How Often Should Puppies Poop?

I'm often asked, 'How often should puppies poop?' That's why I included this article on puppy pooping issues. Puppies' bowel habits vary considerably depending on their age, what and how often they're fed, and how often they exercise. 

Answering this question may well surprise you as it's almost like asking how long is a piece of string. However, there are some guidelines and pointers I give below; I'm sure you'll find them helpful.

How Often Should Puppies Poop?

How often should puppies poop? How many times a day should my puppy poop?

Our puppy is 10 weeks old, and we feed him 4 times a day, but he poops about 6 times daily. Is this normal, or are we over-feeding him?

How Often Should Puppies Poop?
By: Jake and Sue

Chocolate cocker with white backgroundHow many poops do you want me to do?

How Often Should Puppies Poop Each Day?

Hi Jake and Sue,

I assume your puppy is otherwise healthy, doesn't have diarrhoea, and his poop is normal. If that's the case, pooping 6 times a day sounds relatively normal for a young puppy.

You're right to feed him 4 times a day because his little tummy couldn't take his daily food allowance in one go, which is why he's pooping so often. Feeding triggers pooping.

As your puppy gets older, his feeding routine will need to change along the lines of the following:

  • Up to 4 months of age - 4 meals each day;
  • Between 4 months and 6 months of age - 3 meals each day;
  • Over 6 months of age - 2 meals daily, morning and evening.

If your puppy doesn't finish his food within 15 minutes, lift his bowl off the floor. Don't allow him to 'free feed' as this can interfere with the regularity of his bowel movements.

He'll soon learn to eat what's on offer and that if he doesn't eat it then, he'll have to wait until his next meal time.

Golden cocker spaniel pooping outdoorsI can't do it if you're watching!

Feeding will stimulate your puppy's bowels, as will any form of exercise or excitement, so it's only natural for him to poop more than you might expect.

Measure his food at each mealtime. You may be surprised at how wrong you can be if you don't measure it out!

If you feel you may be overfeeding him, check the manufacturer's packaging or ask your breeder for the exact amount of food your puppy needs at this stage in his puppyhood.

If you haven't already, please read this great little article on feeding your puppy.

Good luck, and please let us know how you both get on.

Question Answered By: Pauline (Website Owner)

Visitor Comments:

Comment: How Often Should A Puppy Poop? 

Don't worry. It's what puppies do!

They're little poop machines when they're young.

As your puppy grows and his diet changes (i.e. onto adult kibble, and he's fed less often), his bowels won't be stimulated as often. He'll settle down to a regular one or two poops each day, probably two, but don't worry if he does three.

I take my 7-year-old cocker spaniel out for a walk each morning before I go to work, and he always does three poops. However, the third one is usually much less than the other two and is often softer. (I hope you're not having your breakfast! LOL!)

Have a nice day!

How Often Should Your Puppy Poop?
Comment By: Jed

Comment: How Many Times Should Puppies Poop?

No. Pooping this many times each day is perfectly normal, especially in a puppy so young and being fed regularly.

Each time you feed your puppy, you'll stimulate his bowels, so 4 meals means at least 4 poops and 6 is not unreasonable.

If you're worried about overfeeding, why not check with your vet the exact amount of food you should be feeding him. And remember any treats you give him during the day - all these calories soon add up!

Hope I've helped.

How Many Times Should Puppies Poop?
Comment By: Sandy

More Puppy Pooping Issues

Puppy pooping problems come in many forms. Here is another question from one of our regular visitors, Hadi. Her puppy is pooping at 'unsociable' hours...well, read on, and she will tell you in her own words.

Orange roan puppy with a plant behind himI don't have any puppy pooping issues, Mum!

Unusual Puppy Pooping Schedule!

Hi, I have a 12-week-old male cocker spaniel with some puppy pooping issues. Without fail, my puppy poops very early in the morning before I get up.

He's on a raw food diet and is fed at 7:00 am, 12:00 pm, and again at 5:00 pm.

(He used to get his last meal at 6:00 pm, but I brought it forward to try and resolve the situation). Unfortunately, that didn't work!

My puppy gets lots of exercise throughout the day, including after his 5 pm feed.

