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  • 1.  canine feeding schedule

    Posted 08-06-2021 08:46 AM

    Does anyone have any information about once-a-day feeding vs twice-a-day feeding? Everything I'm finding online recommends "ideally feeding twice a day" but as we all know we're not always working in ideal situations. Any information would be helpful.

    Thank you in advance!

    Jordana Moerbe

  • 2.  RE: canine feeding schedule

    Posted 08-06-2021 11:17 AM
    Hi Jordana,

    There isn't a hard and fast answer here. Twice  a day feeding is often recommended; but research to support twice daily feeding as best just isn't there (to my knowledge). 

    There's this study in dogs that showed that amongst dogs at higher risk for Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV), feeding a large volume in one meal put them at greater risk for GDV. Thus, with deep chested dogs, we know that more frequent feeding is best for them.

    Other than that, more frequent feeding allows us to monitor appetite a little more closely and gives an animal who's not eating well more opportunities to eat.  

    People say more frequent feeding results in an animals stomach not being empty for as long, so they feel less hunger. This makes sense, but how do you research that? 

    Behavior folks oftentimes like to feed once per day because animals are more motivated for food treats if they're hungry.  I don't know that there's research to support this as an effective technique.

    So... always lots to think about, but do whats best for the situation.  FWIW, i feed all my animals once daily and they seem happy :)


    Sheila Segurson
    Maddie's Fund

  • 3.  RE: canine feeding schedule

    Posted 08-07-2021 08:07 AM
    Hi all, I decided to feed my dogs 3x per day. Their full breakfast in the morning and then about 3-4 hours later, feed them half of dinner (which is the same as breakfast) , and then feed them the rest around 5pm. 

    Even though dogs have been domesticated, I know that if they were in the wild they would be grazing all the time.

    Also, since I've started feeding them 3x daily. One of my dogs used to vomit up bile several times per week . I took her to the vet and they found nothing wrong. Instead, my vet told me that vomiting up bile can be attributed to an empty stomach. Because I started feeding them 3x per day, they have been much more happy, playful, satiated and don't follow me around because they're hungry.

    Erica Polites
    Senior Paws Dog Rescue and Sanctuary

  • 4.  RE: canine feeding schedule

    Posted 08-18-2021 06:31 AM
    Hello Jordana,

    Excellent question. What is your current feeding schedule?  What about your enrichment program?

    In the shelter, ideally, feeding should occur throughout the day. Each day, the daily allotment of food should be measured out then used during enrichment activities, training, and behavior modification. Any food left over at the end of the day put into puzzle toys and given for the overnight. 

    Incorporating daily allotment of food into programs like "clicking" for calm behavior and "quiet" in the kennel can improve welfare, reduce aggression in the kennel, provide opportunities for positive interactions with humans, and be incorporated into  every day interactions and activities including cleaning and walking time.

    In the home, it would be the same protocols. Daily allotment of food can be measured out into various food dispensing and puzzle toys that are provided throughout the day. Some food can then be used for daily interactions with your dog or cat to reinforce desired behaviors, training opportunities, behavior modification, and positive interactions with humans.  

    Christine D. Calder DVM
    Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
    Calder Veterinary Behavior Services

    Veterinary Behaviorist
    Behavior Specialist, MPF