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Do you feed meals or use chew toys stuffed w/ kibble?
  • I was reading Dr. Dunbar's Before You Bring a Puppy Home and was wondering how many of you out there have tried putting kibble in chew toys v. feeding meals.

    We've been feeding 3 meals a day. We add a little boiled water to the kibble to soften it a bit and then add in a tablespoon of wetfood. We only leave the food down for 15 minutes for which we've been told it establishes that she must eat when the food is there and that she learns that we are the keepers of the food and should be respected. This week at the vet's suggestion, we've been adding a teaspoon of pumpkin puree to firm up Tempe's stools and we've also been trying some plain yogurt for the probiotics while we switch her slowly to her second type of kibble. And as I've always used natural good foods for my cats, the food we've picked for Tempe is also good (5 or 6 stars).

    The foraging way of feeding makes sense to me too. I've read this about cats too, to use puzzle toys to feed them and make them hunt for their kibble. It stimulates their minds and increases activity. We were starting to do that before we brought the puppy home, but now that the puppy tries to eat things off the floor, we went back to cat food free fed in bowls high up on their new cat tree.

    Has anyone out there done the foraging/chew toy method? Do you continue to feed the dog this way always or do you ever switch to meals? Is this method even really feasible with Shibas if I have to be giving Tempe wetfood and pumpkin, etc.? If you do use this method, do you have success with Kongs? We've also been told Shibas don't really like food puzzles or rubber toys so I'm wondering how successful this method is on Shibas.

    I'm all for finding ways to keep puppa's mind active and un-bored. So far she isn't really chewing inappropriately but I'm concerned for when she cuts her adult teeth in the next month or so and needs to chew more. She really likes cow hooves so I was thinking about putting some of my natural peanut butter as a way to make the hoof novel again when it gets boring.
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    When I first started feeding Mika premade raw, I still had her on one meal kibble (3 meals a day). When she had her kibble, it was always in a kong wobbler or the kong activity ball. She enjoyed it and knew how to work the activity ball right when I got her (at 8 weeks), however the wobbler took a while longer, since it is bigger and heavier to move and she wasn't used to it. Now she gets a regular kong with frozen yogurt and blueberries in it once a day. She no longer eats kibble and is on 100% premade raw.
  • Ooh frozen is a good plan. I like it. I might get some Kongs.

    My husband did point out that our set meal schedule also lets us know better when she'll need to potty. Which is a good point. Although she's only left alone for 3 hours max during the work week so I'm not sure it would matter if we didn't do a set schedule as we'd still be taking her out at regular intervals.
    Post edited by naiauhane at 2011-02-16 17:00:53
  • I always thought Shibas loved the food puzzles and balls! My dog likes the treat balls but would rather have his cousin the boxer roll the ball around til the treats fall out and then grab them and run. Shibas are sneaky like that! At least mine are! I also have the cat bowls up high so the dogs don't get the cat food and Ive even changed my cats to a feeding time although I don't pick the bowls up( my cats would have a total fit)
    Peanut butter in the kong is a good treat too that takes them a while to devour! I just started using Stella & Chewy's freeze dried treats which seems to be a huge hit although they are pretty fragile and may not work in a treat ball but would work good in the puzzles.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I feed Bella our boxer her kibble meals in her kong wobbler or treat ball that she rolls around to get the food she loves the treat puzzle keeps her busy and slows her eating a bit.

    Saya she gets wellness core ocean as training treats she is on prey modal raw, but she does fine with eating kibble as treats. She goes nuts over her kong I usually mix yogurt and peanut butter put some kibble in it then put the yogurt/peanut butter in it then freeze it keeps her busy if I need to do lots of house work or gotta go somewhere.

    Some people who feed raw puts ground meat in the kong and freeze it I might try that as a way to feed ground meat to Saya and make it more challenging.

    Saya loves the kong wobbler and treat ball to.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    Kai showed no interest in the regular Kongs. He licked at the peanut butter a bit but never got down to the kibble beneath it. Even when we stuffed a really tasty treat in the small hole in the Kong, he simply said "feck it!" and left it to get all nasty in his crate.

    When we bought a Kong Wobbler, I was kinda worried about its weight relative to Kai. But when we waited till we knew he was hungry and filled it, Kai had it it dumping food in short order. Even better, he generally only seems to knock out as much as he wants to eat. There may be kibble left in the Wobbler but I rarely ever found a piece out of it.


