2 December, 21
Feeding your dog is an activity many of you will be familiar with. It is a daily ritual, but can give a number of benefits beyond simply providing nutrition. This blog will offer a brief overview of some of the benefits that can be gained from feeding your dog, as well as how you can access them:
1. Feeding allows owners to build stronger bonds with their dogs. The need for food is primal, and as dogs learn associatively, a connection is often formed with the person who they view as their main source of food. This is particularly useful as the main feeder becomes a positive association for the dog in and of their own right.
2. Feeding can be a good time to observe your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. Appetite is a general indicator of health, so if your dog is struggling to eat or appears apathetic around food then there is good chance that it is unwell. In such instances, a visit to your vet is highly recommended.
3. Feeding is a regular opportunity to train your dog. For training to be successful, a dogs need to build an association between performing desired behaviors and specific commands. Ideally, this will be through some kind of positive incentive. Because of how high-value food is to a dog, they will usually work for it. To this end, as your dog will most likely be keen to eat, it is often worth integrating small training sessions into regular feeds. This can be as simple as requiring your dog to sit or enter a short down stay before being allowed to eat, but consistency always pays off.