Isn't it amazing how well animals can tell time without reading a watch? Mine wake up each morning right around the same time give or take five minutes. We have set times we take them outside during the day and they come and tell us when it's time. Though Fudge tries to move it up a few minutes each day, they're still quite accurate. The one they never miss is dinner time.
No matter where they are at 4:oo, they come looking for me to let me know it's time to eat. Here they've been playing outside when the hands on the clock start heading toward 4. They start wandering away from whatever they're doing and coming to see what I'm doing.
I feed everyone in the garage. Their bowls are stacked on a rack above the sink where they've been drying since breakfast. I put their bowls in the dishwasher each night. In the morning after they eat breakfast, I rinse out the bowls and stack them so they'll be ready for dinner.
My dogs eat kibble. They get lots of other things, too. They get fruits and veggies. Sometimes I cook for them making a special stew with turkey and rice and veggies. Sometimes they get leftovers with their kibble.
They don't get special toppings every day. That way they eat their kibble and don't wait for something better to come along. I pretty well know that some of them have preferences. For instance Tsar doesn't like fish very well. When the others get fish on their dinner, I find something else for him.
We keep some special items on hand. I always have some canned ID dog food on hand if someone has an upset tummy or isn't feeling well for some reason. ID is easy for them to digest and they all seem to like it. I also have some small cans of dog food that Morgan used to eat. Now we use them as special treats when I don't have the time or energy to fix them something else.
Morgan, who suffers with OCD, occasionally decides that she won't eat something. Recently she was eating diet dog food since she has a problem with her weight. She suddenly decided that she didn't want it anymore and nothing would make her eat it.
I found another dog food that she does like, but because it's not a diet formula she started gaining weight. After a discussion with Dr B, Morgan is now eating the dog food she likes, but only getting half as much. The other half of her meal consists of green beans. She likes them, they make her feel full without a lot of calories and they give her extra fiber, which she needs.
Today my pack is getting shrimp with their dinner. They're left over from a meal I ordered at a restaurant. I'll cut them up into little pieces and mix them into their bowls with their dog food. They won't last long as everyone except Tsar loves them. Tsar will get some pieces of chicken that I have leftover.
I'm very fortunate to have a refrigerator, sink and microwave in the garage so that I can prepare their meals right there where I serve them. I also have a little area where we keep the dog food. We have to keep a gate up so that some of them, such as Samba and Sky, don't help themselves.
Some time between 10 and 11 PM I'll bring them to the garage for yogurt. I keep a good supply of it in the refrigerator. This is an excellent training opportunity as this is something they like a lot.
I feed the dogs two at a time. This way I can be sure each one eats his or her own food and observe if someone doesn't like something. It puts less pressure on the dogs so they don't eat as fast and I also use the time for training. They each have to sit nicely before I put their bowl down. The first one to finish has to wait quietly for their partner and can't bother them while they're still eating. It gives me a chance to observe each of them and handle each separately.
Rob, on the other hand, likes to feed them all together in one big free for all. He puts down all ten bowls then turns them all loose. Of course he has no control over who eats what and they all try to eat very fast and go after the next guy's dinner. Although I have explained why I do it my way, he doesn't have the patience to feed them separately. It's one of those gender things.
Is it ready yet?