    We recently bought a "smart toy" for Kai. It's multi-level star shaped with compartments you place the treats / kibble in and he has to reveal the treat by spinning the levels. Apparently the manufacturer's definition of "smart" and Kai's differs. I put treats in 3 of the 15 compartments, closed it and went to the bathroom. When I came back the thing was open, empty and Kai was sitting there like "Seriously?!?"

    Right now we're mixing the Primal Raw with the Orijen at every meal so the Wobbler is sitting unused. Pretty sure it'd be yucky on the inside quick with raw in there. As for leaving food down for 15 minutes, his meals don't last 5 minutes after switching Kai to the raw / kibble mix.

    If you want to encourage the 'foraging' thing, another thing you can try is hiding small piles of food around in various places. Tempe would have to hunt out the food to get to it. Just don't forget where you hid it, especially if it's mixed with wet. Otherwise it'll remind you of its location in a few days :-p
  • emmyemmy
    Posts: 553
    My shiba will lick peanut butter or yogurt out of the kong, but it's not worth it to get kibble out. He will keep it around like it's in case he gets really really hungry later, but he won't play with it to get the food.

    I initially planned to feed him only for doing things....like basically measure out a bag of kibble a day and then feed it to him throughout the day in exchange for good behaviors. But in the end, he doesn't get that excited about his kibble...he eats about every third day, anyway. And he performs tricks beautifully for praise and petting (although better for treats), so I just feed him from a bowl. Easier that way.
  • Well I bought a puppy kong which supposedly is made of a rubber that's soothing for the teething puppy. Don't know if it's true, but it was cheaper than the regular ones =) I tried PB tonight and she was entertained for a time. I want to try the yogurt/blueberries thing.

    I bought the wobbler too, but thus far she just chews at the keyhole. She'll figure it out though. I bought some tripe treats to put in there and they definitely entice her.

    Now that we've decided to feed the freeze dried raw I think we'll stick with our timed meals, but I'll still leave her some treats in the chew toys too to occupy her time and give me a break. And once I figure out how we're gonna give her the raw bones without getting chicken parts all over the floor, she'll have another puppy appropriate activity ;~]
  • DjinnDjinn
    Posts: 161
    Hayate really enjoys feeding from toys (especially frozen foods in the kong) but everything we have seems a bit too easy. I don't think his mind is stimulated, but at least he's moving around with purpose and "earning" his food. The only thing I've bought him that he hasn't quite figured out is a bottle with a rope in. He has to hold the bottle still with his paws while pulling the rope with his mouth to pull the kibble out. He gets frustraited after a few minutes and just tries to break it! Maybe when he's a bit older.http://sopheliajapan.blogspot.com
  • lbuebellbuebel
    Posts: 98
    Hey guys! I'm getting my puppy tomorrow and I need some help. My breeder told me he isn't used to kibble dispensing toys, and I bought a Kong Wobble, an Omega Paw and an IQ Ball for him.

    Should I already start teaching him to use the food dispensing toys as a way of getting his meals? Or should I start with regular "bowl" meals?

    I was thinking about giving half the amount with the toy and half on a bowl, but I'd like your opinion on this first. Poor little guy will be probably overwhelmed on his first day :/
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Start slow. Use the bowl.

    I personally don't use the dispensing toys unless its necessary (If I need to do something and need my Shiba distracted for a bit).
  • lbuebellbuebel
    Posts: 98
    @bootz Alright, thanks!

    Also, when my boyfriend bought a Japanese Spitz, his breeder suggested Missing Link (Skin, Coat and Joints) and I bought it as well. Also, I got Vitamin E and Salmon Oil.

    My question is, when should I start giving him those? I know I'm not supposed to give him too much, but I was wondering when I should start supplementing.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Ibuebel please make sure to post your questions in the right thread! It will help new forum members :)

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7451#Item_105

    Try reading through that thread first. Then if it doesnt answer your question, bump that thread!
  • lbuebellbuebel
    Posts: 98
    @bootz sorry! :P Will check it out right now :)
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I sometimes give Bella's meals via kong wobbler and ball she seems like it and it helps her eat slower as she eats her kibble fast. it's nice way to keep pup entertained.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)

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