Is It Cruel To Feed A Dog Once A Day? A Scientific Research Analysis

is it cruel to feed a dog once a day
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Last Updated on September 27, 2022 by Pauline G. Carter

No, it is not cruel to feed a dog once a day. If your dog is eating well and has a perfect body condition score, then feeding him once should be fine for his health and energy levels. While still keeping your pets’ teeth clean and their digestive system working properly. If you follow proper care and give your pet plenty of high-quality, nutrient-rich diet, water and exercise, your pet will live a healthy life. According to Micah Coyle at K9 Rocks, he states that wet food is not bad for your dog’s teeth but is not designed to scrape away plaque and tartar.

This blog post will explore the scientific evidence for feeding dogs once a day.

Is It Cruel To Feed A Dog Once A Day? Basic Actualities & Analyses

  1. Feeding Once A Day
  2. Health Outcomes Analyses
  3. Feeding Schedule
  4. Benefits of One-time-feeding
  5. Side Effects of One-time-feeding

1) Feeding Once A Day

When you feed your pet a well-balanced and high-quality diet of meat, vegetables, fruits, and other nutrients, it can fulfill all of its nutritional requirements once a day. (1) Feeding your dog once per day might be the only feasible way to fit it into your schedule, but there are other factors to consider.

Some dogs are more prone to hypoglycemia than others and will experience a decrease in blood glucose if food is withheld for too long. While cutting back on your dog’s meals may be tempting, you should only do so after consulting with your vet. It is because giving your dog food once a day could harm their health and well-being, especially if they have specific dietary needs or medical problems requiring special attention. (2)

2) Health Outcomes Analyses

A study was conducted on feeding dogs once or twice daily depending on their health condition, age and weight. A total of 24,238 dogs were included in the study; 55% are mixed dog breeds, while the remaining all belong to 100 purebred dogs. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Rating Scale (CSLB) is used to detect the efficacy of one-time feeding; the result shows a 0.62 point lower CSLB score for dogs fed once daily. (3)

The study also found that dogs who ate once a day had a lower risk of developing diabetes, gastrointestinal, cancer, dental, orthopedic, kidney & urinary, and liver & pancreas disorders. The researchers also found that dogs that ate twice a day had a higher risk of developing malignancy and heart diseases. According to the researchers, “feeding frequency can be used as an indicator of health status.”

“These results suggest that once-daily feeding may be associated with better health and longevity in companion dogs.”

3) Feeding Schedule 

The best time to feed your dog is when they are most relaxed and hungry. It could be any time during the day, so long as your dog has eaten earlier in the day. If you give your dog food before bedtime, it will be harder for them to digest and causes dental issues.

The best time to feed your dog once a day is in the morning or midday, with an interval of 12 hours after the first meal. Dogs do not need to eat three times a day, but most people find feeding them at least twice a day useful. When your dog is one year old, switch him to a once-per-day feeding schedule.

4) Benefits of One-time-feeding

  1. Feeding your dogs once a day is better for their health and can reduce the chance of obesity.
  2. It can help dogs maintain their ideal weight, reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. (4)
  3. It helps with dental health by reducing plaque, tartar, and bad breath. (5)
  4. It’s also great to space out feeding times and help prevent overeating.
  5. Your dog will eat less food, which will save money and prevent your dog’s tummy from being overloaded with extra food.
  6. Reduced caloric intake means fewer calories are stored as fat, so your dog will be healthier overall and live longer!
  7. Less food means less waste, so you have less chance of having an accident in or anywhere else around the house!

5) Side Effects of One-time-feeding

  1. The main problem with feeding dogs only once daily is that it can cause stomach upset. Dogs that eat every 12 hours interval have developed diarrhea.
  2. Feeding your dog once a day can cause him to vomit. It is because his stomach is empty, and he does not have the nutrients needed for optimal digestion.
  3. If your dog is eating too much food at once, it’s also not a good idea to feed your dog more than necessary because then they’ll gain too much weight, so this should be monitored closely by their vet. (6)
  4. Prolonged fasting causes anxiety in dogs, which can lead to aggressive behavior. It also makes them develop selective eating habits, which may not be good for their health. (7)

Is It Cruel To Feed A Dog Once A Day? Critical Considerations

  1. Feeding a Puppy
  2. Feeding Older Dogs
  3. Feeding Sick Dogs

1) Feeding a Puppy

It is crucial to feed a pup once a day. Feed your puppy three to four times (3-4x) per day. The best way to determine feeding time, how much, and what type of food to feed your pup is to consult with an expert in canine nutrition. (8)

2) Feeding Older Dogs

If you have an older dog on a special diet, feeding him once a day can cause weakness and lethargy. Old dogs should eat 2 or 3 times (2-3x) daily to maintain their body requirements. Feeding your old dog a healthy diet is important because it will help them maintain a good weight and keep their bones healthy. (9)(10)

3) Feeding Sick Dogs

It is crucial to feed a sick dog once a day. Sick dogs should be fed small amounts of food three times a day until they recover from their illness. If you have a dog that tends to be anxious and fearful, feeding him once a day may not be the best choice. Instead, consider feeding your dog two or three times a day. (11)

Is it OK to feed a dog once per day?

Yes, it is OK to feed a dog once per day. If your dog gets amply of a nutrient-dense diet and has access to clean water, it will be fine if fed once a day. Research studies prove that feeding a dog once a day can benefit your dog’s health, well-being, and longevity. You should consult your vet before changing your dog’s eating habits as this can be very harmful if done wrong. 

References:

  1. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2021.667318/full
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6562821/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9213604/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5607608/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2919275/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6488012/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407696/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20949422/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15833567/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21435624/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32814627/

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