How long does it take for a dog to digest?

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Living with a dog implies taking a great responsibility, because its happiness depends entirely on you and the care you provide. Therefore, as an owner, it is natural that you ask yourself a multitude of questions about how to take care of him to guarantee his well-being and health..

One of these questions is the one that we will deal with in this AnimalWised article, that is,, how long does it take for a dog to digest. The digestion of dogs goes through various phases, in which various organs, enzymes and fluids are involved. For all this, it is necessary to know how your furry's body works to establish a routine, such as deciding how many daily meals you are going to give or when you are going for a walk..

You may also be interested in: Can you give chocolate to dogs? Index
  1. Phases of digestion in dogs
  2. How long does the digestion of dogs last?
  3. How long do you have to wait to take the dog out after eating?
  4. Can I bathe my dog ​​after eating?

Phases of digestion in dogs

The process of digesting food is made up of several stages and starts from the moment the food reaches the dog's mouth, where the food is ingested thanks to the chewing and salivation.

Subsequently, the food will travel through from the esophagus to the stomach. Inside this, the solid food is dissolved by the secreted acid, fact that will give as a product a substance called chyme. Next, it will go to small intestine, where all the nutrients that the body needs will be extracted.

Eventually, the remaining waste will travel through the large intestine to your elimination in the form of feces, that you will have to collect with a bag once you take your dog for a walk.

All these stages are very important and take their own time, since all kinds of organs, structures and substances are involved that will transform food into its final product. Therefore, and as you may have deduced, this system is not simple at all, since various factors intervene.

If you think your dog has digestion problems, we encourage you to read this other AnimalWised article on 5 symptoms of poor digestion in dogs.

How long does the digestion of dogs last?

Unfortunately, there is no specific duration of digestion, as it will vary greatly depending on the following factors, which are involved in your metabolism:

  • Age: the metabolism of older dogs is slower than that of puppies.
  • Type and amount of foodNot all foods are equally easy to digest. For example, wet food is much easier to digest than dry food. In addition, the more food you have eaten, the slower the digestion process..
  • Animal size: large dogs tend to take significantly longer to digest compared to small ones.
  • Daily activity: sedentary lifestyle slows down the digestive process. A dog that performs adequate physical activity daily will have a healthier organism.
  • Hydration: water is essential for all metabolic processes to take place.

Finally, it must be said that the digestion of dogs is much slower compared to that of other animals. In fact, a dog's stomach can work to break down dry food roughly between 8 and 12 hours (depending on the digestibility of the food), before passing to the small intestine. However, if it is wet food, for example, this takes half the time. In humans, on the other hand, this process lasts between 4 or 5 hours. Thereafter, the process from the small intestine to the excretion of the waste usually takes no more than a couple of hours if the food has been digested correctly, on the contrary we would speak of constipation and it would be necessary to give the animal more digestible food.

This is all because dogs are animals omnivores opportunistic and your body is prepared to digest almost any food, even though it cannot take advantage of it all. Therefore, it is difficult to determine the duration of digestion in its entirety, that is, from when the food is ingested until it is excreted, since it can last from noon (if, for example, it is easy to digest food) up to a couple of days if you have to break down a more complex food, such as bone.

How long do you have to wait to take the dog out after eating?

It is not advisable to walk the dog directly after eating. This advice is often given, as there is a risk that if your dog goes out for exercise on a full stomach, he may suffer a gastric torsion. To avoid this, the recommended waiting time after he has eaten is at least two hours before taking it out for a walk.

Gastric torsion, technically known as gastric dilation-torsion syndrome, It is a syndrome that occurs mainly in large dogs. It is characterized by an abnormal stomach dilation while it is full (with gases, food or liquid), which means that the stomach cannot recover its original shape (a fact that would be possible when empty) and twists on itself. Unfortunately, this twisting obstructs all the pathways that connect to the stomach, as well as the blood vessels, causing the inevitable death of the animal if you don't act urgently taking him to the vet.

Due to how dangerous this anomaly is, it is important to prevent and minimize the risk of your dog suffering from gastric torsion. The cause that usually originates this syndrome is large food or liquid intake abruptly or the presence of gases that are difficult to evacuate (especially in older dogs), as well as the animal being in a state of stress or excitability. For example, there have been cases of gastric torsion in large dogs with fear of firecrackers. Of course, dogs that have had a family history with these cases are more likely to suffer from it..

The most advisable, therefore, is walking the dog before eating, since it is the best way to prevent this risk, which, as you have seen, should not be taken lightly. On the contrary, by taking your dog out with a full stomach, you expose him to being in an altered state of mind if there are stressful situations that are out of your control, such as if he meets another dog on the street who scary.

Finally, as a prevention, it is best to avoid feeding your dog all the food in one meal per day, but rather I took it in a dosed way throughout the day to prevent sudden swelling. Similarly, do not take him out for a walk, or do physical activities with him that can make him nervous (such as playing) right after eating. In fact, the most common is for a dog with a full stomach to take a good nap to digest properly. If you do not know if your dog sleeps a lot, we advise you to read this other article about ¿How many hours does a dog sleep a day?

Can I bathe my dog ​​after eating?

Surely more than once they have repeated to you the saying "You cannot enter the water until an hour after eating." The belief that you can suffer a digestion cut when you bathe in the water, it has part of the truth and part of it false. It is for this reason that it usually generates so much confusion, also, when it comes to bathing or not our dog after eating. But, ¿how much truth is there in this saying? Y ¿the same thing happens to dogs?

First of all, although the popular expression refers to this fact as a digestion cut, the correct term is known as peripheral shock due to vascular difficulties. And what happens during this state is that there is a sudden drop in blood pressure, which can render the animal unconscious. Unfortunately, this happening while submerged in water can lead to I know drowned.

But then, ¿why is there this drop in blood? The main reason why this occurs is due to the fact that there is a sudden change in temperature when immersed in cold water while the body is warm. This means that the risk of suffering shock after eating will depend on the amount of food that has been ingested, since excessive intake increases blood flow, increasing the temperature in the organs that are working to break down the food and decreasing the irrigation in others. zones, which makes the dog lethargic.

As you may have deduced, this risk is not only present if your dog bathes after having eaten, but also after having performed intense physical exercise or any situation that increases your body temperature.

In addition, there is another reason why it is not advisable to bathe the dog after eating, because as you have seen, if there are circumstances in which your dog becomes stressed or very nervous after having recently eaten, it could suffer a stomach twist . In fact, the dogs get restless (for better or worse) when they approach the water, either for the happiness of visiting the sea or a deep dislike of bathing, for example, there being the risk that torsion may occur.

However, if what your dog feels when approaching water is fear and this makes it difficult for you to maintain his hygiene, we recommend you read this other article about ¿How to bathe a dog afraid of water?

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