Can I Feed My Dog Once A Day At Night?

When compared to other creatures in the animal kingdom, dogs are well-known for their voracious appetites. Naturally, if your dog appears to be less interested in his meals, you should be concerned about his or her health and take them for a trip to the vet for evaluation. Some dogs are fed only once a day rather than eating 2 or 3 meals, but can you feed your dog once a day at night? Is it safe for dogs?

No. It is not safe for dogs, and you should never feed your dog only once a day, especially before going to bed at night. It is detrimental to a canine’s health and may lead to obesity, lethargy, laziness, and bad bathroom routines.

Continue reading for further information on why only feeding your dog once a day can have negative impacts on their health and daily habits.

Why Feeding Your Dog Only Once a Day is Detrimental to Your Canine’s Health

Some studies have claimed that nighttime feeding (especially only once a day) may increase your canines’ longevity by reducing age-related health issues and improving certain conditions. However, many others have noted that this type of once-daily feeding schedule can make canines obese as well as lead to arthritis or other health-related issues. If a dog struggles with digestive issues in general, the extended hours without food may also lead to vomiting and other unfortunate side effects.

Usually, the optimal times to feed your dog are early in the morning, around 8 am, and around 6:30 pm in the evening. You want as close to a 12-hour gap as possible or simply whatever time frame is similar in duration but works best with your family schedule, such as feeding at 6 am before taking the kids to school and feeding at 6 pm when the family eats dinner. The reason for this schedule is that the structure and chemistry of the dog digestive system necessitates a period of 4 to 6 hours for the meal to be digested and absorbed completely.

Natural Dog Feeding Behavior

The scavenging nature of wild dogs and wolves means that they eat when food is available since they never know when they will come upon their next meal. Wolves and other similar wild dogs became accustomed to consuming large quantities of food in a single sitting whenever they got the chance. 

On the other hand, domesticated dogs have developed significant differences from their wild ancestors. A tiny shih tzu with a small stomach, for example, will probably graze far more than a wolf due to its huge size difference, fast metabolism, and lack of notable body fat that requires it to eat more frequently to sustain healthy blood glucose levels. 

However, regardless of how often your dog is fed, there is one consideration you should always try to remember: when you are giving your dog his food, you should try your best to ensure he is in a peaceful area where he will eat without being interrupted or distracted by others. Fresh water should also be readily available at all times.

How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?

How Often Should You Feed Your Dog

Young puppies should be fed about four meals a day, with the number of meals decreasing to three around the age of four months and two at the age of six months. It is critical that a puppy is offered food that is appropriate for his or her age and breed size. There are diets that are particularly created for puppies and young dogs that will guarantee that your developing pup obtains the nourishment necessary for optimum long-term health and proper bone development as it matures.

Dogs above the age of 12 months should be fed 1-2 times per day. The energy expenditure of little breeds is greater than that of large breeds, so they should be fed 2-3 small meals each day instead. The secret with toy breeds is to consume little but often!

What Should You Do If Your Dog Isn’t Getting Enough to Eat?

If your dog isn’t getting enough to eat during the day, especially depending upon its age and breed size, there are a few different things you can try to encourage your canine companion to eat more regularly and ensure a healthy diet.

Make a schedule for your day

By creating a schedule for your pup, you can help him understand what to expect from his day, and he will begin to look forward to mealtimes. You should set your pet’s food down, and if he doesn’t eat it within 15-20 minutes, you should remove it from the feeding area and put it away. Offer him his second bowl of food at the next regular mealtime, and he will hopefully be a little more hungry than he was during the first attempt. Eventually, your dog will learn what times that food will be available and you will also learn which times of the day your dog is most comfortable consuming his or her meals.

Avoid leaving food out all day since it encourages bad behaviors and can lead to your dog picking and grazing on their food. This makes it more problematic when trying to keep track of your dog’s food consumption. Dogs are also not particularly adept at self-regulating their weight; thus, it is possible that they will gain weight if allowed to simply eat any amount of food whenever they please.

Make sure that your dog is eating a high-quality diet

Make certain that your dog is eating high-quality food like this that contains a high protein content and low quantities of carbohydrate and junk elements. Generally speaking, foods that have a good quantity of animal (beef or chicken) ingredients rather than vegetable fillers are quite delicious to canines as well.

If you’re unsure about what your dog’s dietary needs may be, consult your veterinarian to learn what exactly your dog’s specific breed should be eating on a regular basis and adjust your pup’s meals to ensure they’re as healthy as possible.

Try moistening the dry dog food with water

Some canines prefer the feel of wet food over that of dry food. If your dog seems uninterested in dry kibble, you can try soaking the dry food in some warm water for a brief period before serving them to soften the food up if it’s really hard. You can also use other dog-friendly options with additional health benefits like bone broth.

Feed your dog in a quiet environment

Feed your dog in a quiet environment

Dogs are often distracted and sometimes find it difficult to concentrate on their food, especially if there are multiple other animals or people present at the time. If possible, allow them to eat on their own in a peaceful section of the home so that they may concentrate on their food without distractions.

Add some wet food to the dry mix

You may also want to try mixing some wet food into your dog’s kibble to get him to eat a little more. Many dogs find wet meals to be highly appetizing, and these also tend to include a significant amount of protein as well. However, wet foods have the drawback of being a little more smelly and a little more difficult to feed, but your dog will certainly appreciate the luxury of such a meal.

After an exercise session, give your dog a treat

Taking your dog for a walk can help boost a canine’s hunger, so consider feeding your dog one of its meal once he has finished going on a walk or participating in some other form of exercise. The practice of eating after physical exercise rather than before may also assist in reducing the risk of stomach dilation.


What factors should you consider before deciding on what you’ll feed your dog?

Go for high-quality food over low-quality food since poor-quality meals generate more waste and can cause digestive difficulties. It is critical to understand your dog’s current weight as well as the recommended weight for his or her individual breed. If you are unsure about the optimal weight for your dog, you can always speak with your veterinarian.

Following that, assess the dog’s activity level, taking into consideration all variables (activity level, age, etc.) as well as any additional calorie intake from treats or other sources. The initial quantity of food can then be modified in accordance with the results. You should weigh your canine at least once a month after you have begun giving him a suitable quantity of food to assess if you are on the correct track.

If required, adjust the amount of food according to the dog’s optimal weight by increasing or decreasing the serving size slightly. Most pups are overfed and under-exercised, so if you are unsure about how much to give initially, feed a bit less than you think is necessary.

Is it necessary to feed my dog breed-specific food?

The nutritional requirements of a dog are determined by various factors, including the breed, amount of activity they receive, and their age. It is crucial to select a diet that is tailored to your dog’s specific health requirements. Breed-specific diets may be quite beneficial in terms of keeping your pet’s health in good condition.

When you should start giving your dog a once-daily meal to keep him healthy?

It’s best to feed any medium to large dogs at least twice a day to maintain balanced energy levels, healthy digestion, and regular bathroom habits. On the other hand, small breeds consume energy more quickly than giant breeds, and they should instead be fed 2-3 small meals a day.

See Also:
Can Dogs Have Lemon Cookies?
Why Does My Dog Lick the Floor After Eating?
Does Dog Food Taste Good to Dogs?
Can Dogs Have Animal Crackers? (A Detailed Explanation)
9 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Covering Her Puppies

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.