Pet of the Month!
- May 19, 2022
- Reaction score
I always had a different opinion on this. I don't believe most pets need to be feed on a strict schedule. Most carnivores will eat when they can, herbivores will eat when it is convenient. I know a lot of ungulates will feed at night during a full moon (direct observation), but if it is overcast during the full moon they eat in the morning. The point is there is no fixed feeding schedule in the natural environment. If your dog gets his meal an hour late, so what, they might be a bit miffed if it is late or happy if it is early but they will adjust. Coastal bears feed when the tide is low, this varies 30 to 60 minutes each day, and ties into the weather and circadian, lunar, and yearly rhythms (direct observation). Life constantly changes, so do meal times.
I have owned a number of dogs. They get feed in the morning when I get up, and get fed when we get home. When I have used dogs as pack animals they get fed when I eat, and that will vary quite a bit depending distances travelled and the elevation gained.
I don't agree with the time changes just because they are a pain, but that is mostly because of the problems associated with changing the time and tracking it on all of our clocks and systems. I also don't like that it typically changes the time I get up but we all have to go through those changes, do you always get up the same time in the morning every day?
Just my opinions.
Actually, before I retired, I DID get up at the same time every day to get ready for work but must admit that now when I wake depends a lot on when I go to sleep. For instance last night I did an all-nighter watching episodes of Star Trek Picard on Paramount Plus. Went to sleep around 8:30 AM and woke up around 4:30 PM this afternoon. (chuckle) Match point to you on that one... sort of. The thing is that we, as the human involved, have the option to make such decisions. Our animal friends do not.
I will also say that once it was apparent that my black lab in Florida would only feed when hungry and not gorge his dish always had food. When I used Rudy (the lab) as an example it was before this. Think Pavlov's Dog on this. He was initially 'trained' to eat at a certain time and that became embedded in his internal clock. When this internal clock is suddenly changed it can easily cause stress in the critter.
Don't get me wrong as I actually agree with what you say about your experience with dogs but the situation is different as your dogs were never 'trained' to eat at a specific time and that is totally fine as, in nature, dogs are opportunistic feeders. Also doge are high as to intelligence and adaptability in the animal world.
Now let us talk fish and birds. I agree that neither actually NEED to be fed at a certain time and I even don't give food to my fish at all every few days. There is still a difference as, even when I don't feed, there is still food in the tank from previous feedings and the fish just forage. While this is fine with fish I would never do the same with my cockatiel. My bird, Terabit, is a real pain but I love him anyway. Thing is that even though there is left over food from the day before if I'm even 15 minutes late as to giving fresh food he will squawk up a storm of bird obscenities.
All I'm trying to say is that in many cases our stupid time changes can affect our animal friend's internal clocks. As with everything involving life there is no absolute rule but on average we should allow for adjustment. The only true rule in life is that from the moment of conception all life forms that we know are starting the process of going back to being dust in the wind. (LOVE that song!)
Just did a terrible job of saying what I tried to say but mayhaps the intent will come through...