Knowing how long does it take for a dog to poop is crucial for planning your day. But it’s never that simple.
Most dogs will poop anytime as soon as 30 minutes to as long as 7 hours! Some puppies will poop several times a day and there is no telling when!
Why such a large time gap? Every dog is different, some have sensitive digestive systems and others are healthier. For example puppies and senior dogs probably poop several times a day, much more than healthy adult dogs.
How long does it take for a dog to poop after eating?
So, how long after eating do dogs poop? This question does not have a definite answer that applies to each and every dog.
It is a tricky question and the answer to it varies for every dog. It depends mostly on the dog and the food he ate.
Generally, a dog will poop after 6 to 8 hours every full meal he consumes. But there is a catch!
When a dog poops, it is not the meal he has just eaten. It is actually more likely to be the meal he has eaten prior to the most recent meal. This is his previous meal.
The truth is his digestive system requires a few hours to process the food, this is especially true for high-quality meals and meals with a large variety of items.
Dog Food Quality: How it affects your Dogs Poop Routine?
Dog food ingredients and digestibility will dictate the bowel movement of a dog. Wet dog food is passed out faster than dry dog food. This is due to the high water content it has compared to dry kibble food types.
Wet foods contain an average of 75% water, meaning the actual ingredients are composed of around 75% water. Checking the nutritional value labels on dog food can further give hints about food quality and ingredients.
Digestibility describes the ability of a dog to absorb nutrients and minerals from food. The higher the digestibility is, the less waste there is. But how does this help your dog to poop?
You see, there has to be a balance between ingredients in the dog food you choose. This will help to have enough absorbed minerals and nutrients as well as keeping the digested waste to the minimum.
So how do you distinguish between high-quality and low-quality dog food? Anything with less than 75% digestibility is low-quality, while above 82% digestibility is considered high-quality dog food.
In terms of ingredients, the food should mainly contain protein. But not any protein, proteins that are highly digestible are most desired. These are:
- Chicken (80.2% digestible)
- Fish (87% digestible)
On the other hand, lamb (a rarely used ingredient) has a digestibility score of just 71.5%. Not great for a dog to digest.
Fish is the best choice. Besides being very digestible, it also offers dogs vital nutrients and minerals, one of which are fatty acids (Omega 3 & Omega 6).
Want to give your dog some bananas? Find out if Dogs can eat Banana.
Factors Influencing How long Dogs Poop After Eating
Every dog digests their food at a different pace from others. There are several different reasons why this happens.
A dog’s age can decide its pooping routine.
Puppies are prone to needing to poop more often than adult dogs. This is mainly due to the fact that they are constantly fed throughout the day. This inflow of food means more feces are created.
Another reason why puppies poop sooner and more times a day is because they lack control over their bowels. They also have a sensitive digestive system and have no excretion routine in place.
Aged senior dogs also tend to poop many times since their digestive system and bowel system are not that strong. They are not in control of their muscles in these areas, leading to frequent bowel movements.
Food quality can dictate your dog’s poop routine. Low-quality dog foods will pass out faster, high-quality dog food is retained for longer. Why is this? Well, it is all about the ingredients.
Good food will not make your dog poop as soon as poor quality dog food.
Poor dog food contains irrelevant ingredients that just make your dog feel full! But, these ingredients do not actually help your dog in any way.
Such foods are bad for dogs. Since they do nothing beneficial for your dog, they pass out sooner. Low-quality dog food makes your dog poop soon.
Good quality dog food contains ingredients that are needed by your dog for growth. This means your dog will spend a slight bit longer time digesting and absorbing minerals that are beneficial for health and growth.
Good food will not be pooped out as soon as poor quality food but will eventually create a regularized poop routine.
Quantity of Food Eaten
It is expected that the quantity of food will affect the rate at which feces are formed and excreted. Dogs that eat a lot or are fed several times a day will see shorter intervals between poop sessions!
If you notice your dog pooping a lot for the amount he is fed, maybe someone is sneaking him treats. Other reasons for this may include the quality of dog food or a digestive/health problem he is facing.
Adult dogs will usually poop between 1 and 3 times a day, puppies poop schedule is different.
If you need more information about this read How many times puppies poop in a day.
