If you have just brought your first puppy home, you will probably need to research a lot for learning how to raise your new companion. The learning continues even for seasoned pet parents. Nutrition is perhaps the biggest concern during the early years because it influences the health and development of the animal. While you need to know the best foods for the pup, it is equally important to understand that there has to be a schedule and proper portion control. Free feeding might seem like the easy way out because it doesn’t require you to follow rules, but it isn’t a great idea. Let us explain why you should steer clear of free feeding your puppy.
Puppies are like babies when it comes to feeding, they wouldn’t know when they are full. Rather, they would keep eating unless you stop them. Much like humans, they end up gorging whatever they can find when they are bored. It can lead to obesity, which has several health complications in dogs. A proper diet schedule is a must to keep these complications at bay and ensure that your pet doesn’t carry any extra pounds.
No track of the pet’s food intake
Another reason why you shouldn’t allow free feeding for your puppy is that you wouldn’t have any idea about its food intake. It would be hard to decide whether the animal is having the right quantity to meet its daily nutritional needs. For people who are conscious about their pet’s health, things can become stressful and unorganized when you cannot monitor what, when, and how much it is eating.
Interferes with training
Although it may sound weird, free-feeding can interfere with the training of the pup right from the early years. Crate training is an essential aspect of the training of any breed, including Goldendoodle Puppies, Pomeranians, French Bulldogs, and more. If you are not able to control their feeding habits, you wouldn’t be able to manage the other aspects of their training as well. Ideally, your puppy should be excited for its meal time and it should want to go into the crate on schedule. This is possible only if you don’t let it free feed.
Feeding routines are always associated with good toilet habits and this applies to your pet as well. When you feed it on time and in the right portion size, there are fewer chances of the pup pooping around in the house. Rather, they will also have a proper toilet schedule and you will know well enough when to take it out. So a cleaner house comes as a bonus for adhering to a proper feeding plan for your pet.
Inability to keep track of the dog’s health
A free-fed puppy is more likely to get sick because you will not be able to monitor its health. Loss of appetite is a blatant red flag for any pet parent, but you wouldn’t be able to notice it unless you are feeding it on schedule. The puppy may even skip meals without your knowledge, so it is hard to keep an eye on its health. On the other hand, you can get timely treatment by taking it to the vet on the first sign of appetite loss.
Clearly, free-feeding is the last thing you should do with your pet. It means lesser responsibility initially but you may end up with a sick, overweight, or stubborn puppy eventually.