My Labrador is malfunctioning

(57 Posts)
HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Fri 01-Mar-13 14:08:00

She leaves food in her bowl shock

Dh feeds her in the morning and it takes her till around 3pm to finish it. She is not sick, her mouth is Finland she is motivated by the same kibble when training so its not a case of disliking the food.

Is this normal? Are their Labs out there that don't demolish a bowl of kibble in 3.8 seconds and then are immediately hungry again?

I'm certain this breaks the trade description act.

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Sun 03-Mar-13 22:34:23

Daisy. I was removing the bowl. But mentioned it to the vet when paying for her spay, and he said to leave as as she wasn't being over fed. smile

I'm quite happy to start removing it again though.

She always eats in the evening but the vet said 10 months is too young for one meal a day. She doesn't have much in the morning as her kibble is used for training etc.

I leave the bowl down all the time. What's the reason for removing it after 15 minutes?

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Mar-13 08:53:15

Our collie x lab used to eat as he was hungry rather than inhale. I assume his digestive system was the collie part

mistlethrush Mon 04-Mar-13 11:28:26

I don't understand why its necessary to pick the bowl up and force them to eat within a specified 15min period either.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 11:37:52

My sister had a Lab and he only ate when he was hungry.

He was a big lad and a lovely shape but just completely self-regulated. She would put kibble in his bowl and just leave him to it, it got re-filled when it was empty. He was a lovely healthy weight all his life.

I have a lab/lurched/whippet type cross breed. She does not self regulate. She also doesn't appear to waste time chewing her food. However, she also eats as many non-food items as she can find so probably not a great example!

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 11:38:33

What's the reasoning behind taking away food they haven't eaten?

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Mon 04-Mar-13 14:13:50

Randell to prevent over eating.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 15:14:04

Ah, I've never heard of that. I thought as long as you gave them the right portion for their size it was ok to let them eat it in their own time.

Wouldn't taking their food away cause them to start eating it all regardless of hunger simply because they though it would be taken away?

I don't know anything about it so genuinely interested.

Although admittedly it's unlikely to ever be an issue given my waste disposal unit of a mutt!

mistlethrush Mon 04-Mar-13 15:22:57

But if they've not eaten a modest portion size, why would taking half of it away stop them over eating?

I assumed it was more applicable to dogs who are human dustbins rather than those who naturally regulate their appetite? So, dogs who would eat everything even if full.

The breeder who we got our puppy from said there were two in the litter who were human dustbins, the others left food if full. My brothers puppy is astonishing, he doesn't bother chewing!

Lou - our friend rescue is a real little character who all love who meet him. The noise he makes when playing is something to behold!!!

There are a number of reasons for removing dogs food; it helps prevent dogs becoming fussy/picky by ensuring they remain interested in food. It is more sanitary - even kibble will encourage vermin and flies. It prevents over eating if a dog is that way inclined. It also makes it easier to spot a dog who is going off their food - free feeding makes that hard.

I can't think of a single reason for free feeding - other than convenience for the owner. Dogs like eating. It gives them something to look forward to; free feeding sort of numbs the brain a bit.

OP - I always split my labs food allowance over 2 meals a day, and yours is def too young for just one!

mistlethrush Mon 04-Mar-13 16:38:54

Daisy - I'll give you one - the dog we had when I was little ate in the middle of the night. That was her preferred time to eat. She once went into kennels and they took her food away - she came back skin and bone because she hadn't eaten for 2 weeks (never took her there again).

Mistlehound sometimes doesn't want to eat breakfast first thing. Some days she will - but others, like today, she didn't even glance at it and went back to sleep for a while - she will have eaten it by 3pm and will eat her supper over a period of 3 hrs or so. She likes eating - but she clearly wants to do it when she wants to and not in one go - whereas when she first arrived here she wolfed it down in 40 secs flat. It seems much more 'natural' for them to eat smaller quantities on and off during the day rather than wolf down two decent sized meals.

My last dog was a free feeder (ie we didn't monitor the amount of food we put in her bowl) for much of her life and we never had any flies or vermin issues.

I'm not even sure why it is more 'convenient' for her to eat it over a period of time. It makes no difference to me whether she picks at it or wolfs it all down as I'm putting the same amount of food in her bowl. Similarly I can see when she's not eaten it because its still there - I'm not sure how picking the bowl up changes anything apart from forcing them to have a larger meal than they want in one go?

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 16:47:27

I agree mistle I think it completely depends on the dog. I don't think one rule suits all.

