HOW SHOULD I FEED MY DOG?
The answer seems simple;– put food where the dog can get it , dog eats food, dog has been fed……or has it?
Forget for a minute all the hype & advertising: Dog food comes in two types – sticky or not sticky!
Food can be presented in a variety of ways;
loose on the floor
in a bowl on the floor
in a raised bowl
in a hopper –self serve
in a treat ball
as a reward/bribe
Loose on the floor/ground
Pros;- No washing up!
Cons;- surface could be difficult to clean ; bacterial growth, slipping,
Bowl on floor
Pros;- easy to regulate amount, clean
Cons;- might be a bit too easy for the dog –solved by using a large bowl with a brick sized boulder to slow down eating.
Pros;- as B
Cons;-This started out as a training aid for long legged breeds –feed them so they have to stand upright to eat & they are encouraged into good posture.
It has since entered folklore as prevention of gastric torsion with the rider that it is natural for a dog. This is incorrect- the natural feeding position of wild dogs is head down at a carcase. If too much reliance is placed on position rather than foodstuff bloat can become more likely.
If tipped the mess goes further!
In a hopper –self serve
Pros;- always available, only suited to non sticky food
Cons;- impossible to regulate ( more so for multiple dogs), removes a lot of owner/dog interaction, can lead to obesity or, surprisingly, pickyness
In a treat ball
Pro’s;- stimulation, makes the dog work for food
Con’s;-can be messy & requires advance preparation for sticky food
As a reward/bribe
Pro’s;- useful training or bonding aid.
Con’s;- can inadvertantly re-enforce unwanted behaviour, obesity
What to feed is another whole lot of thinking!