Quincy - CGC

Just looking for opinions. When is it better to walk the dog, before or after they eat?

I might be moving this year from a very small town to a larger city. Here I can just let the dog out in the yard to do his thing, but if/when I move I will have to walk him. Since its in the city he will always have to be on a leash even just to go out to the bathroom. Everything I've read so far says to walk them before they eat so that they "work" for their food, but I'm thinking that walking them 15-20 minutes after would be more beneficial so the dog can use the bathroom.

Asked by Quincy - CGC on Jan 17th 2011 in Exercise
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!


Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

If the dog is supposed to "work" for their food (which is a good idea), then you can have him do a sit/down stay or some trick he needs to practice before he can eat. I think that'd be more effective, coming from the work perspective.
(You can also apply the same principle to other activities the dog enjoys. During playtime, have him act out a comman at random times, before walks, etc. It's called NILIF--Nothing In Life Is Free, and helpful in training your dog to obey you quickly.)

I agree with the walks after the meal giving them a chance to use the bathroom thing. Especially for dogs like my GSD Cookie, who have incontinence issues. The more she pees outside, the less likely she'll have an accident indoors.

That said, overall, it seems either should be fine unless you find one or the other works better, but yeah, generally I'd think walking after meals is best.

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 1/17/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Holly - CGC TDI

I think it really depends. I live in a very big city, but I always take Holly out either before dinner, or an hour after she has eaten. I'm really wary about exercise after eating because of the bloat possibility.

As for the working for food thing, I just make Holly go through her routine of tricks before dinner. She's more motivated, has a lot of fun, then goes inside and sleeps for the next hour.

Holly - CGC TDI answered on 1/17/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


It doesnt matter...But if he runs for a very long time(Exercise) and will not stop unless you courage him to..Then it might be better to walk/run with him before he eats his food...

But it will not matter if he walks..Be careful in the city!..


Member 1002749 answered on 1/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Jax (earned her wings 5/30/12)

A good rule of thumb is to exercise 2 hours before or 2 hours after they eat. If they have to go out right after they eat, that's ok, but make it short.

Jax (earned her wings 5/30/12) answered on 1/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I prefer before. That way you don't have to worry about them getting bloat, throwing up, or some other intestinal issue. Also, this way their "treat" is their food. They will associate exercise with getting fed, which means they will learn to work for their food. Working for their food is an instinct they already have; they will appreciate you for letting them be a dog!

Wyatt answered on 1/20/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I walked my dogs a.. I am assuming they are house trained already, every few hours maybe 2 or 3 times a day food has nothing to do with it. They also can tell me when it is time. But when I was training them from a pup I walked when they woke from slumber afer they ate about a hour after coming in then if they slumber again I would take them out yes I was out more then in.

I hope this is some help and when I walked me dogs (one at a time) I walked til they went something if pee then we would walk till the dog went # 2. Sometimes it took a while.

Starbutt answered on 2/7/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I usually walk my dog before I feed her, because she builds up an appetite after being walked. I make sure she goes to the bathroom before I let her back in, then give her something to eat.

It all depends on your schedule, really. If it's easier to give her a walk after you feed her, so be it, just wait long enough to do it, so that her food is properly digested.

Bailey answered on 4/14/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer