Food is the fuel that allows you and your dog to exercise. But running with a full stomach isn’t safe nor fun. So it’s normal to wonder when you should feed your dog if you plan to run together. Is eating before or after better?
In general, the best time to feed your dog for running and avoid digestive problems is at least 1 hour after a run. It will give the stomach enough time to relax and recover from the exercise. You can also feed your dog before a run, but you must wait a minimum of 2 hours after the meal.
Running with a full stomach can lead to digestive problems. That’s why it’s better to feed your dog after a run. However, both can be fine as long as you wait long enough between mealtime and exercise. So let’s explore each option to determine if you should eat before or after a run.
Feeding Your Dog Before A Run!
Since food is the source of your dog’s energy, many people think feeding them before running is the way to go. Although it makes a lot of sense, have you ever tried to exercise right after a meal? If you did, you know it’s not a good idea. So you should probably not do it to your dog.
Feeding a dog right before a run can lead to serious digestive problems. Running on a full stomach is not fun nor safe, especially for dogs. However, you can still feed your dog before a run safely. You just have to wait long enough between mealtime and exercise to let the stomach digest some food before running.
How Long Should A Dog Wait To Run After Eating?
A dog should wait at least 2 hours after eating to run. It will give enough time for the stomach to digest and prepare for exercise. The more waiting, the less likely the dog is to have problems. So you should give your dog as much rest time as possible after eating if you plan to run together.
Feeding Your Dog After A Run!
If you don’t want or can’t feed your dog a few hours before a run, you might consider doing it after. That way, you won’t have to wait before hitting the trails. And your dog can still have enough energy to run, even without eating in advance. But is feeding him afterward any better?
Feeding your dog right after exercise can also lead to digestive problems, especially if it’s intense or extended. So running before a meal can be as bad as doing it afterward. The stomach will need to rest and recover after a run before being ready to eat.
How Long Should You Wait To Feed Your Dog After A Run?
In general, you should wait at least 1 hour after a run to feed your dog. It will give enough time for the body and stomach to cool down. Don’t feed your dog when still warm and panting. You should wait until full recovery from exercise. For more intense runs, it can take longer.
Learn more about feeding your dog after
Is It Better To Feed Your Dog Before or After A Run?
It’s generally more advisable to feed your dog after a run because it’s better to exercise on an empty stomach than on a full one. Running before a meal can reduce the risk of digestive problems and be more convenient. However, you still have to wait at least 1 hour before feeding your dog after a run.
On the other hand, you can also feed him before you hit the trails. You will just have to wait at least 2 hours after eating to let your dog run. So whether you feed him before or after doesn’t really matter as long as you allow enough time between running and eating.
Besides that, many other factors might come into play. Your schedule, personal preferences, dog’s conditions, and when you run together can all influence when you should feed him. You should also consider how much food you give your dog and the type of running you do.
Therefore, there’s no good answer. But feeding a dog after a run is generally better and safer than doing it beforehand. In my opinion, you should try both to see what’s best for you and your dog.
Now, here’s a more specific question that morning runners might have!
Should You Feed Your Dog Before or After A Morning Run?
If you run in the morning, you should feed your dog afterward. You have to wait at least 1 hour for the body and stomach to relax. Then, you can give your dog breakfast. Eating after a run is less likely to cause digestive problems. And your dog probably doesn’t need food before running in the morning.
Another option you might consider for long or intense runs is to feed a small portion at least 2 hours before and give the rest at least 1 hour after. That might be better for energy and performance without increasing the risks.
For example, let’s say you want to run at 10 AM. You could feed your dog about ⅓ of what he usually eats in the morning at 7 AM. Rest until 10 AM. Run. Then, rest again for 1 hour and feed your dog with ⅔ of a normal breakfast.
Why Is Feeding Your Dog Right Before or After Running Bad?
As I already said multiple times, feeding your dog too soon before or after running can lead to digestive problems. But what do I mean by that? Well, intense or extended exercise right before or after a meal can fill your dog’s stomach with food, fluids, and gas.
Then, it can suddenly turn into Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), commonly known as bloat. It consists of when the stomach of a dog expands and twists. That can interfere with blood flow and restrict other organs.
Stomach distention and GDV can be fatal. That’s why you should not feed your dog right before or after a run. Besides that, running with a full stomach isn’t comfortable. So don’t let your dog eat and exercise or vice-versa too closely, one after another.
You can learn more about bloat in this article on the VCA Hospitals. But if you think your dog is suffering from gastric dilatation-volvulus, please contact a veterinarian or emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.
Last Thoughts About Feeding A Dog Before or After A Run!
Finally, it doesn’t really matter whether you feed your dog before or after a run. What’s important is to wait long enough between mealtime and exercise. Otherwise, your dog might have digestive problems that can be life-threatening.
So you have to plan your feeding and running routine properly. Eating and exercising at the right time are essential to keep your dog healthy. Next time you plan to go for a run together, make sure to feed him at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after.
See You On Trails With Your Dog!