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My 2-year-old Hovawart currently has feeding times at 9 in the morning and again at 6 in the afternoon. In a month I will be starting evening classes so I have to change the feeding schedule to noon and 9 in the evening.

Is it better to gradually shift the feeding times towards the new schedule during the month, or just start with the new schedule abruptly? Is constant small change in the routine better or worse than one big change?

He's not the kind of dog that gets easily stressed over a change in routine, but I figure why not do it the "right" way anyway.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Based on my experience with various pets over the years, I find that a gradual shift in routine is more effective than an abrupt shift. An animal can't really be reasoned with and will not likely understand why things suddenly changed and that may increase the stress levels. So, ideally, you do the shift a bit more gradually.

So, if you have say 30 days and a 3 hour shift to accomplish, then try to get an hour shift for each ten days in. I would do something like a 5 to 10 minute shift each day. It's still a pretty big jump to do in one month, but this should make it a little less stressing. Make sure that he has plenty of water available at all times, this will help.

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