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Should I Walk My Dog Before or After Meals?

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: July 9, 2018
Should I Walk My Dog Before or After Meals?

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If you live with a dog, you should know that taking them out on daily walks is more than just a healthy activity to do together. It enhances your relationship with one another and is also a fundamental activity which allows your dog to enjoy a full state of well-being.

Some dog breeds have different exercise requirements to others. However, one thing that you can be sure of is that each dog should exercise to their full capabilities. This is one of the best ways to avoid the dangers of obesity in dogs.

However, it is also important to know how to reduce any risk that might arise from performing physical exercise, such as stomach twists. As such, this AnimalWised article will answer the following question: Should I walk my dog before or after meals?

You may also be interested in: Best Time of Day to Walk Your Dog?

Should I walk my dog after meals?

If you walk your dog after eating, it is easier to establish a routine which allows them to urinate or defecate regularly. This being the main reason as to why many owners walk their dogs after eating.

The main problem of this practice is that it increases the risk of the dog suffering from a twisted stomach, a syndrome which causes the torsion and swelling of the stomach. This syndromeaffects the circulatory flow of their digestive tract which can, in severe untreated cases, end in death.

Even though the exact causes of stomach twists still haven't been discovered, we do know that it is more commonly found in large dogs, and that consuming large quantities of food and liquid and even doing physical exercise after eating can lead to its occurrence.

Therefore, one way of preventing this serious condition is to avoid walking your dog after meals. However, if your dog is small or old, does not usually do much physical exercise or they only eat small amounts of food, it would be difficult for them to get a twisted stomach from a light walk on a full stomach. Therefore, is it better to walk your dog before or after breakfast? Or any other meal for that matter? Keep reading to find out more!

Should I Walk My Dog Before or After Meals? - Should I walk my dog after meals?

Walk your dog before meals to avoid stomach twists

If your dog belongs to a large breed and requires a substantial amount of daily physical activity, it is better for you to take them out before meals as this will help avoid stomach twists.

In this case, you should let your dog calm down after their walk and leave them to rest for a while. Once they are quiet and relaxed, you can give them their food.

At first they might do their business at home, especially if they are not used to going for walks before meals. But, they will be able to manage their bathroom habits as they start getting used to their new routine.

Detecting stomach twists in dogs

Walking your dog before meals doesn't completely remove the risk of a stomach twist, so it is important to recognize the symptoms of gastric torsion in dogs:

  • The dog burps or suffers from abdominal cramps
  • They are restless and whine a lot
  • They vomit lots of frothy saliva
  • They have a very hard and swollen belly

If you notice any of these symptoms, we recommend consulting your vet as soon as possible.

Should I Walk My Dog Before or After Meals? - Detecting stomach twists in dogs

If you want to read similar articles to Should I Walk My Dog Before or After Meals?, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.

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