Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Health Questions
Hi Doris. Welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** Thank you for your question. The great debate of free feeding versus meal feeding. Honestly, you're going to find strong proponents on both side of this fence. There are definitely dogs out there that can manage their food intake well when they have the opportunity to free feed. If food is out all the time and the dog isn't overfeeding / getting overweight, then they are managing caloric intake on their own. These dogs have the ability to make free feeding an option. The down side to free feeding with a great deal of dogs is that they can't self limit and they will overindulge and start to put on weight. From a pure overall health aspect, this isn't in their best long term interest. So if a dog can limit themselves, then I don't have a problem with free feeding. It is a little harder to monitor if an appetite is going down with free feeding, but an aware owner can still monitor this.
As far as the "mouse" problem, a consideration here is using mouse traps and such to eliminate them. I caution using the actual poison baits as they have a way of getting into the non desired animals in the house by accident. I like to use the actual physical spring traps as they do a very effective job without the risk of poisoning.