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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18817
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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How long does it take a dog to digest food and poop

Customer Question

We just moved into a townhouse and have no yard - 2 dogs - a 3 yr old and 2 yr old - trying to figure out when to feed them and how long before they need to go out after they've eaten. Thanks!
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

For adult dogs I usually take my dogs for a walk about 15 minutes after they eat and they usually eliminate. Most dogs that are adults learn to hold their urine and bowels until you take them out. I recommend at least taking your dogs out three times a day with first thing in the morning, in the evening and at dinner time. It is best if you establish specific times when you take your dogs out and in this way they know when they will be going out.

I recommend crate training. Below you will find the way I crate train dogs, which has worked consistently for 15 years. If you have other dogs you will need to separate them when taking them out to go to the bathroom, as they will want to play rather than potty.

I would also always take your dog outside on a leash. An unleased dog can run into the street and get hit by a car, or get into a fight with another dog and be seriously injured. Do this even if you have a fenced yard. No playing with your puppy during potty time either.

During crate training, you will be having your dog confined either in a crate or confined to a very small area which optimally will only allow the dog room to lay down in. Dogs will generally not soil an area where they sleep.

When you feed or give your dog water, take the dog immediately outside to go to the bathroom. Also take the dog out first thing in the morning, last thing at night and after extended play times and when they wake up after a nap. Take your dog to an area where you want your dog to go and preferably one that has been used previously. Allow your dog approximately 10-15 minutes to go to the bathroom. If your dog doesn't produce, take your dog inside and cage them again. If your dog does produce results allow her some uncrated time as a reward before crating or containing the dog again.

If your dog didn't go to the bathroom, take your dog out again about 30 minutes later and repeat this until your dog goes. Praise your dog profusely when your dog succeeds and is on the leash. This will teach your dog that it needs to go when you take your dog out and not play around first.

Some dogs learn quicker than others do, but once you have your dog going when it is on the leash and each time you take your dog out, you should be able to stop containing your dog. It is a lot of work, but pays off in the long run. Remember no playing or praise until your dog succeeds in going outside on a leash.

The key is no time outside of the crate unless you can have your eye on them constantly to pick them up and take them out if you see the classic sign of impending bowel movement or urination. Also, scolding a dog for going in the house does no good unless you catch them in the act. If you do catch them, a firm NO and trip outside should be done. Remember to clean any area inside they have gone with a good pet deodorizing cleaner.   Here is a site with more information on crate training.

This is how I house train all my dogs.

In addition, put a bell or other noise maker on the door low enough for the dog to reach. Each time you take the dog out, ring the bell. The dog will associate ringing the bell with going out and one day ring the bell to signal to you that she needs to go out.

I hope this helps.

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