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Feeding Frenzy

 Pretend, if you must that you have either two cats or two dogs. which shall henceforth be known as Pet A and Pet B. You get Pet A as a 12 week old and have it for 6 months before you decide to get another because you think Pet A will benefit from having a companion. Pet B is about 10 years old and overweight. You decide to regulate how much the pets get because of the weight of Pet B. Pet A is obnoxious and kind of a bully so they have separate food bowls and get fed in two different corners of the room. Even though they get the same amount of food Pet A thinks Pet B's bowl is bigger so he claims it for himself. Pet B has no problem with this so you give him Pet A's bowl. The problem is that they keep switching bowls, eating out of whichever bowl is closer, shoving the other out of the way so they can have the bowl they want, or leaving the food unattended so the other pet eats it so they take the other pet's food.

How much effort do you go to to make sure they eat their food and only their food? If you do what method's do you go to to make sure they eat out of their bowl only? 

Based on my dogs and the fact that I give up trying to make them eat what's theirs.

Comments

( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
sblmnldrknss
Aug. 13th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
We fed our dogs in different places. One was a puppy, one was an adult with an ever so slight weight problem. So either they were in their crates, or one was, or one was outside while one was inside....
bellasmommy
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
Feed them separately in crates.
wolfden
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
When we had dogs where this was an issue we fed them separately in crates or in separate rooms. Or let one out fed one, let the one that just ate out and fed the other one.

Now my dogs eat the same food an willingly eat from their own bowl in different spots in the same room.

(Deleted comment)
renishas
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
That's why I gave up. They eat the same food and the same amount and the puppy is no longer a bully so I decided I no longer care.
nevadamoon
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
I had this issue with my older cat wanting the kitten food, so I switched to an "all ages" food.

Tbh, as long as they're healthy and not fighting, I have bigger battles to fight. (Such as, who murdered the shower curtain last night?)
riseabove
Aug. 13th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
that's a big question in my house, too! We often have to rescue the poor shower curtain by flipping it up and over the rod. They haven't clued in yet that they can in fact jump high enough to grab hold of it and yank it back down... shhhh!
nevadamoon
Aug. 14th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
Mine were so good! And I'm crazy obsessive with trimming their nails, so imagine my surprise this morning when I go to shower and see a hole wide enough for a cat to jump through.

Oh well, we've recently moved and it was a cheapo curtain anyway. If it becomes a habit, I'll get annoyed. :P
renishas
Aug. 13th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
My big question this week was who chewed up my manual breast pump. I suspect it was the puppy.
nevadamoon
Aug. 14th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
I will hope the other suspect is not your (human) baby.
riseabove
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I'd feed on a schedule, and feed in different rooms. After 25 minutes, food gets taken up and no more til the next meal.

With cats it can be a little trickier, but since you based this on your own situation with dogs, I'll go with that.
amazonvera
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
I do exactly that with cats. What about it do you feel is trickier?
riseabove
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
Well, with my particular cats...

I have a 4 year old Maine Coon (estimated age, as he is still growing so he is somewhere under 5 but his teeth show he's "adult") who was rescued from an abandonment situation and was 9.7lbs when I got him. For a cat who is 41 inches long, that is well underweight. All spinal bones, ribs, and clavical bones were visible through his coat, which was greasy and sickly, when I first rescued him. It's been just over a year and I've struggled to get weight on to him. He hates canned food, hates raw food, hates cooked homecooked food, will only eat so much salmon, and is VERY picky about his dry food (which I hate giving cats because it's not good for them). He is now 14lbs, but needs to put on a bit more weight, which I try to help him with. I can't schedule feedings because he simply WON'T eat. I have tried.

Enter the kitten. He is just this month one year old. He is overweight, because I have to free feed because of the other cat. He weighs 11 pounds, has gained FOUR of those in the last 6 months, much to m dismay.

I can't put him on a diet, because of the other cat. The most I can do is restrict what goes into their bowls twice daily, hope he doesn't push the other guy out of the way (which he does, and Hank just takes it! UGH! Such a big cat, such a BIG push over!)... so I fill a food-ball with food, so if the little one wants more, he HAS to work for it.

