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One Meal Per-Day Keeps The Veterinarian Away.

Once-a-day? Twice-a-day? Free-feed? Ask around and you’ll hear lots of different opinions on the optimal feeding schedule for your dog or cat. So what is the correct answer? Well first off, rest easy as there is no hard and fast correct answer. That being said, it’s our opinion that free-feeding is the worst way to go. The best comparison we can make is that free-feeding is like having a full buffet in your house, stocked with food 24 hours-a-day. When you think of it this way, it’s not hard to understand why pets that are free-fed tend to be sluggish, lethargic, and passionless about their food. After all, how excited would you be about that lasagna if you had a big bowl of it sitting in the corner all day long? In a dog or cat’s life food is the number-one motivation. Sure, they love rides in the car, going for walks, or getting a visit from the neighbor’s pet. But nothing beats food. A critter with no passion for food is an unhappy critter. A pet should have an unbridled passion for food. They need to look forward to their next meal with anticipation and excitement. This creates the foundation for a well-tempered, happy pet.

In addition to the negative effect on disposition, free feeding is not ideal for the digestive system. Dogs and cats in the wild have long breaks between meals -- far longer than humans who operate ideally on 3 meals per day. These breaks give their digestive system a chance to rest and prepare for the next meal. So, if this is all true, why do some pet foods suggest free-feeding? For the same reason that your shampoo bottle tells you to lather, rinse, and repeat . . . to sell more shampoo. The sad fact is that many pet food manufacturers are far more concerned with the almighty dollar than the health of your pets.

So now that we’ve eliminated free-feeding, should you go with once or twice per-day? (We don’t suggest three meals for the same reasons that free-feeding is not ideal.) Between once-a-day and twice-a-day, it’s really a matter of convenience and preference. If you need a definite answer, we would go with once-per day. This allows for a long period of rest for the digestive system and has been shown to optimize the health and attitude of the dog or cat. However, once-a-day feeding can be difficult. Many dogs and cats drive their owners crazy begging for food throughout the day when on a once-a-day diet. Usually this type of behavior can be trained out of the pet if you stick with it for a couple of weeks. But it does take a lot of patience in those cases. On the other hand, twice-a-day feeding does work for many people and they still have very good results -- along with a pet that’s not quite so obsessive about food throughout the day.

Whether you’re trying to achieve once-per-day or twice-per-day feeding, the best way to do it is to be as consistent as possible with your feeding times. Put a bowl of food down and pick it up after ten minutes (whether the food has been eaten or not). Pets will quickly conform to this new feeding window. The more you cave in to your pet’s demands, the longer it will take your pet to conform to a new feeding schedule. If you’re going to do snacks during the day, we recommend feeding them as rewards only, and to use healthy foods like raw carrots or apples. Also, the more you stick to a routine of specific times and events for reward snacks, the less your dog or cat will beg between meals.

If you’re doing twice-per-day feeding we suggest one meal in the morning and one in the evening. If you’re feeding once-per-day, either morning or night will work. Also, keep in mind that these rules do not apply to puppies and kittens, which do need 2-3 smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to once-a-day feeding.

Article provided by:
Sojourner Farms
Lucy The Wonder Dog Carries Sojourner Farms and other super premium holistic brands



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