If you asked me what one piece of advice I would share with someone bringing home a new puppy or dog, what would it be?" This is it.
This one piece of advice will allow you to have flexibility in your schedule and make for a calmer, happier pup.
There was a time when I had three dogs all at once. They would begin the process of waking me up at 4 am every single day even on days off. Those wonderful creatures who I loved so much would also start getting antsy and pushy at the same time every day doing everything they could to lure me into the kitchen for their dinner.
My schedule revolved around their feeding schedule and if I had something come up that was during their feeding time, I had to find someone to come over and feed them for me.
I received this advice from a holistic vet when I was awaiting the arrival of a new puppy and looking into the best diet for dogs. It is the opposite of the advice of the majority, but, it has worked extremely well for me and my dogs on many levels.
Vary your feeding times.
I know. Obvious and simple, right?
How I do it.
It is very simple. Do not feed your pup at the same time every day.
I still feed Sydney twice a day, but, her breakfast comes between 6 am and 11 am. She does not get out of bed until I do and it is only to follow me to the living room for our cuddle time while I drink tea and plan the day.
Sydney's dinner comes between 5 pm and 11 pm.
I always make sure she has been outside enough and relieved herself before I leave my house or before we retire for the night.
The only time she gets excited and bouncy about food is when I am preparing her food. She has no anxiety around food. In fact, we are often out at my mom's house during Rosie's feeding time and yes, she reacts a little because she wants to let everyone know that she'd be open to a handout, but, she leaves Rosie alone to enjoy her meal. She isn't worried. She knows she won't go without a meal.
Though it seems the biggest benefit is for you with this one, it really is for your dog. No more food anxiety. They know they will be fed. They aren't triggered by a certain time of day.
It's not for everyone.
If you already have dogs that are on a schedule, it is not that simple, but, it could be doable depending on your situation. If there is interest, I can write another blog addressing how you can go about trying it and if it is something you should try with your dogs.
With that said, some of you may be bringing home rescues that have other issues with food. They may have been starved or your vet may have recommended something due to health issues. Please do not try this without the blessing of your pet's healthcare provider.
Let me know your thoughts below.