Is It Cruel To Feed a Dog Once a Day? Feeding Times 101


Many dog owners are wondering whether or not feeding their dog once a day is helpful and even cruel.

I used to be one among them.

My Rottweiler went from 3 to 2 feedings as an adult.

But then I read in regards to the dog equivalent of “intermittent fasting” and wondered if there have been any health advantages of skipping an occasional day or feeding once after which feeding more on the next day.

It did kinda backfire.

I discovered that my dog has certain needs on the subject of feeding frequency and yours might need those too.

Feeding once per day will be great for some, but terrible for others, especially in case your dog is affected by medical issues.

FYI: The scientific jury continues to be out on whether or not feeding once a day is perfect. Despite the undeniable fact that there are some studies, there are not any large-scale and peer-reviewed ones published in journals yet.

That being said, some dogs just can’t do it.

In case your dog is vomiting constantly while being fed once a day, that’s a transparent sign this feeding schedule isn’t made to your specific pooch.

My Rottweiler was vomiting when the time between feedings was too long (especially between evening and morning

Well, she at all times did love her food and infrequently left a crump in her bowl.

Photo by Pawleaks

Nevertheless, some dog owners claim to have seen huge improvements after fasting their dogs.

It’s as much as you and maybe your veterinarian to guage whether or not your dog is the correct candidate.

On one hand, a healthy adult large breed dog may have the ability to go for it and even prefer it.

Then again, if you will have a puppy, senior small dog, or otherwise unsuitable dog, you might must rethink the feeding schedule and persist with feeding 2-3x per day.

Let’s have a have a look at how you’ll be able to determine whether or not feeding your dog once per day could be price a try to your individual.

Is It Cruel To Feed a Dog Once a Day?

It just isn’t generally cruel to feed a healthy adult dog once a day occasionally but that meal ought to be appropriately sized and balanced. Monitor the feeding schedule since many dogs don’t do well with once-a-day feeding.

Age is a large component in whether feeding once a day is okay to your dog or not.

Puppies have shorter windows for once they need dietary power and feeding a puppy once (and even twice) per day just isn’t good for his or her health.

To start with, your pup probably can’t manage to eat the whole meal in a single sitting.

Secondly, your pup might be missing energy in between the naps where puppies often regenerate until the subsequent burst of energy.

In case your dog is a senior, he may have trouble with one meal per day since he’ll lack energy for a serious a part of the day and is not going to have the ability to digest a big meal.

The identical goes for dogs with pre-existing health conditions.

You might must consult with your vet about that but generally speaking, should you’re unsure go along with feeding your dog 2-3x per day and you need to be good.

It’s best to probably not feed your dog once a day in case your dog matches one among the next criteria:

  • Senior or medical condition
  • Puppy (3-4x meals per day)
  • Feeding once a day already occurred multiple days in a row
  • Issues with a meal once a day (vomiting, lethargy, gut issues)

Nevertheless, a few of you only wish to check out feeding once a day with a healthy dog or perhaps you’ve done it previously on busy days.

Let’s dive deeper into the professionals and cons of feeding once per day.

Pros and Cons of Feeding Your Dog Once a Day

Some dog owners who feed once a day claim that their dog’s gut health or immune system improved in addition to their appetite but there will be considerable downsides too.

Other dogs just gurgle up that white foamy vomit (the vomit color is definitely essential to envision the explanation for the vomiting).

Puppy sits next to a small puddle of white dog vomit.

Firstly, the claimed pros of feeding your dog once a day:

  • Improved gut health
  • Stronger immune system
  • More interest in eating
  • Resembles feeding pattern of wolves
  • More convenient for dog owners

As mentioned above, it is best to note that gut health and immune system boosts should not scientifically proven beyond doubt.

That being said, your dog’s gut health may thoroughly be positively affected as this feeding schedule is loads more just like what they’d do within the wild.

Others argue that dogs should not wolves anymore and domestication went a good distance which incorporates their eating habits.

Improvements to gut health and immune system are strongly discussed amongst owners who fast their dogs for a full day.

Fasting doesn’t necessarily mean your dog needs fewer calories but even when the weekly dietary supply is similar, intermittent fasting can have positive effects.

It’s working for a lot of humans who are attempting to drop pounds and will be an awesome tool for obese dogs too.

You shouldn’t go overboard and feed more in a single session than you’ll otherwise over the entire day.

Some dog owners go so far as to fast their dogs twice per week.

Personally, skipping two days is unquestionably not for me and my Rottweiler.

All that’s well and good but there are possible downsides to contemplate too.

The cons of feeding your dog once a day are the next:

  • Lack of dietary balance for prolonged time
  • Vomiting can result in other health issues
  • Dog won’t have the ability to eat the entire meal
  • Wolfing down the meal may increase bloating risk
  • Can create confusion across the feeding schedule

A few of these issues similar to dietary balance and never eating the entire meal will be easily solved.

