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Are you feeding your furry friend too often? Dogs that are only fed once a day are less likely to develop age-related conditions such as dental, gastrointestinal, orthopedic and liver disorders, a new study has found.
While the frequency of feeding depends on breed, researchers at the University of Arizona discovered that pups may benefit from less frequent feeding. In fact, those that are fed less had lower scores on a test of cognitive issue, although the team said it is too early to recommend owners change their dogs’ feeding regimes.
To understand more, scientists compared the effect of different feeding schedules on 24,238 pet dogs across nine broad health categories including cardiac, dental and neurological health. As well as this, they also evaluated the impact of feeding frequency on cognitive function for over 10,000 dogs. The dogs that were only given one meal a day appeared to exhibit less signs of developing disorders such as liver, pancreas and urinary issues.
“For nearly a century, caloric restriction has been known to extend lifespan and delay age-associated pathology in laboratory animals,” researchers wrote, reports MailOnline. “Companion dogs provide a potentially powerful animal model in which to better understand the relationship between diet and age-related health outcomes.
“Once-daily feeding in dogs serves as a natural model for the intermittent fasting/time-restricted feeding protocols currently being studied both in preclinical rodent models and in human trials.”
Please note that you should always check with your vet if you are planning on changing the feeding schedule of your pet. The researchers add: “Based on this study, we are not recommending that people make a change in the way they are feeding their dogs.”
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