Walking and feeding your dog are two important responsibilities in your everyday life. But which one should you do first? Does it even make a difference whether your dog eats before or after a walk? Well, here’s what I found on the subject!
Should You Feed A Dog Before or After A Walk?
In general, it’s better for a dog to walk before eating. But you should wait at least 30 minutes to feed your dog after a walk. Eating beforehand can also be OK as long as you wait for a minimum of 1 hour before walking. Feeding your dog right before or after exercise might lead to digestive problems.
So both can be fine. You just have to allow enough time between the walk and mealtime. However, there are some benefits to eating before or after walking. Therefore, one option might be slightly better for you than the other.
Let’s explore both scenarios to find out when you should feed your dog if you plan to go on a walk.
Walking Your Dog Before Eating!
The first option is to feed your dog after the walk. Exercising with a full stomach isn’t safe nor fun. If you already did it, you understand why. So you probably don’t want your dog to experience this. That’s why it might be a good idea for him to walk before eating.
Benefits Of Walking Before Eating For Your Dog!
Walking beforehand will reduce the risks of digestive problems. It’s also generally much more comfortable and convenient to exercise with an empty stomach. Besides that, eating after the walk might help your dog to lose weight.
Even if walking is a moderate physical activity, it can still be a good way to burn calories. By eating afterward, the dog’s body will have to use the fat as energy during the walk. Thus, it can help with weight loss.
Drawbacks Of Walking Before Eating For Your Dog!
On the other hand, walking before eating also has downsides. The food is your dog’s fuel to exercise. So not eating before the walk might come with a lack of energy and a low mood. That may lead to lethargy and exhaustion in extreme cases.
If your dog is hungry during the whole walk, he might not enjoy it as much. Exercising when the only thing you want and think of is food isn’t fun. However, it can also be a good way to motivate your dog. Eating after walking might be seen as a reward.
So feeding your dog after a walk is an excellent solution, even though it’s not for everyone. But you still need to wait before giving him some food to eat. Otherwise, your dog might have difficulty and problems with digestion.
How Long Should A Dog Wait To Eat After A Walk?
In general, you should wait at least 30 minutes to feed your dog after a walk. Eating right after exercise can lead to digestive problems. The stomach and body will need some time to relax and rest. Waiting 1 hour before feeding your dog after a walk would be ideal, but the more you wait, the better.
A dog shouldn’t eat when still warm and panting from exercise. So more intense or extended physical activity will require more time for the stomach to recover and be ready for food. You can feed your dog more quickly after a short walk than a long hike.
Many other factors can influence how long you should wait between exercise and eating. Your dog’s health, physical conditions, and temperature are major elements to consider.
For example, a healthy Border Collie will probably recover much faster from a walk than an overweight Bulldog. And if it’s very hot outside, your dog can take longer to be ready for eating. So how long you should wait might vary a lot from one situation to another.
Learn more about feeding your dog after exercise!
Walking Your Dog After Eating!
The second option is to feed your dog before the walk. It makes a lot of sense because it’s logical to eat before spending energy. However, exercising with a full belly can lead to stomach pain and serious digestive problems.
Although walking is a moderate physical activity, it’s still demanding on the dog’s body. So doing it right after a meal isn’t good. But if you wait long enough between mealtime and exercise, eating before a walk might be an option worth considering.
Benefits Of Walking After Eating For Your Dog!
Feeding a dog before going on a walk can help with energy. We probably all know someone that needs food to start their day and do exercise. So your dog might be one of them. It can also be more enjoyable to walk if not hungry.
Some people also suggest that light walking after a meal can be good. I personally walk after eating, and it really seems to help. I don’t know if it also applies to dogs, but moderate and controlled physical activity shouldn’t hurt them once the digestion process is done.
Burning some calories not too long after taking them, might also feel good and help with weight control. So eating before walking might have some benefits for your dog. However, there are many potential risks you should know!
Drawbacks Of Walking After Eating For Your Dog!
My main concern with feeding your dog before a walk is the digestive problems that can result from it. Exercising with a full stomach can lead to belly pain, vomiting, and Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), commonly known as bloat.
You might have experienced the discomfort of working out after a meal. It’s not fun. Furthermore, walking with a full stomach might make it fill with food, fluid, and gas. Then, it can expand and twist. That’s how bloat or GDV occurs. And it’s a life-threatening condition.
Therefore, feeding your dog right before a walk can be a fatal mistake. Besides that, digestion requires a lot of energy from the body. So your dog might be more sluggish and lethargic on a walk after eating.
But if you wait long enough between the meal and exercise, everything should be fine.
How Long Should A Dog Wait To Walk After Eating?
You should wait at least 2 hours to walk your dog after a meal. It will give enough time for the stomach and body to digest and rest. The longer a dog waits to walk after eating, the less likely digestive problems will occur. So make sure to feed your dog a few hours before walking.
Once again, how long you should wait will vary from one case to another. Some dogs can take more time to digest than others. But in general, 2 hours should be enough for most of them to be ready for a walk after eating.
What Is The Best Time To Walk Your Dog, Before or After Eating?
The best time to walk your dog is generally before eating because it reduces the risks of digestive problems. It’s also more comfortable and requires less waiting between mealtime and exercise.
Therefore, walking on an empty stomach is more convenient and safer for your dog. But you still have to wait at least 30 minutes to feed him afterward.
A dog can also eat before a walk. It’s just more likely to cause stomach pain, vomiting, and bloat. However, there shouldn’t be any digestive problems if you wait at least 2 hours to walk your dog after eating.
So it doesn’t really matter whether you feed him before or after a walk as long as you allow enough time between eating and exercise. You can try both and see what works best for you and your dog. Your schedule and personal routine might also come into play.
Should You Feed or Walk Your Dog First In The Morning?
As exercising with a full stomach can lead to digestive problems, it’s generally better for your dog to walk before eating in the morning. Even if it’s for the first meal of the day, you should wait at least 30 minutes to feed your dog after physical activity. Some dogs won’t even want to eat before their morning walk.
Last Thoughts About When To Walk & Feed Your Dog!
Finally, eating and walking at the right time is essential for your dog’s well-being. So you should be very careful about when you feed him for exercise because his life might be at stake. But eating before and after a walk can both be OK.
What’s really important is to have enough time between mealtime and exercise. As a general rule, a dog should wait at least 1 or 2 hours before or after eating to walk. Just make sure to find when it’s best for you and stick with it because consistency is also important.
Let’s Schedule Your Dog’s Walks & Meals Properly!