Feeding regimen for dogs

The wolf, the dog’s wild relative, obtains much of its food supply by hunting in a pack. Cooperative hunting behaviors allow the wolf to prey on large game that would otherwise be unavailable to a wolf hunting alone. As a result, most wolf sub-species tend to be intermittent eaters, gorging themselves immediately after a kill and then not eating again for an extended period of time. Competition between members of the pack at the site of a kill leads to the rapid consumption of food and the social facilitation of eating behaviors. Wolves and other wild canids also exhibit food hoarding behaviors; small prey or the remainder of a large kill are buried when food is plentiful and later dug up and eaten when food is not readily available.

Like their ancestors, domestic dogs tend to eat rapidly. This tendency can be a problem for dogs because it may predispose them to choke or swallow large amount of air. If social facilitation is the cause of the rapid eating, feeding the dog separately from other animals, thus removing the competitive aspect of meal-time, often normalizes the rate of eating. In other cases, changing the diet to a food that is less palatable or to one that is difficult to consume rapidly solves the problem. For example, some dogs readily gorge themselves on canned or semi-moist foods but return to eating at a normal rate when fed a dry diet. If a dog attempts to eat dry food too quickly, adding water to the diet immediately before feeding decreases the rate of eating and minimizes the chance of swallowing large amounts of air.

Social facilitation is observed in domestic dogs that are fed together as a group. The presence of another animal at mealtime can stimulate a poor eater to consume more food. For example, pet owners often comment that their dog was a poor eater until a second dog was introduced to the family. Studies have shown that puppies and dogs usually consume more food when fed as a group, as compared with when they are fed alone.

If food is available at all times, the effects of social facilitation eventually become minimal. On the other hand, if dogs are fed their meals as a group, dominance interactions may occur. As a result, dominant animals obtain most of the food, and the subordinate pets receive less than their required amount. Training adult dogs to eat only from their own bowls or feeding young puppies with several pans of food is a way to eliminate this problem. However, table scraps are not recommended.

We also recommend this natural balanced real-meat dog food and natural dietary supplement.

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