Why intermittent fasting can be good for dogs

intermittent fasting dogs

Yes, dogs and intermittent fasting can go together. In recent years, humans have been embracing diets such as the 5:2 and Fast 800 as a way of kickstarting their metabolism, losing weight and improving overall health. So, it’s not surprising to discover that these benefits also translate to our furry friends.

Dogs are evolutionarily designed to skip meals, so fasting and intermittent eating can have a positive effect on your pupper’s health and longevity.

How can your dog benefit from intermittent fasting?

Fasting can boost immunity and longevity
Digesting a large meal consumes a lot of energy.  The idea of taking a break from eating is that it gives the body more energy to do other things such as repair, toxin removal and general regeneration.

A study has found that reduced food intake, avoiding malnutrition, can ameliorate aging and aging-associated diseases in invertebrate model organisms, rodents, primates, and humans. Recent findings indicate that meal timing is crucial, with both intermittent fasting and adjusted diurnal rhythm of feeding improving health and function, provided intake is not reduced.

Fasting can facilitate detox
If your dog has constant access to food, they will firstly get their energy from glucose, which is favoured in times of plenty.  When this source has been consumed, the body will then start to burn fat. Toxins are stored in fat which is why fasting can help your pooch to purge itself of any nasties.

Fasting results in cellular cleansing
The body is constantly generating new cells and killing off old ones. When your dog is fasting, this activity increases. This process is called macrophage and it engulfs and destroys bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances and ingests worn-out or abnormal body cells.

Fasting is anti-inflammatory for dogs
Fasting reduces the amount of insulin in your dog’s body. Insulin transports sugar to cells and is a pro-inflammatory hormone. Fasting gives the immune system a break from this activity for a while, freeing it up to do more productive things.

Fasting has been shown to help dogs cope with chemotherapy
There is growing evidence that short-term fasting protects from toxicity while enhancing the efficacy of a variety of chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of various tumour types. Lyka’s co-founder and in-house Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir is embracing this concept in his clinic with pleasing results.

intermittent fasting dogs

How to implement a fasting regime for your dog

It is important to remember that fasting does not mean starving your pupper. It is about the timing of meals, not the quantity. Dr. Matthew Muir supports this feeding practice, and has always fed his pets this way.

Most adult dogs are likely to benefit from 1 or 2 feeds within one 8-hour window. This still provides your dog with 16-18 hours without food, which will provide enough time for the benefits of fasting to kick in. Some nutritionists and vets advocate for this to be afternoon-based feeding, as it is thought that the liver is more proficient at processing nutrients during this time. Be sure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times.

When is fasting a bad idea?

Never fast puppies, dogs with diabetes or pregnant dogs. If your dog has health issues or is underweight please consult your vet, holistic vet or veterinary nutritionist.

Lyka: nutrient dense meals bursting with benefits

Lyka offers a mix calorie-restricted, nutrient-rich recipes that are portion controlled, so you can easily implement a fasting regime whilst ensuring that your pupper’s nutritional needs are being met. Each recipe is vet-formulated and contains a selection of handpicked human-grade ingredients to benefit your pupper from the inside out. Always discuss any questions or health concerns you have with your vet.