Unfortunately, no matter how I change his feeding schedule, including increasing the size of his earlier meals and gradually reducing the others (breakfast large, lunch medium, and dinner small,) his bowel timings remain unchanged.

Without fail, I find my puppy pooping between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm (which is good) and then again in the night between 3:00 am and 6:00 am (which is not good!).

He goes out just before bedtime, and I have also tried taking him out later during the night, but he is tired and sleepy. He may wee but will roll up in a ball until he's taken back into his crate.

He also cleans the crate after he goes, which isn't a pleasant habit!

Is there anything I can do to try and shift his bowel movement from the middle of the night to just before bed or morning? Should I consider putting him on a raw food diet?

Unusual Puppy Pooping Schedule!
By: Hadi
From: United Kingdom

Puppy Pooping Problems

Hi Hadi,

First of all, your puppy is still very young, and this puppy pooping issue will very likely sort itself out as your Cocker Spaniel gets older.

One thing I would ask you to check is that you are feeding your puppy the right amount of food for his age. This is something most new puppy owners are often guilty of, with all the best intentions, of course.

Puppy Pooping Issues: Are You Overfeeding Your Puppy?

Many new owners are often surprised to learn that they are over-feeding their pups.

A raw dog food diet presents its challenges because it's essential to get the right balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy body. 

This is especially important for a puppy's diet. It must be nutritious enough to properly support the puppy's growth and development.

If a raw dog food diet interests you, I recommend you leave it until your puppy is older.

If you've not already done so, I recommend you have a chat with your vet or practice nutritionist (if they have one) and ask for a raw food diet sheet suitable for a young puppy.

Once you're sure your puppy's diet is nutritious enough and you are not over-feeding him, you will be on the right track.

Puppy Pooping Issues: Sluggish Digestion?

Perhaps there isn't enough fibre in his diet, causing sluggish digestion?

If you believe this is the case, you could try introducing more vegetables into his diet to get your puppy pooping a bit more regular.

I often give Max a chopped courgette, microwaved for 4 minutes and allowed to cool. As your dog is on a raw food diet, you could simply grate the courgette raw and add it to his food.

Don't forget to reduce the size of his meal slightly to allow for the extra courgette.

Other vegetables that are safe for your puppy are:Max loves red pepper. In fact, he loves all colours, but red is his favourite!

  • Small florets of broccoli (not too much)
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Mangetout
  • Carrots, grated, chopped or sliced.
  • Peppers, but not chilli peppers, as they would be too spicy for your puppy.

Don't forget to include fruit in his diet, such as apples, blueberries, and cranberries. You can give him bananas, but don't overdo them as they contain a lot of sugar.

Golden Cocker Spaniel puppy running through a meadowI've done my poop Mum! Can I play now, please?

Puppy Pooping Issues: Timing

You're right to give your puppy larger meals in the morning and reduced meals in the afternoon and evening. That's a good call, but as you say, it's not made any difference.

Neither has moving his last meal from 6:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

My dog is fed at 6:00 am and 3:00 pm and has a small treat before bedtime (usually as a reward for going out to his toilet area before bed). This feeding schedule works well for him, but he's not a puppy.

Would you consider moving your puppy's final meal of the day to 4:00 pm? That extra hour might just make enough of a difference. You will still have time to give him his last walk after that meal and it may prompt that elusive poop!

If you decide to try this, I recommend you check with your vet to see if he believes it's okay to do so. It's worth a try!

Puppy Pooping Issues:  Keep Him Moving!

Finally, you might like to try some vigorous exercises for your puppy; however, wait until his digestion has had a chance to get moving. Leave it a couple of hours after his final meal.

Increased exercise may stimulate his bowels and get them moving; it will also tire him out, ready for bedtime.

Good luck, Hadi; I hope this helps!

Important:  Please note, any puppy pooping issues you may have with your Cocker Spaniel must be discussed with your vet to ensure the health and welfare of your pet.

Puppy Pooping Issues: Coprophagia

Hadi, You mentioned that your puppy 'cleans up' after himself. Yes, I agree, it's not a very pleasant habit!

Unfortunately, it's fairly common in puppies, but they often grow out of it.

Here's an article on Coprophagia which I think you'll find interesting, and another on how to stop your puppy from eating poop.

Hope these articles help!

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