Bringing a new puppy home is one of the most exciting—and terrifying—times for all new pet parents!
While my dog is a senior now, I remember his puppy days vividly and know that I was completely clueless about how often puppies poop.
Needless to say, I was completely unprepared for the amount of poop a tiny puppy can create!
Even if you’ve owned dogs before, you might get caught off guard by the amount of eating and pooping that is involved with raising a new puppy.
It is completely normal for young puppies to pee and poop much more frequently than adult dogs. However, it can be hard to tell what is “normal” when you have never raised a puppy before.
A puppy’s pooping habits aren’t set in stone, and there are many factors that affect how many times a day a puppy will poop.
Usually, these include the frequency of your puppy’s meals, their age, size, activity level, and potential health problems.
In this article, I will tell you how often a puppy should poop and how to tell if your puppy’s poop is healthy.
Armed with this information, you will easily be able to tell if your puppy’s poop is normal or not and, unlike me, won’t unnecessarily rush your pup to the vet’s office.
How Many Times A Day Should A Puppy Poop?
Technically speaking, how often a puppy should poop in a day depends on a lot of factors.
All dogs are individuals, and your puppy’s size, breed, age, nutrition, and the amount of exercise they get will determine how often they need to defecate.
Most young puppies poop between one and five times a day, depending on their age and the amount of food they eat.
Bear in mind, younger puppies need to poop more frequently than older puppies. And if you are raising sibling puppies, be prepared for a lot of poop and even different pooping schedules.
More often than not, a healthy puppy will need to defecate after eating or within 30 minutes after the meal. Therefore, if you feed your puppy four times a day, you should expect a minimum of four poops each day.
If you are taking care of newborn puppies, you should expect them to poop even more frequently.
During their first week of life, newborn puppies need to nurse every two hours; therefore, your new pup should poop every two hours throughout the day.
As your puppies grow and get older, they will eat less, and consequently defecate less often.
As stated, health problems are one of the factors that can affect the number of times your puppy will poop in a day.
Puppies with health issues may poop more or less often depending on the type of health issue they are dealing with.
Since dogs are creatures of habit and like to follow a routine, you can expect that your puppy will poop around the same time every day.
So, if you stick to a particular feeding schedule, of let’s say four meals a day, it is safe to assume that your puppy will need to eliminate at least four times a day within 30 minutes after each meal.
Please note, if you have any concerns about the frequency of your puppy’s poops, keep track and talk with your veterinarian.
Your veterinarian may ask you questions about the puppy’s diet, age, and activity level to figure out if this pooping routine is healthy for your pup.
What Can Cause Puppies To Poop More?
If this is your first time raising a puppy, you may have trouble grasping the frequency of their bowel movements.
Luckily, once you survive the first week with a new puppy, you will have an idea of how many times puppies should poop in a day and what is normal for your pup.
Even if you are fairly certain about the number of times your puppy will poop in one day, there are several factors that can cause your puppy to poop more.
Listed below are the most common reasons why your puppy is pooping more than usual.
1. Eating More
Young puppies are still growing and developing and naturally need to eat more food than adult dogs. As your puppy starts to grow and fill out, you may have an urge to start feeding them more.
However, if you increase your puppy’s portions or start giving them more treats between mealtimes, they will start to eliminate more often.
In the end, everything that goes into your pup must come out, so with more food comes more poop.
Even if increasing your puppy’s meals seems like a good idea, you shouldn’t make any dietary changes without consulting your veterinarian first.
Besides causing your puppy to poop more, the extra calories can lead to obesity and growth abnormalities. Therefore, err on the side of caution and talk with your veterinarian or canine nutritionist first.
2. Eating More Fiber
Like people, dogs can experience many health benefits from eating fiber-rich foods.
It is worth mentioning, there are two types of fiber—soluble fiber and insoluble fiber—and both support a healthy gastrointestinal system.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool, thus speeding up its passage through the gut.
Soluble fiber, on the other hand, encourages water retention in the stool, making it softer and easier for your puppy to pass it through their intestines.
Eating fiber-rich food is great for your puppy and supports their digestive health. But as often happens in life, too much of a good thing can be bad, and eating too much fiber can cause your puppy to poop more often.
If your puppy is on a high-fiber diet, start transitioning them to a moderate- or low-fiber puppy food.
You may be surprised, but puppies can experience nervous poops and feel the need to eliminate frequently in stressful situations.
When your puppy is stressed, their nervous system sends signals to their gut’s nervous system causing digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting.
Figuring out that your puppy is stressed-out is not an easy feat, but pinpointing the stressor may be even more difficult.
If your puppy is pooping more often than usual, try to think about what could be the reason behind their stress and anxiety.
Many things can cause stress and anxiety in young puppies. The usual suspects are puppy’s first night in a new home, loud noises, travel, and separation anxiety.
Identifying and removing the stressor is the only way you can help your puppy and put a stop to nervous poops.
Increased elimination is a common side effect of many medications. Certain types of pain relievers, diuretics, and antihistamines can cause your puppy to poop more often than usual.
However, while some puppies poop more, others may develop constipation depending on their digestive tract.
Furthermore, certain medications can also cause increased urination in puppies. If your puppy is pooping and peeing more than usual, they might be at risk of dehydration and further complications.
So, if you notice any of these side effects, consult your veterinarian right away for advice and a potential change of treatment.
How To Tell If Your Puppy’s Poop Is Normal?
If you thought picking after your puppy is the closest you are going to get to their poop, think again!
Besides the number of times your puppy poops in a day, the actual poop is an excellent indicator of your pup’s overall health. So before you pick up the poop in a doggy bag, you should inspect it.
