How You Feed Your Dog is a Critical Element in Dog Behavior

Feeding time for your dog is a very high priority to your dog. Think about all the puppies and dogs out there, and how most of them spend their day. They’re just hanging out waiting for you to come home. A dog’s time at home provides few highlights. They wake up in the morning to pee and poop, eat their breakfast, see their owners off to work, bark at the mailman and potential intruders as well as other distractions.

Then in the evening, they greet their owners and the dog is fed again. When they are alone during the day, their boredom can be a growing source of tension which can cause them to be fraught with excitement, arousal and stress at the evening feed time.

Providing structure, incorporating leadership and training in all aspects of your life with your dog – especially when you feed your dog, can have a calming affect on your dog. Other benefits to be gained with feeding your dog on the twice a day feeding schedule are noted as follows:

  • With a frequent feeding schedule you better know when your new puppy has eaten thereby allowing you to better know when he needs to go potty.
  • Feed your dog a measured amount and don’t always go by the dog food company’s recommendation on how much to feed (they want to sell dog food).
  • Do not leave the dog food bowl down indefinitely with food in it. You don’t know how much he’s eaten or when he has to go.
  • It’s easier to monitor and know when he’s not feeling well. This is much harder to do if you free feed as you won’t know how much or when he last ate.
  • If you leave the dog food bowl down indefinitely, you are inviting your dog to decide to guard his food and/or food area.
  • Frequent feeding of your dog allows you to pick up the bowl shortly after you’ve put it down(5-10minutes) and there is less chance that your puppy or dog will develop resource guarding issues.
  • Frequent feeding provides two opportunities to work on food control, leadership and dog training. Require at least a sit before releasing him to go eat.
  • Prepare your dog’s food, leave it on the counter and sit down and have your meal. This strengthens your leadership by requiring your dog to wait until you have eaten. Follow this by having your dog do sits and downs for his food.
  • Soaking your dog’s food in hot tap water for 5-10 minutes prior to giving it to him can greatly enhance the digestive process allowing your dog to absorb more nutrients. Softer food takes less time (4-6 hours) to process. The can be a great benefit to your house training process.

Also, just as the saying goes “we are what we eat”, the same thing applies to your dog. Buy a high quality, nutrient rich dog food that has good protein sources. You can not find this type of food in a regular grocery store. The first ingredient should not be corn. Do your homework and learn about quality dogs foods. It not only is beneficial to the health of your dog, but the more junk carbohydrates you put in your dog, the more likely the dog is to have behavioral issues. Junk carbohydrates turn to sugar, just like in kids.

You should be as selective about the trainer of your dog as your are about the teacher of your children. Our specialty is behavior modification in dogs only using positive reinforcement. Please learn more about training at our website and remember Opportunity Barks!