How Long Does It Take A Dog To Digest Food | Travel With Doggie

How Long Does It Take A Dog To Digest Food

When I was a kid, my mom used to tell me not to do any vigorous activity after meals. This is because the food has yet to digest and can lead to a number of health problems. Apparently, the same applies to dogs too.

Dogs take about 8 hours for food to digest, but that depends on a number of factors. Example are kibble size and type of food to name a few. Before we take a look at these reasons, let’s look at why it is important to know how long it take for a dog to digest food.

Dangers Of Post-Meal Activities

Likewise to humans, dogs can also suffer from heart burn and gastroesophageal reflux too. The risk of this happening is much higher during activities right after meals.

High mobility activities will induce a great deal of muscle movements. This may increase the chances of the muscles of the dog’s esophagus connecting the stomach to relax. Once that happens, there may be a chance for the food, still in the process of digestion, to leak back into the esophagus. Along with partially digested food, the stomach acid will also flow up.

This will cause vomiting, and the acid the culprit behind the burning sensation in the chest of your canine friend. The stomach acid flowing through the esophagus is detrimental to the inner wall lining of the esophagus. It will damage the tissues and cause inflammation, resulting in various undesirable behaviors like loss of appetite and regurgitation. In extreme cases, fever may occur.

Avoid Post-Meal Activity

Hence it is important to avoid vigorous activities with your dog immediately after their meals.

Whilst it takes an average of 8 hours for the food to be completely digested in dogs, we do not need to adhere too strictly to it. We can go for a walk or a run with the our 4 legged friends 4 hours after their meals without any problem. However, do keep them indoors at least for the first 2 hours.

Nonetheless, it is pivotal to note that if your dog overeats or have digestion problems, there is a chance of a slower digestion.

Factors Affecting Dog Food Digestion Speed

On the backdrop of that, let’s see what affects dear fido’s digestion rates and how we can ease their digestion woes.

Kibble Size

It is crucial to healthy digestion that dogs chew on their food before swallowing. Mastication ensures that the pieces of food have a larger surface area per mass in contact with the stomach acid so that it can be properly, quickly and adequately digested. Dog food of the right kibble size is necessary to achieve this.

Kibble sizes can be based on the dog breed that the dog food is targeting. This immensely well-received chicken dog food for small dog breeds on Amazon from Purina provides essential nutrients made of high quality chicken based protein, vitamins and omega-6 acid. It also contains live probiotics in its formula to assist in digestion for your pooch. All these goodies are packed in small kibble sizes that would fit perfectly in the mouth size of small dogs. This will ensure the food pieces can be chewed properly and sufficiently before being swallowed, thus ensuring a smoother and faster digestion.

On the other hand, there are dog food meant specially for large dog breeds. The Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food for Large Breed, an Amazon’s choice backed by multiple happy previous customers, is a holistic dog food containing all the essential nutrition a dog will need. It has a generous amount of protein to aid your pooch in maintaining muscle growth for a healthy and active lifestyle, along with a dose of glucosamine to take care of their joints. The kibble size is about half of an inch by quarter of an inch. This makes it easier for large dog breed with their bigger mouth to chew on their food and break it down into smaller pieces, which is conducive for healthy digestion.

You may be wondering if it is actually better for large dog breed to feed on kibbles meant for small dogs since the kibble size is already small. The answer is no. Dogs cannot move their jaws sidewards like humans. Their bone structure only allows them to move vertically.

vertical jaw movement in dogs

This implies that giving large dogs small sized kibbles will give them a hard time chewing on their food. In fact, most of the time they may be chewing on air and increase the probability of hurting their gums.These small sized kibbles will also have a larger surface area to mass as compared to the larger size kibbles that have undergone proper chewing. This is because they end up in weird shape and sizes, some even in crumbs, which increase the exposure of the food bits to the acid in the stomach. This facilitates digestion to a large extent.

pH Of Stomach Acid

The more acidic the stomach acid is, the faster the dogs can digest. According to research, dogs that fast before their meals have a higher pH in their stomach acid as compared to dogs that are pre-fed before Fasted dogs has higher pH. The significance of this study is that letting our pooches have some sort of “appetizers” before their meals can aid speeding up their digestion. This can also invoke the feeling of fullness quicker, hence keeping you dog’s weight in check.

As a suggestion, give your canine friend a small amount of dog treats about 30 minutes before their meal time to get their stomach ready work. I would recommend Natural Rapport Chicken Liver dog treats as your go to appetizer. It contains 100% pure natural meat pumped with protein of the highest quality. An Amazon choice, it contains no filler ingredients like corn or gluten, ensuring 100% satisfaction and safety. It has beef flavor as well if your dog is allergic to chicken.

Type Of Food

The type of meat can affect digestion speed and smoothness as well. Fish can be digested quicker than meat according to studies from the Department of Legal Medicine of Okayama University Medical School in Japan.

The Nulo freestyle dog food is your top choice for the best fish based dog food that is conducive for digestion. It is not only made of salmon which is easier to digest than red meats, but it also contains patented BC30 probiotic that promotes healthy digestion, and also reinforce the immunity response of the dog’s body.

Final Thoughts

On average, a dog takes about 8 hours to digest their food. But with the correct choice of dog foods and feeding strategy, we can help them digest their food faster and save them from the torment of indigestion.

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