Having a puppy in our life is great. While that may be true, it is also completely up to you to take care of their needs. Even things like picking up their poop or checking for the right consistency and color.
Pooping is a natural part of life but how many times a puppy poops depends on the dog, the breed, and their age.
Generally, puppies will poop up to five times a day. This frequency is okay for any age till they reach adulthood.
A lot of factors based on their poop determine their health conditions. As owners, you still need to know the ins and outs (pun intended!) of puppy poop.
The information below will cover all the factors that affect your dog’s poop.
How Many Times a Day Should a Puppy Poop?
Dogs will usually poop once or twice a day. For puppies, that number is very infrequent. If they poop only once, it might mean that they have constipation.
Puppies have a high metabolism and eat a lot of food. So, they poop around 1-5 times a day. Once they have their meal, they will be ready to poop within 20-30 minutes. That’s when you need to take them for a walk.
There are certain poop moments you can watch out for:
- when they wake up
- after sleeping, napping, and playing
- getting excited
- after drinking water.
Remember, the younger the puppy, the more times they will poop.
You need to worry only if their poop is runny, unformed, or has traces of blood. This can mean they have diarrhea. However, if their poop is solid, doesn’t contain any blood, and of even consistency, then this is normal even if they seem to poop a lot. It is actually healthier for them to go 5 times rather than just once.
If your pup has not pooped in 2 days, it might have constipation. Going 8-10 times a day is also not a good sign. If they are pooping this much then there will be a loss of water and all the essential sugar and salts from their system. This will lead to severe dehydration. You need to take them to the vet in such a scenario.
Pooping irregularly means they are not feeling well.
3 Signs your pup wants to poop
This is very common in dogs. Your puppy will whine and howl by the backdoor or the spot where they usually poop. It means that they want to poop and want to get your attention so that you can take them. They will cry and whine when they desperately want to relieve themselves.
Dogs have a habit of wandering around the house when they want to poop. They will act distracted and agitated and sniff the ground a lot. They just want to find a good spot so they can poop.
This is a very tell-tail sign that your puppy needs to poop ASAP. It means they have found a place to do their business. If it is an unfavorable place you need to remove them immediately and take them outside, or to an equally good spot.
Use the command “no”, so they understand that what they are doing is inappropriate.
How to know if your puppy’s poop is normal
The difference in the color of your puppy’s poop will tell you a different state of their health. Let’s take a look at it:
- Medium to dark brown: a healthy and normal puppy.
- Black, grey, yellow, red, and white: cause for concern.
- Brown poop with white pieces: puppy has a tapeworm.
- Brown poop with green pieces: poop with grass.
- Red poop: internal bleeding.
- Black stool: potential bleeding in the GI tract.
- Yellow: liver issues and parvovirus.
- Grey: issues with pancreas and gallbladder.
A puppy’s poop has to be firm and log-shaped. But if it is liquid and runny and there are no specific shapes and segments, it means your puppy has diarrhea.
Constipation is harder to tell because it all comes down to how they go and come out. Usually, the poop that is very hard to come out or might appear hard indicates your dog has constipation.
Your dog will be stressed when they try to poop and may struggle to let it out. And if the poop will come out in pieces if they have been constipated for a while.
There is also a scale for pups to measure the poops. It starts at 1 (small hard pellets) and ends at 7 (loose and runny stools). The ideal poop consistency for pups is 2.
If your puppy’s stool is super-hard or super-soft, once in a while, it is not a cause for concern. However, regular soft or hard stools need to be checked.
All poop smells bad and we all are aware that there is something called a “normal” poop smell. It means everything in the system is normal.
However, you need to pay attention to any drastic changes in smell. If it suddenly smells very sweet or tremendously foul, it could mean your dog has a disease. If it has a different odor than usual, then something isn’t right.
3. Coat and content
Your dog’s poop should not have any coating on it. You should be able to pick it up from the ground easily. However, if it has a coating of mucous, then it could point to large bowel inflammation or diarrhea.
If the poop contains fur, foreign materials, parasites, and worms then you need to take them to the vet immediately.
Remember that it should be shaped like a log. If it is pebble-like or rounded it indicates dehydration or stiff joints.
What causes changes in your dog’s poop
There are a number of factors that can cause your dog’s poop and their health condition to change.
Any change in the frequency or color of your dog’s poop will happen if you make changes in their diet. Whatever changes you make have to be done gradually. You have to give your puppy’s stomach some time to get used to the new food.
If they ate too much sweet potato, pumpkin, or a delicious treat then you will notice a different color of stool once or twice. However, this is not serious and you don’t have to worry about anything.
Dogs tend to get sick or gain weight quickly if their diet has too much fat. It will upset their stomach and produce runny stools.
When dogs eat something bad like eating stuff from the sidewalk, digging in the trash, or picking up a seasonal stomach bug it will make their poop abnormal. In this case, you need to give them a bland diet and if the problem hasn’t been solved within 24 hours, you have to take them to the vet.
Dogs can be prone to various health problems because of eating these kinds of contaminated substances or food. Feeding habits like this make them vulnerable to many digestive system complications, including intestinal worms, constipation, and diarrhea.
Other health issues that increase pooping frequency are allergies and autoimmune disorders like inflammatory bowel disease.
3. Food Intake
Less food intake means less poop. Animals that consume large amounts of food will poop beyond what they should normally poop.
Puppies often eat large amounts of food, which makes them poop several times a day. However, if the puppy is in the growth stage, then the frequency of passing stools will go down soon. This is normal and there is no need to panic.
After 8 months, you should be feeding them less food because like we said, the less you feed, the less they poop. It is crucial you understand that puppies cannot control their bowels, it is up to you to manage the food they eat as they grow older.
A pup’s nutrition will also affect their poop. Lower quality dog foods have a high percentage of fillers. If your dog eats a substantial amount of meals with less nutritional value, their stomach will fill up faster causing them to poop more often.
Be careful about what people-foods you give to your dog. Some snacks may be suitable for you but harmful for their digestive system.
What to do if your dog is constipated?
First, you should take a look at why constipation occurs in dogs:
- Due to dehydration
- A diet excessively low or high in fiber
- Any underlying health issue
Constipation is very common in dogs. Dogs who are constipated may need your help because you can only provide extra fiber in the diet. You can give them the following things to add the fiber:
- Canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree to increase moisture.
- Wheat bran
- Metamucil, which can be easily mixed with dry kibble
Keep them on a bland diet and provide boiled chicken or hamburger meat. You can also give a homemade bone broth.
Make sure you keep them hydrated.
Physical activity helps with digestion, so you can increase your dog’s exercise.
If both these methods don’t work, then it might be some medical problem like inflammation of ducts and anal sacs. This makes it painful for your dog to poop. In this case, you have to take them to the vet.
Puppies can poop up to 5-6 times a day. However, if they poop beyond that, it means they may be constipated.
Your duty is to keep checking if their poop is the right consistency, color and make sure it smells like normal poop. An exceedingly foul smell might mean they have a health issue that only a vet can solve.
As soon as you identify the signs that they want to poop, immediately take them outside. To ensure proper excretion, you can also take precautions with their diet.
To make your dog poop better, you can take them for a walk. It helps the food move faster through the large intestine.
At the end of the day, they are puppies. So, they are bound to poop more than adult dogs.
If you have any doubts that we did not clarify in the article, let us know in the comments.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.