Rule 1: A dog should be fed by the same person at every feeding. This rule is not nearly as important where a couple of house pets are being fed by several members of the same family, as it is where large numbers of dogs are being fed by numerous different kennel personnel. It is particularly applicable where dogs are in strange environments such as boarding kennels, veterinary hospitals, or show arenas. Dogs that have become accustomed to one feeder may exhibit all sorts of erratic eating behavior if that person is changed.
Rule 2: Every dog should have its own food and water container. This precaution is not only sound behavioral psychology, it also is just plain good hygiene. It is especially wise to assign food bowls on an individual basis when your feeding containers are noticeably different from one another. Besides improved feeding technique, certain practical benefits are to be gained from following this rule. In racing stables, for example, where maintenance of body weight is so important, feeding instructions can be written on the bottom or the side of each dog's feeding container, right next to its name or number.
Rule 3: A dog should be fed in the same place every time it is fed. Whether it be the corner of the kitchen, beside the back-door steps, at the rear of a kennel run, or along the left-side wall of a cage, the site where the food container is placed should remain the same every day. In fact, everything that's done with the food container should be identical at each feeding. If you use a push cart or wagon to carry the tub of food to the dogs, always use the same cart and tub. If you pre-fill food bowls in the diet kitchen and carry them on the cart, don't decide one day to carry the tub of food on the cart and fill each bowl as you reach the dog. It may have become boring to you, but to your dog it has become the way of life. A change only serves to disrupt his way of life and to create cause for insecurity.
Rule 4: No dog should ever have its food changed without a good reason. Contrary to popular opinion, dogs do not need a change in food from time to time to keep them from growing tired of the same food all the time. Many dogs have lived normal, healthy lives by eating the same food throughout their entire lifetimes. In many instances where a dog owner thinks a dog has gotten sick and tired of a food, the dog has just gotten sick from the food. Not so sick, perhaps, that it really showed, but sick enough to stop eating. When a dog food is deficient, it is not uncommon for a dog eating that food to lose its appetite. Of course, nutritional deficiencies are not the only thing that will cause a dog to lose its appetite.
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