It can get a little tricky, you see...
amazonvera
Aug. 13th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
That sounds very tricky, but because you have animals with health/weight problems, not because you have cats if that makes sense.
riseabove
Aug. 13th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Hence why I said with cats it "can" be tricky.
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riseabove
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
Also, restricting feed times with cats that are picky like my Main Coon can (and I have seen this happen too many times - I've spent my adult life working professionally with animals, mostly in animal welfare), they simply can/will stop eating. After 24 hours not eating a cat can enter renal failure. Where my cat is already underweight, and has an unknown medical history, I do NOT wish to take that gamble.
amazonvera
Aug. 13th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Again, it sounds like you have a special case on our hands, but cats in general have a very highly developed sense of self-preservation and will not starve themselves when there is available food. As for the 24 hours thing, eating every 24 hours is actually unnaturally frequent for cats. In the wild, their feeding cycle is typically 28 hours, if not more if they've had a large kill.
riseabove
Aug. 13th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
I didn't say "in general". Again, I said that with cats it can be trickier...

Domestic cats are not in the wild, hence their domestic status. I've worked in animal sciences and welfare long enough to know that I'm not wrong about this, and I also didn't state that every cat who doesn't eat for 24 hours WILL go into renal failure. I said simply that it can happen very easily, and that specific to my situation I wouldn't do that to my cat who has unknown medical history to me............
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riseabove
Aug. 13th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
and for the record, I have seen MANY cases, in several states in USA as well as in Canada first hand of domestic cats who, with AMPLE food supplies available to them, will NOT eat, after 24 hours, and having gone into renal failure will continue to refuse to eat, no matter what is placed in front of them. I have scars from force feeding cats like this in both clinic, in-home nursing, and shelter experience. Those were not isolated incidents, it happens more often than you know, sadly. No, not to every cat that doesn't eat every 24 hours. I simply stated that after 24 hours without food, cats CAN/WILL (can because, well, they can, and will because some of tem will!) go into renal failure.
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lareinadeluz
Aug. 13th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
Ok, I think you may be getting your diseases a little mixed up here - just *not eating* for 24 hours cannot cause a cat to go into renal failure. Cats that are going into renal failure may feel bad, and then not want to eat, which prompts a visit to the vet which reveals renal failure. But it does not cause it.

You may be thinking of hepatic lipidosis, which although I find it *quite highly unlikely* that a single 24hr stint of not eating might cause...it certainly can be caused with a few days to weeks of not anorexia.
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amazonvera
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
I'd separate them while they ate. They may not be happy about it at first, but they'll get used to it.
lareinadeluz
Aug. 13th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
You should separate them. All this food bowl switching sounds dangerous to me, honestly - even if the dogs get along great at all other times, dogs that are having issues over keeping to their own food dish sounds like a recipe for a fight (food aggression) which can lead to a serious injury for one or both of the dogs.

Personal anecdata time...

I have four cats - three are overweight and one is a skinny minnie. I have had to resort to meal feeding the three chubbers with a weight loss diet and keeping a different type of food in a location that is inaccessible to the other three (currently a very high bookshelf that only skinny minnie is able to reach). When I haven't had a place that I can keep the other cats out of I have had to lock the skinny one in a room with the yummy food that only she can have as many times a day as possible so she gets a chance to eat. The other cats get their three-four small meals a day although when I am out of the house all day again they will get two slightly larger meals a day. It makes them sad pandas but they have to deal. Free feeding just doesn't work for them.
harro_der
Aug. 13th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
I would put them both in a crate to eat. Alternatively, one outside one in.
moustachios
Aug. 13th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
I try to feed them separately, and if that doesn't work it doesn't work after a few tries. Oh well.

If there were serious medical reasons one pet could only eat certain foods or at certain times, I'd put a lot more effort in, but if it's just a little extra weight I'd lean more towards the path of least resistance, and get the tubby one to exercise more.
ms_hecubus
Aug. 13th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
I had to seperate my dogs for feedings when I had two. The mixed breed was prone to obesity and would wolf down her food then try to eat the greyhound's. I put his bowl on a dining room chair. It made it the right height for him, but the smaller dog couldn't get to it comfortably. Lucky for me the greyhound would chase her off if she came sniffing around, but if he hadn't I would have put the uneaten food away. The slow dogs learns to eat quickly if the food isn't available all the time.
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