Puppy pooping problems come in many forms. Here is a question from Hadi, who is one of our regular visitors. Her puppy is pooping at 'unsociable' hours...well, read on, and she will tell you in her own words.
From: United Kingdom
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?
First of all, your puppy is still very young, and this puppy pooping issue may sort itself out as your pup gets older.
One thing I would ask. Are you sure you are feeding your puppy the right amount of food for his age?
Many new owners are often surprised to learn that they are over-feeding their pups.
A raw dog food diet presents its own challenges. It's essential to get the right balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, that are needed to maintain a healthy body.
This is especially important for a puppy's diet. It must be nutritious enough to support the puppy's growth and development properly.
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 that your puppy's diet is nutritious enough and that you are not over-feeding him, you will be on the right track.
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.
I understand that you have already moved your puppy's 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. 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, don't you think?
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!
Don't forget to include fruit in his diet, such as apples, blueberries, cranberries, cucumber. You can give him bananas, but don't overdo them as they contain a lot of sugar.
Finally, you might like to try some vigorous exercises for your puppy a few hours after his final meal. This may help to stimulate his bowels and get them moving.
It will also tire him out, ready for bedtime.
Good luck Hadi, I hope this helps!
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.
Hope these articles help!