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Discussion Starter #1
Okay before I get started.

Im not looking for peoples personal opinions on free feeding vs poetion control. Im looking for suggestions on how to transition a dog from portion control to free feeding.

I have made up my mind to switch my 1 year old pup to free feeding. How should i safely go about it.

The above statement is all i want comments on. Thanks!

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By portion control, do you mean set mealtimes?

There's nothing wrong with free feeding. Just be sure to measure out what your dog needs to eat in a day and set it out in the morning.

As for safety, just watch out for resource guarding, especially if you have other pets or younger people in the house.

And if you have other pets, be cautioned against food stealing. It won't do your dog any good if your cat eats all his food :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, set meal times. And i dont think the cats are going to steal his food, its much to big for them lol

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As long as there is no competition for food from other animals free feeding is just a matter of putting the days measured amount of kibble in the bowl every morning.
If at first he hoover's it, don't worry.....he will learn to relax, that no one is going to take his food and will adjust himself to eating only when he is hungry. (at least that's how my girl did it!)
 
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I agree with the other posters. Just leave the day's portion at the beginning of the day, and the dog should eventually learn to self-regulate.

I free fed when my boy was a puppy, and sometimes, I still do. I may feed him more than he needs at lunchtime, but he only eats what he wants, and then I notice he'll eat the leftovers later on in the day.
 

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I've never free fed any of my dogs for the simple reason that when I put down the portion of food, they ate it. Although the first dog I had as an adult would, occasionally, leave just a bite or two of food and go back and eat that later.

As long as you're not free feeding in the sense of leaving a huge, heaping bowl of food on the floor until it's gone, if your dog is used to eating the food when it hits the floor, it probably will continue to do that anyway. I guess if you're concerned about the dog eating way too much all at one, you could gradually move toward a single time when the food hits the floor each day.
 

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I'm kind of doubtful that my boy would ever learn to self regulate if I left his whole portion of food out in the morning. What I believe would happen is that he'd eat it all in the morning, be starving by night, and have hunger pukes by the next morning and proceed to eat the whole day's portion again beginning the cycle all over again. If you don't think your dog would do something like that then free feed if it's what you want to do.
 

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Levi would be the same as Zody. He'd wolf down the entire meal, then stare at me around lunch and dinner. (I'm sure he'd also eat Heidi's :p) So @Alexp08 I would just be prepared to have some very guilty looks thrown at you if they eat their whole meal in the morning. :p
 
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