May 18, 2022

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How this One-Meal-a-Day Diet Might Significantly Improve Your Dog’s Health

According to a recent study, you feeding your dog once a day can minimize the likelihood of developing age-related health problems.


(Photo : Adam Kontor)

Dog Diet Research

Auchan Hypermarket Paço de Arcos in Portugal

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Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle obtained data from over 20,000 pet owners via surveys to assess their pets’ cognitive abilities and how feeding habits affected canine health.

“How many times each day does your dog get fed?” the owners were asked.

The researchers divided them into “once” and “more than once.” According to the data, one out of every twelve dogs was fed once daily.

Comparing Eating Frequency

Dogs fed once a day was thought to be unwittingly practicing intermittent fasting, a popular diet trend similar to wild wolves.

Compared to individuals who were fed more often, they scored 0.63 points lower on a test for cognitive impairment, indicating greater mental ability.

“This impact size of 0.63 points is nearly the same difference in mean score between 11-year-old and seven-year-old canines,” the researchers wrote in a pre-print that has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Related Article: Traveler’s Guide on Dealing with Stray Dogs

Feeding Once a Day

According to the findings, feeding a dog once a day decreased the incidence of liver problems by 59% and gastrointestinal disorders by 35%.

Kidney/urinary disorders, orthopedic difficulties, and dental problems decreased by 28, 22, and 16 percent, respectively, when fed daily.

The researchers state, “This is the largest study of feeding frequency undertaken in companion dogs to date.”

“Because of the limitations of this cross-sectional, observational study, the findings should not be utilized to make judgments on companion dog diet or clinical treatment.”

Compared to Previous Studies

Quick Tips to Guard Your Dog Against Joint Pain

(Photo : pixabay)

“However, if future studies back up the existing suggestion that older dogs be fed twice a day, it may be sensible to reconsider.”

“The rationale for twice-daily feeding in dogs is enigmatic, and our research implies that more frequent feeding may be suboptimal for a variety of age-related health outcomes.”

According to Dr. Alex German, a veterinarian at the University of Liverpool, the findings should be treated with care because they may alter during the publishing process. He does, however, feel the study was large enough and statistically sound.

He also stated that because the study was observational, it was hard to determine the mechanism underlying why different feeding patterns may or may not be healthier for dogs.


“No one knows what feeding pattern is optimal for dogs because there have been few (if any) previous research on the subject.” As a result, most owners will likely select a feeding schedule that is appropriate for their dog and lifestyle,” he said in a lengthy Twitter thread.

“I’m hoping that the writers of this pre-print will continue to research this problem so that we can make more informed suggestions in the future.”

Also Read: What Dog Breed Fits Your Personality?

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