During the dinner hour, most American households are bustling with dinnertime to-dos and conversations about the day. Meals are making their way to the table and families are gathering.
And wherever the dog bowls are, their furry family members are chowing down too. Similar to kids arguing over who gets the biggest roll, families with multiple dogs have their own mealtime struggles.
From eating too much or too little, to guarding and dinnertime fights, feeding multiple dogs can be a challenge. With a little preparation and strategy, you can help keep the peace at the dinner bowls.
Sharing or Stealing Food
First, it’s important that dogs each have their own food bowl. It’s okay to have a community water bowl, but each dog should get their own helping in a separate bowl.
Ideally, each dog gets their meal at the same time and finishes at the same time. But that’s rarely reality. Some dogs devour their food while others graze.
If one dog is eating their food too fast, and then moving on to purge their sibling’s recipes, consider using a feeding puzzle to slow them down. If that doesn’t do the trick, remove the other dogs from the room and watch your food-stealing dog eat from their own bowl.
If they try to eat from a bowl other than their own, put yourself between them and the bowl and calmly make it clear it’s not theirs. A few days of this should send the message.
While it happens in other scenarios, resource guarding can happen while your dogs eat. It’s a learned behavior; when their response gets the desired reaction from their siblings, they know they can repeat it with the same result.
But with persistence, the behavior can also be unlearned. First, feed them in separate rooms temporarily to prevent fights. The ultimate goal is to convince the dog that they have plenty, and thus, don’t need to guard their bowl.
Another way to address resource guarding is to remove your dog’s food in the middle of their meal. This is a good practice for puppies as well, to help prevent resource guarding problems from developing in the first place.
Address dinnertime issues as they arise in order to prevent them from getting worse. By doing so, you can make sure that your dogs not only get along, but also get the right nutrition, without having to watch every bite. When it comes to nutrition, recipes like Loyall Life All Stages Chicken & Brown Rice are ideal for families with dogs of different ages and sizes. It’s formulated to meet the nutrition needs of both puppies and adult dogs, which can make feeding time easier.
And free up your time to deal with who gets the biggest roll.