Why is everyone so against free feeding dogs?

I have two dogs (male (60 pounds) and female (50 pounds) and they...-maintain their own weight-have never displayed food aggression-share the same large bowl of food and waterand it just seems so much more humane...whats the harm in it, it seems like…

    Why is everyone so against free feeding dogs?

    I have two dogs (male (60 pounds) and female (50 pounds) and they...-maintain their own weight-have never displayed food aggression-share the same large bowl of food and waterand it just seems so much more humane...whats the harm in it, it seems like…...
    Dog Breed Discussions : Why is everyone so against free feeding dogs?...

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    • Why is everyone so against free feeding dogs?

      Why is everyone so against free feeding dogs? Dog Breed Discussions
      I have two dogs (male (60 pounds) and female (50 pounds) and they...-maintain their own weight-have never displayed food aggression-share the same large bowl of food and waterand it just seems so much more humane...whats the harm in it, it seems like other people have way more problems with feeding schedules?by problems I mean obesity, aggression, and sickness.

      Why is everyone so against free feeding dogs?

      Why is everyone so against free feeding dogs? Dog Breed Discussions
    • Mine is on a schedule...reason being, i truly believe he would eat as much as was put out in front of him to the point of him being sick.If your dogs can control how much they eat...good for you and for your dogs ;)

    • with multiple dogs, you really have no way to monitor how much your dogs are actually eating on a daily basis.. so you may not notice as quickly if one of them is going off their feed.Otherwise, if you're not having issues with aggression or obesity, thats the only real issue I could see.

    • the place where the diet is for them a safe place no problems, but if other animals have access, is mehor keep an eye on other animals can bring diseases .... I'm from Brazil, a still speak English, work in a veterinary clinic ... I am using a translator ... kkkk ..... I have helped!

    • I am not against it, if it works for you, great. It simply would not work with my dogs. First, my lab is a food hound. He will continue to eat until he threw up then continue to eat some more (and has when he got into the food bag one day). He simply does not have the ability to regulate. There are some breeds that are known for this. Second, my dogs are breeds that are prone to bloat. I like to know when they eat so I know when they are most at risk. One is also a working dog, he can't go to work on a full stomach for his reason. IT also lets me know when they are not feeling well. It is easier for me to adjust their food to keep them at a healthy weight. I often have to adjust food. My pets tend to put on weight, the working dog often needs a bump up in food. It is also good to help regulate when they need to go out. Since we work, a reliable schedule is very helpful. It is my preference. It works for me and my dogs. To each their own.

    • If your dogs are doing well with it, then there is no problem in it. If all dogs were exactly alike then everyone could do this.In addition to what the other answers said- some dogs have allergies or different dietary needs, so keeping their food separate and not allowing them to eat different foods is important.

    • Many dogs do not pace themselves with food.With some, it invites weight issues.The kibble also sits out all day long inviting bugs or may go stale.Anyone feeding canned or raw would not leave it out all day to grow bacteria.Beagles are a good example of a breed that will often eat themselves right into a surgical procedure.

    • You can't be sure the dog is eating the recommended amount, for one. If the dog is eating at all unless you see them eat.Mostly, I think it's a dominance thing. Alpha tops are the only ones that can go and eat whatever whenever. And giving them the right to do that, also can put them in that mind frame. What's wrong with feeding schedules? If there's such time constraints that you can't be there to feed your dog, you probably shouldn't have a dog to begin with. How's it going outside or to the bathroom?That being said, it's not going to kill a dog to miss a meal here and there. I'd rather my dog skip the odd meal, then not know for sure if they are both eating the amount of food they are supposed to be eating.

    • It's not a problem unless one dog is eating all the food and the other doesn't get enough.If your dogs are healthy weight and you know they both eat their share, then by all means free freed if you like.With multiple dogs (6 in my case) it would not be possible to be sure they are all eating, so I prefer to feed twice a day, each dog gets a bowl and I watch to see that they all eat theirs. They are taught not to push into each other's bowls, it's a good way to teach obedience and good manners. Once they begin to walk away, anything left over is open to anyone who wants it, but I make sure each dog eats first.Do what works for you or your dogs - sounds as if your dogs share and are well behaved, so there is NO harm in it.My dogs share large bowls of water too, never a problem, they politely wait their turn if more than one decides to drink at the same time.

    • "Everyone" is not against free-feeding. Some people are, some people aren't. Many dogs do not have much self-control when it comes to food. They're gluttonous and if it tastes good, they'll eat it, regardless of how full their stomach may be already.Many dogs do have issues with food aggression. While there are plenty of dogs who coexist peacefully around food, there are just as many who tend to guard their resources. This is a natural canine behavior, so it isn't like dogs who guard their food bowls from other dogs are bizarre or uncommon.If the food goes into your dog according to a schedule, then, more or less, it will come out according to a schedule. Being able to predict when your puppy or dog will need to relieve himself is generally an important part of housebreaking. Not everyone can sit around all day long, ready to run the dog out if he needs to do his business. They need to know that the dog will likely relieve himself first thing in the morning (say, before work), in the middle of the day (say, during lunch break) or/and at night (say, after work).Deep-chested breeds (like Irish Wolfhounds, German Shepherds, Labs and Mastiffs) are prone to something called gastric torsion-dilatation, or "bloat." Although there can be many contributing factors to a case of bloat, all owners of deep-chested breeds need to be aware of feeding habits. It's an important precaution to take to keep the dog relatively quiet before and after eating -- that is, to prevent excitement or exercise for at least an hour after eating (ideally an hour before eating and an hour or two after eating..). You can't really take this precaution if the dog free-feeds.Knowing exactly when and how much the dog eats can be a simple way to gauge the condition of the dog, because sudden changes in eating habits can alert you to a problem. If you just set down a big bowl of kibble in the morning for your dogs, how will you know who is eating how much? Just because YOU have found success with free-feeding doesn't mean that everyone else will, just as the fact that many people don't have success with free-feeding doesn't mean that no one will.

