel movement schedules but it is not all that difficult. On this plan you can time the bowel movements from feeding time.


Here are my reasons why.

When a dog gets fed the same thing every day, in the same amounts and at the same time, its body becomes conditioned for that diet. If you feed four cups of Purina one at 5 5pm every day, day in and day out, the dogs body knows its coming and begins to produce the enzymes shortly before the feeding time to handle the food intake. It becomes conditioned to process exactly what it knows is coming.

That is why when you suddenly change a dog that has been fed the same thing day in and day outs diet, it is likely to have intestinal upset. The body was not prepared to handle a different food than it was used to.

That is also why if you are running late and miss the regular feeding time, you sometimes get the as someone else put it, bile fest. Those stomach acids and enzymes are harsh on an empty stomach. So the dog vomits them up. Its a defense mechanisism to keep the acids and enzymes for beginning to digest the stomach lining.

But IF you vary feeding times, amounts, diet, etc.... The dogs body cannot pattern the diet. So it must wait until the dog eats, then process the food that is consumed. Instead of becoming conditioned to process the same food, in the same amount, at the same time every day in the most efficient manner, the digestive system has to work as it was designed to. Digesting varied nutrients, in varying levels, at unpredictable times.

The Just like working the heart and muscles with excercise is good for long term health, working the digestive organs with a varied diet is good for the long term health of the dog.

In doing this the dog has a strong flexible digestive system, gets the most out of the foods it consumes, and has no trouble with excess acids and enzymes, (bilefests) and no digestive upset or sensitive stomachs.
 

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Do not let the bowl sit there. Give her 1/2 her daily ration and give her 20 minutes to eat it. If she doesn't, pick it up and don't give her anything until next meal time when you will again give her 1/2 her daily ration.

She'll get the idea.
i am going to have to strongly disagree with this one. :( i do not agree with giving a time limit, to me that is not right, what if were only allowed 20 minutes to eat? then have your food taken from you? same thing, portion control ( if that is what Op is looking for is one thing) however, time limits are never a good thing in my book.

my pups are like my kids, they are allowed to make choices and then deal with consequences.. yes, i ground my pups :p


when it comes to picking a time to feed, you stated that the pup will only eat in the evening right? so, i would let the pup decide when they are hungry and go with that, then try to find a way to fit it into your schedule ;)
 

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i am going to have to strongly disagree with this one. :( i do not agree with giving a time limit, to me that is not right, what if were only allowed 20 minutes to eat? then have your food taken from you? same thing, portion control ( if that is what Op is looking for is one thing) however, time limits are never a good thing in my book.

my pups are like my kids, they are allowed to make choices and then deal with consequences.. yes, i ground my pups :p


when it comes to picking a time to feed, you stated that the pup will only eat in the evening right? so, i would let the pup decide when they are hungry and go with that, then try to find a way to fit it into your schedule ;)
If the dog is still eating at the end of the 10 minutes you don't just snatch the bowl away while they're eating. I don't know if you have any kids or not, but if you set a table for them for dinner, they push the food around and refuse to eat are you going to feed them a full meal an hour and a half later when they're starving?
 

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i am going to have to strongly disagree with this one. :( i do not agree with giving a time limit, to me that is not right, what if were only allowed 20 minutes to eat? then have your food taken from you? same thing, portion control ( if that is what Op is looking for is one thing) however, time limits are never a good thing in my book.

my pups are like my kids, they are allowed to make choices and then deal with consequences.. yes, i ground my pups :p


when it comes to picking a time to feed, you stated that the pup will only eat in the evening right? so, i would let the pup decide when they are hungry and go with that, then try to find a way to fit it into your schedule ;)
Not me, I feed my dogs their alloted portion and if it's not disappeared within about 5 minutes, I KNOW something is wrong. Food is picked up pronto. My dogs eat what is offered when it's offered. they are fed twice a day, 5am and 5pm. I like the idea of what Johnny Bandit does, but it's not practical for us (we also feed raw for dinner) as raw needs to be defrosted ahead of time. I'm not very good about remembering to defrost unless i stick with my little routine. poop routine is very predictable here as well. Ella poops early morning, right before eating breakfast and late afternoon, right before dinner. Charlie prefers to poop right after eating, about 15 mins. after or so.
 

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i am going to have to strongly disagree with this one. :( i do not agree with giving a time limit, to me that is not right, what if were only allowed 20 minutes to eat? then have your food taken from you? same thing, portion control ( if that is what Op is looking for is one thing) however, time limits are never a good thing in my book.

my pups are like my kids, they are allowed to make choices and then deal with consequences.. yes, i ground my pups :p


when it comes to picking a time to feed, you stated that the pup will only eat in the evening right? so, i would let the pup decide when they are hungry and go with that, then try to find a way to fit it into your schedule ;)
Setting a time limit is something I do and would suggest doing when:

1. A dog is being picky. Holding out for something better they think might be coming.

2. Switching a dog from free feeding to a scheduled feeding time.

My comments were in reference to the free feeding switch.
 
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