If you are not at home the entire day, you will surely be worried about your dog. What if he gets hungry? Does she have enough food to eat or water to drink? To make sure he will not get hungry or thirsty (and to ease our conscience), you will decide to leave plenty of food and water in his bowl. Ta-da! Problem Solved!
But is it really? Free feeding has become quite a common practice today but that doesn’t mean that it is a great choice for your dogs. If you are considering feeding your dog this way, here are some of the things that you should know about it:
- It increases your dog’s chances of being obese.
This is the main disadvantage of free feeding your dog. Whether we like it or not, dogs are animals and they do not have the control that we, humans, have. If you will leave food behind for them, they will eat the food when they are hungry. The bad thing is, they will continue to it even if they are no longer hungry. And as long as there is food in the bowl, they will eat and eat and eat until they get fat and unhealthy. That is their natural tendency and it is up to us to discipline them and control how much they eat. Free feeding them is not the way to do that.
- You will have limited food choices.
We all know that a food that is left in the bowl the entire day has a high chance of getting spoiled. Because of this, you should avoid giving your dog foods that easily get spoiled. It means that you can only choose from commercially available dog kibbles and let’s face it, those types of dog foods are not that beneficial for your dog. Sure, it may contain a few trace minerals and vitamins but if you want to feed something healthy to your dog, you should give him a balanced meal of vegetables, meats and rice.
- It will make it harder for you to potty train your puppy.
This is one of the side effects of not providing your puppy with a regular meal schedule. Training your puppy is all about consistency and free feeding your dog promotes inconsistency. The signal of your dog that it is time to poop and pee is once he is done eating his food or when there is no food left in his bowl. If you free feed him, he will be confused and he will end up peeing and pooping on impulse.
We all know that free feeding is the most convenient method of feeding your dog. But if you really want to keep your dog as disciplined and healthy as possible, you should try to take the road less traveled– schedule the meal time of your dogs. It will require consistency, discipline and plenty of your time but rest assured, it is worth it!