A dog getting excited about feeding time is far from unusual. Many of our canine companions love nothing more than chowing down on their favorite food and filling up their tummies!
Most dogs absolutely love mealtime, but there are still exceptions. For instance, you may have noticed that your dog does not seem to be particularly excited about eating. Even if you feed them multiple times per day, they may only eat once.
Is it normal for a dog to only eat once throughout the day? That’s an important question we’ll be addressing in this article. We will also answer other related questions so you can gain a better understanding of your dog’s eating preferences.
Is It Normal for Dogs to Only Eat Once a Day?
Let’s get to the heart of the matter right away. Is it normal for a dog to only eat one time per day?
The answer is no.
After your dog chows down, their stomach will feel full for a while. Typically, adult dogs will remain full for about eight to 10 hours after their last meal.
Once enough time has passed, the food in your dog’s stomach will move to their small intestine. At that point, your dog will start to feel hungry.
Your dog will need to eat to counteract the uncomfortable and even painful symptoms of hunger they are dealing with. It would be highly unusual for any dog to pass on eating given what hunger does to their body.
Feeding your dog two times per day is the norm. That kind of feeding routine keeps them healthy and comfortable.
Puppies need to eat more frequently. Early on, puppies need to eat numerous small meals throughout the day. After reaching four months of age, puppies can transition to a feeding routine of three meals per day.
Is It Ok for Dogs to Only Eat Once Per Day?
Your dog may have developed a habit of only eating one time throughout the day. We’ve already established that a feeding routine of that nature is not normal.
Eating only time per day can be actively harmful to your pet’s health. Let’s go through the reasons why that is a problematic habit.
Your Dog Will Experience Pain Frequently
We already touched on this above, but eating only once per day means your dog is in pain consistently due to being hungry. Their body cannot just block out the symptoms of hunger. Your dog experiences all those painful symptoms.
No pet owner wants their dog to suffer like that. You can prevent that from happening by feeding your dog twice per day.
Your Dog May Become More Irritable and Aggressive
Unsurprisingly, the physical discomfort your dog feels will also affect their behavior. Your dog may become more irritable as they grow hungry. They may bark or even lunge at you if you try to approach them.
If you have other animals at home, your hungry dog may lash out at them too. They may bark or chase after the animals because they don’t feel unwell.
You cannot allow that type of aggressive behavior to persist. Feed your dog more than once per day to avoid those issues.
Your Dog May Become Destructive
Your pet may deal with the discomfort they’re experiencing by becoming more destructive. They may grab your shoes or slippers and start to chew them up. If your dog already has that habit, it could be related to them only eating once per day.
Dogs who experience discomfort from hunger may also go into the garbage container and scatter its contents. Your home may end up covered in pieces of garbage because your dog is not feeling well.
Why Does My Dog Only Eat Once Per Day?
Dogs only eating one time per day is not good for them. Given that fact, you may be wondering why your pet has developed that habit. It’s even harder to understand if you take the time to feed them twice in a single day.
It’s important to understand that your pet did not develop that habit accidentally. Listed below are the potential explanations for that unhealthy habit.
Your Dog Is Sick
Is your dog’s unusual eating habit a new thing or something they’ve always done? If it’s the former, then an illness may explain your dog’s odd behavior.
Dogs may lose their appetite due to certain illnesses. They may also be in pain currently. That pain can prevent them from eating.
Take your dog to the veterinarian if their eating routine has changed. After receiving treatment, your dog should be back to eating twice per day again.
Your Dog Eats Outside of Their Feeding Times
Do you know what your dog gets up to during the day? Your dog may be sneaking some meals in while you’re at work. If you let them out into your yard, they may be getting some treats from the neighbor as well.
A single proper feeding may suffice for your dog because they eat throughout the day anyway. Make sure they don’t eat outside of their mealtimes so they don’t spoil their appetite or get too heavy.
Your Dog Is Used to Eating Once Per Day
If you’re adopting an older dog, you have to familiarize yourself with their habits. For example, your new dog may be used to only eating once per day. That’s why they refuse to touch the second serving of food.
When it comes to this particular issue, you should just continue what you’re doing. Keep feeding your dog twice per day and they should adjust eventually.
Your Dog Doesn’t Like Their Food
Lastly, dogs may limit their feeding simply because they don’t like the food you’re serving. They may not be used to it to dry dog food after eating leftovers for so long. The inverse is also possible.
Ask your veterinarian for suggestions regarding what to feed your dog. Heed their recommendations and check if your new pet likes them more.
What to Do about My Dog Only Eating Once Per Day?
Improving your dog’s eating habits should be your priority. Get your dog used to eating twice per day after following the tips in this section.
Space Out Your Dog’s Feeding Times
Dogs start to get hungry eight to 10 hours after eating. Knowing that, you may want to adjust their eating routine.
Make sure there’s enough time between your dog’s meals so they’re eager to eat right as you’re serving them food.
Switch Up Your Dog’s Food
Don’t be afraid of changing your dog’s food if you believe doing so will encourage them to eat more. Look for healthy food options online or ask your veterinarian for some suggestions.
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Sufficient Exercise
Regular exercise helps your dog burn off calories. They will also develop a healthier appetite because they’re more active. Develop an exercise routine for your dog so they become more open to eating more than once in a single day.
Visit the Veterinarian
Your dog’s poor eating habits may be caused by some sort of illness or underlying condition. Bring your pet to the veterinarian so any issues can be identified.
Once those health issues are resolved, you’ll see that your dog is more than happy to eat multiple meals. Just don’t go overboard with the feeding or you’ll run into other problems.