If you've been free-feeding your dog, it's time to change the routine. You might think that free feeding is a way to protect your dog from hunger, but that's not the case. In fact, for good health, your dog should actually get fed on a schedule. If you're not sure how to schedule feedings for your dog, you can talk to your veterinarian. If you've decided to continue on the free-feeding routine, read the list provided below. Here are three health problems your dog could develop from overeating. 

Your Dog Could Develop Bloat 

If your dog isn't on a feeding schedule, it could be at risk for serious medical problems. Bloat is one of those medical problems. Bloat is a serious medical complication that requires quick veterinary care. With bloat, the stomach fills with gas or food.

Once full, the stomach twists inside your dog's body. Once the stomach twists, it cuts off the blood supply to surrounding organs. One way to prevent bloat is to keep your dog on a strict feeding schedule. If you suspect that your dog has bloat, get them to the vet as soon as possible. 

Your Dog Could Become Obese

If you free-feed your dog, it could become obese. You might think your dog will only eat when it's hungry. But, that's not necessarily the case. Your dog will also head for the dog bowl when they're anxious, or bored. All that access to food can make your dog obese. Unfortunately, obesity can be a big problem for your dog.

In fact, obesity can lead to diabetes and heart problems for your dog. Obesity can also put too much pressure on your dog's joints, which can interfere with mobility. Luckily, you can help your dog avoid obesity. You can put your dog on a feeding schedule. If your dog is already overweight, visit the vet. Your vet can help get your dog back on track. 

Your Dog Could Get Bowel Issues

If your dog has around-the-clock access to food, they could develop bowel problems. That's because the digestive tract never empties. Unfortunately, all that pressure can lead to digestive distress. But, it can also interfere with house training.

With free feeding, there's no way to tell when your dog had their last meal. That means there's no way of telling when your dog needs to go outside for bathroom breaks. One way to avoid bowel issues is to get your dog on a feeding routine. If your dog has bowel issues from free-feeding, talk to their veterinarian right away.