If you are new to owning a dog, you may be wondering how you should plan your day around walks and your other dog’s needs.
Do you need to take your dog out immediately after a meal, or should you wait a few hours? How long after your dog eats do you need to take him out?
It takes dogs 5 minutes to 2 hours from the moment their stomach is full to the time they want to poop. They will poop the remains of their previous meals, not the most recent meal. It takes dogs 10-24 hours to fully digest food and poop it out.
The canine digestion system is unique in many ways. Understanding it can be crucial to making sure your best friend is given the best life possible.
In this article, I’ll help you understand more about dog digestion and answer common related questions. I’ll also give you tips and guidelines on how you can shape a dog-walking plan that’ll suit your schedule.
Dog’s digestive systems are somewhat different from ours. Their stomachs are a bit slower to begin the digestion process than human stomachs. However, their intestinal tracts are much faster than ours.
It takes dogs 10 to 24 hours after consuming a meal for it to fully digest and move through the entire digestive system. That time depends on factors such as breed, age, and diet. As a comparison, human beings take 24 to 72 hours to fully digest a large meal.
Giant dog breeds tend to take much more than 24 hours—they can take as long as 57 hours or more in some cases.
When a dog’s stomach becomes full as it eats, a signal is sent to the colon that it is time to defecate what’s already inside the bowels.
It can take as little as 5 minutes up to an hour from when a dog’s stomach is full to the time they want to poop. Young puppies tend to want to poop sooner than adults, while senior dogs tend to need more time than adults.
Since dogs tend to want to poop at a time close to their meal, you should schedule at least 20-30 minutes for walks after meals. That’ll give your dog the chance to properly eliminate. This is especially important if your dog is senior.
It’s important to remember that the poop your dog defecated after eating is the previous meal’s waste, not his most recent one.
On average, healthy adult dogs poop 2 or 3 times a day. Between 1 to 5 times a day is still considered normal, as long as it is consistent. If your dog doesn’t defecate or goes potty more than 5 times a day, something may be off healthwise.
If your dog hasn’t pooped the entire day, he may be suffering from constipation. In that case, I advise you to consult with your vet.
The number of times a dog goes potty in a day depends on many factors. Here are the most common ones:
If you have been feeding your dog low-quality food made with fillers and preservatives, you may find that he poops too little or too much in a day.
These low-grade foods provide minimal nutrients and a whole lot of unnecessary ingredients. In other words, I recommend shopping for high-quality dog food.
Any food your dog eats that doesn’t get digested needs to come out. It’s natural for dogs that consume a lot to poop more than usual.
I recommend feeding your dog on a schedule and not leaving a bowl out. Dogs of all ages do best on a consistent schedule.
Dogs need some time to adjust to a new diet.
If you’ve just introduced a new food to your dog’s diet and he’s pooping much more than usual, you may have done it too fast.
I recommend you to dial the food back for a while and reintroduce it slowly over at least a week:
|Days Since Introduction of New Diet||% of New Diet||% of Old Diet|
Puppies are usually fed more often than adults and tend to digest and metabolize that food at a stunning rate. That means their need to go potty is increased.
These young dogs should poop within minutes after consuming a meal and may even defecate between meals.
What if your dog just ate something he shouldn’t, like a squeaker, for example? When would that show up in his poop?
Foreign objects can cause life-threatening obstructions. If your dog shows signs like vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, pain, or lethargy, immediately call or rush your dog to your vet. It could save your dog’s life.
In case your dog seems healthy and normal the day after he ingested the foreign object, continue monitoring him.
If the foreign object is small enough to pass through the dog’s digestive tract, it should be pooped out in 10 to 24 hours. Some larger objects may even take days or weeks to pass, and objects too big to pass may require medical intervention.
If your dog shows the symptoms mentioned earlier any time after the foreign object’s ingestion, rush him to the vet immediately.
Most dogs are at their best when on a regular schedule.
A schedule will make your dog’s pee and poop times more predictable. That way, you know exactly when to feed your dog, when to go out for a potty break, and experience fewer accidents around your home.
Here are some general tips to help you and your dog build a regular and healthy pooping schedule:
A recently adopted puppy or adult dog may not be used to keeping a regular pooping schedule. This can be due to generalized anxiety from being in a new place. Give your dog some time to adjust. If it doesn’t get resolved after a few days, contact your vet.
Dogs sometimes have a tough time pooping in a new place, especially when they don’t feel secure enough.
Do your best to calm your dog down before expecting him to poop comfortably. Also, try taking him to a quieter spot first.
If you got your dog from a shelter, it could have also gotten sick right before coming home with you. For that reason, if your dog is having trouble defecating for an entire day or two in a row, I recommend consulting with your vet.
Peeing and pooping at the same time? Isn’t that a dog owner’s dream? What an efficient pup.
Or is it, though?
Peeing and pooping at the same time may indicate a medical problem like incontinence, among others. Consult with your vet to rule those out. If your dog seems healthy, he was probably desperate for a potty break. In that case, try going out for more potty breaks during the day.