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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We got Kali last March. She had been living in a home with another dog. She was fed twice a day, and she scarfed it down. When we got her, she would still scarf when we fed her, but gradually she stopped, I think because she is now an only dog and doesn't have to compete for resources. She won't eat twice a day now. We fill the bowl with half of her food (2 cups) She waits until 10 or 11 at night and then eats whatever in the bowl all at once. Sometimes she'll eat during the day, but mostly it's just like she's snacking. She is on a different food than she was when we got her, but that is because we found out she has food allergies. She could stand to lose a few pounds, but she's not fat.

So my question is, is it ok to have her eat once a day, or should I try to make her eat twice a day? Does it matter?
 

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Sounds like some tough love might be in order. Do not leave kibble available all day. Put her food down. If she doesn’t eat it within ten to fifteen minutes, pick it up, and don’t give her anything until her next meal. Put that down, and give her ten to fifteen minutes to eat it, then pick it up. It is the rare healthy dog who will starve themselves.
 

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That sounds like a fat dog I knew once. She ate her morning meal fine, refused dinner then snacked all night long. She needed just the amount she ate right away with the rest packed away as fat for the famine that never came.

Right now your dog is eating Thanksgiving dinner for breakfast then forcing herself to eat the rest as her tummy has room. Cut back the size of the morning meal and she might be able to eat when you put the bowl down in the evening. I would cut back to 1.5 cups total split into 2 meals since she is overweight now. A couple pounds overweight for her is 10-20 pounds for you.

I cannot do tough love with food because dogs have trained me not to do that. Bile vomit in the middle of the night is their favorite method. I'd switch it up. If she really only eats at 11pm then feed her then. If that is inconvenient then once she eats as soon as the bowl hits the floor start putting it down 15 minutes earlier each day or two. I hate going to bed with food in my stomach but my daughter prefers food in her stomach, maybe your dog does as well.

And it is fine for dogs to eat once a day. Your dog isn't doing that however. Snacking counts as a drawn out meal. If you cut back to once a day it is likely she will have empty tummy syndrome aka bile vomits and that's hard on you, the dog's gut and the carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She doesn't eat twice a day. She used to, but she stopped that months ago. We give her a full bowl in the morning. Sometimes she picks at it, but most of the time she doesn't eat any at all...until 10 or 11 at night. Overall she's been eating about half of what is recommended, but maybe half is all that she needs. Maybe we are just giving her to much food. For the most part she actually ate the full amount when we fed her twice a day. I don't know how that figures into her eating everything at once. So maybe try once a day at a lower amount, and if that doesn't work, give her a lot less twice a day. I guess it'll be an experiment to see what works.
 

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How big is she? My first thought was that 4 cups is an awful lot of food unless she's pretty active or a pretty big dog (since you said 2 cups is half of her daily ration). You shouldn't go by the recommendation on the bag - it can be a good starting point, but you should be judging by her condition. You want to easily be able to feel her ribs (no having to press/poke) and depending on the coat type, see the last rib or two.

For reference, my two 110lb dogs eat about 3 cups a day. They are older spayed females, and they walk twice a day a half hour each as a base and several days a week do a few miles of hiking off leash. My 15lb 3-year-old intact male eats 1/2 cup of kibble for breakfast and about 1/3 of a pound of cooked meat for dinner.

If she isn't hungry and isn't rapidly losing weight - I wouldn't worry and would just offer her less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh oops! I wrote the wrong amount. We've been giving her 1 cup twice a day. The bag says feeding from 20lbs to 70lbs is 1.5 to 3.5 cups pet day. She's 50lbs. She should be 45lbs or so per the vet. She walks about 3 miles per day so she gets exercise. I think I'm going to give her the lesser amount. She is a middle aged girl so she doesn't need extra food.
 
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