Should you monitor your dog’s food intake and he does eat the meal with none issues, he’s probably okay in that regard (might still not be the perfect solution for you though).

Nevertheless, vomiting is a bit harder to regulate and while it might probably just be the adjustment period, that you must monitor this closely and seek the advice of your vet.

A large brown dog inside a tent while camping. Trips can be a reason for only feeding your dog once a day.

Last but not least, your dog will probably be confused.

Give it some thought, no one’s telling you anything and suddenly there’s an entire day without food. Will there ever be one other meal? Will you starve? Have you ever been forgotten?

That’s what my Rottweiler’s eyes are conveying, even when I’m just skipping one meal.

On one other note: It rarely happens but once I’m on a road trip with my dog, skipping the morning meal may very well be useful.

This fashion, you avoid the chance of your dog vomiting within the automotive in addition to bloating should you don’t have much time within the morning to ideally wait 30-60 minutes after the meal.

The worst thing that may occur is bloat while you’re exercising your dog right after eating and if you will have to decide on, I’d go with out a meal or simply provide a extremely light one.

Best Time To Feed Dog Once a Day

The most effective time to feed your dog once a day is when the last meal was given 12 hours before and the subsequent meal is given 24 hours after or vice versa (almost certainly morning or evening) or distribute the time between meals evenly and feed mid-day.

This schedule assumes that you simply’ve been and might be feeding your dog twice a day before and after that day where you simply feed once a day.

Should you feed your dog just once a day as a part of your regular feeding schedule, just select a time similar to noon and persist with it day by day.

A few examples (assuming 2x meals on Monday & Wednesday):

  1. You feed your dog 8 pm on Monday, then 8 am on a Tuesday morning, and again 8 am on Wednesday morning
  2. You feed your dog 8 pm Mon, then 8 pm Tue, and eight am Wed
  3. You feed your dog 8 pm Mon, then 2 pm Tue, and eight am Wed

Should you feed once a day, persist with 2 pm day by day, for instance

Your dog’s specific feeding schedule will in fact vary loads.

Once you go to bed and get up will determine what time your morning and evening meals ought to be served and never everybody can feed their dog in the midst of the day.

Can I Feed My Dog 3 Times A Day

Yes, you’ll be able to feed your dog 3 times a day and for puppies, seniors, and dogs with some health conditions it’s actually the really useful feeding schedule.

Even when you will have a healthy adult dog, you’ll be able to still go for feeding 3 times a day in case your doggo thrives on that.

Some dogs just can’t go the entire day with out a meal and for a while, I’ve given my Rottweiler a treat in the midst of the day to avoid her stomach growling.

Watch out for a bloating risk in case your schedule doesn’t allow 3 feedings with sufficient time to eat and settle afterward.

Also, don’t let those puppy eyes idiot you into giving a 3rd meal if it’s not essential. Especially not if it’s a further meal on top.

Best Time To Feed a Dog

The most effective time to feed your dog depends entirely on how often you feed your dog but that you must ensure the time in between meals isn’t longer than 12-24 hours on the max.

The mentioned feeding schedules above can act as a place to begin for you.

Most dog owners will go for feeding right within the morning and within the evening.

Be sure it’s not right before going into bed though and provides your dog the prospect to go potty.

Should You Feed Your Dog Before Or After Walks

If possible, avoid feeding your dog before walks for around an hour and let your dog calm down for a brief period after walks to properly digest the food.

Because the risk of bloat and other issues is more prevalent with feeding before walks, I’d personally recommend feeding your dog after the walk.

How To Change Dog Feeding Schedule

Every dietary change – and that features the feeding schedule itself – ought to be slowly modified and closely monitored. Take a step back in case your dog just isn’t doing well.

It’s not smart to go from 3 feedings a day to 1 meal the subsequent day and your dog will likely vomit or show other signs of hunger.

Try providing two meals as an alternative and once your dog is fantastic with that (a few days or perhaps weeks), make the second meal lighter.

Sooner or later, you’d have the ability to feed only a snack because the second meal. Soon, you may transition to only one feeding.

Whether or not one meal per day is good to your dog is completely as much as you and should you’re unsure, seek the advice of your vet.

The science just isn’t entirely on one side or the opposite so it’s as much as you, but cruel isn’t the suitable word so long as the weight loss plan is balanced and your dog gets all his calories.

Trust me, my Rottweiler wouldn’t let that transgression slide, and maybe your dog will show clear signs of what feeding times are best for him too.

Disclaimer: This blog post doesn’t substitute veterinary attention and doesn’t intend to achieve this. I’m not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. In case your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.


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