Just imagine for a moment, you have three meals a day; each one of those meals is identical to the other as far as product, feeding time and location. Boring? Freaking right it's boring. I'd probably go crazy; although when I do like something I can eat it often, like arugula (I pretty much live on it.) Our dog's wild ancestors, the wolf; eat different things at different times in different places. Nothing like our dogs who eat in the same bowl in the same place at the same time day in and day out.
This morning I sat outside with Luke and Elsa; they had just had their bath and were both dripping wet. I looked at the clock and realized that it was a good time for them to eat. Being that it was warm out, Elsa had not zoomed like her normal crazy level zoom so they could eat in about 20 min. I contemplated breakfast, checked the cupboard to see a can of organic dog food sitting there. Hmmm, that would be nice and easy. So after 20 minutes passed I popped the lid off of the can, grabbed a fork and headed outside. We were having a backyard picnic; no bowls, just me, a can of food, a fork, Luke and Elsa.
Elsa was in right away, Luke took a few minutes to sniff and decide if this was something he would consider eating. He finally decided that yes, he could eat it; so we sat and cleaned out the can. Well, I scooped, Luke and Elsa ate. I like to have canned food on hand; that is, good quality canned dog food. I prefer to give them canned if they are going to eat dog food at all. So I often stock up for moments like this morning when eating straight out of the can was a welcome change.
I remember telling people this years ago and they replied "you can do that?" Dogs don't have to eat out of a bowl; it is convenient way to feed them but they can eat out of your hand, off the floor or straight out of a can. I do not like when dogs are so programmed to eat at a certain time of day that they will drive you crazy until you do so. Luke and Elsa eat when I say they eat; not when the clock says 8:00am or 5:00pm. Flexibility in feeding time, placement, container and substance is a good thing.
When my pack consisted of Jessie, Tilley and Luke; we often ate picnic style. I would throw all the food in a big bowl and plant myself in the backyard. Each ate from the fork; patiently waiting their turn. It is a very good lesson in patience and eating in close proximity to one another without getting all grouchy about it. We have recently added Penny to our "fishie" eating time and will hopefully add her to the feeding switch up regime as well, when she visits.
Go ahead, switch it up, you and your dog will benefit from variety.