    • It depends on the dogs in question. Some dogs if faced with a large bowl of food would just eat and eat until they burst while others just take what they want and leave the rest until later.I know my Goldens would clear the lot in one go and as I do not want to take the risk of them becoming bloated I tend to feed them their meals twice a day.Puppies definitely need to be kept on a schedule because their stomachs are very small and they can only take very small amounts of food at any one given time. If you leave a huge dish of food out for a puppy it will just eat the lot and then it will become bloated and this can result in death sometimes so I would rather be safe than sorry.

    • I'm not against it - i didn't even know it was an issue.Although, thinking about it - what is wrong with is it that you have no way of monitoring your dogs appitite and food intake.The first sign of many illnesses is going off food.If a dog that is fed at 5pm everyday turned it's nose up or ate less - immediately there are alarms bells going off to the owner. If it happens the next day, off to the vet - 2 days from the symptom occurring before dianosis and treatment.So - in your scenario, your dog doesn't eat as much or at all one day. Or the next. Or the next.It could be as many as 14 days before you notice weightloss, especially with hairy breeds.Which dog do you think has the better chance of recovering?

    • with multiples, i wouldnt free feed. You never know if one dog is eating more than the other. I free feed my APBT but i measure out what she is to have for the day. it goes in her bowl and sits there until she is done. If she eats it all, there is no more coming for the day. That way, i know how much she eats, she gets the proper amount, and she can eat whenever she wants. Normally shell just mosey in the kitchen and grab a mouthful here and there. rarely do we run out of food during the day. Most of the time, she dosent eat what she can and will leave some in the bowl.

    • Some dogs are OK with free-feeding, but most are not. Most overeat in that situation. Obesity is a HUGE problem in pets. I know you think your dogs aren't fat, but have you asked your vet? I do a lot of dog walking, Out of 50 dogs, about 3 are not overweight. Vets are often very reluctant to bring it up, so you have to ask them about your dog's weight. For example, my dog is FAT in my avatar picture! Is she hideously obese? No. But she's overweight! Most pets look like her in my avatar--too heavy but not obviously fat to a pet owner. I hadn't yet ramped her down in food between puppy and adult. Clearly, her food needed a ramp down a month or two before it occurred to me!( I just like the picture. ) But it's a good example in this discussion--the average pet is overweight. If your vet is in agreement that your dogs are a healthy weight, then you can keep on free-feeding.ETA: Another poster brings up an excellent point: you don't know how much either dog is eating. When disease strikes in dogs, the signs are usually very subtle. They don't whine and complain the way humans do when they get ill--they try to carry on as though nothing were wrong. Changes in how much they eat and drink, changes in stool or urination, and changes in attitude are often the earliest signs that a dog is having an issue of some sort. People who free feed and just let the dog out in the yard can't catch these subtle changes in the early stages, when intervention would be easier and more successful.ETA: The posters bringing up bloat prevention are on point as well. If your dogs are 50 and 60 pds, they are likely to be bloat prone breeds. The only time I did free-feeding was with a dog who was a picky eater. I left dry food down for a week and observed (and recorded in a journal) when he preferred to eat. He wanted to eat at 10 AM, 1PM and 9 PM. Not the 6 AM and 6 PM I had previously been offering. He essentially wanted to eat after his periods of high activity, not by the clock. I just changed his feeding times to the ones he preferred and he was back on a feeding schedule, and wasn't picky any longer. I could have also adjusted when I worked with and walked him in this case. but it was easier to just change his feeding schedule.

    • The only reason my dog has a set feeding time is because I also have two cats that would rather eat the dogs food than expend the energy to go to the basement for theirs. And the dog does not appreciate it one bit. He prefers to stretch out his meals since his throat was scarred by an incident with a bone fragment. Before the cats came along it was not uncommon for him to take up to 24 hours to finish his daily rations.

    • Because a lot of dogs - including my two - would just eat until they burst. It's also easier on their digestive tract, and you can see if one is going off its food faster. If yours seem fine though, good luck with free feeding :) My dogs are a Border Collie and a Lab x Poodle though, so they really need routine..

    • Some people say it causes them to overeat. I found the opposite to be true...for the most part for us. I'll put out dog food in the mornings, and they won't touch it until evenings. For a while I did both mornings and evenings, and they actually ate MORE when I did this. So they eat half of what they were eating.My first dog we had to do that or he would eat until he got sick, throw up, and eat some more..My second only ate if she was hungry, but yes, we had to give her the same feeding schedule or my first dog would eat all her food. My third, same story. I mean she would eat only when she was hungry. We didn't have to worry about her food being eaten, because she was the only dog, except for the first couple months we had her. My first dog was still alive, but he had to be put to sleep. She was even a BEAGLE, and often times wouldn't eat for a day or two, even with food sitting out.Edit: I forgot to add..someone mentioned about how you don't know which dog is eating enough. My dogs have an uncanny knack of eating at the same time in the evenings, so we can always tell. I have no idea how this "knack" came about. Anyway, being they have that "knack", I always know how much they eat.

    • My dog and daughter are alike in one sense: they both will eat until they throw up. Seriously...So, yep...I put my kids and dogs on a feeding schedule. There's no harm in this in my opinion. But, I don't see anything wrong with free feeding dogs either...I probably would do that if my dog had the self control....