Does your dog only eat once a day? This can happen for a number of reasons.
For many dog owners who have busy schedules, feeding them once a day is convenient. Some even say that it is normal because it’s how wolves eat in the wild.
But did you know that a normal dog’s stomach empties in just a few hours? So, what happens if your dog only eats once a day?
We share with you how often you should feed your dog and whether it is acceptable to feed them only once a day.
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?
Dogs should eat at least twice a day, depending on your family’s schedule.
These two meals should ideally be taken about 12 hours apart. However, a breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule is also a good option.
You should consider if your dog has a medical issue or dietary needs that require specialized feeding schedules or certain restrictions.
If this is the case, talk to your vet about their eating habits to guarantee that you’re meeting their nutritional needs and health requirements.
Another factor that plays a huge role in how often dogs should eat is their breed. Common large breed dogs, for instance, will often require more feedings and more calories per day than medium and small breed dogs.
The important thing here is to always stick to a regular schedule. Free-feeding or leaving food available to dogs all the time is not recommended.
Aside from the risk of obesity, free-feeding multiple dogs at the same time makes it difficult to account for different diets and to track each dog’s intake.
And besides, dogs are creatures of habit. You can use this to your advantage by creating a regular feeding schedule.
You’ll be amazed by how much it helps with house training puppies, as well as adult rescue dogs who have not been taught household manners.
When you establish an eating routine for your dog, then it will be easier for you to detect if they don’t feel well or lose their appetite.
As their routine becomes familiar, it becomes easy to see at a glance if all the food from a meal is consumed.
If food is left, whether all or part of a meal, that is an important signal that something may be wrong with your pup.
What Happens When You Feed Your Dog Only Once a Day?
Dog owners who feed their pets once a day usually do it in the morning. They do not know that an empty stomach at the end of the day can contribute to dogs’ feelings of anxiety and irritability.
This becomes even more of a problem if your dog already has behavioral issues, like aggression.
Dogs that don’t feel well, or who are more anxious and irritable, are more likely to behave aggressively than dogs that are satiated and feel fine.
Don’t think that it is acceptable for you to feed your dog once a day since they are not aggressive, because they may show it in other ways like chewing and destroying your stuff.
Even if you do it in one big portion, feeding your dog once a day is not ideal because they can empty their stomachs in six to eight hours.
They have simple stomach anatomy which, when emptied, begins to send signals to the brain stimulating a hunger response.
Overeating at one meal also causes stomach discomfort and bloating, and therefore slows their digestion and causes issues.
How Much Should Dogs Eat?
As mentioned, this all depends on their breed, health care requirements, and other factors.
Generally, puppies need more food than adult dogs because they are growing rapidly.
They need a specific amount of calcium in their diet, otherwise, they can develop metabolic bone disease or orthopedic conditions like early-onset arthritis.
Small, frequent feedings are necessary for puppies. They start out relying on their mother’s milk, then a mix of both dog food and their mother’s milk.
Then starting around four months, puppies can begin eating about three times a day until they graduate to twice a day.
Check out this puppy feeding chart for guidelines on how often to feed your puppy.
As for adult dogs, they require only two meals a day. However, if you catch them begging, you can always offer occasional treats.
Rachael Ray Nutrish’s Soup Bones Chews are one of our favorites. They come in two sizes and three flavors. These include Beef & Barley, Chicken & Veggies, and Turkey & Rice.
These dog treats are for dogs who want savory treats that are long-lasting. The best part about them is the tender and meaty center that has no artificial flavor or meat by-products.
Your main concern here is to not overfeed your adult dog. Don’t be fooled by misleading food labels and charts that over-calculate how much to feed a dog.
My Dog Doesn’t Finish Their Meal All at Once!
Some dogs can regulate their food intake fairly well, compared to those who eat anything that is served to them no matter how big.
If this is a problem, try to cultivate regular feeding times throughout the day.
This will also help make it easier if another pet is added to your family in the future.
Try measuring out the entire day’s portion of food in the morning and then offer it in smaller portions several times throughout the day.
Establish a Regular Feeding Routine!
Your veterinarian remains the best source of nutritional guidance for your dog, but it is generally known that feeding your dog only once a day can lead to several behavioral problems like destruction and aggression.
That’s because their stomach empties in just a few hours, and the remaining hours full of hunger create undesirable dog behavior.
When you feed them enough food at least twice a day and create a solid routine, then training puppies become much easier. It also helps with adult dogs who have not been taught a regular routine.
Keeping to a regular feeding routine will help cultivate good behavior and keep your dog happy and healthy.