Feeding dogs on demand, also known as free feeding, might seem like a convenient option. However, this feeding approach can end up creating problems or making life in your home more unpleasant for you and your dog. Feeding dogs at regular times rather than on demand offers the following benefits.
Easier House Training
When you’re house training your dog, free feeding can make it difficult to prevent accidents from happening. Regular meals mean that dogs can be taken outside to eliminate at regular times. This can help your dog learn when and where to go to eliminate, which reduces the risk of accidents in your home.
Better Pest Control
Ants, mice and other pests can easily help themselves to your dog’s food if you leave it out at all times, especially overnight. When your dog is fed at certain times, you’ll be able to pick up and clean the empty bowl right away instead of having it sitting out with food in it. This helps discourage pests that would normally go after pet food, which helps keep your home healthier for you and your pet.
Free feeding makes it difficult to determine if your dog has had any changes in feeding habits. Dogs that have appetite changes, such as losing their appetite, might have health problems that need to be treated. Feeding dogs at certain times allows you to notice any appetite changes and schedule a vet visit if needed.
More Training Sessions
When you feed your dog at regular times, you can turn these into short training sessions. Work on training your dog to come to you when called or sit calmly and wait until you give a signal that it’s time to eat, rather than jumping around in excitement. You can also train your dog to stay before being allowed to eat.
If you need some help training your dog or correcting certain behaviors, contact DoGone Fun. At our facility, we offer group and individual training to help dogs learn to behave and follow commands.