The Better Way to Feed Your Dogs | Feeding The Chickens

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I learned about this from a buddy and mentor of mine, Ted Efthymiadis, and ever since he showed it to me I’ve been using it ever since.

What Is Feeding The Chickens?

Have you ever seen how chickens are fed? If yes, you likely aren’t confused by this method of feeding nor do you have any questions. But if you grew up NOT on a farm like I did, you would have been confused by the name. Feeding the chickens mimics the sprinkling of feed across the service to allow the animal to pick and graze. I love this for feeding my dogs because it does a few really important things:

  1. It allows them to search and hunt for food… something domestication has taken away
  2. It naturally slows eating… because food is spread out, dogs can’t wolf down the meal in one gulp
  3. It keeps them busy… As I write this, my dogs are picking away at food that was thrown in order to shoot the example video you’ll see below this blog

All in all, I love this method of feeding my dogs and my dogs love it too. In the summer time, my dogs almost never eat from bowl. Morning feed is tossed on the lawn while I enjoy my morning coffee and evening feed is normally tossed after we are finished dinner and before dishes and clean up is done. It is the perfect mindfulness breaks that humans need during the day as well.

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The application of the technique is simple:

  1. Take your dog’s food outside to a grassy patch
  2. Keep the search area small at first. Maybe 5 x 5 and sprinkle your dog’s food around this area
  3. Enjoy peace and quiet as your dog hunts for food

To avoid shocking your dog’s fragile routine, make sure that your dog is already on a structured feeding schedule before you start this. If he isn’t, I recommend you starting that way with morning and evening feedings to get your dog into the rhythm of eating when food is available instead of him thinking it’ll always be there when he wants it. Then, progress to feeding half via the FTC method and the other half an hour or so later (if possible) by bowl.

As you see your dog get more and more ‘into’ the idea of searching freely for his food, you can move to feeding all of his food this way.

A word of Caution

Keep an eye on your dog’s weight during this process. It’s normal to loose weight feeding like this because a dog will eat until he’s satisfied and then stop, but you want to make sure if he is loosing weight it’s a healthy amount. Ideal weight loss is a pound or two per week. If your dog is rapidly loosing weight, keep to feeding in a bowl for the bulk of his meal AFTER some fun searching for kibble and consult your vet if necessary.

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