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Discussion Starter #1
Wasn't sure if this should go here or in the food section - but it didn't seem appropriate in the food section as it isn't about brands of food =/. Sorry if this isn't right!

I was reading through the other thread about free feeding and a question dawned on me:
What "defines" free feeding?

I always thought of it as you filled up a dogs bowl with food each time you noticed it getting low or was empty with no concern of how much food you were actually feeding the dog and when they were eating it. At least that was my understanding of it.

I understand schedule feeding:
Give dog food - if dog doesn't eat within 15 (or so) minutes food gets put up until next feeding etc.

But then I thought;
Bella is given 1 cup of food for breakfast and 1 cup of food for dinner. I do not pick her food up if she doesn't eat it but if dinner time comes around and there is still food in her bowl I will either not give her the second cup (if there is a large amount of food left) or I'll add half a cup if there isn't much left in her bowl. She gets no more than those two cups a day. She more often than not only eats when we're in the kitchen with her so I know when she's eating.

She was just at the vet Friday - she is 1 year old and 52 (their scale said 42 but I will bet my life they're wrong) pounds. He said she is very athletic and robust.

So then would I then be free feeding her simply because I don't pick up her food after a set amount of time?
 

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In a way, I guess. Measured free-feeding? It doesn't really matter if it works for you and your dog.
 

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In a way, I guess. Measured free-feeding? It doesn't really matter if it works for you and your dog.
Thanks, Willowy! I was just curious as it got me thinking after reading that thread and I didn't want to hijack it by asking there.
 

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I always thought of it as you filled up a dogs bowl with food each time you noticed it getting low or was empty with no concern of how much food you were actually feeding the dog and when they were eating it. At least that was my understanding of it.


that was my understanding of free feeding too. Empty bowl, fill it up, once a day twice a day, every other day. No known cup amount just as long as the bowl is full.

You are measure feeding and your dog is choosing when to eat. At least by measuring you will know how much your dog has eaten.
 

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My dogs were all brought up with free feeding. Yes there is plenty of food out at all times. I have 4 toy poodles a shih tzu and a gsd. It would be extremely difficult to feed them all in seperate bowls at seperate meals. Thers are no fights, if someone is at the bowl, either they eat together or wait ten minutes til the bowl is free.

It works for me, they dont wolf it down, or fight over it. They are all at a normal weight for their size.

I do have concerns my gsd puppy is too heavy, however, he is very thick boned and tall. The vet feels he just came from oversized parents.

I had 2 other gsds one died at 13 and the other 12. I never worried about bloat because they developed a healthy eating pattern of several smaller meals a day.

I have the bowl in a place easily monitered. I know when someone has stopped eating. I think everyone here has developed a sixth sense for when their pet is sick or hurt. No, i cannot go to the vet and say my dog ate16 pieces offood instead of thirty. However, i can test their appetite if i feel they are sick.

I have never had one problem in 25 yrs of dog ownership due to free feeding.. in the wild they arent only fed at 5 o clock so it seems more natural to me anyway.

I am not recommending it to anyone. My dogs are accustomed to this, as am I. Im just explaining my feeding routine.
 

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Before switching to PMR, I did measured free-feeding with Molly. She didn't really care for kibble, I guess, and she'd eat a few nuggets here and there throughout the day when the mood struck her. I didn't have any problems with her weight, but I didn't overfeed. I just let her eat at her own pace.
 
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