Being a new puppy parent can take a lot of work.
You have this adorable new creature to take care of and it may seem as though their needs are endless.
There’s the feeding and the vet appointments and worst of all, the potty training.
There are a few things that go into potty training a puppy, such as developing the right routine and keeping track of what your puppy eats.
There are also many questions that new puppy owners have about their puppy’s diets and bowel movements.
How Often Do Puppies Poop?
Puppies typically poop 3 to 5 times a day. However, this is not a strict number as the number of times can depend on their diet, exercise, and stress levels, among many other factors.
A puppy’s stomach and digestive system can become upset from abrupt or constant changes in their feeding and bathroom routines.
It is always a good idea to establish a routine for both you and your puppy to follow as it will help with many down-the-road issues.
A Food Routine
As the earliest most people can adopt a puppy is 8-12 weeks old, you are most likely able to skip out on the puppy formula that new puppies have to eat.
After this initial period, puppies can go on dry food.
It is recommended that puppies have 3 small meals a day.
One at the beginning of the day, one in the middle, and one at the end.
It is a good idea to keep these meals at the same time for several reasons.
The first reason is that an established eating routine keeps your puppy’s bathroom routine regular.
Their body will know when they are supposed to be getting food and they won’t have too much or too little food in their system at a time.
Another reason, one that benefits you the most, is that they will be less likely to always ask for food.
When they know what time of day they will be eating, you can start training them to not beg for other food.
Their body rhythm will get used to their eating routine and that will continue as they get older.
Growing up with a routine practices those behaviors and your puppy won’t worry as much about when their next meal will be.
A Bathroom Routine
While your puppy is still young, it is a good idea to take them outside right after they are done eating.
This not only establishes a sort of routine but also prevents accidents from happening inside.
Puppies normally need to use the bathroom anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes after eating.
However, it is hard to know for sure as they aren’t in full control of their bladder and bowels as a puppy.
Making it a routine to go outside right after eating will help them learn when they should be going.
You should also take your puppy outside after they drink a lot of water.
If you notice that your puppy is taking a big drink, you should plan on taking them outside soon.
You can also potty train your puppy with puppy pads.
These pads go on the floor of your house, garage, or by the door and are a place for your puppy to relieve themself while protecting your house from accidents.
This will work if you have to be gone for a few hours or if you have work.
These puppy pads won’t establish the same kind of potty training as taking your puppy outside, but they will work in necessary situations.
My Puppy Isn’t Pooping, What Do I Do?
First, there are many normal reasons for your puppy’s bathroom routine to temporarily change.
Factors that go into how often your puppy poops:
- The fiber content of their food
- How much exercise they are getting in a day
- How much water they are drinking
- How often and how much you feed your puppy
Changes in any of these factors may cause small changes in your puppy’s bathroom routine.
Your puppy is very sensitive to routine changes, so any small change happening to them can cause these other changes.
If your puppy isn’t going as often one day, it isn’t anything to worry about.
These changes only become something to worry about if they are long-lasting or are accompanied by other changes/symptoms.
What Should I Do for Puppy Constipation?
If you are noticing that your puppy hasn’t pooped in a few days, your puppy may be constipated.
This is never a pleasant experience for your puppy as it is usually accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling.
Puppy constipation can also cause your puppy to not want to eat as much which can impose other problems.
So, how do you go about helping your puppy? Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help your puppy’s bowels to do what they are meant to do.
Lots of Water
One of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration.
Maybe your puppy has done too much exercise outside or maybe your puppy just isn’t feeling well.
If they aren’t drinking enough water, it causes them to become constipated.
Encouraging your puppy to get more water into its system will help them not be constipated anymore.
This may include tricks such as putting out more bowls of water, changing the size of their bowl or giving them hydrating frozen treats (if they are of the age to eat watery fruits.)
This can also be done by giving your puppy wet food instead of dry food.
Wet food can be a little easier to digest and has an extra water content that will better hydrate your puppy.
Pumpkin is amazing for your dog or puppy’s digestive system.
One of the first things a vet will suggest if your dog is having digestive issues is to introduce pumpkin into their diet.
Pumpkin is super easy on the stomach while having lots of fiber and other nutrients.
Make sure that the pumpkin you give them is plain and preferably from the can as all the strings and seeds will already be removed.
Pumpkin can help regulate your puppy’s digestive system and therefore fix their constipation.
Less exercise can cause your puppy to go to the bathroom less.
This can then cause constipation and discomfort for your puppy.
Encouraging more physical activity such as playing outdoors and going on walks will increase exercise and may help the waste work through your puppy’s system better.
Go to the Vet
If nothing seems to be working, it may be time to go to the vet.
You should also go to the vet if your puppy’s constipation is paired with other things such as vomiting, lethargy, and other symptoms.
The vet may be able to give your puppy food or medicine to help combat constipation and any other issues that may be happening.
Other Bathroom Issues
There are other issues that your puppy may start to face during outside time that may cause you to want to go to the vet.
When something doesn’t seem right, it is not a bad idea to have a vet look at your puppy.
This issue can be common in puppies when they aren’t feeling their best selves.
Once or twice diarrhea doesn’t pose a health concern, but if this is a frequent problem, you will want to take your puppy to the vet.
Diarrhea can also cause dehydration so make sure you are giving your puppy plenty of water during this time.
Switch your puppy to a bland food diet as well to make sure nothing else upsets their stomach.
No one likes to look at what your dog has left behind outside, but the color of their poop can be an indicator of underlying health conditions.
If the color is anything but brown, there may be other health problems at play from dehydration (grayish) to internal bleeding (purple or red.)
If your puppy likes to eat random things outside, you will want to keep an eye on their waste.
If you are noticing white spots in their poop, that can indicate that your puppy has worms.
You’ll want to get to a vet right away if this is the case so that your puppy can get the medication it needs.
Internal worms can cause many other health issues that can hurt your puppy.
This may be a gross topic, but it is a typical part of dog-owning life.
Keeping your puppy nice and healthy also requires keeping their digestive systems and therefore poop healthy as well.
However, if something isn’t quite right with your puppy’s digestive system, there are plenty of ways to help them through the uncomfortable times.
Even though puppies can be gross at times, we still love them as part of our families.
As part of our families, we need to know how to keep them happy and healthy.