A dog’s pooping schedule is a matter of great interest and importance for every owner. Not only is it important for house training pet dogs, it is also a factor for maintaining their health. In fact, knowing your dog’s timetable will make your household smoother, your dog happier and your life easier.
Why does my dog poop after eating?
It’s true: dogs do poop after eating. The question is — how soon after eating do they actually perform the act? Most dogs poop within a 30-minute window after eating, but interestingly, what they poop is not what they just ate. Here’s why:
When dogs eat, they experience “gastro-colic reflex,” a physiological trigger generated by the stomach that stimulates the colon and causes the dog to defecate. The actual content of the poop is really from food eaten at least 6 to 8 hours before. Food sits in a dog’s stomach longer than it does in humans.
Perhaps you have noticed that your dog gulps down his food in a flash? Dogs don’t chew, they inhale. Along with food comes saliva which starts the food processing as it all passes into the stomach. The stomach adds acid and sends the “chyme” mixture along to the intestines where nutrients are absorbed. Finally, it’s onward to the large intestine where water is removed, bacteria is added and the remains exit as poop.
Is it normal to poop right after eating?
The short answer: it is perfectly normal for your dog to poop right after eating. In fact, if he doesn’t poop for several days after eating, he may be suffering from constipation. If that’s the case, it’s time for a trip to the veterinarian. Any number of things can cause constipation such as illness or intestinal blockage.
Food and Frequency
How often your dog poops is another matter to consider, and the food you feed will greatly affect this. In general, low quality foods result in more frequent pooping due to the number of fillers that’s put in them. Fillers have no nutritional value and so the dog poops the worthless material out quickly. On the other hand, high quality foods result in less frequent pooping because the dog absorbs all the rich nutrients and there is little waste to eliminate.
The term used for measuring nutrients in a food is its digestibility. Highly digestible foods are those high-quality foods that are rich in nutrients. Likewise, poor quality foods result in lower digestibility for your dog. To get even more specific, foods that have 82 percent digestibility (with 18 percent poop left) are high quality while anything 75 percent (25 percent poop) or less offers poor digestibility. In selecting foods for your dogs, choose either chicken and fish which have the highest levels of protein and are therefore excellent options for your dog.
The effect of wet food is another consideration in the pooping discussion. These foods are high in water content which cause much quicker passing then dry food. Also, foods high in grain go through the dog’s system faster than foods that are high in protein which take longer to digest.
When shopping for your dog’s food, read the label to see what the ingredients are. Ingredients are listed from the most to the least in terms of content volumes.
Other Factors Affecting Frequency
In addition to the kinds of foods you feed your dog, there are other factors that can affect how often he poops.
How old is your dog? It’s no surprise that puppies need to go poop often and as they grow older, they develop control of their bowel movements and go less often. Older dogs may also poop more often because they lose some control over their voiding muscles as they age.
Does your dog have diarrhea? Has his poop suddenly changed color? Has it become malodorous? Is it now wet or soupy in consistency? Dogs with diarrhea most likely need to go more often and usually have accidents. Most of the time diarrhea is caused by something the dog ate, but if it lasts for more than 2 days, do make a call to your vet as it could be the result of something more serious.
How much food does your dog eat? The goal is to keep your dog on a consistent diet in both quantity and quality. If he suddenly eats larger quantities or eats a different food, you can expect that he’ll poop more often. Be especially careful around the holidays when there are table scraps a plenty doled out by well-meaning guests.
Does your dog’s food have lots of fiber? As is true with us humans, eating fiber is a way to make “things” move more quickly. Same is true for your dog. Foods to control dog weight are usually high in fiber which means more frequent bowel movements.
Is your dog anxious or going through a stressful period? Also like us humans, stress and anxiety serve as an “on” switch for more frequent bowl movements. Stress speeds up the dog’s system, including the digestive tract, and you can expect more frequent pooping.
What should I do about my dog pooping right after eating?
Knowing your dog’s bowel habits makes life easy for both of you.
You want to get your dog on that 30 minute after eating schedule as it is healthy for him. Plus, dogs thrive on routine. Here’s what you can do to help keep him on that schedule.
First: feed him good, high-quality foods. Avoid table scraps and unhealthy snacks.
Second: feed him twice a day at the same times. Some people feed their dogs just once a day, but 24 hours is a long time to wait to eat.
Third: exercise! Daily exercise invigorates his entire system which includes regulating his bowels.
Fourth: Spend as much time as you can with him. Go for walks, play ball or Frisbee, cuddle up on the couch while you binge-watch movies, or maybe even let him sleep in your bed with you.