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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The pros and cons of free feeding have been discussed at length on this forum. I have always maintained that free feeding is a bad idea, especially with multiple dogs in the house. You can never been sure how much each dog is actually eating. And if you have even a singlle chow hound, the others will starve.

Now we have two casual eaters. Somebody is home most of the time. I think if Franklin was eating kibble again, instead of the Fresh Pet he's been eating, he will maintain a healthier weight. I would prefer to feed them both the same thing and I have very little fear that either will overeat.

This is a new development. We've almost always had at least one chow hound - a lab or a hound - in the house, so free feeding was out of the question.

Thoughts?
 

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I think if it works for you or not is going to be very dependent on the dogs. Because Oliver is new, however, I would be worried that he's in the "honeymoon" stage right now and might develop resource guarding tendencies once he is more established in the home. Other cons would be not knowing if one or the other goes off their food, which would be an early indicator of a need for a vet visit

But, if neither ends up being a resource guarder and they don't tend to overeat, I don't see why not.
 

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I agree that I'd give Oliver more time to settle in and see how things develop before switching to free-feeding. I still remember a brief period of dismay shortly after Samwise came home, because he was uninterested in the treats we'd bought (pricey grain-free ones, naturally) and thinking he was going to be picky and not food motivates. Oooooh how wrong I was. He's willingly entered a water treadmill (despite very much NOT liking water higher than his ankles) because he knows he gets treats in there. I could probably teach him to backflip for kibble if I wanted. He just had a (very short) period of suppressed interest in treats when we brought him home, likely just due to stress and feeling insecure in the environment.
 

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I agree with the honeymoon stage. It's amazing how different a dog can be once he realizes he's home to stay.

I don't free feed, but with Cat-dog and Tornado-dog, I let them switch bowls during meals. They both eat at the same pace and Tornado-dog stops well before Cat-dog so she gets her full serving. They prefer it and they have absolutely no issues over food so why not.
 

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Maybe a combo? Breakfast or dinner is fed in individual bowls separately, with a topper or something to make it higher value. The rest of the time dry kibble is sitting out to free-feed. That way they can eat when they're hungry, but you can also observe whether one seems to have gone off his feed or seems especially ravenous.
 

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Personally I would still stick to individual, scheduled meals. While free-feeding might work for right now, if at some point in the future one or the other of the dogs needs to be on a special diet/food for medical reasons, you won't have to break the free-feeding habit (which can be difficult)
 

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I use free feeding. Got 2 german shepherd and it's okay. but i givethem probiotic supplement - it helps them control appetite. Maybe it helps you. I bought kinpurpetcare ones. You can find smth else
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A quick update: We are not free-feeding. Both dogs eat on schedule, twice-a-day, in the same room but closely supervised and 10 feet apart. Franklins appetite has improved dramatically with the arrival of a second dog, but Oliver eats much more quickly and would eat everything if he had the opportunity.
 
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