Reducing the quantity of meals per day for dogs may benefit their health


According to research involving 24,000 participating pet dog owners, dogs that only receive one meal per day have a smaller chance of experiencing age-related diseases.

It is currently advised to feed dogs twice per day, and on the back of this study Matt Kaeberlein, an American biologist, has advised owners to keep their feeding habits the same. “Based on this study, we are not recommending that people make a change in the way they are feeding their dogs.” If more evidence is provided to back this data, then it may cause a modification in the suggestions given regarding this topic.

“Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce the ageing process in some species“

The Dog Aging Project looked into the genetic and environmental reasons for dogs and humans ageing.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce the ageing process in some species (including mice). Kaeberlein examined the information to determine if there was a difference in age related illness diagnosis depending on how often they were fed in a day. He said that “In my view, it’s pretty compelling correlative evidence.”

One of the problems with the study is that it does not show the cause of problems like cancer and canine dementia. The cause may be nothing to do with the number of times a dog eats, but instead the overall quantity it consumes.

Measuring a dog’s calory intake by asking owners is a difficult and unreliable task. Instead, the team aims to do their own trial where they can monitor health changes when switching dogs to eating once a day. Dogs are part of the wolf family, so considering they are hunting creatures that do not eat every day, reducing feeding times could show a positive impact on health. This notion extends beyond dogs and to other species, like humans.

See all the latest jobs in Science
Return to news