Are you guilty of feeding your furry companion after 5 PM? You’re not alone, but did you know it could be detrimental to their health?

Experts and leading dog magazines warn that feeding your pup too late can lead to various problems, such as poor sleep quality, weight gain, and disruptions to their daily routine. Not only that, but it can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

But before you swear off feeding your pup at dinnertime, read this Blog Post. Is the recommendation to never feed your dog after 5 PM really justified? I don’t think so. The truth is, it’s all about timing.

The perfect feeding time for your Puppy depends on their lifestyle, sleep patterns, and walk schedule.

In this post, I’ll dive deep into the reasons why feeding before 5 PM is crucial for your pup’s health. I will also share the potential consequences of feeding too late and, most importantly, practical tips for ensuring your pup is getting the nourishment they need at the right time.

Feeding Late will make Dogs Overweight and Fat!

Are you worried about your dog’s weight? You may have heard that feeding them after 5 PM is a surefire way to pack on the pounds. But, the truth is, the timing of your dog’s meals is not as important as what they’re eating.

Overweight Dog
Overweight Dog

The myth that eating late at night, particularly carbohydrates, leads to weight gain is pervasive. The logic behind it is that when we consume food, we take in energy that our body can’t burn off before bedtime, and that energy gets stored as fat.

But, in reality, timing plays a minor role in weight loss. What’s more critical is the overall calorie balance and the number of meals.

Research on mice shows that eating outside of the natural sleep-wake rhythm can lead to weight gain. But, in humans, studies have yielded mixed results.

In dogs, there’s no scientific research on this topic yet. It’s also worth noting that humans tend to snack on high-calorie foods like chips and crackers late at night, while dogs only have their regular dog food to choose from.

So, can you feed your dog after 5 PM? It won’t make them overweight, as long as they’re not consuming more calories than they’re burning.

In fact, some studies suggest that regular, smaller meals may be more satiating for dogs than a few large ones. The key is to maintain a healthy calorie balance and pay attention to the overall diet.


Contrary to all myths, late meals do not make dogs fat. A much more important role here is observing calorie balance and regularity. That dogs should, therefore, not be fed after 5 pm is more of a myth.

Feeding Dog after 5 pm will Lower Sleep Quality

Are you wondering what the best feeding time is for your furry companion? It’s a common misconception that a dog’s stomach goes to sleep at night, leading to undigested food sitting in their stomach overnight.

Dog peaceful sleeping

But this is not the case. A dog’s stomach doesn’t have an off switch and will continue to digest food during sleep, just at a slower pace.

One of the main issues with feeding your dog after 5 PM is that it can disrupt the quality of their sleep. And, as you know, a good night’s sleep is essential for your dog’s overall health and well-being.
Many experts recommend not feeding dogs after 5 PM.

But it’s important to remember that the time from food intake to elimination is much shorter in dogs than in humans. While it takes humans an average of 20-30 hours, it only takes dogs 6-8 hours. And most of the digestion in dogs is done after 2 hours. So, if you take your dog out for a walk after 8 PM, you could easily feed them after 5 PM without any problem.

It’s also important to note that every dog is different, and their feeding schedule should depend on their lifestyle, sleep rhythm and walk time. As a result, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

But, by understanding the science behind digestion, you can make an informed decision on the best feeding time for your furry friend.


Feeding after 5 pm may lower the quality of the dog’s sleep because the digestive tract is busy digesting half the night. However, this is only true if the time between feeding and bedtime is less than 2 hours.

If you Feed your Dog after 17 o’clock, it Increases the Risk of Diseases

Feeding your dog after 5 PM may come with some risks. One of the reasons for this is that it doesn’t allow the dog to use up the energy from the food immediately, which can lead to high blood sugar levels.

Hungry brown dog with empty bowl

High blood sugar levels can damage the vascular walls and increase the risk of diabetes. It’s also important to note that a single large meal can lead to vomiting, especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Recent studies in humans have shown a link between late meals and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

However, it’s unclear whether these results can be applied to dogs as well, as there are still no studies on this topic, specifically in dogs. One way to reduce these risks is to give your dog several smaller meals instead of one large one.

It’s also important to keep in mind the time between feeding, walking, and going to bed to prevent gastric torsion and to make sure your dog can use up the energy from the food and not just store it as fat.


Not feeding dogs after 5 p.m. may reduce blood sugar spikes and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. In both cases, there is a lack of conclusive studies so far.

However, this is more about avoiding blood sugar spikes and less about a specific time of the last feeding.

> Some Useful Tips & Routines To Keep Your Dogs & Cats Healthy

Feeding after 5 pm Causes Nighttime Potty Breaks

Are you tired of being woken up in the middle of the night by your dog needing to go outside? One solution is to be mindful of when you’re feeding your furry friend. It’s best to feed them before taking them for a walk, especially if they’re still a puppy.

Hungry brown dog with empty bowl

Young dogs may need to relieve themselves just 5-30 minutes after eating, while older dogs can take anywhere between 30 minutes and 6 hours. Keep an eye out for signs of restlessness, whining, or jumping as indicators that it’s time for a potty break.

