How Do You Feed Multiple Dogs?

by | Nov 13, 2023

When we choose to home two or more dogs at the same time, the dynamics change don’t they?  We have more challenges to work through so that we maintain a peaceful home. How do you feed multiple dogs, at once?

It is quite funny when a litter of puppies are given their first meal in separate bowls.  I have a friend who offers a litter of puppies their first taste of solid food in a set of small food bowls.  The set of six bowls are attached together.  They slop around in each of the bowls happily trying this new food, two puppies may even eat out of the same bowl, leaving another bowl empty.  After eating one or more of the puppies may even fall asleep on the bowls, they look so cute.

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Of course, this works well when there are six puppies to feed.  However, if there are seven puppies it is quite easy to add another separate bowl beside the six attached bowls.  I love seeing new puppies learning to eat solid food, they either slop around in the bowls and happily try out this new idea of feeding or they can be a little hesitant at first.

Some breeders offer one large feeding bowl and it’s one in all in, to see how well each one takes to their new food.  As they get the idea of eating this way they soon learn that having a bowl to eat from is another enjoyment in life. 

If you have bred litters of puppies, how do you feed multiple dogs?

A very attentive mother will keep feeding her youngsters her puppy milk whereas other mothers, once the puppies eagerly eat this new food source, will lose interest in feeding their young, especially when the puppies teeth appear.

Some mothers need to be encouraged to keep feeding their babies their own mother’s milk during this teeth growth stage and will come back to continue feeding their young, whilst other mothers hang in for a few days and then show that their mothering instincts have waned considerably.

One of my Australian Kelpies, once her babies were introduced to solid food, baled out soon afterward and played outside with the other dogs, however, she was still encouraged to remain sleeping with her babies.  Another of my Australian Kelpies remained feeding and playing with her puppies until they were ready at eight weeks to go and live with their new owners.  Mind you, this devoted mum still needed to be encouraged to work through the teeth-growing stage though.

At my home, at this period of time, my adult dogs, three Australian Kelpies eat most of their meals nearby one another.  When eating food that I know they would not to be able to eat nearby each other, I either tether them at a distance from each other outside in our yard, or I put them in separate crates to eat their goodies in peace.  They do not then need to worry that one of the other dogs may come and want their food.  This method  keeps my dogs safe.

If they are being fed food that I know they will keep respectfully to themselves, I ask each of them to ‘do a  job’.   Their job is to sit whilst I put the food bowl down at my feet, I ask them to ‘watch’ (i.e. to look straight into my eyes), I count internally to 10, 15 or twenty and once they have kept looking into my eyes I then say the release work of ‘okay” and they can move forward to eat from their bowl.

Each dog must wait for their turn.  Credit is due where credit is due because the last one fed has to remain waiting patiently until their turn comes about.

I quite often rub their back whilst they are eating and tell them how good they are for being patient.  Do you think these manners come overnight?  No, they do not.  I need to consistently train them until they can happily comply with this behaviour.

This is my story, and my question… how do you feed multiple dogs?… provides you with one of my practices of how I help my dogs remain calm at meal times.

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Until next time…

With Love, Success and Inspiration,

Robin Oliver

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With Love, Success and Inspiration,

Robin Oliver

Robin Oliver Pet Dog Training
Professional Dog Trainer

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