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I am going back to work in a couple of weeks. It is part time and Poppy will be coming with me and using the kennel at work. However, I do need to walk her and give her breakfast before we leave (she is sharing the kennel with another dog so not practical to feed her when I get there). I'm trying to work out the timings for feeding and walking her (without having to get up before 6am) and ensuring that I'm not putting her at risk of bloat.

I've read through the info on bloat on this site and on a couple of others and it seems I'm already going wrong! I didn't know that she shouldn't have water before or after a meal!

So what I'm trying to find out is how close together I can comfortably feed her and walk her. The walk will be about 20 minutes (half on lead, half off). Do I need to wait 1 hour from when I return from the walk? I think she will go crazy and be very hungry!

I'd be really grateful for some thoughts or advice, and other people's experience or routines. My last dogs (many moons ago) were Westies and this wasn't an issue!

Thank you :D
 

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Hi,

I walk Ruby about at least an 1 hour apart from food. I have found that she is better to be fed after a walk because on the odd occasions she has been fed before a walk, even if it was an hour before, she has been sick and I think that has been a combination of her madly rushing around off the lead and then coming home and drinking loads of water.
This can mean that if she has an early morning walk at around 7am she wont be fed until about 9am, when she normally has breakfast at 7am, and if she has an evening walk she doesn't have her dinner until about 8.30-9pm when she normally eats at 6.30pm. She copes fine with the different timings but I have tried to be flexible about her meal times because I don't want a dog who waits to be fed at the same time everyday.

Hope this helps

Chloe
 
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Firstly, How common is bloat in Labs? So far, I've not personally heard of a Lab getting Bloat although no doubt others have. I have heard of other breeds, GSD's, Sighthounds and one Rottie, getting it and I know it is far more common in dogs with chests that are deeper than they are wide and Labs don't tend to fall into that category.

I personally don't think she will get hugely out of puff on a 20 mins walk, especially if 10 mins of that is on lead and she doesn't hooly after a ball or other dogs while she is off lead. So I tend to use the rough guide of when they have stopped panting or breathing heavy, as to when I can feed them after exercise. Which if she has only had a 20 mins stroll could be say 30 mins after getting home, roughly. I'd be guided by her though, rather than the clock. If she is still puffing after 30 mins, then I'd make her wait longer, even if she is hungry.

I personally don't worry about the access to water at mealtimes thing as it seems that is only an issue if Citric Acid is used as a preservative, which after checking the bag, there isn't any of in what I feed. Also I still wet/soak their food anyway, so they have no need to have a big drink alongside their food. Soaking is supposedly also a problem if the food contains Citric Acid though.
 

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Any dog CAN get bloat, but the dogs really at risk are the very narrow, deep chested breeds such as Irish Red Setters and the like. I remember someone (From the BVA I think) writing an article about it in the dog press and listing the risk factor by aspect ratio. Cant remember the actual figures now but the barrel shape of a Labrador puts they way down the list of "At Risk" breeds.

Obviously take care, but dont overly worry about it.

Regards, John
 

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As I used to have Weimaraners I know quite a lot about the subject. They have big big problems with bloat.

To be perfectly honest with Weimys even if you follow every rule that has ever been mentioned they can still get bloat.

My rule of thumb is just to be sensible, rather like not having a big meal yourself before going for a swim etc. and if your dog is looking unwell as long as it is either vomiting and/or windy and loose at the other end it will not be bloat.

I don't think it is a major worry with labradors.
 
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Like the others I go by the huffing and puffing "rule" when he's breathing calmly he gets fed, I always feed him after his walk, not before as it fits in well with my routine which is generally:
Fall out of bed, throw on "walkies clothing" take him out for his exercise, get back home for shower and get dressed into work clothes, then breakfast for both of us. He then settles back to his bed :roll: and I have to go off to work :roll:

As for drinking, his bowl is always down and topped up and I never restrict his access to water.

Hope you find a routine which works well for you (and I'm not at all jelous that you can take Poppy to work with you :evil: ) xx
 

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I always feed after a walk rather than before - or try to leave two hours if I'm feeding before, especially for Mins who does like a good charge around. I do wait for them to cool down for a while after getting back before feeding. I don't restrict water, they get a drink on a walk if they need one.

I don't know the stats for bloat but I do know of at least two dogs (not Labs) that have died of it in the last year :cry: and one who very recently had it but thankfully was operated on successfully and seems to be doing ok, so even if it's not the most likely thing to happen, I still try to do things to reduce the risk.
 

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Hi,I also take Lottie to work with me. I still feed her 3 times a day purely because I have her with me and it breaks up her day!! I always feed her after her lunchtime walk.We have an hour so I walk her for about 40 minutes,leave her to calm down for about 15 and then feed her.
She always has a big bowl of water and it's never restricted. I have been doing this since she was 11 weeks old and never had any problems.

Barbara

Edited to say,before anyone frowns,she didn't get 40 minutes when she was little!
 

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Pippy's had bloat - she'd got into the utility room and I later discovered she'd scoffed a shocking amount of her dry food in one sitting. This on top of her usual meal :roll:

I'd read about it on here some time back so knew a bit about the signs. She got an increasingly tight chest and stomach, grew wider and wide and was panting. She grew very restless and kept retching but not bringing up anything. She drank loads too - that was part of the problem because the food just expanded inside her.

The vets were great and said they see it a more in labs than other dogs but perhaps that's just cos there are a lot of labs round here rather than being indicative of a breed sensitivity. She's fine now but I'm very careful about what and how I feed her now. I don't exercise her for an hour before or after she's been fed.

It was pretty scary.
 
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