Learning more about your pet’s pooping tendencies and bowel movements might be uncomfortable, but it is still crucial. The frequency with which your pup poops is a strong indicator of their health. So, how often do puppies poop?
Young puppies generally poop four to five times a day. As they grow older, this number steadily decreases. Puppies can’t control their bowels for as long as older dogs and they also eat more frequently, both of which contribute to the frequency of their poops.
It’s important that you keep track of your puppy’s poop schedule, as any sudden deviations are a good indication of health issues. Keeping track of a poop schedule and habits can be tedious and challenging, but it can be very beneficial. The below guide offers helpful information for you to use.
How Often Does Your Puppy Need to Poop in a Day?
Your puppy needs to poop at least four or five times a day, usually after consuming meals. Puppies poop more frequently than fully grown dogs due to various factors. These include high metabolism levels, relatively clean digestive systems, and large appetites.
The same does not apply to a fully grown dog, which might only poop twice or three times a day. That is because as puppies grow older, they can hold their bowels much longer than before. However, don’t worry if your puppy’s poop frequency surpasses the amount of instances mentioned above.
You should only be concerned about issues such as constipation or diarrhea. That is because these are the most common causes of irregular dog pooping tendencies. Usually, newborn pups cannot defecate themselves, and their mother often stimulates them by licking their backsides.
However, at 3 to 4 weeks, the pup should be able to defecate independently, with daily rates of up to 4 or 5 times a day. At eight weeks, the puppy can consume solid meals, and the defecation rate should still average at 4-5 times.
A 12-week old pup is well developed and should be able to control their bowel movements much better. How often do puppies poop? Expect a defecation rate of up to 2-4 times a day for a 12-week old pup.
Factors Affecting a Puppy’s Pooping Frequency
Various factors determine the frequency with which your puppy poops, and these can include:
The food your puppy consumes is an essential aspect of their defecation tendencies. Unfortunately, this means that you have to be careful with your pet’s diet and feeding schedule. Poor quality dog food often contains substandard ingredients, which can increase your pup’s pooping frequency.
These foods often contain lots of grains or even cornmeal, which can trigger adverse side effects on your pet’s digestive system. Instead, consider dog food that only contains well-controlled amounts of grain and fiber.
Feeds specifically formulated for puppies are recommended, as they provide the additional protein that puppies require.
Puppies often consume large amounts of food, making them defecate several times a day. Logically, pets that consume large volumes of food are likely to defecate beyond the normal expected rate.
However, it is important to know that puppies cannot control their bowels effectively. And this can also increase the rates at which they defecate.
As your pup gets older, be sure to adjust the amount of food they eat. If you allow an adult dog to eat at the rate of a puppy, it can eventually lead to obesity or diabetes.
Your Pup’s Health
Puppies tend to be prone to various health issues. A good example would be health issues that arise from consuming contaminated substances or food. In addition, such feeding patterns make them prone to multiple digestive system complications.
These complications include intestinal worms, constipation, and diarrhea. In the case of worms and diarrhea, the frequency with which they poop can be five times or more. Plus, the stool might be runny or have an inconsistent appearance. With constipation, it’s possible that they can go a day or more without pooping.
The other health issues likely to increase your pet’s pooping frequency include allergies and autoimmune disorders (inflammatory bowel disease).
Pets naturally use poop as scent marks for territories or as a way to find their way to specific places. As such, taking your pup outdoors often means the rate at which it defecates will increase significantly.
You might notice them defecating on specific locations each time you go for walks, exercise activities, or even at the park.
How Can You Tell When Your Puppy Needs to Poop
Puppies have different personalities. And they are likely to demonstrate any or a combination of the following when they want to poop:
Look out for any signs of discomfort or pacing, which indicate your pup wants to poop. They are likely to pace around the house and sniff the floor, which helps locate where they last pooped. Find a way to direct the pet outdoors when you notice restlessness.
Barking or Whining
Some pups are likely to produce a whining sound or bark due to frustration arising from suppressing their bowel movements. The whining behavior might occur along with squatting, which occurs as a response to controlling their bowels.
Once you notice your pet is aloof, realize that it could be a sign of unhealthy movements. For example, the pet might experience constipation or an upset stomach, which makes them feel uncomfortable.
Is Your Puppy’s Poop Normal?
Your dog’s poop might be uncomfortable to look at, but it’s one of the best ways to evaluate their overall health. The ideal pet poop should be firm and slightly moist. Moist poop indicates that your pup is not suffering from constipation issues.
You have to look at various aspects of your pet’s poop, including the color, volume, and odor. Below are the specific irregular poop signs that you should consider:
- Watery diarrhea – if your pet experiences runny stool regularly, take it as a sign of poor health. Some common issues include intestinal worms or viral infections.
- Soft, loose poop – such stool indicates that your pet may have recently consumed a fatty food or foreign substance, or has experienced a significant diet change.
- Poop with mucus or blood – the presence of blood or mucus should indicate poor pet health. The mucus could be due to parasites, viral infections, or internal bleeding.
- Grey poop – any unusual grey appearance in your pet’s poop is a huge sign your pet struggles to digest fats. It often occurs due to consuming a large volume of fatty foods and the lack of a balanced diet.
- White-specked poop – white specks often indicate parasites, but there can be other causes of white specks in dog poop.
What to Do When Your Pup’s Poop is Irregular
If your puppy’s poop is irregular, you should find ways to solve the problem, including:
- Feed your pet more fiber when they experience diarrhea (and, surprisingly, constipation as well). Canned pumpkin or sweet potato are great natural sources of soluble fiber that can be added to your dog’s regular food.
- Probiotics products can also help with issues such as diarrhea and indigestion. However, be careful when using such products for your puppy’s health without first consulting with a vet.
- Make sure your puppy is getting enough water. Always have fresh water available for your pup.
How to Encourage Healthy Pooping Habits
It’s your responsibility to get a puppy house trained. While this might seem like a challenge, below are simple tips to get you started:
Create a Schedule / Set a Routine
How often do puppies poop? That will depend on whether or not you create a routine for them.
Creating a schedule ensures your dog will get used to a particular pattern of pooping. If you work to keep your puppy on the schedule, they will eventually get accustomed to this process.
Crate training has many benefits, and one of the best ones is its role in house training. If you take your puppy directly from the crate to your desired potty location, you will help establish a poop routine for the pup.
Dogs love routine, and often are most comfortable pooping in the same spot on a consistent schedule. Take advantage of this when house training.
Training a dog also involves using basic positive reinforcement methods. This reinforcement can include giving your dog a treat for pooping in the correct place and not in the house. It is far more effective and humane than negative alternatives like shouting or swatting your pet, which should never be done.
When to Call Your Vet
Make sure you visit a veterinarian if you notice that any of the stool complications mentioned above fail to subside.
In most cases, changes in your pet’s stool consistency could be signs of a change in diet or contaminated food. So you want to be patient and wait for your pet’s digestive system to heal.
But if the issue persists for two or three days, seek the services of your local vet. Check to see if there is a runny, bloody, or inconsistent stool.
Vets will also usually need a fresh sample of stool for laboratory procedures. You might want to invest in a zip lock bag to store the pet stool. Typically, you also have to visit the vet as part of regular health checkups.
The Bottom Line
The frequency with which your pet poops is a strong indicator of their health, lifestyles, and various other factors.
As a responsible pet owner, make sure you regularly check the pooping tendencies of your pet.
The process may be uncomfortable, but it will ensure your pup is healthy and save you from unnecessary trips to the veterinarian.