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Benefits of Feeding Your Dog on a Fixed Schedule

We in the urban world are used to having food around at all times, and to eating anytime we feel like it. That’s perhaps why a lot of us leave food in our dogs’ bowls day in and day out. Unless your veterinarian suggested such free feeding for your particular dog, there are significant advantages to feeding your pet regular and separate meals instead.

Here are the main reasons planned meals are better for both your dog and you:

Easier Housetraining
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Housetraining success has a lot to do with giving your puppy enough opportunities to poop and pee when and where he should. Knowing when he ate, you’ll also be able to predict when he’ll defecate. Let’s say your puppy just went for a toilet break and he has urinated. Having no idea when he ate last, you’ll have no inkling when he could poop, meaning it’s more likely that he’ll make a scene in your living room. This isn’t just awful to clean up, but every time the puppy eliminates indoors, he’s also stronger in his belief that indoors is the place to go.
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Easier Dog Health Monitoring

Both you and your dog stand to benefit from his regular, separate feeding instead of you keeping his bowl full all the time. Maybe your dog is due for his regular checkup, or maybe you actually took him to the vet because he seemed just a bit under the weather. Note that dog food can be a haven for bacteria. So do discard the leftovers and make sure to wash that bowl with soap and hot water no less than twice everyday.

Behavior Management

Say you have two dogs and one of them is always bullying the other one around. The pushier dog is also most likely hogging the food you have for them in the communal bowl. Feeding them regular, separate meals can be part of your long-term plan to manage this behavior. This ensures that the less aggressive dog is still getting his share of the food, and the more aggressive one isn’t rewarded for his food hogging.

As Aid to Training

If your dog eats on a regular schedule, you’ll know when he’s most probably going to be hungry. When you know when he’s hungry, that can be a huge advantage for you when you train him. When you train when he’s hungry, food will become more valuable to him. In most cases, when a dog owner says his pet isn’t motivated by food, it turns out the dog’s bowl is always topped up. Such dogs are l ike people with a fat trust fund–they won’t feel an urge to work to earn more money.