This was posted on one of my Border Collie sites.
Diet, Exercise, and Weight as Risk Factors in Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Arthrosis in Labrador Retrievers
Effects of limited food consumption on the incidence of hip dysplasia in growing dogs
Nutrition, weight gain and development of hip dysplasia. An experimental investigation in growing dogs with special reference to the effect of feeding intensity
Evaluation of the effect of limited food consumption on radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis in dogs
I hope these links work. Nope, they didn’t. Now I’ll have to do it the hard way.
- This topic was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by theBCnut.
These are great references! Lily is not free-fed but was when we got her, before she was spayed(or had her anal glands expressed, not sure which) she did not want to eat in the mornings, and was not accustomed to a schedule. We have since been able to transition her to scheduled feeding times, but the first thing we did was make sure she did not eat more that the amount she was supposed to each day. She often ate less than this. I am wondering: is it detrimental to free-feed if the amount the dog eats is controlled? I am not planning on doing it, just wondering.
I have know many dogs that were free fed and not overweight at all, but their owners still couldn’t answer questions from the vet about recent eating habits, which is important if there is a health issue. Other than that, I haven’t seen any problems. However, most dogs that are free fed really do over eat, especially if it’s a multi dog household. There are a few specific medical problems that require a dog to eat on a schedule, like diabetes, but not many.
Definitely true, about how it is hard to know how much a dog has eaten if they are free-fed. I know someone who has 2 cats, one who is slightly overweight(she is 3) and one who is slightly underweight(she is 18!), and even with scheduled feeding it is hard to keep the younger one from eating the older one’s food. I think that scheduled feeding is best in general, though there may be the occasional situation where it is not practical, such as working long hours. I think if the pet can self-regulate, which is rare, that it can occasionally be used.
I had 2 cats that were fed together. When the skinny one finally died of cancer, we cut the amount of food being put down in half. Within a week, the remaining cat had blown up like a balloon. Apparently the skinny cat had been eating a lot more than half the food, so when the other cat actually got her share, it turned out to be way too much.
Even for a single dog, I wouldn’t free feed for various reasons, not the least of which is the potential for rancidity.
Here’s one of the best articles I’ve ever read about the subject: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/15_12/features/Fats-Chance_20658-1.html
An excellent article!!
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