I've never heard of free feeding. If thats just filling a bowl willy nilly then I don't think that's what anyone was talking about. My sister's dog was fed in exactly the same way as mine is. They have their set portion put in their bowl twice a day.

Mine swallows it in three gulps my sisters went back and forth to it when he felt like it.

I don't think either of those things are wrong and certainly wouldn't call it over-feeding. Just different dogs.

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Mar-13 16:51:25

Or in our dogs case we needed her to eat as much as possible as she was underweight having been ill ( and had an op)
Even then she only eats what she fancies
I wouldn't like to be told to clear my plate or that's it. Sometimes I'll eat a bit more of it later

TheChimpParadox Mon 04-Mar-13 18:30:26

My lab malfunctioned like this - I was feeding her twice a day , she started being leaving food etc . To try and overcome this I tried feeding her once a day - laste for a couple of weeks , I really wasn't comfortable with it so put her back on two feeds and she seemed to function OK again !

Then about 18 months later she started leaving some of her kibble again - shed'd eat everything else so I put it down to the food , also she was increasingly being sick in the night - but no runny poos or other indications of upset tummy . I decided to change her kibble and haven't looked back and no more sick in night .

Perhaps her food doesn't agree with her ? Like yours she'd eat it as a treat but faced with a bowl full she'd not fancy it .

But the thing is, we're not dogs. Dogs just don't have human style emotion or thought processes.

And as ever, there is more than one way to bring up a dog just as there is more than one way to bring up a child. My way is not the only way, but it is the one most commonly used within the dog world I know.

I need to know when my dogs have eaten and how much when we go competing, working or training for the day. They cannot compete or work when empty, nor can they work all day with too much food. I can plan their meals around our days activity precisely because I can plan when they eat. If they piss about eating a bit of kibble whenever they fancy it, it just wouldn't work well for any of us.

The OP was asking, as I understood it, for advice about a Labrador who was becoming fussy or picky. My advice is feed twice a day and pick up after 15 minutes. I don't like free feeding, especially if there's more than one dog in a household.

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Mon 04-Mar-13 20:27:45

She's on Burns Alert, and loves it. She has always finished her food on one go. She's now 10 months and is simply not interested in her morning feed. But eats fine in the evening.

However

If you don't give her breakfast in the morning she whines for it till you do hmm so I assume she's hungry and feed her.

Jas goes through phases of this. He's also on Burns Alert. I have been known to break a raw egg on top of his ration to encourage scoffage.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 20:36:48

I don't think its anything you're doing or not doing, I just think she's getting older so the puppy-like wolfing down has waned and she's more able to regulate iyswim.

It could well just be a faze and stop as quickly as it started, or she may just be a dog that doesn't eat much in morning.

Either way, if she's healthy in every other way I wouldn't worry about it.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 20:38:35

Raw egg's a good idea.

Was so proud when out with MaggieLab yesterday, he walked past someones discarded kebab without so much a sniff. How smug was I?
Then today we were out and he found someones smelly greasy chicken bone, was soo pleaed with himself and only parted with it, in exchange for a piece of dried liver. I had to touch the bloody thing, much grossness!

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Mon 04-Mar-13 22:22:36

I'm not worried smile

Just rather perturbed, have always had greedy guts labs before. She loves a whole raw egg, breaking on her food would ruin the ooooh ooooh ooooh! I've got an EGG! dance. That precedes the mad hunt for the perfect place in the kitchen to eat said egg grin

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Tue 05-Mar-13 14:48:14

Actually, my dog is free fed. Not through design, just because thats how he likes it. Being part spaniel he has smallish bucket type bowls. A full bucket will last him about a week. He picks as and when he wants. My friend has his dad. Dad is strictly fed a small scoop of food twice a day. Put anything on the floor near him and its gone. When dad comes to stay, he inhales the entire bucket and then sticks his head in the sack for more. Obviously my dog is more than likely an anomaly, but Id much rather he picks than wolfs down anything and everything. He is a lovely healthy weight.

gymmummy64 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:55:08

Hot - run me through the 'whole raw egg' thing?

Do I take it you give the whole egg, with shell intact? My lot-of-lab-mongrel will eat anything (except bizarrely, chicken wings) but I've never tried him on an egg. I love the sound of the egg dance!

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Tue 05-Mar-13 14:59:25

My old girl went off of her food at one point. Sardines in tomato sauce got her eating again. And her poo was an interesting shade of pink too!

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