Should I Free Feed My Dog or Meal Feed My Dog? Dog Training – Northern Virginia

food aggression northern virginia



How to feed your dog is an age-old debate that we get asked about weekly at our dog training facility in Northern Virginia.

I will give you my personal opinion on this subject, and just to be fair, I will give you some of the pro’s and con’s of each.

My personal belief is that it is more beneficial and generally healthier for your dog to meal feed verse free feed.  There are many reasons that I feel this way, which I will list below:

Pro’s of Meal Feeding:
-Generally, if your dog is sick or something is wrong with them, they won’t eat. When free feeding, it generally takes much longer for the owner to notice.
-When you do the meal feeding with a puppy, it gets their digestive system on a schedule; therefore, you can predict when your puppy needs to go to the restroom which will greatly help expedite their housebreaking process.
-Food revolves around YOU, the owner. Which aids in establishing pack leadership.
-You control how much the dog eats, preventing your dog from bloating or becoming obese.

Con’s of Meal Feeding:
-You can forget to feed your dog a meal if you get busy
-You could be overfeeding or underfeeding; however, with monitoring their eating, you can know when to adjust.

Free Feeding Pro’s:
-The dogs do not feel pressure to eat, because they know food is always available

Free Freeding Con’s:
-Delays potty training
-Many dogs will eat out of boredom
-This can make them less motivated for treat training
-It is harder for the owner to notice if the dog is sick, because it’s harder to tell if they are eating or not
-Many dogs will overeat

Keep in mind, it is proven that a healthier way for humans to eat is by eating small portioned meals throughout the day; therefore, I would assume the same is true for dogs. There are many pro’s to meal feeding and very few pro’s to free feeding (in my opinion).

Generally, I have found dogs that free eat, are often times over weight (much like people who eat all throughout the day with no regulation).

About Off Leash K9 Training

My name is Nick White, I am the owner of Off-Leash K9 Training. I am a former US Marine Iraq War Veteran, and former US Secret Service, also, I currently have 12 locations in the United States. We specialize in basic obedience, advanced obedience, personal protection, and drug detection. About us: As you will see, our client list includes: NBA Star John Wall, UFC World Champion Jon "Bones" Jones, World Champion Boxer Roy Jones Jr, UFC Announcer Bruce Buffer, film star Ron Jeremy, 3x UFC Champion Rich "Ace" Franklin, WWF World Champion Iron Sheik, Kane Hodder ("Jason" from the Friday the 13th movies), the staff from the hit show "Operation Repo," and Elliot's dog from Elliot in the Morning on DC 101! See them in our highlight video here: We also had yahoo do a special on us, as well! As you will see on our website, we are getting a lot of publicity and it's continually growing! We've had American Legion, US Military Veterans, NoVa Dog Magazine, Military Times Magazine, Smart CEO Magazine, and The Virginia and Maryland Dog Magazine do stories on us (just to name a few). You can see all of these articles if you go to our "About Us" page of website and scroll to the bottom. We are also the official trainers for ABC's "The Pet Show with Dr. Katy Nelson." Recently, we were named one of the top trainers in the world by the Dogington Post! There are over 400 videos of dogs we have trained on YouTube so you can see the amazing results we get verse us just tell you about it, so we would highly encourage you to check out our Youtube Channel and was some of the stuff we do! Thank you for your interest in our amazing training. -Nick

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