You’ve probably never considered it before, but do you know how long it takes for your pampered pooches to digest their tasty meals? It’s actually quite an important thing to know, especially when it comes to walking or exercising right after. Why don’t we take a closer look at how long it takes, why, and what it means when things are a little 'off'?

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  1. Here is How Dogs Digest Food
  2. How Long After Eating Should I Wait to Walk My Dog
  3. How to Do Dogs of Different Sizes and Ages Digest Food
  4. Symptoms of Digestive Problems in Dogs
  5. FAQs
  6. Conclusion

Here is How Dogs Digest Food

Your dog’s digestive system is made up of various organs, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. These organs work together to break down food into nutrients that can be absorbed by the body, along with the liver and pancreas, which provide fluids and compounds that aid in the digestion process.

Your pup’s food goes through two processes: mechanical digestion and chemical digestion. Mechanical digestion involves the physical breakdown of food, which starts in the mouth as your dog chews and continues through the contractions of the stomach, esophagus, and intestines. At the same time, the food is broken down into compounds that the body can absorb using a chemical digestion process involving enzymes and acids.

As the food travels through the small and large intestines, your dog’s body absorbs nutrients and fluids, leaving behind indigestible materials to be eliminated as doggy doo-doo. And that, in a nutshell, is how digestion works for dogs.

You can keep an eye on your pet’s eating and digestive habits using your interactive pet cam. Eating and drinking more or less than usual is often one of the first signs that there’s something wrong.

How Long After Eating Should I Wait to Walk My Dog

You should not take your dog out for a walk immediately after they have eaten. It’s just the same as not being advisable for humans to partake in rigorous exercise directly after eating. In both cases, the outcome is likely to be an upset stomach, specifically vomiting.

Most vets recommend waiting at least two hours after eating before allowing your dog to exercise. So, if you feed them at 8 a.m., you can’t walk them until at least 10 a.m.

How to Do Dogs of Different Sizes and Ages Digest Food

On average, dogs take approximately eight to ten hours to digest their food, according to research. For some context, it takes humans, on average, between 20 and 30 hours. For cats, it can take months for some food items to be digested, but it usually only takes 10 to 24 hours.

Larger dogs usually have a slightly slower digestive process than their smaller counterparts, but this isn’t a definitive rule. A large stomach will hold more food than a smaller one, and a larger amount of food will take longer to digest.

Dry food takes longer to digest than wet food for dogs, and foods with lots of additives and unnatural extras will be tougher to digest than fresher, more wholesome foods. The amount of exercise they get will play a big part. Digestion also slows down with age, so if you have a more mature pup, it will take a longer time than much younger dogs.

As a side note, food moves much slower through the stomach of your dog than it does through the small and large intestines.

Symptoms of Digestive Problems in Dogs

Digestive problems can look different depending on the dog, the breed, the specific digestive issue, and more. Canine parvo brings vomiting, no appetite, and blood in the stool in the first few days of infection. The same symptoms can also arise as a result of gastrointestinal campylobacteriosis, also known as Campylobacter infection.

These symptoms are vague, which means that blood tests, urine and stool sample testing, physical examinations, and other diagnostic testing are important. The right diagnosis leads to treatment, which then leads to your pet being back to full health again.

The following are common symptoms of digestive issues in dogs:

These symptoms can point in the direction of very serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, which is why you should seek urgent medical attention should you notice them. Petcube’s Emergency Fund covers digestive issues and other life-threatening issues for less than $1 per month. With up to $3,000 worth of emergency care and online vets on-call around the clock, it’s pet protection at a perfect price.

It gets better, too! Petcube is currently offering an exclusive offer for blog readers only. Use this link to get 27% off.


How Can I Monitor How Long My Dog Takes to Digest Food?

This isn’t going to be a very pleasant conversation, my friends, but one of the easiest ways to check your dog’s digestive tract, specifically when it comes to how long it all takes, is to feed them sweetcorn. It must be plain — no extra ingredient, sweetcorn — cooked in plain hot water.

It’s not an easy-to-digest vegetable, so you will be able to spot it at the other end (cough). From the time your dog eats the sweetcorn to the time they poop it out, that is how long it takes for your dog to digest food.

How Long After Eating Do Dogs Poop?

This will differ from dog to dog, but many of them will want to relieve themselves around 30 to 45 minutes after eating. The majority will poop between 8 and 12 hours later. Your dog will let you know which kind of pattern you should follow, and you’ll soon learn when you get there too late.

How Long After Eating Does a Puppy Poop?

Puppies will poop much quicker than their adult counterparts after eating. It can be as quick as 5 minutes later, up to 30 minutes later. Just like adult dogs, however, this will differ from puppy to puppy, breed to breed, and more.


Knowing what happens when your pet eats and digests food and how long it takes for them specifically, you’ll be able to pick up on the warning signs of diseases or issues as quickly as possible. In turn, this will lead to a quicker diagnosis and a higher chance of your four-legged friend being nurtured back to full health.

As always, if you’re in any doubt, always seek advice from licensed, qualified veterinarians, such as those offered by Petcube, available around the clock.

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