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Lately, our almost 9-month-old pup won’t eat his breakfast right away. He eats his kibble frozen stuffed in Kongs. Until last week, he would go to it quickly. Now he waits 30 minutes before touching it. During that 30 minutes, he lays on the floor resting.

I do not want him to eat on his own schedule and I won’t free feed him. Is it okay to remove the food after 5 minutes and wait until his next scheduled meal time? I did this when he was a few months old and it seemed to work. My partner hates the idea and gave into him this morning an hour later and gave him the food. 

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I'm having similar issues with Jasper, who is the same age. I noticed a while back that he didn;t seem ready to eat breakfast first thing in the morning. (He also isn;t ready to go outside and potty, which a whole other issue, lol.) I'm retired, so for me, it works to delay feeding him for a bit. He gets breakfast between 8 and 8:30, depending on what time we got up that day. I don;t feel like this is really allowing him to eat on his own schedule, as it's a fixed mealtime, well spaced from his dinner, which is always given at 5:30. I do stick to the "15 minutes and then the food is removed until the next meal" rule with all meals. I also don't put the food down ahead of time. I wouldn't allow him to wait 30 minutes before eating after the food is given to him. But I don;t see anything wrong with moving his breakfast time back an hour, if that works with your schedule. If not, then yes, I would feed him when you need him to eat and then remove the food after 10 minutes. Give him a verbal "last chance" warning ("are you all done with breakfast?") and let him see you pick up the food. When I do this with any uneaten portion of Jasper's food, he will sometimes come running over to finish it. If not, out it goes.

Thanks, Karen. I'm with you on all of this! I feel like our pups are always going thorough the same stages and experienecs hahaha!

I wish I could push an hour but our schedules don't alllow it. The morning walk after breakfast also gets pushed then a ripple effect on the whole day lol. I've done the "You done already? Ok, food is going away!" then he watches me open the freezer door with despair. Then my partner gets mad at me lol.

I think this will pass as it has before. I'm going to stick with it.

Good plan!

I had a thought just now. It may seem crazy, but I'll throw it out here anyway, lol.

We know that food has a stronger aroma and more flavor when it is at a warmer temperature as opposed to frozen. Is it possible that your pup is waiting that 30 minutes for the food to thaw a bit? 

I mean it's not that crazy sounding to me.  Could try giving him kibble non-frozen in a bowl and see what happens :p

That's an interesting thought! That might help in the morning to "waken" his nose. I think I'll take it out a bit early tomorrow morning to see what happens. 

He's been fine until recently though. We've been feeding the frozen Kongs for about a month now. 

Does he get all his food frozen in a kong?

Aside from treats/training, yes, both meals (breakfast and dinner) are frozen kibble.

We've been feeding them frozen for about a month now with no real issue. I let his dinner tonight "defrost" for 20 minutes. It helped a little. It took him about 10 minutes to start eating it. Then after that, he was begging for his 2 other Kongs, which he usually does and we like. 

I’m just asking but why are you feeding him exclusively using a Kong?

It helps provide some mental stimulation. Previously, he would just devour his food. Our behaviorist felt it was a missed opportunity. See my previous post here which helps explain the original issue and why we're feeding him frozen Kongs. 

Just for information for you, here is a great bowl that really slows down how quickly they eat - in case you'd like to switch to a bowl at some point.  I lost a dog to bloat, so I am very aware of slowing down their eating.  We found the bowl to be useful for us.  Outward Hound Fun Feeder Dog Bowl Slow Feeder Stop Bloat for Dogs, Large, Orange  We have two other designs of the slo-bowl, and they work fine, but this one slows our guy down the most.

Thank you!

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