How Often Do Puppies Poop? When Should We Be Worried?

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If you're a new pet parent just starting out with a puppy, you may be wondering "how often do puppies poop?"

Cindy Grant

This is a good question and one that doesn't have a clear-cut answer. So I've consulted with the experts to find out just how many times a day should a dog poop.

How Often Should a Puppy Poop? This is Generally Normal

It is normal for a puppy to poop between 1 and 5 days each day. Puppies generally defecate more often simply because we are feeding them more often. In fact, according to DogTime puppies should be fed 2 to 4 times the amount you would feed an adult dog. This is due to the pupping needing more calories and nutrients to grow and have energy.

Depending on your schedule you may end up feeding your puppy 3 or 4 days each day and that means he will have to poop right after he eats.

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It's normal when a puppy poops 4 or 5 times a day, but when she is adult, she just poops 1 or 2 per day

How many times a day should a dog poop each day?

Once your dog has reached adulthood (usually at one year-of-age) you will cut back how much food you are feeding him on a daily basis. Once the intake of food is lowered, your adult dog may only poop once or twice each day.

References: http://dogtime.com/puppies/218-feeding-puppies

How Often Do Puppies Poop? It Depends Greatly on the Food

Puppies need a lot of protein, nutrients, healthy fats, whole grains and added vitamins and minerals to support their development. When shopping for a quality kibble for your pup you will want to make sure it is not packed full of cheap fillers. This provides no nutritional value for your dog, but will make it poop more often...basically, junkie, filler-load foods equal more bathroom breaks.

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Cheap fillers can make your puppies or dogs poop more

High quality puppy foods, on the other paw, are usually formulated specifically for the growing needs of a puppy, some even state that the puppy's stools will be better formed and less smelly - this is because your puppy is utilizing the nutrients, rather than just pooping it out.

Tip: Feeding a puppy or dog table scraps may cause him to poop more.

When Should I Be Worried?

There are times that a puppy may go more than normal, or the consistency of the bowel movements are loose (diarrhea).

What is classified as diarrhea?

Look for liquid and frequent stools; however, diarrhea can also include blood or mucus in it (this can be a sign of a more serious condition). Other symptoms may also include fever, legarthy, dehydration, straining to go, loss of appetite and weight loss.

Diarrhea can be one of the first symptoms of some more serious conditions. These include:

  • Change in Food. Have you switched to a new brand of puppy food? Your pup could just be reacting to the new ingredients.
  • Food Intolerance. Some pups just can't handle the ingredients in some food. This can be because of a sensitive stomach or a food allergy.
  • Ingestion of Garbage. Puppies investigate with their mouths, so it's not unusual that it may have gotten into some garbage.
  • Ingestion of a Poisonous Substance. Be aware of those toxic plants and household substances that can make your puppy sick.
  • Ingestion of Foreign Matter. Toys, elastic bands, bits of debris can all cause your puppy to poop or even be constipated.
  • Bacterial or Viral Infection. These can cause stomach and bowel upset in your pup.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This is a condition where the intestinal tract is continuously invaded by inflammatory cells.
  • Internal Parasites. Roundworms are very common in puppies and will cause loose stools. Coccidia and Giardia are also conditions that need to be taken care of.
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Stress can cause diarrhea in dogs

  • Stress. Taking a puppy home for the first time or when it encounters new situations can all be very stressful, which could lead to diarrhea.
  • Kidney or Liver Disease
  • Certain Medications. If your puppy has been put on a medication, it may cause loose stools. Ask your vet if this is a side effect of the meds.
  • Cancer or Tumors of the Digestive Tract.
  • Colitis. This is an irritation of the colon.
  • Hemmorhagic Gastroenteritis. This can be brought on by many different situations, but it is characterized as being a leaky intestinal tract.

References: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2090&aid=305
http://frontiervet.com/2012/07/30/coccidia-and-giardia-the-non-worm-parasites/

Puppy Not Pooping? Constipation May Be the Culprit

Another condition that can affect your puppy's bowel movement frequency is being constipated; this is when your pup's stools are extremely hard and dry. You may notice that your puppy strains when trying to poop and the frequency of going will be reduced.

Constipation in puppies can be brought on by many conditions, but mainly diet, stress and a lack of exercise are the main culprits.

References: http://mysweetpuppy.net/constipated-puppy/

Know Your Pooch

It's vitally important to always know your dog's bathroom habits and the consistency of its poop. Some diseases show symptoms of diarrhea listed on NolongerWild.com in the beginning stages, so know your pooch and always be sure to follow up with a veterinarian if you are concerned.

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