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How Soon After Eating or Drinking Do Puppies Need to Go Out?

Puppy Potty Train Feeding Schedule

Everyone knows puppies need to go outside more frequently than adult dogs. For the first few weeks of having a puppy home, it often seems that all anyone does is take the puppy out to potty! Using a feeding and watering schedule can help simply housetraining, as can answering the all-important question: how soon after eating or drinking do young puppies need to go outside?

Optimal Times Vary Widely

Most veterinarians, dog trainers, and behaviorists agree that puppies need to go out “very soon” once they eat a meal or drink water. Generally speaking, the recommended time frame varies from 5 to 15 minutes but sometimes trends upwards to 30 plus minutes. Multiple factors change the recommended time — size of the puppy, age of the puppy, how much was consumed, activity levels, etc.

You’ll get to know your puppy, their habits, and their preferred schedule pretty quickly but in the meantime, monitor intake and take the puppy out regularly. The younger or smaller the puppy, the quicker they’ll need to go outside to potty after eating or drinking. It’s important to note that it’s almost impossible to time puppies who have free access to food and water. Puppies should eat on a schedule and be offered water at regular intervals. That way, it’s much easier to predict when they’ll need to potty.

Use These Tricks to Potty Train Faster

In the beginning, take the puppy out on a leash so you can watch them and keep them focused on their business. There should be no playing, pouncing, excessive walking, or tons of interaction. Take the puppy to the area you want them to potty in and stand there quietly. Wait for the puppy to do their thing. If the puppy doesn’t go quickly, they may not need to go right then. Keep them on a leash until they’re old enough to understand the difference between toileting breaks and playtime.

Playing comes AFTER pottying.

Puppies who are just let out easily get distracted and forget to go potty. Then, they come inside and squat on the rug. If you take a puppy out after eating or drinking and they don’t potty, then tether the puppy or crate them for another few minutes before trying again. Once the puppy successfully potties outdoors while on leash they can enjoy some freedom to play, exercise, and be loved on.

What Goes In Must Come Out

Every puppy digests food and water at a different rate. Typically, though, dry food digests slower than wet or canned food, and raw food digests more quickly than either. Exercise stimulates the bowels, so if you took a puppy out who peed and then brought them back indoors to play, keep a close eye on them. Circling, sniffing, or carrying their tail funny can be signs they need a trip outdoors and fast!

Keep in mind that your puppy has a unique rhythm to their digestion, needs, and internal schedule. You’ll need to learn it, but one fact can always be relied upon: what goes in must come out. Stick to set, routine mealtimes when you’re first starting potty training. Keep an eye on the clock so you can learn how much time your puppy needs before going outside. Offer water regularly throughout the day, with the last opportunity 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. Take regular trips outdoors and before you know it, your puppy’s house training schedule will work like clockwork!



  • Brenda Thompson March 26, 2023

    This article provides valuable information on how to potty train them effectively. I agree that establishing a feeding and watering schedule is important for predicting when a puppy will need to go outside. It’s also helpful to take the puppy out on a leash and wait quietly in a designated potty area until they do their business. I appreciate the reminder that playing should come after pottying, and that puppies can get distracted easily. As the article points out, every puppy is different, so it’s important to monitor their digestion and behavior closely to learn their individual rhythm. With patience and consistency, potty training can be successful, and both puppies and their owners can enjoy a happier, cleaner home!


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