Best Time to Feed Dog Before or After Walk (Complete Guide)

If you own a dog, you probably realize you have to walk them every day to allow them to get exercise as well as to go to the bathroom. However, did you ever wonder what is the best time to feed dogs before or after a walk?

The timeframe you feed your dog in regard to their daily exercise could significantly affect their health, particularly if you own a large breed dog such as a Great Dane.

Should I feed my dog before or after a walk?

Best Time to Feed Dog Before or After Walk

Should I feed the dog before or after a walk? The answer is that you shouldn’t because in some cases it can cause a dog to get bloated or otherwise called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). It is an issue that could kill your dog.

Simply, what it means is a dog shouldn’t be fed a big meal within an hour of getting ready to go on a walk or after returning from a walk.

This applies no matter if the walk is in the early morning or late evening, it doesn’t matter. You must keep it in mind in order to prevent your dog from having digestive issues before or after a walk.

What is bloat in dogs?

Dog bloat, also called GDV, is a top killer of larger breeds of dogs. It usually occurs about two or three hours after a dog eats a large amount of food. What happens is the dog’s stomach fills up with air (gas) and it suffers gastric dilation.

This then makes their stomach twist and the blood supply to their digestive system is blocked. Dogs with this condition can die within a mere two hours if affected.

The dogs more likely to get bloated are the giant breeds or if they have a narrow and deep chest.

Related Post: How to Massage Gas Out of a Dog

This applies especially to dogs like Great Danes, Bloodhounds, Saint Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds, German Shepherds, Irish Setters, Labradors, Akitas, Weimaraners, Poodles, and Boxers. However, any breed can get bloated, just these are more likely.

Benefits of walking a dog before eating

If you walk a dog before eating, it could in some cases have benefits. If the dog is fat and needs to lose weight, it is a known fact they can lose weight and burn fat faster when fasting.

This also gives the digestive system a rest since it doesn’t have to work hard to digest the food while at the same time the body is exercising. Still, you should wait an hour after the walk before going on the walk to prevent bloat, etc.  

Benefits of walking my dog after eating

Even though it is true that walking a dog after eating can cause potential issues, exercise will have an effect on how the dog’s digestive tract moves their food within the action of digestion.

As long as you wait the hour or so after the dog has eaten, then in most cases, the dog will not suffer bloat.

When a dog eats, their glucose level goes up. But if you take them on a walk, it helps to keep them stable.

That’s due to the fact glucose uses up the dog’s energy and if there is less glucose then the dog won’t have high blood sugar.

But if your dog is a diabetic, that could be a problem and make their blood sugar level too low, so a diabetic dog should go on a strenuous walk after eating even if they wait an hour.

Problems of walking a dog before eating

In most cases, experts say not to walk a dog before eating, but some dogs may require food for having enough energy to go on that walk if you plan to set a high pace or go a far distance.

Still, you should wait that hour to be sure your dog will be ok.

However, you really should give the dog time to digest their meal prior to going on a walk.

Some dogs may need to go to the bathroom shortly after eating, but you could take them on a brief trip outside to pee or poop and then directly go back in the house for a while.

Problems of walking a dog after eating

Though every dog is different, there are things to consider for any dog when it comes to walking dog after eating. Partly it depends on how far you are going to walk as well as how fast you are going to walk the dog, as stated earlier.

Some dogs get very excited when they know they are going on a walk. This is another reason not to walk a dog right after eating since the excitement can be more likely to make them jump around and get a twisted stomach, which causes the life-threatening bloat as described earlier.

Also, some dogs will vomit or get stomach cramps if they go for a walk directly after eating even if it doesn’t cause the bloat issue.

Maintain your schedule For Your Dog

Best Time to Feed Dog Before or After Walk

Whatever the case, you need to maintain your schedule for your dog in order to give it a balanced routine and stability in their lives.

Dogs thrive on routine and it makes for a healthier and happier pup in the long term. So be sure to feed, water, exercise, play, and put your dog to bed at the same times every day if possible.


All in all, most experts say to wait an hour or two before or after a dog’s walk in order to prevent digestive problems like vomiting, cramps, or life threatening bloat.

It is best to feed your dog before or after a walk. If you feed your dog before a walk, they will be less likely to eat everything in sight while on their walk.

If you feed your dog after their walk, they will be more tired and less likely to beg for food.

Whichever option you choose, make sure to always monitor your dog’s food intake to ensure they are staying healthy.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Should I feed my Dog before Or after a walk: What’s Best?

All in all, it is best to wait one hour before or one hour after you feed your dog before or after a walk. Most experts hold to this rule, especially for large breed dogs.

How many times a day should your dog be fed?

In most cases, experts say adult dogs can be fed one or two times a day, but puppies usually need to eat more often.

Should you give your dog a meal before or after a walk?

No, in most cases you should wait an hour or two before or after a walk prior to feeding your dog. Otherwise, they could get sick or develop life threatening issues like bloat.

Should I feed my dog before or after a morning walk?

It really doesn’t matter as long as you wait one or two hours either before or after taking the dog on its morning walk.

Is it best to feed a dog before or after exercise?

It doesn’t matter which you do as long as you wait one or two hours prior to or after any sort of exercise.

How eating fast after exercise can lead to bloat

If a dog eats fast after exercise it can lead to bloat because the dog is gulping their food.

When they gulp their food they also swallow a lot of air, and that air goes into their stomach and contributes to causing bloat.

How long can you leave dry dog food out?

You can leave dry dog food out for about 24 hours, then it must be thrown out.

Should you feed your dog before or after you eat?

In most cases, it may not matter if a dog is fed before or after you eat. However, some experts say that you should prove to your pet that you are the master of the house and

the one who is the pack leader, so in that case, it is best to feed the dog after you eat to show that you are the boss and the leader always eats first.

How long should a dog rest after eating to prevent bloat

As stated earlier most experts say a dog should rest at least one or two hours after eating in order to prevent bloat from happening.

How long should I wait after a walk to feed a pup?

Most veterinarians say to wait one or two hours prior to feeding a pup after you have taken the dog on a walk.  You can give them water, but hold off on food.

Can I feed my dog once a day at night?

Most experts say it is best to give a dog two feedings a day. You feed once in the morning and once in the evening and split their daily allowance into these two meals. 

It gives the dog a more balanced energy level throughout the day as well as keeps them from getting overweight.

Should dogs eat more in the morning or evening?

No, their two meals a day should be an even split of their daily food allowance. Talk to your veterinarian about the quantity of food to feed at each meal.

If a puppy, follow your veterinarian’s advice for the amount and frequency of the dog.

How many times a day should a puppy eat

When it comes to how many times a day a puppy should eat, it depends on their age. If the pup is less than a month old, the mother dog provides all their meals via her milk.

Once the dog is four to six weeks old you should start them on some wet food or soft puppy kibble, but they still mostly just drink mother’s milk.

When they are around eight weeks old, they need to eat three or four times daily and this is spread out by two or three cups of food daily or whatever your vet says is best for the breed.

Once he is 12 weeks to about six months old you can drop that to two or three times daily, and then after that two meals a day or as recommended by your vet.

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