Feeding Your Personal Protection Dog Part II
When to Feed My Dog
Generally adult working dogs should be fed twice a day. It doesn’t really matter too much when you feed these two meals as long as you attempt to keep them consistent. This will keep your dog’s potty time consistent and again make things easier for both you and the dog.
There is one EXTREMELY IMPORTANT concept you must know about with large breed dogs with large chest cavities. That’s the problem of “Bloat”. This condition could threaten the life of your dog and requires immediate medical attention.
Bloat generally occurs if the dog drinks a very large amount of water after eating, or when the dog has a strenuous workout after eating. Monitor your dog’s water consumption after meals and don’t go out and play fetch with your dog right after eating.
To prevent this dangerous condition the bulk of the dog’s feeding should be done after the last hard workout of the day. I.e don’t take the total amount of food per day and divide it in two. Maybe do 1/3 in the morning and 2/3 in the afternoon. You can always use treats during the day to keep the dog’s energy up and prevent hunger pangs.
Some Possible Symptoms of Early Stages of Bloat: (Seek medical attention as soon as possible, within 30 minutes, but ASAP because this condition is life threatening)
- Trying to vomit unsuccessfully
- Enlarged abdomen
- Whining and Groaning when pressing the stomach
- Appearing lethargic and/or uncomfortable
- Walking with stiff legs
- Hangs head
- Hollow sound when thumping the abdomen
Some Possible Symptoms of Serious Late Stages of Bloat: (Shock, death and collapse is likely to occur without immediate medical attention)
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Pale Tongue and Gums
- Weak pulse
- Difficulty in Breathing
I don’t mean to scare you with that last section about Bloat. I actually had never heard of that and I’ve owned two big dogs for a total of about 20 years. It’s just something you need to know about. By taking good care of your dog, you’ll most likely never have to worry about it.
To sum it up. If you want a happy and healthy German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois personal protection dog, feed the dog consistently without too much variety at about the same times each day and be careful not to heavily exercise the dog right after eating and you should achieve your goal.