Do you leave you dog's food out all day or take it away?

  1. Hi everyone- I'm wondering: do you leave you dog's food dish out all day so that he can he how and when he pleases? Or do you take it away after a half hour or so like some people recommend? When I got my puppy his breeder was just sort of leaving food out for the puppies to eat whenever they felt hungry, so when I got him home I felt mean putting the food out and then taking it away because he wouldnt see it coming (yes i know he would learn after a day or two, but I still feel like doing it those first couple of days until he understood was a little mean- especially when he was still adjusting to our home). He was originally on dry food but we started giving him wet food (w/ some dry mixed in) at night- and now he's a food snob and hardly touches the dry food that we give him in the mornings (that he used to love). He will leave it there all day and just go back for a bite or two when he's really hungry. So my question is: do you leave your dog's dry food out for him to eat whenever he wants or is it better (and would it make him eat his dry food in the morning) if you leave it out and then take it away? (note: he's potty trained so wondering when he'll have to go to the bathroom is no longer an issue). Thanks for any insight!
  2. i personally only feed a strict amt of food (mine is on dry as well) and feed only at a certain time. My dog is trained to eat during that time and she usually finishes her meal right away. However, in the beginning, she used to not finish her food @ the set time and I did take away her bowl after 30 minutes.

    She does have treats during the day or as rewards, and if I leave her at home, she has her Merrick's Flossie to chew on, etc. However, I think it is good to train them to eat on schedule if you do not plan to free feed your dog. JMO!
  3. We used to leave my dog's food out all day so he could eat whenever he wanted to because he's old and it was just easier that way. He got sick last year and now he's on a specific diet and has to take medication that increases his appetite and eats 3 times a day :smile:
  4. I feed mine a very small amount of a mix of wet and dry twice a day. They eat that right away and then I leave a few handfulls of dry out at all times so if they get hingry there they can eat a small amount. They seem to usually eat it around midnight.
  5. My Chi's get dry food twice a day. My male Chi gained a couple of pounds once he got neutered (which is a lot for a small dog), so my vet told me to put out 1/2 a cup in the AM and a 1/2 cup in the PM.
  6. Mines on a raw food diet so gets a specific portion morn and eve. I will leave her raw meaty bones out for her to gnaw on whenever. I used to leave kibble out at all times in case she wanted to munch since she's not the kind to anything and everything, but it would sit for days untouched. Then I found out kibble and raw digests at different rates so it wasn't good to have both anyway.
  7. glamgirl- i've been in the same boat with the picky dog not eating his dry food unless mixed with something else. since he's potty trained, i leave his food. he doesn't touch his dry food during the day anyways but i leave it as an option to snack on. my neighbor also leaves food out since her papillon doesn't over eat. if your dog is notorious for overeating (like a lab), i'd take away the food if not finished within his meal time. other than that, i don't worry about it.
  8. My parents free feed, but my dogs get fed twice a day, with a couple of treats in between.

    ETA - well, except unless I put the food out in the morning and they decide they'd rather nap - then it's out all day, but only their "breakfast" portion! (and then sometimes dinner will be really late ... it all just depends)
  9. I have 2 dachshunds, and they love to eat. So they have their 2 meals a day, with a little salmon treat before bedtime. If I left 10 lbs of beef out, they would eat it. Dachshunds love love love food.
  10. No way, I could never leave food out all day! They get measured amounts and eat it right away. They -- especially one of them -- would eat all day if they could. Oy.
  11. Hehe Irish, you beat me in here! Both of my dachshunds also get fed 2 meals a day. I always tell DH that if there was a ton of food within their grasp they would literally eat until they died. :push:

    glamgirl84: If you put out the food and he doesn't eat it within 15 minutes or so then you need to take it away. If he doesn't want to eat his dry food then you can mix it up with a little bit of water so that there's a kind of gravy and the kibbles get softened. If he doesn't eat it you should definitely take it away and maybe try again 30 min to an hour later. He will eventually realize that an empty tummy is worse than having to eat dry kibbles. Good luck!
  13. I would have three little rolly pollys around my house if food was left out. 1/4 cup in the morning, 1/4 cup in evening + munchy treat is all they get.

    Two of my dogs were really stressed out when I got them. The first one wouldn't touch her food - at all (she was about 2 yrs old) . She went through numerous days without even eating. I started to cook special dishes (chicken and rice) which she would gobble right up. The vet told me I shouldn't be a short order cook for my dog and to get her on schedule, she WOULD eventually eat. So I left her food out for 15 minutes then it was taken away. Next mealtime, same thing. Eventually she got the point and we have not looked back. Same with the second dog, she had to get a little hungry to figure out how things worked.

    But it was hard to do!! Especially since both were too skinny when I got them. To look at the little plumpers right now and their eating habits, it's hard to believe there ever was an issue. GL!
  14. I feed my chis twice a day rationed amounts. I used to free feed until my smaller Chi started looking like a little tomato on toothpicks! They gain too much weight if they are little piggies and get free fed.
  15. ^ oh no no! I don't mean that I keep filling his dish all day! I just leave out his breakfast and instead of eating it all in one sitting in the morning, he takes a bite or two and snacks on it all day long. its funny, he does like one bite per hour, sometimes less. that's why I feel bad taking it away after a half hour- because he won't get any other meals again for a long time so he'll be hungry all day :sad: it's a little frustrating though because sometimes he won't eat a thing and he'll leave his breakfast there ALL day and finally I'll just use that to mix into his wet food at dinner. I think I will try to work up the nerve to put his breakfast out and take it away in a half hour. In the long run it's probably best to make sure he's eating in the mornings and not just "snacking" all day, right?? thanks for the responses!