If you have just brought home your first puppy, you’re probably on a rollercoaster of emotions, questions, and chaos.
Some of the most concerning questions that may arise during this time are questions about your puppy’s health — everyone wants their puppy to be happy and healthy!
If your puppy is pooping a lot, you may be concerned that something is wrong.
However, sometimes, puppies just poop a lot! How do you know when your puppy’s bowel movements are normal, and when it is time to see a vet?
Is it Normal for Puppies to Poop a Lot?
Yes. Like all young animals, puppies poop more frequently than adult dogs.
They are small, with digestive tracts that have not fully developed, so food often passes through them very quickly.
Sometimes, food passes through the digestive tract before it has time to be fully digested.
The younger your puppy is, the faster food will be processed and expelled by its body.
It is normal for very young puppies to poop every hour!
How Many Times a Day Should a Puppy Poop?
It is normal for a puppy to poop 5-6 times a day or even more.
When puppies are very young (2-4 weeks) they might defecate after every feeding or even every hour.
As puppies grow, the rate at which they defecate slows down.
By the time a puppy is three months old, it usually defecates about four times a day.
When Will Your Puppy Stop Pooping So Much?
In general, the older the puppy, the less frequently it poops.
At three months, your puppy will probably poop about four times a day.
As your puppy reaches young adulthood (around eight months) it will begin to transition into the bathroom habits of an adult dog, defecating 2-3 times a day.
Why is Your Puppy Pooping So Much?
The main reason puppies poop a lot is because they are small, and their digestive tracts are underdeveloped.
However, there are other reasons your puppy might poop more frequently, including a growth spurt, diet problems, illness, or a reaction to certain medications.
Bodies So Small
As mentioned, puppies’ bodies are small.
Most small and medium dog breeds weigh less than a pound until they are at least four weeks old.
Young puppies, like human babies, have no control over their intestines, so they are unable to “hold it” until an appropriate time.
Most puppies need to defecate about 30 minutes after a meal.
If you are feeding your puppy treats or additional food between meals, they will also need to defecate after eating those things.
We do not recommend feeding your puppy treats or extra food between meals.
Going Through a Growth Spurt
If your puppy seems to defecate even more than normal, it could be going through a growth spurt.
When your puppy goes through a growth spurt, it needs more energy.
That means more food, and that leads to more waste.
If your puppy seems hungrier than usual, is eating more than it usually does, and defecating more frequently, it is probably going through a growth spurt.
As previously mentioned, vets do not advice giving your puppy extra food or treats in between meals.
Extra food can lead to an upset stomach and more frequent defecation.
Most human food is not good for dogs and should be given sparingly, if at all.
If you are not feeding your dog treats or extra food during meals and they are still defecating more than is normal, they may be allergic to the food you are giving them.
Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and require special food.
Talk to your vet about putting your puppy on a diet to support their sensitive stomach.
If your puppy is having diarrhea as well as frequent defecation, it may be an indicator that something is wrong.
Puppies are prone to parasites, particularly before they are vaccinated.
Sometimes they are born with them.
They might also pick them up from the surrounding environment.
Some of the most common parasites afflicting puppies include
If you have your puppy on medication, it may upset their stomach.
Antibiotics, in particular, are known to cause diarrhea in both young and adult dogs.
Other medications that cause diarrhea in puppies include NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), or any medication that uses lactose as a binding agent.
If your puppy is on antibiotics or NSAIDs, you can support their stomach by giving them probiotics, canned pumpkin, rice, and plain chicken.
If none of the above causes are triggering your pup’s frequent defecation, your puppy may have an upset stomach.
Puppies can get tummy troubles for many reasons, including eating garbage or toxic substances, an underlying illness, kidney or liver trouble, IBS, or an allergic reaction.
How to Know if Your Puppy Has an Upset Stomach
No one wants a puppy with an upset tummy!
Here are some symptoms you can use to determine whether your pup has an upset stomach.
Excess Drooling or Lip-Licking
Drooling and lip-licking are often responses to stress in dogs, and an upset stomach will undoubtedly cause your dog stress.
If you notice that your dog seems to be licking its lips all the time, or is drooling more than usual, it could be a sign that they have an upset stomach.
Similarly, if you notice your dog swallowing a lot, it could also be a sign of an upset stomach.
Dogs that drool need to swallow, so if your dog is doing this and also defecating more than usual, it could be because they have an upset stomach.
Tenderness in Tummy
You can tell if your dog has a tender tummy by gently massaging the area.
If your puppy whimpers, yelps, or tries to lick or bite your hand, you have probably hit a tender spot.
Some dogs will also try to prevent you from touching them if they are experiencing pain.
Dogs eat grass to aid digestion.
Some grass eating is normal.
It is a good idea to keep the grass around for your dog so it has access to it when it needs it.
However, if your dog seems to be eating more grass than they usually do, or does nothing else when you take them out, it could be a sign that they are having stomach trouble.
How to Help a Puppy When He is Pooping Too Much
If you have carefully observed your dog and have determined that the amount they are defecating is not normal, it may be time to step in and help.
Here are some tips for caring for a sick puppy.
Check In With a Vet
Your vet is your best resource for analyzing what is wrong with your dog and advising you on what to do.
Always consult your vet when you have a question about your dog’s health.
Do not undertake any steps such as modifying your dog’s diet or changing their environment until you have checked in with your vet.
Give Him Stomach Settling Foods
Your vet may recommend foods that will help settle your puppy’s tummy.
These foods are easy for your dog to digest, provide fiber and protein, and are low in fat.
Foods on the list include steamed rice, plain cooked chicken, canned pumpkin (without sugar or other additives), bone broth, and baby food.
As previously mentioned, check in with your vet before modifying your dog’s diet, and monitor them carefully for allergic reactions to new foods.
Make Sure He’s Getting Enough Exercise
When you are sick, it can be tempting to want to lie around all day doing nothing.
The same is true for your dog.
However, gentle exercise is one of the best ways to support your dog’s digestive health and keep everything functioning while they recover.
Don’t stop exercising your dog just because they are sick.
Check with your vet about the modified exercise you can do with them instead.
Check Out the Poop
This one is a bit—uh—gross, but you should be monitoring your puppy’s defecation while they recover.
Keep an eye on it to ensure that the consistency is improving, that there is no blood in the stool, and that when your dog eliminates, they are not straining or having difficulty.
Create a Schedule
Consistency is key for puppies, and a consistent poop schedule will not only help you monitor your dog’s health but will aid in housebreaking.
A general rule is that puppies can “hold it” as long as their age in months plus one hour.
So if your puppy is 3 months old, you should take them out every 4 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about your puppy pooping many times.
Is it normal for a puppy to poop ten times a day?
Depending on your puppy’s age, it may be normal for them to poop ten times per day.
Young puppies cannot hold their waste as adult dogs can, so they need to go out frequently.
If your puppy is on the older side and still pooping ten times a day, it may be time to see a vet.
When should a puppy’s poop be solid?
Very young puppies might eliminate waste before it is completely processed.
By the time your puppy is 4-6 months old, they should mostly be eliminating solid waste.
If your puppy has frequent diarrhea, check in with your vet to ensure there is nothing wrong.
It is normal for very young puppies to poop many times per day, even as often as once per hour.
As your puppy matures, it will begin to poop less frequently.
If you notice your puppy has frequent defecation or diarrhea, it may be an allergic reaction to food or medication, an underlying illness, or an upset stomach.
Talk to your vet if you are concerned about your puppy’s health.