Free feeding with your pups is definitely an easier concept; your pet can come and go as it pleases and nibble every so often. But it’s probably one of the worst possible things you can do for your pup too. So, why am I talking about free-feeding in my blog? When done correctly, free-feeding your dog can build a stronger relationship between you two and show your pup there’s trust in how your four-legged manages when he or she wants to eat. After all, the health of your dog is a number-one priority.
Let’s talk about your relationship with your dog
Your relationship with your dog is primary. Quite frankly, it’s the desired source of pleasure for our dogs – to have this strong bond with their human. We, as humans, have the control and ability to drive the respect and trust with our pups. We also have control over the resources we give our dogs – such as their food. And when we manage everything correctly, we have developed a strong – even unbreakable – bond of trust.
We’re always concerned for our dog’s health
I’ll be honest with you. I have not met many dogs that are able to properly and healthily manage food consumption right from the start. This means that most dogs typically grossly over consume. An increased body weight can truly wreak havoc on the dog’s body – especially with larger breeds and older dogs.
Free-feeding could create chaos in your home!
Now, let’s think about your dog’s ability to actually respect the notion of free-feeding. If the food is always available, your dog will probably blow by you through the door each time you come home because he or she knows there is food just waiting there! It reinforces the behaviour of self-entitlement. And honestly? This is typically not a behaviour welcome in any self-respecting dog household – especially one that has guests and small children present.
Try this alternative for free-feeding
A good alternative to free feeding is feeding by hand. This builds an incredible relationship with your dog, and you can make it fun! Get them to work for it a little, hide it in the grass and put their little sniffer to work! Having a dog should be fun and enjoying every possible experience you have with them!
Contact me to learn more about free-feeding your dog
As a professional dog trainer, I make it a point to understand your relationship with your dog. I use a calm and collected method of training dogs. I take time to learn about your dog and their behaviours and use our meet-and-greet sessions to observe your dog in a setting where I can watch them carefully. If you believe free-feeding is a better method of feeding your dog, I can show you how to get there.