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How Often Should a Dog Poop?

Laura Day

July 11, 2019

How Often Should a Dog Poop

Poop is often an uncomfortable topic to discuss, but it is necessary! Regular bowel movements are vital to the maintenance of good health for both humans and animals, dogs included. When your dog does not poop regularly, it means that something is off and needs to be addressed before health issues arise. Dogs may not poop regularly because of an already existing medical condition as well.

What you are going to learn about today is how often a dog should poop, how much is too much, what could cause yours to not poop enough, why it happens, and what you can do about it! That seems like a lot, but we want to ensure that your puppy or dog’s health is in perfect order, and that includes healthy dog poop.

How Often is Just Enough?

While the frequency of your dog’s bowel movements may vary based on several factors, it is normal for him to go “do his business” between one and five times per day. Healthier is on the higher side of this range, but not too much.

What can change the frequency of your pup’s poop in a day?

  • How much they have eaten in the last 24-48 hours
  • The amount of fiber in the food that your dog is getting
  • How old the dog is (puppies poo more often than adult or elderly dogs)
  • Medications that your dog may have been taking (i.e. opioids)

Any other factor depends on your unique lifestyle and your pup’s behavioral habits.

How Much Poop is Too Much?

Dog PoopThe truth is that really the only time that a dog could be pooping too much is if he is suffering from diarrhea. This could be due to several different root causes such as:

  • Eating too much. If your dog eats too much, it could upset his stomach. Make sure that you are not free feeding him because pets do not often have the self-control that we do when it comes to food.
  • Eating bad food. If your pup eats too much junk or accidentally eats something that is bad for him, the body will try to purge all of it out. This typically comes in the form of diarrhea or vomit.
  • Roundworms and hookworms are the main culprits of this.
  • Infections and other serious illnesses. If your dog is suffering from something more serious like food poisoning, infection, parvovirus, distemper, liver disease, or cancer, he may have frequent diarrhea.
  • Emotional upset and stress. You may have had this happen to you before as well! It seems that when humans and animals become stressed, the muscles in the abdomen cramp and twist and try to purge out the bad feeling.

How Little is Too Little?

It may happen that your dog is actually constipated which is normal from time to time but can become dangerous if prolonged. If your pup doesn’t poop for multiple days, you should begin to pay attention more closely and be concerned. This is why a dog may become constipated:

  • Lack of exercise. Being sedentary often means that the bowel movements come at a slower pace than active dogs.
  • If your pup is lacking a diet rich in fiber, he may become constipated. Fiber is essential to keeping living beings “regular.” This can be the case in humans with constipation as well.
  • For some reason, elderly dogs have the hardest time trying to poop.
  • Digestive tract tumors. This is one of the most serious cases; it will likely need surgery to be resolved, and guess what? Surgery can cause constipation in dogs as well!

What Happens When a Dog Suffers from Prolonged Constipation?

The short answer is that it’s bad and your dog is in danger. The long answer is that your pup may sadly begin to suffer from sepsis. This happens when toxic materials are introduced to the bloodstream or other tissues in the body. It can cause shock, the failure of his organs, and even death.

You definitely do not want that to happen, so what can you do?

What to Do When Your Pup’s Poop is Irregular

If your puppy or adult dog is experiencing irregular bowel movements whether it is constipation or diarrhea, you can do a few things to help out.

The first thing you should do is go see your vet. It’s absolutely imperative that you do so before a small issue turns into a devastating catastrophe. When you go see your dog’s doc, they will be able to run all the tests that they need in order to get to the root of the problem. Be prepared – this visit might be costly and it could turn into a multiple appointment affair. All of that is worth it, though, for your pet to get better as soon as possible.

Now that you know what you should do first, here are some other recommendations on what you can do to make Rover regular again.

Diarrhea

  • Don’t worry; this isn’t the same as starving your dog! To fix the problem, you have to be careful with the food that you do give Spot. Provide him with water but go about 12 hours without giving him food to allow his digestive tract to settle down.
  • Give him some of these foods to see if they help: canned pumpkin, yogurt, cottage cheese, chicken without the skin, and specially formulated dog food that may be recommended by your vet.

Constipation

  • Give him these foods: pumpkin, canned dog food, fiber supplements, and olive oil. All of these are high in fiber or lubricating as they have tons of moisture.
  • Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise. Remember, a sedentary lifestyle leads to a sedentary digestive tract! Go for a run, play fetch, and train to do tricks if you feel like it. This will get the blood flowing and the whole system moving like new again.
  • Have him drink plenty of water and electrolyte substances that are recommended by your vet if necessary. Hydration is the key to a healthy body.

Now go help your dog get back to his best self as soon as you can! Time is of the essence. Good luck and give your pupper plenty of love.


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And remember, puppyhood is fast and is gone before you know it. Make sure to savor the time when your pup is young, and take lots of pictures along the way!