Saturday, July 13, 2013

New dog feeding regimen

The last 5 dogs I've owned have self-fed.

The only dog that had a problem with that was Rags.  He was seriously underfed when I got him.  When he had food available at all times, he ballooned up.  But only for a while.  Once he realized the food would always be there, he stopped gorging and slimmed back down.

I've had Bogie for a year now.  And the self-feeding isn't working with him.  At our last vet visit, he weighed 142 pounds.  That's 24 pounds more than he did a year ago.

Now, he was expected to gain 6 or 7 pounds since he wasn't considered full grown.  But not 24.  The vet says the extra weight will shorten his life.  Great Danes don't have a very long life span as it is.

So, it was time to switch to scheduled feedings.

Which does not suit Angel, at all.  She is what the vet called a grazer.  She likes to eat a few bites at a time throughout the day.

At this same vet visit, she had lost three pounds.  I realized Bogie must be eating Angel's food.  I'm not sure how this happens.  I swear that when I checked, many times Angel's bowl still held food.

Still, he must be the one finishing it off for him to gain weight and her to lose.

It's only been a week, so I am still working out the details.  How much food at a time?  How often should I feed?  How much to subtract for treats?

Bogie is fine with this.  Put a bowl in front of him and he eats it.

Angel is emphatically not fine with this.  Her typical behavior is to get up and go outside as soon as I set a bowl in front of her. Then I have to pick it up and put it away where Bogie can't get to it.

The other night she walked into the laundry room.  This was where her bowl used to be.  After a moment, she came back out and looked at me.  She walked as far away as she could without leaving the room and laid down.

And glared at me.  

Twice now, I've set Angel's food down and guarded it from Bogie.  After a few minutes of resistance, she comes and eats her cup of food.  When she walks away, Bogie checks to see if she left any pieces.

Maybe this will work after all.

I hope.

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