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 Post subject: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:39 am 
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used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16
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So as many of you know from the My Dogs Won't Stop Fighting thread that I ended up taking in one of the family dogs. It's only been two days but its been awesome. He and Gizmo both sleep together on his dog bed when they aren't taking up my entire bed sleeping with me, they walk great and are just perfect together! I can hear Daine cry a little when I walk out of my apartment but I know it's because he is still adjusting to his new home. He hasn't torn anything up, no accidents, no fights and no new injuries.

I want to start getting them on the same feeding schedule. Gizmo has always been a free feeder. I fill her bowl in the morning and she eats about half of it and then takes a few bites here and there as she pleases throughout the day. She knows her limits. Daine has always been a 1-2 meal a day, eat it all in one sitting kind of dog no matter how much food it is, he will eat and eat until there is nothing left. I want to try and get Gizmo on the same routine because if she doesn't eat all her food right away, he will eat it for her. I don't want my little baby to starve and I don't want my big baby to get fat or upset his pancreatitis. I don't want to separate them when I'm not home just so he doesn't eat her food, especially while he is adjusting to his new home, he needs her company.

Anybody experience having two dogs that started out on different feeding schedules?? Everything I google seems to be about getting dogs to not fight during feeding or how much/often to feed them. I obviously don't expect them to get on the same schedule immediately, but gradually would be good.

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 Post subject: Re: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:47 am 
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I often will dog sit my brother's lab/golden mix while he and my SIL are out of town. Like Gizmo, my Cammie is a free feeder. She just eats a few bites here and there. Shelby (brother's dog) is similar to Daine. She eats it all as quickly as possible. So, when Shelby stays with us I feed them in the morning and at dinner time. To get Cammie to eat her food at once it's worked for me to put her food on her clean mat and not in her usual bowl, also I might give her half of what she needs to eat and then give her the rest once she's had it.

I think that when there's another dog it's easier for the ones who are ususally/have been free feeders to get used to eating it all at once. Cammie never really seems to mind, because I think that when she has free access she eats probably only 2x a day anyway.

So glad that things are working out for you guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:54 am 
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Can you separate them just when they eat? Then you can put out food for a set amount of time morning and evening. For the first couple days Gizmo might not eat as much because she won't be expecting you to take it away, but don't worry, she'll catch on pretty quickly.

I just had to start doing this with my cats over the past week because one of them has to eat special food now. I can't imagine it would be any different for dogs, but you could check with your vet if you're worried. At least when they're both eating their food at the same rate you won't have to separate them anymore - I don't have that luxury :(

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 Post subject: Re: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:55 am 
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b.vicious wrote:
Can you separate them just when they eat? Then you can put out food for a set amount of time morning and evening. For the first couple days Gizmo might not eat as much because she won't be expecting you to take it away, but don't worry, she'll catch on pretty quickly.

That's what we did with my dogs until the little one caught on and we could feed them in the same room, at the same time.

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 Post subject: Re: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:58 am 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
b.vicious wrote:
Can you separate them just when they eat? Then you can put out food for a set amount of time morning and evening. For the first couple days Gizmo might not eat as much because she won't be expecting you to take it away, but don't worry, she'll catch on pretty quickly.

That's what we did with my dogs until the little one caught on and we could feed them in the same room, at the same time.

This is what we did when we got Nacho- my whippet had been a free feeder (and a poor one at that) and i was really concerned that she would starve or they would fight, but it works well. They can now eat next to each other (with supervision it stays civil) and the whippet usually eats. It didn't take as long as I had been expecting, she figured it out pretty quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:36 am 
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Thanks everyone. I will try separating them. It's kind of hard because There are literally no doors in my apartment except on the bathroom. I can't lock either one in there to eat because Daine is too big for the tiny bathroom and Gizmo associates the bathroom with bath time and that is never a fun thing for her, I don't want to traumatize her more than I already have in there. I do have a huge piece of shelving that I've been planning on throwing out, I used it this morning to block Daine into the living room after he finished his food but Gizmo was still eating.

I did pick her food up after that, she had already eaten about 1/3, neither one has access to it while I am gone today. Hopefully when I get home she will be hungry enough to eat more than usual in one sitting for dinner.

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 Post subject: Re: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:59 am 
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My experience has been that if a dog is generally a grazer and you bring another dog into the house, they'll eventually realize that they need to eat all of their food immediately or it may not be there later.


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 Post subject: Re: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:17 am 
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Chester will swallow anything if it holds still long enough, and Fawkes eats like a bird. I feed them twice a day, and Fawkes eats on the bed because he is spoiled and it keeps Chester out of his food (also he is a neat eater, so there's not dog food all over my bed), Fawkes won't defend his food at all so he will let Chester eat it all even if he does want it. I usually leave Fawkes' food on the bed until he eats it all or I need to like, sleep. Sometimes he will come back around and snack during the day, sometimes he won't.

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 Post subject: Re: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:22 am 
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Gizmo is tiny... is there a way to put her food somewhere that Daine physically can't get to it? I'm thinking a mini doggie door on a cupboard and then she can eat in there? You could replace the door easily and still have the original one to put back on when you move out.

We used to free feed our cats in a closet with the door rigged so that it only opened enough for the cats to fit in. This was to keep the dogs out of the cat food. I realize in an apartment, finding even somewhere to do such a thing is difficult or impossible.

Or Gizmo will learn. My first cat had to change from free-feeding to meals when I got the 2nd cat. It took him about 2 weeks to figure it out and he lost a bit of weight, but then gained it back.


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 Post subject: Re: Syncing feeding times with two dogs
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:40 am 
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Things are getting much better! Gizmo is starting to realize if she doesn't finish her food and walks away, I either take it away or let Daine eat the rest. yesterday at breakfast and dinner she ate most of her food and walked away, when she saw Daine eyeballing it, she ran back over and finished it up!

Now if I could get them to walk without tangling themselves and me up, life would be perfect.

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