How Long Does It Take for Food to Travel Through a Dog?

by Tom Ryan
Exercise can stimulate digestion.

Exercise can stimulate digestion.

Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images

The amount of time it takes food to travel through your dog depends on multiple factors. The biggest one is the type of food your dog eats -- particularly, its quality and selection of ingredients and its fiber content. Factors like exercise also determine how long it takes for your dog to pass a bowel movement.

Digestive Time Variables

According to the American Kennel Club, the typical dog has one or two bowel movements every day. The amount of time between eating and passing a bowel movement depends on a variety of factors -- for example, some dogs digest wet food faster than dry kibbles, and can't "hold it" as long because their stools are looser. Dogs who eat high-fiber diets may have to go more quickly, as can those getting a lot of exercise. Generally, it takes between seven and 10 hours for a dog to digest food, but the many variables mean that only your vet can tell you how long it should be taking.

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