Knowing how to evaluate your puppy’s stool can help you identify when something is out of the ordinary and get your puppy checked out right away.
Furthermore, knowing how to tell if your puppy’s poop is normal can also save you from unnecessary trips to the veterinarian.
Here’s how you can evaluate your puppy’s poop:
Healthy and normal puppy poop should be brown in color. However, variations in color are completely normal and depend on how hydrated your puppy is and the type of food they are eating.
The bile your pup’s digestive system uses to break down the food is responsible for the poop’s signature brown color.
You should be worried if your puppy’s stool is grey or yellow, since this may point to problems with the pancreas or gallbladder.
Furthermore, black stool can be a sign of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Stool with red streaks or red stool can indicate that your puppy has bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract.
Green bits in normal-colored brown poop are most likely traces of grass your puppy ingested on some of their walks.
However, if you find white pieces in your pup’s stool, they are most likely tapeworms that can be resolved with a simple deworming medicine.
If your puppy’s poop is anything but a healthy brown, talk with your veterinarian and take a sample for testing.
Ideally, your puppy’s stool should have a firm consistency and look like a roll. Diarrhea is usually easy to spot since the poop is liquid and runny and doesn’t have any shape at all.
Constipation, on the other hand, might be tricky to spot since the poop may come out in firm pieces or fragments.
However, if you pay close attention to your puppy, you will notice that they are straining and having a hard time pooping when constipated.
Runny stool or super firm poop once in a while aren’t causes for concern if your puppy doesn’t show any other signs of illness.
However, if your pup has diarrhea or constipation for more than two days, you should take them to the veterinarian for a full checkup.
A healthy poop shouldn’t have any type of coating, and you should be able to pick it off the ground without leaving any mess behind.
Any kind of mucous coating can indicate that your puppy is having a large bowel inflammation.
If your puppy strained while pooping, you might notice a small amount of blood coating the stool. However, if you see blood in your puppy’s stool more than once, take your pup to the veterinarian as soon as you can.
Let’s be honest, no matter how cute your puppy is, their poop won’t smell like roses.
Generally speaking, your puppy’s poop should smell the way you would expect poop to smell: mildly unpleasant. However, you should pay attention to any sudden changes.
Watch out, or rather sniff out, any sweet or extremely foul-smelling puppy poop. These types of changes can indicate a bacterial infection or other health problems.
If your puppy’s poop starts smelling differently all of a sudden, call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment.
While no one expects you to start digging and sifting through your puppy’s poop, you should be able to determine its content by looking at it.
Things you should look for, and will most likely find in your puppy’s poop at some point, include fur, worms, grass, and foreign objects.
Anything except grass in small amounts can be a sign of concern and calls for further inspection.
If you find worms in your puppy’s poop, a deworming treatment is necessary and will get rid of intestinal parasites quickly.
However, finding fur and foreign objects inside your puppy’s stool can indicate an intestinal obstruction and requires a quick visit to your veterinarian.
And whatever you find, obtain a sample of your puppy’s stool and leave the thorough inspection and examination to your veterinarian.
FAQs About How Much Should A Puppy Poop
How Many Times Do Puppies Poop?
Healthy puppies should poop between one and five times a day, usually right after a meal or within 30 minutes after eating.
But, how many times puppies should poop depends on a lot of factors such as age, breed, diet, amount of exercise, and health issues.
Newborn puppies, for example, need to nurse every two hours and should poop after every meal throughout the day.
How Long Does It Take For A Puppy To Poop After Eating?
In most cases, a puppy will want to poop as soon as they finish eating their meal, while others will defecate within the next 30 minutes.
Keeping this in mind, you can design a consistent eating schedule and a regular pooping routine.
Don’t forget, the older your puppy gets, the longer they will be able to hold on eliminating, and won’t necessarily have to go poop after every meal.
With this information, you can start house training your puppy from a young age and avoid cleaning puppy poop from your favorite rugs and carpets.
How Often Does A 3-Month Old Puppy Poop?
There is a general belief that puppies can hold it one hour for every month of age.
So, a three-month-old puppy should poop four times a day. However, your pup may poop more or less frequently depending on the amount and type of food they are eating.
How Long Can A Puppy Go Without Pooping?
Most puppies will poop after every meal, and the frequency of the meals will dictate how often a puppy will poop in a day.
Generally speaking, puppies can go up to 48 hours without pooping. If your puppy goes a day without pooping every once in a while, you shouldn’t be concerned, especially if the stool looks normal.
However, not having any bowel movements in two days is a clear sign of constipation and can indicate other health problems as well.
If your puppy hasn’t pooped for more than 48 hours, call your veterinarian right away and take your pup for an exam.
Can You Potty Train A 9-Week-Old Puppy?
It is never too soon to start potty training your new puppy, and you will make much more progress by starting house training your puppy as soon as you bring them home.
A nine-week-old-puppy is at the right age to start potty training both indoors and outdoors.
At this point in your puppy’s life, the most important thing is to avoid accidents right from the start.
You should establish a toilet area and start teaching your puppy self-control using positive reinforcement techniques like praise and rewards.
Knowing how often puppies poop can help you understand your puppy’s normal bowel movements and prevent accidents.
Puppies need to poop often, but the actual number of times your puppy should poop in a day depends on several factors such as:
- Activity level
Expect your puppy to poop between one and five times a day, and don’t be surprised if your pup needs to defecate more often.
And if you have any concerns about the amount of poop your puppy is producing, or lack of it, consult your veterinarian and take your puppy for a full checkup.