Sharing Food and Water Bowls

By John Carter

Life in a house with more than one dog is a lot easier if each pet has his or her own food and water bowls. Even though the dogs may get along when it comes to play and exercise, sharing food and water bowls is asking for trouble. Why take the unnecessary risk?

It is best to physically separate dogs during feeding times. Failing to do so could cause a bloody fight, and if you’ve ever been in the middle of a dogfight, you know it is something you would rather not repeat.

Try putting the dogs’ food dishes in different rooms at feeding time. It is best if you can close a door to keep the dogs from trying to get to each other’s dishes.

If you cannot put the dogs in separate areas during feeding time, plan on monitoring the eating session so that one dog cannot intimidate the other into giving up its food. Place yourself between the two food bowls and do not allow the dogs to cross the invisible line that you set.

It is especially important to establish separate feeding habits if you have an older dog that has lived with you for a while and you choose to introduce a new puppy into the household. The dog that was there first is quite likely to show his or her dominance at the feeding site. This can cause the puppy to become insecure and that can lead to a host of behavioral problems.

Puppies need to eat more frequently than adult dogs. In order to curtail jealousy in the older dog, you may want to offer him or her a snack every time you feed the puppy. Be sure to choose nutritional snacks that will not promote obesity. Gradually cut back on the treats for the older dog as you decrease feeding times for the puppy.

Some dogs will gobble up every item of food in sight and look for more. If one of the dogs in the household has this personality trait, he or she could become drastically overweight while the other dog gets barely enough food to survive.

Sharing food bowls can cause dogs to eat too fast as they compete for their share of the food. This can lead to some foul-smelling flatulence.

Diseases such as kennel cough and other respiratory infections can be spread through the sharing of food and water bowls. Saliva and food bits cling to the bowl, turning them into a breeding ground for bacteria and disease.

Depending on your living situation, it may not be feasibly possible to always provide separate water bowls due to a lack of space or the fact that the dogs share the run of the house or the yard. Since it is important that dogs have access to water whenever they want it, you may have to choose the lesser of two evils and allow the dogs access to the same water dish. Although it is not ideal, sharing water dishes is not as bad as sharing food dishes.

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John Carter

About the Author

love dogs. And if you love your dog as much as I love mine, you’re probably concerned about how to find a safe and healthy food to nourish her. What’s more, you’d probably like to know a little about me and how my website can help you. I’m a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia with a doctorate in dental surgery. My undergraduate studies include a major in chemistry and a minor in biology. In addition to my professional studies in human nutrition, I’ve also cultivated a personal passion for canine nutrition, too.

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