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Knife Swallower
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I was feeding Ranger a snack today and my brother commented, "I thought only puppies get fed three times a day?" Whoops. Somehow I've fallen into the habit of plopping food down in front of Ranger three times a day.

In my defense, 5 days of the week he gets fed at 6am. By the time I get home at 2-3pm, it's already been 8-9 hours since his breakfast! He's usually starving and sporadic instances of counter surfing have popped up for the first time in the 3 years I've had him. I figure it's because he's so hungry by the time the afternoon hits, he can't help himself. Dinner isn't served til 6 or 7.

So, he's been getting a snack around 2-3pm. Sardines, an egg, a handful of cookies, whatever. Just enough to tide him over til supper and to hopefully stop the counter-surfing. The other day I came home to find two STEAK knives on the couch! Ranger had grabbed them off the counter and licked them clean...yes, he was carrying steak knives around and then jumped up onto the couch with them. :doh::uhoh:

Is this crazy that I'm feeding him a third meal? I don't bother on the weekends or the days I sleep in since he doesn't eat breakfast until 9am or so. 9 to 6 seems more reasonable than 6-6! Especially since there's usually a cookie or two thrown in there. His weight is fine, too.

Anyone else do this on long days or does Ranger just have me exceptionally well-trained? :confused:
 

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I think if it comes down to a mid-day snack or counter surfing for steak knives, the midday snack is the way to go!
 

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No harm in a mid-day snack! I am sure Ranger loves you all the more for it!!
 

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As your dog isn't overweight, you don't have to worry that you are overfeeding him. I don't see that it could hurt him to have his food in 3 portions instead of 2.
 

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I think that when you are feeding raw, sometimes they can only eat so much volume. With dry, it tends to expand, so my dogs can go 12 hours between meals, but I can see how a raw fed dog could get hungry. I do have one friend who feeds raw and only feeds once a day and fasts them once a week (I don't remember the reason behind this) and they seem to do okay, according to her.
 

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And doesn't Ranger get tummy aches when he goes too long without food? I thought you had mentioned that previously.
 

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I agree with everyone else.. as long as he is lean, you aren't over feeding him, and you have a schedule that has him going such long stretches between breakfast and dinner, I see nothing wrong with it.

Are you well trained? Yes ;) But it's ok!
 

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Knife Swallower
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Discussion Starter #11
Bentley's Mom - yep, that's why he gets fed his supper late and a big cookie right before bed. Too long with an empty stomach and he vomits up bile. His stomach usually isn't empty during the day, though. He's also got everyone in the family trained to give him a cookie every time he comes in from the back yard! :doh: He's also been helping himself to the fermented crab apples on the ground in the back yard, as well. :yuck: But apparently a cookie here and a crab apple there isn't enough to stop counter-surfing or mooching. :( ;)

Thanks everyone! Ranger's weight is good, so I'll keep giving him his third meal. I tease him about needing 'second breakfast' just like the hobbits in LOTR. Lucky Ranger!
 

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We have always "free fed" out GR's once they reached adulthood. We fill the bowl with kibble (California Natural Organic Chicken) and leave it. When it is empty we refill it. Nugget is our latest one to be fed this way and he is a lean 65 lbs. He eats when he is hungry and passes up the food when he isn't.

In the past none of our goldens went hungry or ate too much. He doesn't seem to have any digestive issues either. Are we the only family that does this?
 

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Knife Swallower
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Discussion Starter #13
I was able to free feed our border collie. He'd munch on it throughout the day and never stressed about his food.

Ranger? He's not super food crazy but even he would eat until he vomited. And then probably eat his vomit.
 

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when my dog was a pup he was fed in the am, noonish
and the pm. he had a treat throughout the day plus he
was getting treats during training. if for some reason
we weren't home for his noon feeding my neighbor would feed
him. keep your counters free of all food and don't leave any
dirty dishes in the sink.
 

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Mine get breakfast at 5:00am and dinner not untill 4:30pm so I always give them a snack like you. They also get a small carrot before bed too.
 

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If Ranger has you trained then mine have me trained too. My GR and Boxer eat smaller meals 3x per day... and I even have a dog sitter come on the days I won't be home to feed them in time! Breakfast at 6, lunch at 12, dinner at 6. Rosie the GR could eat once a day and be happy, but Frankie the Boxer is positively starving if she doesn't eat smaller meals in more frequent intervals. She paces, paws, and stalks me 30 minutes to an hour before meals even with feeds 3x per day. I was just thinking I might try 2x per day feeds, but having a feeling the Boxer is going to have a meltdown if I do!
 

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I stopped the dog biscuit snacks and replaced it with a nice big carrot. Lola LOVES these and it is better for her to keep her weight in check these cold dark winter days where we are not getting as much exercise as in the summer.
 

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Yup, I don't see any harm in feeding however many times a day you want to, as long as he's eating the appropriate amount of food. Mine go 12 hours between meals, usually fed at about 9:30 am before work and about 9:30 or 10 pm before bed. They can't go in the kitchen when I'm not home, or I'm sure there would be some counter surfing involved also.
 
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