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From some of the reading I've done, it seems that feeding from a bowl means giving up an opportunity to provide mental stimulation. Do any of you feed exclusively from something other than a food bowl? What do you do? I've read about benefits to puzzle toys, scattered food, and hand feeding.
 

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I feed during a short walk or near a road(Echo is over excited by cars) in the evening, in the morning she gets food from a bowl or puzzle depending on how awake I am. Until 15 weeks she got multiple feeds through the day in puzzles, training and just available.
 

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I haven't fed my pup from a bowl in while. The only time I do is when I want her to drink water (I find that she doesn't drink enough water) so I'll put a bit of water in a bowl with some kibble and because she wants to get to the kibble she gulps up all the water too.

I use these three things and fill it with her kibble. When she's done, I'll do some obedience training with her and then refill them and keep going until all her kibble is done.

I love the grooves on this one because her puppy kibble fits perfectly
https://www.kongcompany.com/products/for-dogs/rubber-toys/dental-rubber-toys/stuff-a-ball/

There's a larger dog version of this one.
https://www.kongcompany.com/products/for-dogs/rubber-toys/puppy-rubber-toys/puppy-goodie-bone/

The hole on this one is a little small, not sure if it comes in other sizes but it works for her puppy kibble
https://www.amazon.ca/Pet-Qwerks-Irresistaball-Treat-Ball/dp/B008E689UK

However....I am going to be changing her to a raw diet so now I don't know what I'm going to do without using these toys to tire her out lol I can't fill them ALL with treats, that's just too much!
 

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I've thought about raw feeding and home made meals as well... I'll probably make a separate thread about that later or search the forum for some ideas. For the sake of cost, I may do some sort of combination... some kibble and some fresh foods.
 

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I've thought about raw feeding and home made meals as well... I'll probably make a separate thread about that later or search the forum for some ideas. For the sake of cost, I may do some sort of combination... some kibble and some fresh foods.
Look at the forum on Dog Food....there's a great thread on raw feeding that will help anyone get started.
 

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When I was working I was feeding raw to many dogs, often up to 22! None were fed in a bowl, all were fed outside and I would get the flesh out of the garage and the dogs would come running the moment they heard the door open.

Rules were that they all had to sit, I would look at them individually and decide what size chunk they would get. Never fed in any order, just cut a piece call a dog and throw it to them, none of the others were allowed to move or try to get it.

It certainly gave them mental stimulation!
 

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I've been thinking about buying a couple of those Kong Wobbler toys that slowly releases food as it bobs around. I currently use slow feeder bowls but they could still stand to be slowed down even more, plus the wobbler makes it like a game.
 

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If I didn't have multiple dogs to keep track of who is eating what, I would feed out of Wobblers or similar food dispensing toys for every meal. It's just not logistically possible here.
 

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I have 3 dogs(4 at the moment because I have my sisters dog) and it's just not possible to feed them out of anything other than a bowl. If I fed them all out of toys or by hand or training sessions, it would be absolute chaos and take forever. I think just having a meal out of a bowl with no training session is a good thing, it's just a time to eat and be happy. I don't think every moment of a dogs life needs to have an end goal or an be an activity. If I know I'm going to be doing a lot of training, I'll just cut down on their food that day. None of my dogs are prone to being overweight though, so i don't worry about it much.
 

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I fed one of my pups by scattering food for a while until I got a Green slow feeder, because he'd just inhale it from a bowl. I also used a Kong Wobbler for the same reason.

I don't think he was getting much mental stimulation nor that he took much joy from the Wobbler, it was a means to an end - *thwack - kibble scatters - nom - repeat* - that he was forced to negotiate in order to eat. Sure, it took time, but I think it was more of a tedious act of repetition than a challenge.

These days my two eat their meals from bowls. I do use kibble for training.

I'm with @Foxhunter on raw feeding giving great mental stimulation and satisfaction!
 

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My older dog eats her meals from a bowl. My puppy usually gets one of his meals from a bowl and the rest from a toy, or during training.
 

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I'm planning on hand-feeding Ginny, and using some of her daily kibble rations for training, as well.

Once she gets older, I plan on using food dispensing toys as her main way of getting meals. Things like the IQ ball, etc, but also some in kongs and such, too. But that's what I think now, before I have my pup. Once I have her, things may change.
 

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I'm planning on hand-feeding Ginny, and using some of her daily kibble rations for training, as well.

Once she gets older, I plan on using food dispensing toys as her main way of getting meals. Things like the IQ ball, etc, but also some in kongs and such, too. But that's what I think now, before I have my pup. Once I have her, things may change.
I am going to caution you not to overdo the mental stimulation, what dogs need is emotional grounding, not mental stimulation. You can't be over-grounded because emotional grounding is good, but you can get over-stimulated. We get over-stimulated when we have too much mental activity and not enough emotional grounding.

The way to promote emotional grounding is to use "pushing" to feed your puppy.
 
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