best time to feed dog before or after walk
Walk of a young woman with dog at sunset next to a paddock.

We all know that when owning a dog, we have to make sure they get their daily walks and exercise. This doesn’t only help with their overall health, but it also strengthens their relationship with you. However, just like how we exercise and do our activities, we need to fuel up with the right food. But when’s the best time to feed dog: before or after walk?

There are different things to consider when it comes to their feeding time revolving around their walks. With that being said, read on as I show you when to feed your dog and if it should be before or after their walks.

The Best Time to Feed Dog: Before or After Walk?

When it comes to walking your dog, doing it at least once a day for half an hour (or less) is recommended. However, some owners think that they require food before walks to fuel their energy. On the other hand, others want to feed them right after walking to prevent their dogs from having stomach pain after consumption.

So what’s the right answer?

It’s best to feed your dog AFTER walks and exercising. I highly recommend that you feed them only after their walks or training, especially if you have big dogs who are more susceptible to bloating.

Why? I’ll be explaining it in the next section.

Walking Your Dog After Meals

A lot of dog owners prefer walking their dog after they eat as it has them defecate and urinate easily. Plus, it gives them more energy to finish their exercise.

However, there is a bad consequence to it, and that’s the stomach twists. This is a syndrome which can cause stomach torsion and swelling, affecting their digestive flow and even causing serious sickness or death.

Think of it like eating a heavy meal and going for a huge marathon or intense workout right after. Of course, it would cause some major stomach pain. This goes for all types of dog breeds, even if they have different food and exercise requirements.

But if you do want to feed them before walks, it’s best to ensure that they are fed at least four hours before walks.

Why Walk Your Dog Before Meals?

Walking your dog before they eat doesn’t only help them avoid stomach twists, it also encourages them to finish their walk! This is because they can be accustomed to a routine where they know eating comes after their walks, so the more excited they get to walk and get home for mealtime.

Just make sure that before giving their meal (after walks), they are calmed down, around one hour or so. This prevents their excitement from having them eat too fast, which can cause other mild stomach problems. When dogs eat too close to their walks, it may affect their metabolism, causing tummy problems besides stomach twists.

If you’re hesitant because of the toilet problems after eating, then it’s best to watch out for any behavior they do before they defecate or urinate, and take them out after. Once they’re used to walks and their routine, they’ll be able to manage their bathroom habits.

As for the best times to walk your dog, this depends on the feeding routine they’re used to. I prefer giving them a routine that helps with all of their exercise, feeding, and toilet needs.

So it’s best to walk them in the morning for the toilet, then have them eat a LIGHT breakfast. Walk hem in the early afternoon again, then walk them in the evening before their dinnertime. It’s also best to walk them before bed and four hours after their last meal for the day to urinate or defecate as needed.

Check out this interesting video on feeding an excited dog (usually after a walk):

Detecting Stomach Problems In Dogs

While walking your dog before meals help lessen the risk of stomach twists, it doesn’t completely remove the chances of it happening. In case they experience the following symptoms:

  • Burps or noticeable pain around the abdomen
  • Whines and are restless
  • Vomits frothy saliva
  • Belly feels hard or swollen

Then it’s best to consult your vet to have them checked as soon as possible. This may be stomach twists or other digestive problems because of their eating habits and walks.

Wrapping It Up

When it comes to walking your dog, you should make sure that they have enough food for energy and refueling. Because there are many different exercise and food requirements dog breeds have, it’s important to know when to feed them according to their breed and individual needs. That way, there’s no worry about them going hungry or tired.

I hope that this article answers your question on the best time to feed dog: before or after walk. So start creating efficient food and exercise schedule for your pet now!

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