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Dogs' cognitive performance may improve after breakfast, research finds

New research from the University of Kentucky has found that that dogs' cognitive performance may improve when they eat breakfast compared to when they do not eat a morning meal.

Researchers Dr. Holly Miller and Charlotte Bender tested the search performance of trained dogs after they consumed breakfast and when they fasted in the morning.

In their trials, Dr. Miller and Bender began by depleting the energy levels of all the dogs before the search began by requiring the dogs to "sit and stay" for 10 minutes. This exercise is in line with the results of a previous study by Dr. Miller that demonstrated that a dog's exertion of self-control lowers energy levels and the ability to perform certain tasks.

The dogs were shown a treat that was then hidden in one of six containers. The results, recently published in the Behavioural Processes journal, showed that the dogs that consumed breakfast searched more accurately 30 minutes after the meal than those who searched on an empty stomach.

"The key finding here is rather simple: breakfast can aid performance by dogs," Dr. Miller said.

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