Many people know that stress can influence your bowel movements, a trait seen in both humans and dogs. Stress or anxiety can cause immediate bowel movement, usually in the form of diarrhea! So what causes this sudden emptying of the intestines?
Also, stress causes the release of a hormone called norepinephrine.
The release of this hormone comes with side effects. In addition to quickly digesting and emptying the intestines, it also increases the heartbeat and dilates the pupils. No wonder why we call it the flight or fight hormone!
Situations that could cause a dog to stress include:
- Change of routine or surroundings
- Addition of new members to the family (human or animal)
- Threatening neighboring dogs or people
- Injury or disease
If any traumatizing experience has occurred, constipation could follow. You might want to help your dog out with a temporary constipation aid.
Illness can directly or indirectly affect how long it takes your dog to digest food. But more importantly, it affects how long does it take a dog to poop after eating. A dog who is ill might not eat much.
These scenarios may even cause constipation, a dog’s worst nightmare! Novice dog owners can know if their dog had constipation with the following signs:
- Difficulty or straining during defecation
- Licking the anal area
- Lack of appetite
- Passing hard stools (usually in the form of balls)
- Crying or whining while passing feces
As soon as you witness such symptoms it means your dog probably has a constipation issue. You can consult your local vet about this issue. Based on the details, your vet may ask you to bring in your dog to diagnose the cause.
Usually, it is just a change of diet and more activity that will sort the problem out.
Exercise does play a role in how long does it take to poop a meal out. Being active and using the body stimulates digestion.
Running and playing speeds up the body’s use of nutrients, which sparks the contraction and relaxation of the muscles in the digestive tract and the rectum.
It helps get rid of waste quicker! This also helps to establish a healthy and regular excretion system to keep your dog healthy.
If your dog is having a hard time eliminating his waste, perhaps an outdoor playing session will help. Even more so if your dog is known to do his ‘business’ outside. It may trigger the mind and body to function normally.
A range of medications can cause digestive irregularities. In turn, these digestive irregularities will affect your dog’s poop. Medications could cause diarrhea or constipation but either one is bad for your dog.
Food Digestion in Dogs
To understand how long it takes to poop, a clearer understanding of how dogs digest food is mandatory. To do this, let’s separate the digestion process into 3 parts from the start.
The digestion process starts with eating. A dog’s sharp teeth are responsible for tearing up or breaking up the food to some extent. Saliva also helps digestion since it contains important chemical enzymes that aid in breaking down the food further.
The actual digestion process occurs over a few steps which involve different physical areas of the digestive system. These parts are the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.
After ingestion, your dog swallows his food and it travels down through the esophagus to the stomach. The stomach is so important since stomach acid further breaks up food material.
Intestines (Small and large)
This is the most important part of digestion. Food from the stomach will go to the small intestine first. In the small intestine bile from the gallbladder combines with food to neutralize any remaining stomach acid.
The food is then mixed with enzymes from the pancreas for final breakdown. This greatly increases the digestive and absorptive nature of the food mixture.
During this process, nutrients are absorbed through the walls of the intestine. From the wall, it is taken up in the blood and transported throughout the body. An important organ is the liver which metabolizes these nutrients.
Almost all nutrients and useful products have undergone absorption by the time the food reaches the large intestine. Any remaining water is absorbed from this waste and this helps to form the stool.
The waste from the large intestine is then passed on and stays in the rectum. It does not pass out immediately and has to wait till enough is accumulated to trigger the urge to defecate. Once your dog urges the sense, he has to do his business!
Delaying the inevitable is not healthy, so make sure your dog can poop whenever he needs to.
Have you recently taken a closer look at your dog’s poop and seen odd white specks? Here is an article about White Specks in Dog Poop
Do dogs poop after every meal?
Ideally, dogs can poop after every meal. But of course, this applies to a few dogs as there are many factors influencing how long it takes to poop after eating a meal. Every dog varies and it can take up to 8 hours after eating a meal to poop!
Why does my dog poop immediately after eating something?
An adult dog should not be pooping immediately after eating. If it happens, it proves there is an issue with his digestive system. It could also mean the food he is being fed is not of the right quality or perhaps has too much fiber content in it.
You could talk to a vet and he could prescribe a check-up and a change of dog food to sort the problem.