It is time to get your game face on for today’s topic. Although poo is never a pleasing conversation, when it comes to your puppy, it is more important than you think. As a matter of fact, veterinarians use your dog’s droppings as their main barometer to determine their overall health.
If you have a brand new puppy, though, the number of bathroom trips can be alarming if you are not familiar with how much a puppy poops. To save you the suspense and worry, puppies are like babies. Cute and cuddly, and snacking on chili and beans while we are not looking.
That being said, there are some instances when you should be worried. In the article below, we will go over how much is too much, what should be considered an emergency vet visit, and how you can reduce the overall bathroom breaks.
What is Normal
The average adult dog typically goes to the bathroom between one and five times per day. A puppy can go twice that amount. As a general rule, the younger the pooch, the more they are going to go.
The determining factor of poo volume is the amount of fiber in their diet. Other factors, such as their size, age, metabolism, and health can also play a role, however. Outside aspects are also present in the frequency. For example, a change in diet, anxious situations, and a deviation of their normal routine can be at fault, as well.
Overall, though, the concerning question is not how much, but consistency. We know examining your puppy’s fecal matter is probably not on your bucket list, but it can help you figure out what is normal for your pooch, and what is cause for alarm.
In general, you want to be aware of consistency, frequency, color, size, and make-up. (Gross, but necessary, we know.) Once you have an idea of what a normal poop looks like for your pup, your only job is to make sure it stays consistent. Loose, watery, or off-color waste is when you want to be worried; which we will go over in more detail further on.
A Poop Increase
Many new pup parents tend to get alarmed when their furball starts to go more frequently. If they have been paying attention to consistency and started to notice a pattern, then an increase can seem like a problem.
Thankfully, they are incorrect. Again, as long as the poo has the status quo “look,” there is nothing to be worried about. The reason for the increase is also usually a simple matter of deduction. Here are the most common reasons for an increase in potty runs:
- Too Much Food: Overfeeding your puppy can result in more frequent bathroom trips. It is interesting to know how many puppy parents are shocked by this revelation. In general, fur babies should be fed three to four times per day. If you are giving them five small meals, you should combine them into three meals a day. Conversely, if you are doing only two meals a day, this can be too much, and you should even it out to avoid other tummy issues.
- Leftovers: Yes, we are sure you have heard this before, but table scraps are not good for your pet. Human food has ingredients that dogs have a hard time tolerating. Greasy foods, sugar, and other ingredients can have a very lucrative effect on your furballs bowels—if you catch our drift. In short, skip the leftovers and find healthy treats instead.
- Growth: A growth spurt is an under-the-radar culprit when it comes to an increase in how much your pet uses the bathroom. As their growth picks up, their metabolism does as well causing quicker digestion. Simple as that.
- Change: We touched on this briefly before, but a change in diet or environment can cause more bathroom breaks. Diet, specifically, can give your ankle biter’s stomach a shock. New scenery can cause your pet excitement and stress, which can also cause more poo.
Again, as long as your puppy is showing the same consistency, an increase should not be a worry, especially if you can pinpoint one of the factors above as the cause.
What Is Not Normal
Unfortunately, other underlying issues could be affecting your puppy’s poop schedule. You want to be aware of the warning signs so you can take the right steps to correct it. Let’s take a look at the different circumstances that would be a cause for concern (now is the time to deploy the barf bag if you have a weak stomach):
- Diarrhea: Any poo that is loose or watery is a sign of tummy distress. The cause behind it can be several factors including diet, table scraps, or nerves. In some cases, though, it can be more serious. Watch out for vomiting, as well. Try to give your pooch a bland diet and lots of water, and monitor them for improvement. If they do not, you should seek help from a professional.
- Deviation From Their Normal Routine: If your furball has created a poo space (which all dogs do), and they start going in other areas, that can be a sign of trouble. This is especially true of they also show other signs of trouble.
- Blood: If you notice blood in their stool, it can be from worms, stomach or intestine tears, or bleeding in the digestive tract. Regardless, a vet visit is needed.
- Color: This next issue plays along with the last one. You should be aware of the normal color of your fur baby’s poop. If you notice dark or black coloring, this typically means bleeding in the inner organs. A red color also means bleeding, but it is more recent and probably closer to the surface. Yellow or orange poop is usually an issue with their liver while white or grey points to a problem with the pancreas or gallbladder. All the colors above are cause for concern.
- Mucus or Grease: In this case, there is a difference between grease and mucus. Greasy stools are usually not an issue and tend to be caused by oily or fatty food. On the other hand, mucus is a more serious issue, yet it is still not life-threatening. The mucus comes from the intestines which produce it when your pup has an upset stomach. Again, this is a situation where you should give plenty of water, a bland diet, and monitor them for progress.
- Worms: To spare you the gory details, here is a concise explanation. You will notice worms in your dog’s poop due to the contrast of white on brown. Rice or sesame seed-like particles are a good example. If you see them, go to the vet. If you need more info on this topic, check here for further details.
- Food: Lastly, you do not want to see any undigested food in your puppy’s stool except for corn and wheat, which dogs cannot digest in the first place. If you notice other ingredients are not being broken down, you should change their diet as your pup is most likely allergic to the ingredients.
Overall, these are the most common poo-problems. Although we mentioned an increase is not an issue if consistency is okay, the opposite is not true. If you notice your pup has not gone to the bathroom in more than two days, you should call your vet. Also, keep a lookout for whining, eating grass, and glances at their tummy region along with an overall lethargic attitude.
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Reducing The Poop
If you feel your ankle biter’s bathroom trips are too frequent, or they are having accidents in the home, there are a few things you can do to reduce the frequency in which they have to go. Take a look at these proven methods for lowering your poop perusal:
- Create a schedule: Try to form a consistent schedule with your pooch so they will become accustomed to potty time. The best time to take them is right after a meal, first thing in the morning, the last thing before bed, after nap time, and after playtime. Keep in mind, though, your furball can only hold it for an hour for every month of age up to 8 months. So, if you have a two-month-old puppy, two hours is pushing it for their “holding ability.”
- Positive Reinforcement: It is important to reward your pooch when they go at the scheduled time in the correct place. Throw your pooch a treat for good poo etiquette. Be aware of the one hour per month rule, though, if your life dictates a longer absence.
- Change Their Meals: Changing your pup’s meals from four to five times per day to three will cut down on bathroom breaks. Also, try to find food that has less fiber and more roughage.
- Potty Spot: This goes back to routine, but bringing your pooch to the same spot every time will reinforce training, and help them recognize when it is time to go.
- Develop Key Words: Use the same words or phrases to indicate bathroom time like “potty” or “bathroom”. Try to avoid these words until it is time to go. Your pup picks up on more subtle clues than you would think, and they can often associate “potty time” with going outside or for a walk.
Okay, so the moral of the poo story is too much is probably normal. As long as you are keeping an eye on the “matter” itself, you will soon come to see what is concerning and what is not. We hope this article has relieved your stress and given you the information you need to go back to enjoying time with your fur baby.
Featured Image Credit: Kittibowornphatnon, shutterstock