It is highly important that dogs be fed regularly, on a schedule, rather than have the food available for them on a self feeding basis. There are many good reasons for this. For one thing, this is the best thing for their digestion and can help you to be aware of the health of your pet. Dogs who go off their feed are recognized more quickly when the feeding is done on a regular schedule and not "on demand".
Also, feeding dogs on demand does not allow for a period of rest for their digestive systems. The digestive juices within a dogs stomach are stimulated by the sense of smell, thus if a dog is constantly exposed to the smell of his food, even though he may not be eating it and it is just there for him 24/7, his stomach does not have a chance to rest.
Training a non-aggressive approach when around food is also important and this can not be done successfully unless you are the one to offer the food to the dog and thus can control his eating. When a dog is eating, you will be present and can train him to allow people to approach his food bowl. It is a good idea to pick his food bowl up while he is eating, stir your hand around in it, then set it back down. Occasionally you can also add a small tidbit of something special. this will teach your dog not to bite the hand that feeds him (or anyone else's hand).
Dogs need to be able to eat in different places. Feeding them on a regular basis but moving their food bowl to different areas of the living quarters, outside, inside, in the garage, etc., will be helpful should you ever take your dog with you on a camping trip or trips of an overnight nature.
Training the dog to sit or stand or wait or even do tricks is much easier when you are the one to set his food in front of him. If you are working on a particular skill with your dog, you can ask him to perform it and then set his food down. Teaching the "down" and the "sit" become much easier when you use the feeding time as an incentive for practice. A dominant dog learns that he is still subordinate to you, his human leader, when you are the one offering the food and providing it only after he has worked to get it.
Lastly but still important, there should be times during the feeding of your dog on a daily basis that you do have other people feed your dog. What if you should become ill or not able to be present? One of the important benefits of your dog being fed on a regularly scheduled basis is that he will be used to eating at a particular time and is much more likely to eat when a stranger might have to feed him.
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