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(Podcast) #PetParentsAsk Ep. 4: Should I Take My Dog’s Food Away if He Doesn’t Eat It?


I've got two males who I just got this weekend, and we are working on their transition. The biggest question is trying to get them on my family schedule. Before it was like a 24/7 buffet. Now I'm feeding them three times a day and they don't finish their food. Any recommendations?


Should I leave it out for 30 minutes and then take it away until the next feeding? I kennel them for the night minus a bathroom break or two and a little during the day if nobody's home. I didn't want to leave food in the kennel. I'm trying to keep them cleaner. I'm avoiding most human food until they are on a schedule.


 This is a very good question. And when it comes to multiple dogs, it's really the same thing, as with one. Ultimately it's going to be about how you provide them with their food puppies, unless, the daily intake, which is where I would double check with your vet as to how much you want to feed them, in a day.


And this is where I would look into, that daily amount to potentially, not so much. I know the mentioned schedule here, they want to get the puppy on their family schedule, but when it comes to feeding, dogs don't necessarily have a schedule. Per se. So I would really look into what their daily intake is and more than anything, how I can provide them with the food that they need to be eating within that one day.


And so my main recommendation would be exactly that. I would look into how they're currently getting their food. If it's from a bowl, then chances are, and it's funny that it's happening with both puppies, but chances are that they are both just not that interested in their food because of how it's being provided.


Through the bowl. They don't indicate the age here, but if you have a very young puppy, an 8, 9, 10 weeks cold, then a slow feeder will do it. Just switching to a slow feeder as opposed to a bowl. And I'm assuming that we're using a bowl here. If not, then potentially, some other enrichment ideas.


The ones that I'm gonna mention have already been tried, but, going from a bowl to a slow feeder. To a puzzle. Snuffle mat is definitely the way to go as far as trying new things to get your dogs to eat and enjoy their food, you can even go as far as using a cardboard box and putting towels inside.


You can put towels inside old towels with. Their Kongs with their snuffle mats, with their food puzzles make the activities even more engaging and provide, as a result, a lot of mental stimulation for your dogs, which will then make them want to take a little nap afterward, but increase the value of the food that they get because of how it's being delivered.


And so that would be my main recommendation as far as. How to feed them. I don't think it's going to be a matter of leaving food out for 30 minutes and then taking it away. That is a recommendation that I see a lot, but I don't personally suggest it because the main issue is that your dog doesn't really have an interest in food in the first place, and you don't wanna really swap that out.


going from no interest to, feeling scared or worried and eating out of that reason, meaning eating because they're worried that the food is gonna go away. You want them to eat because they enjoy it and because it feels good, right? And so if you create fun scenarios to deliver the food that they get, and again, supplements.


Puzzles boxes, a lot of DIY, options available, you can check my link below on my description so you can really see a lot of different DIY options that will not cost you a thing and will use what you already have at home if you make sure, that you are providing those during feeding time, then.


Chances are that your puppy is gonna be naturally, in, in a curious, positive way, be a lot more interested in their food. So if ever you have to use a bowl or something that's not too engaging, they're still going to be likely to eat at that point because you've associated food. With a very fun activity and a very good feeling.


And so, that's where I would go as opposed to leaving it out for a little bit and taking it away. I don't really recommend that. I recommend feeding them in fun and engaging ways so that they really look forward to their food and will eat their daily intake. "I kennel them for the night minus a bathroom break or two."


 As far as leaving food in the kennel, it's not generally something I recommend, I'm fairly strict when it comes to using a dog's crater or their kennel because at a young age, I wanna make sure that we associate it as much as possible with rest and food doesn't necessarily equate to that. It can lead to that if you want to leave food in their kennel, I would do it in a way that is a little bit more, engaging and that's where I would turn to, a Kong, a frozen Kong with a bit of food in there can be something that I really, really like using.


Be. Cause a Kong that is provided when a puppy has already done their activities, their engagement routine, physical, and mental socialization, and stimulation. A Kong is a little bit like the pacifier at the end of the day, at the end of the activities that are going to help them soothe and relax just by.


Nibbling at it just by chewing it. Just by knowing it, your puppy is going to not just get, the remainder of food that you want them to have, but is also going to mellow out as a result, and they're already in their crate, so they're then likely to just fall asleep and just rest in their crate as a result.

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