Dogs who only eat once a day ‘are healthier’, new study suggests

Portrait of Golden Retriever dog holding in her teeth a bowl outdoors
How often does your dog eat? (Getty)

Dogs who eat once a day seem to be healthier than other animals, a new study has found - although the experts behind it say it’s too early to overhaul your dog’s eating schedule.

A scientific paper published this week has suggested that dogs who are fed once a day have fewer health issues and fewer cognitive problems than dogs who are fed more frequently.

The project uses data from the American Dog Aging Project, which tracks the health of dogs ‘volunteered’ by their owners and has data on 24,000 animals.

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The researchers warned now is it not the time to change your dogs eating habits. (Getty)
The researchers warned now is it not the time to change your dogs eating habits. (Getty)

The researchers said: "Controlling for sex, age, breed, and other potential confounders, we found that dogs fed once daily rather than more frequently had lower mean scores on a cognitive dysfunction scale, and lower odds of having gastrointestinal, dental, orthopaedic, kidney/urinary, and liver/pancreas disorders.

“Therefore, our findings suggest that once-a-day feeding in dogs is associated with improved health across multiple body systems.”

The results suggest a strong correlation between eating once a day and improved health.

But the researchers point out that it’s too early to conclude that eating once a day is the reason.

For instance, it could simply be that dogs who eat more than once a day tend to eat more, and are thus at risk of being obese.

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Eating once a day would be more similar to living in the world. (Getty)
Eating once a day would be more similar to living in the world. (Getty)

Kathleen Kerr, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington told ScienceAlert: “We weren’t confident at all that we would see any differences in dogs’ health or cognition based on feeding frequency.

“I think we would have been excited to see an association between feeding frequency and health in just one domain. I was surprised to see associations in so many domains.”

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