Study: the benefits of giving your dog only one meal

Researchers have shown that dogs fed once a day tend to be he althier.

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Two meals? Three ? What is best? A new study has just provided an astonishing answer.

A meal a day for better dog he alth?

The study by a team of researchers, led by Emily Bray of the University of Arizona, was published on April 28 in the journal GeroScience. To reach their conclusions, the researchers analyzed the data collected during a still large-scale and still ongoing study, the Dog Aging Project. The scientists analyzed data regarding age, size, breed, cognitive functions, he alth conditions and meal frequency in 10,000 dogs.

Researchers have shown that dogs fed once a day tended to have better he alth, with fewer dental, gastrointestinal, kidney, urinary, orthopedic problems and less liver and kidney damage pancreas. Feeding a dog just one meal may also have beneficial effects on cognitive functions, according to the results of this study.

However, the study did not find a significant link between meal frequency and neurological diseases, heart he alth and cancer.

Causality remains to be demonstrated

This study has therefore established a link between the frequency of meals and the state of he alth of the dog. However, this link corresponds, for the moment, only to a simple association between the two factors. Causality, i.e. proof that just one meal a day instead of two or three improves the he alth of the dog, must be demonstrated in the future.

“If confirmed by future studies, it may be prudent to revisit the currently prevailing recommendation that adult dogs should be fed twice daily,” the study explains.

This two-meal-a-day rule for an adult dog is, indeed, unwarranted and has an “obscure” rationale, according to the study. This suggests that “more frequent eating may, in fact, be suboptimal for many age-related he alth problems.”

So we shouldn't rush to change the feeding frequency of our dogs, especially adults who are used to it and don't complain about it, especially since the study has certain limitations. Based on self-reported data from dog owners, the reliability of the study may be questioned. Dog owners may forget details or misinterpret certain questions or information.The study should therefore be taken with caution, pending further research to confirm or invalidate its results.

Also read: Dog food: types of meals and frequency

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