As a dog owner, you’ve probably asked, “how long should I wait to walk my dog after eating?”
You shouldn’t take your dog for a walk for at least an hour and preferably two after its eaten. Not only that you should try to stop your dog from playing, running around or getting over excited after it has eaten a bowl of food.
We know that asking a dog and certainly a puppy not to get excited is tough, but later in this article we will share our tips on how to combat that problem.
Dog and puppy feeding tips
Not sure of the best practises when it comes to keeping your dog fed and watered properly? Well wonder no longer. We’re here to answer those questions and more.
From our research, we found that two smaller meals are much better for your pooch than one big meal. It’s also best to try and not let your pup wolf down their food.
Make should that your dog/puppy is continuously supplied with fresh water so that they don’t drink lots straight after eating.
Digestive problems, like indigestion and bloating, are more common in larger breeds like Bernese Mountain Dogs, Greyhounds or Alsatians.
If you suspect your dog has digestive problems then you should consult a qualified vet. If you are not registered with a vets surgery you can find one in your area by following the link in the “Resources” section near the bottom of this post.
When you do take your pooch for a walk, you should limit it to around thirty minutes each time for smaller dogs.
Later in this article, we will talk about what you can do if your puppy wants to play after eating.
First though, let’s find out how long you should let your dog rest for after they’ve eaten.
How long should a puppy rest after eating?
Like adult dogs, vets recommend encouraging a puppy rest for around two hours after they’ve had a meal.
This can be more difficult with puppies because they want to play with you a lot of the time, so if you can’t get them to rest, its best just to be a bit cautious and keep the activity as light as possible.
Running is the activity that can be harmful, so some good choices for playing after they’ve eaten include:
- Playing with a toy.
- Mental exercises and challenges.
Have you ever noticed how dogs play with one another?
They either chase each other around like maniacs (not good after a meal) or they like to roll around on the floor together and dive on top of each other a bit like a couple of wrestlers.
Of the two options wrestling is less active than running around so it’s preferable.
So rather than letting them chase round the room, if you try lying on the floor with them, they will often jump on you and get a bit excited at first, but you can quite quickly calm them down.
Gently wrestle with them but go slower and slower and then before long you can usually get them to calm right down and just lie by you on the floor.
One thing most dogs like more than anything, is being close to you and it really helps you to bond with your new puppy.
What about feeding them after a walk?
With puppies, you should ideally wait thirty to sixty minutes after they’ve been for a walk to feed them.
How long after dogs eat do they poop?
A puppy’s digestive tract is extremely efficient and quick. Anywhere from five to thirty minutes after a puppy eats, they will want to poop.
This is good when you are house training your pup because with a regular eating schedule, you and your dog can take trips outside when needed.
For adult dogs, the speed at which they digest food varies according to the type of breed.
Typically, it can take anywhere from eight to ten hours to completely digest a meal, but it may take as long as twelve hours or as little as four, depending on the type of food they have eaten.
There are some factors that may influence how often your dog poops, they include:
- The type of food and ingredients – Dogs tend to digest wet foods faster than dry foods.
- Age – Puppies need to go to the toilet more often than adult pooches. Older dogs may also need to go more frequently because the muscles of their digestive system work less efficiently than they did when they were younger.
- The amount of food eaten – If your dog has eaten a larger than usual volume of food, they will obviously poo more often.
- The food ingredients – If your pooch eats lots of fibre, it will likely cause them to poop more frequently.
- Stress – When dogs are stressed, they release a hormone called norepinephrine, which speeds up the digestive process and makes them defecate more often.
A bit later on in this article, we’ll discuss the best time of the day to feed your dog.
Now though, let’s turn to what you can do if your puppy wants to play after eating.
Should you feed your dog after or before a walk?
Let’s look at this question from both sides. First, why you may want to feed your dog after a walk. One reason for this is to avoid something called stomach twist or gastric torsion.
This happens when too much air gets trapped in the stomach which can cause the guts to twist during sharp, quick movements.
The odds of your dog getting a stomach twist are really low, however.
Other reasons you may want to feed your dogs after a walk can be:
- To avoid them becoming lazy or lethargic.
- So they can spend energy before a meal.
Now, to explore why you might want to feed your pup before a walk. If you feed your dog before exercising you will be able to develop more consistent toilet habits, as dogs tend to want to poop fairly quickly after they have eaten.
Ultimately though, you should choose the most convenient option for you and your dog.
Now let’s talk about how long you should walk your pooch for after they’ve eaten.
How long should you walk your dog for after they have eaten?
A walk of between one and three miles will be suitable for most dog breeds after they have eaten. You will get to know your own dog and remember as they get older dogs will walk slower.
If you take your dog out before dawn or after dusk then you may find this article, about the best dog walking torch, useful.
With puppies, it’s best to let them set a pace they are comfortable with.
Of course, where, and how long you will walk your pup for will depend on the weather and terrain.
When should you feed your dog?
Mature dogs need to be fed two times a day, usually morning and evening before or after some exercise or a walk. Puppies need three meals each day.
You should typically wait anywhere from four to six hours between feeds. This gap allows your dog to properly digest previous meals before they eat again.
Can I feed my dog snacks?
“Experts” will tell you that, as a rule, snacks should make up no more than ten percent of a dog’s daily calorie intake.
My personal view is that feeding your dog treats, and table scraps etc throughout the day is not a good idea. In an ideal world you shouldn’t do it.
If the meals you feed them are properly balanced, nutritional food then they will not need snacks. I know that trying not to spoil a loving dog or cute puppy is tough, but it is for the best.
If you weigh out your dog/puppies’ meals in the bowl (you can use a bowl with a weighing scale on it) you will totally control your dog’s calorie intake.
If you and other family members are each feeding titbits throughout the day you have no clue what the dog is actually eating.
I always have a dog biscuit or two in my pocket when we go out for a walk and if I need to call the dog back to me, I will give them one small biscuit as a reward. The reason I do that with puppies is to ingrain into them from an early age that when I call them, they should come to me.
If you absolutely can’t resist giving the snacks, then at least provide them with a healthy option. Apples, carrots, cucumber, celery and other items like that are fine.
It’s probably best to avoid most “doggy treats” you see packaged up in pet shops as a lot of them have all sorts of additives in them, and stay clear of anything sugary.
If you want to find a qualified vet to check your dog over for and digestive issues (or anything else for that matter) then you can locate a veterinary surgery in your area by using the official Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) website. See the website here.
We have covered that you should usually leave a couple of hours after feeding before you exercise your dog.
We hope that some of the other great tips we have provided will also help you really take care of your pampered pup. Now the dilemma of walking your dog after a meal should forever be solved.