How Often Should My Puppy Poop?
What to know about your puppy’s poop 💩
Does it seem like there’s no limit to how much your puppy can poop?
Your puppy’s poop might not be your favorite thing to think about, but it’s super important to keep track of so you can know if he’s healthy.
“Most puppies will typically poop between three to five times per day but could go more or less frequently,” Dr. Michelle Bourjaily, a managing veterinarian at Small Door Veterinary, told The Dodo.
The Dodo spoke to Dr. Bourjaily to get the scoop on how to tell if your puppy’s poop is normal and what it means if he’s not pooping.
Factors that affect how much your puppy poops
There are a bunch of factors that affect how much your puppy will poop, including his size, activity level and diet, Dr. Bourjaily said.
Puppy foods that contain ingredients with a lot of fiber, like wheat or corn, can make your puppy have to go to the bathroom more frequently, and the number of meals you feed your puppy each day can also affect how many times he goes.
Puppies who play or go on a lot of walks may also go more often because exercise helps food move through the digestive system.
And as your puppy gets older, he won’t have to go as often because adult dogs don’t eat as many meals throughout the day, and they’re able to control their bowels for longer.
How long after a puppy eats does he poop?
You’ll have to take your puppy out pretty much right after you feed him to avoid an accident (same with after he drinks water).
“Puppies typically need to poop soon after eating — around 15 minutes after — but anywhere between 5–60 minutes after is also possible,” Dr. Bourjaily said.
Puppies aren’t able to fully control their bladders or bowels yet, so they have to go to the bathroom more often than adult dogs and basically right away after eating. At around 9 months old, your puppy should be able to control his bladder and hold it for about as long as an adult dog does.
Why is my puppy not pooping?
If your puppy’s pooping less than he normally does for just a couple of days, there’s probably nothing to worry about.
“Some days your puppy may poop less than usual, and this could simply be due to them eating or exercising less than usual,” Dr. Bourjaily said. “Changes in routine may upset your puppy’s normal bowel habits for a day or two.”
If you recently had your puppy spayed or neutered, that could also be a reason why he’s not going. “It’s also normal for puppies not to defecate for a day or so following a spay or neuter surgery,” Dr. Bourjaily said.
According to Dr. Bourjaily, other causes for constipation in puppies can include changes in diet, not eating enough fiber, dehydration, certain medication side effects, stress and anal gland problems.
Some more severe problems that can lead to constipation include “parasites, intestinal blockages (typically from eating inedible things, such as garbage, toys or bones), bloat, injuries to the spine or pelvis, kidney disease and cancer, amongst others,” Dr. Bourjaily said.
If you notice other symptoms of illness along with constipation, if your puppy hasn’t pooped for more than 24 hours, or if he seems to be straining or in pain while pooping, contact your vet.
What to give a puppy for constipation
If your puppy’s not going as much as usual, here are some tips for how you can help:
- Give your puppy lots of water since dehydration can cause constipation.
- Give your puppy canned pumpkin. Pumpkin has tons of fiber, and vets often recommend it for dogs who have constipation or diarrhea. Be sure to only give your puppy plain canned pumpkin without extra spices or seasonings (especially xylitol).
- Take your puppy on a long walk, throw the ball or try to teach him some new tricks to make sure he gets extra exercise to get his digestive system moving.
- Try giving your puppy wet dog food. Wet food contains more water than dry food, which will help soften his stool and rehydrate him. You should mix the wet food with his dry food so he doesn’t get an upset stomach from suddenly switching to a new food.
Talk to your vet before giving your puppy any medications for constipation, especially if he’s already taking other medicines that could interact with them.
How to tell if your puppy’s poop isn’t normal
Your puppy should be going to the bathroom approximately the same number of times every day. A change in the frequency of his poops for longer than a few days could mean there’s something wrong, like constipation.
“A good sign of digestive health is relative consistency in the frequency of your dog’s poops,” Dr. Bourjaily said.
And while it might seem super gross, you should also make sure that your puppy’s poop looks normal.
“Healthy dog poop is a chocolate brown color and fairly consistent,” Dr. Bourjaily said. “It is shaped like little logs and should be fairly easy to pick up.”
Look for anything out of the ordinary, like “variations in color, consistency (watery-ness), signs of mucus or foreign items, such as large amounts of grass, undigested food, lots of hair from grooming or small white pieces (worms), [that] may signal a problem and should be investigated by your veterinarian,” Dr. Bourjaily said.
Here are some puppy poop colors to look out for that are a cause for concern:
- Black, red or purplish — This could be a sign of internal bleeding. If you notice your puppy’s poop is red or black, it could be an emergency, so take your pup to the vet immediately.
- Green — This could be from eating grass or green dental treats, or it could mean your puppy has an upset stomach or gallbladder issue.
- Orange or yellow — This could be a sign of an upset stomach or a liver or biliary (bile ducts and gallbladder structures) issue.
- White spots — If you see white spots in your puppy’s poop, they could be worms.
- Gray — Gray and greasy dog poop is usually a sign of a problem with the pancreas or biliary.
If you notice any of these changes, you should contact your veterinarian.
Puppy poop is pretty gross, and puppies seem to go all the time. But the good news is that your puppy won’t have to go as often as he gets older. Just keep an eye out for any changes that could mean your puppy is sick (and bring good doggie bags).
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