It’s also important to note that allowing your dog a digestion break of 1-2 hours before their final walk of the day can reduce the risk of a serious condition known as gastric torsion.

This doesn’t mean you have to avoid feeding your dog after 5pm, but rather pay attention to the amount of time between their meal and their last walk.

In summary, for a peaceful night’s sleep and a happy, healthy pup, try feeding them before taking them for their evening walk.

My Recommendations: Bedtime – Walking Time – Feeding Time

BedtimeWalking TimeFeeding Time
23:00 h22:00 h20:30 h
22:00 h21:00 h19:30 h
21:00 h20:00 h18:30 h
20:00 h19:00 h17:30 h

If you’re still experiencing nighttime disruptions from your dog, one solution is to take them for a quick walk before heading to bed. This could help prevent them from needing to go out in the middle of the night.

Keep in mind, however, that with very young puppies, this may not be enough. In this situation, consider using reusable diapers as a way to prevent any accidents in the house.


Feeding your dog too late, or even after they’ve had their last walk of the day, can often lead to them needing to go out during the night.

However, it’s important to note that making a general rule that dogs should never be fed after 5pm is not a one-size-fits-all solution and may not be necessary for most cases. Rather than a fixed time, focus on the amount of time between the meal and the last walk.

Dogs Need a Fixed Daily Routine

A fixed daily routine is crucial for the well-being of your furry friend. Here are some key elements of a routine that will help reduce stress and anxiety for your dog:

  • Establish fixed feeding times: Domestic dogs are completely dependent on their owners for their meals. By having a set feeding schedule, your dog will know when to expect their next meal and won’t feel the need to beg for food.
  • Designated potty breaks: Just like with feeding times, it’s important to have a set schedule for potty breaks. This increases the chances that your dog will actually go potty and you won’t have to take them out unnecessarily.

It’s important to note that while specific times such as not feeding your dog after 5pm or taking them out after 8pm are often suggested, these are not set in stone and can vary depending on the individual dog and their needs.

The goal of having a fixed routine is to reduce unnecessary stress and increase predictability for your dog.

Other needs like exercise, attention, and mental stimulation can be more flexible within the routine, but having a fixed schedule for food and potty breaks will provide a sense of security and stability for your dog.


When it comes to establishing a routine for your dog, general recommendations like “don’t feed them after 5pm” are often given.

However, it’s important to remember that the specific time is not as important as creating a sense of consistency and predictability for your furry friend.

Having a set schedule for feeding and potty breaks will help your dog know what to expect and can reduce stress and anxiety.

The goal is for your dog to be able to rely on you for their basic needs. So, it’s less about the specific time, but more about creating a dependable and consistent routine for your pup..

How often should I feed my dog?

Here are a few more tips on feeding. More meals are often recommended for small and very large breeds, as they usually have more sensitive stomachs.

Number of
< 4 months
4 – 6 months
> 6 months
Small breed4-53-42-3
Medium breed3-42-31-2
Large breed3-42-31-2
Very large breed4-53-42-3

However, there are several exceptions where more or fewer meals may be appropriate:

  • Multiple meals are appropriate: When the quadruped is gorging or has chronic flatulence.
  • Fewer meals make sense: When the dog skips meals or gets picky.

Frequent meals sound stressful at first, especially if you’re working a full-time job on the side.

For this reason, you can also resort to automatic food dispensers, stress-free it hardly goes because these are also programmable and provide the dog at a preset time the optimal portion size.

Automatic food dispenser for Dogs

Now – When is the Best Time to Feed my Dog?

When it comes to feeding your dog, the best time is often considered to be before a walk. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and the specific time can vary depending on your dog’s needs.

In my view it is a common misconception that dogs should never be fed after 5pm, but this isn’t necessarily the case. The most important thing is to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and energy levels.

If your dog seems distracted or unresponsive, it could be a sign that they need more energy. Studies have shown that feeding your dog earlier in the day, especially in the morning, can improve their focus and concentration throughout the day, a phenomenon known as the “Breakfast Effect“.

So, while it’s a good idea to feed your dog before a walk, the most important thing is to pay attention to their needs and find a feeding schedule that works best for them.


The recommendation to never feed your dog after 5 PM may not be as set in stone as it seems. While feeding your dog too late in the evening can lead to problems such as poor sleep quality and weight gain, the timing of their meals is not as important as their overall calorie balance and diet.

It’s also important to consider your dog’s lifestyle, sleep patterns, and walk schedule when determining the best feeding time. It is not uncommon that many experts recommend not feeding dogs after 5 PM, but it is important to remember that every dog is different, and their feeding schedule should depend on their individual needs.

In order to provide the best care for your furry friend, it’s important to pay attention to their behavior, energy levels and preferences, as well as observing the calorie balance, regularity and timing of their meals.

Read also: How To Calm A Restless Dog That Constantly Changes Places


Dr. Orika Mosquera

Hello, I am Dr. Orika Mosquera Lopez graduated from the free university of colombia sectional Barranquilla as a doctor and surgeon. I work as a General Practitioner with Experience in the Emergency Department, Hospitalization and External Consultation. I love pets, i have 2 cats, Bagheera and Nhala and one Yorkshire Terrier called Princess. I care a lot about the well-being of my animals


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