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How Many Times a Day Should a Dog Poop? (Facts, & FAQ)

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

How Many Times a Day Should a Dog Poop? (Facts, & FAQ)

Everybody poops. We all know this — it’s just a natural, stinky part of our everyday lives. If you own a dog, you’re dealing with double the doo-doo. Sometimes the trips outside so your dogs can relieve themselves must seem endless, so it’s natural to wonder how many times a day a dog is supposed to poop.

Here, we discuss what is considered a normal number of poops in a day and when you should be worried. We also look at poop consistency and what is healthy and when you should consider a visit to your veterinarian.


How Often Do Dogs Poop?

Cute dog pooping inside the house
Image Credit: ThamKC, Shutterstock

It’s normal for dogs to poop one to five times every day. How often a dog poops depends on a few different factors:

  • How much fiber they have in their diets
  • How much they have eaten in the past 24 hours
  • The individual dog’s own uniqueness
  • The dog’s current age

Dogs should poop at least once a day, and most dogs will usually average about two to three poops in a day. Let’s go over these deciding poop factors in more detail.

How Often Do Puppies Poop?

The younger the puppy, the more often they poop. They are more likely to go closer to four to six times a day. As puppies age, their digestion slows down, and they gain more control over their bladders and bowels, just like humans. Typically, puppies need to poop about 5 to 30 minutes after they’ve eaten.

How Does Food Affect Poop Frequency?

Chihuahua dog eating_tanyastock, Shutterstock
Image Credit: tanyastock, Shutterstock

Research from the University of Illinois discovered that commercial dog food made with human-grade ingredients made dogs poop less frequently than those that ate kibble-based dog food.

The human-grade food was cooked and commercial, so it was not homemade or raw, but the ingredients were human grade. This essentially means that both the ingredients and the prepared food itself had to be handled, processed, stored, and transported the same as food made for people.

There are many commercially made dog foods on the market that add fillers, such as rice, wheat, corn, and soy, as a means to cut the costs of manufacturing, but fillers don’t add any kind of nutritional value to your dog’s diet. These fillers can lead to digestive issues, particularly if your dog has a sensitive stomach, which can mean more frequent and messier poops.

High-quality dog food with only about 15% fat, antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fibers, as well as selenium, beta carotene, and vitamins A, C, and E, will see less frequent and better-quality poops.

How Does Fiber Affect Dog Poop?

Dog food with the proper amount of fiber has several benefits for dogs. Most importantly, it aids your dog’s digestive system and contributes to healthier poop.

Soluble fiber creates gas in the intestines, whereas insoluble fiber absorbs water. A nice balance between the two is necessary because too much soluble fiber can lead to diarrhea and excess gas, and too much insoluble fiber can eventually lead to vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a less-healthy coat.

Woman cleaning up dog poop
Image By: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock

What Happens If Your Dog Is Pooping Less?

Dogs usually poop once a day. You should have an idea of how many times your dog poops on average, so if you notice your dog defecating less than usual or if it’s been 24 hours since they last went, the problem could be constipation.

The signs of constipation can include:

  • Lack of or infrequent pooping
  • Poop is hard and dry
  • Straining to defecate with little or no results
  • Signs of pain when defecating (includes vocalizing)
  • Vomiting occasionally
  • Swollen bum
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite

The causes of constipation can range from not having enough water or fiber (or too much fiber) in the diet to stress and certain medications. Canned pumpkin can work wonders, but you should take your dog to the vet if you suspect constipation.

What If Your Dog Is Pooping More?

Image By: Kiadtisak-Khwanyu, Shutterstock

As long as your dog’s poop is a normal consistency and color, it’s usually okay if your dog is pooping more than the average two or three times a day.

However, if your dog has diarrhea, that might indicate a deeper problem.

Causes of diarrhea include:

  • Change in diet
  • Eating bad or low-quality dog food
  • Allergies
  • Food intolerance
  • Infections: distemper, parvovirus
  • Toxic plants or other substances
  • Parasites
  • Medications
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Eating something not meant to be eaten (like fabric or a toy)
  • Bacterial infections
  • Illnesses: commonly colitis and inflammatory bowel disease

Unless your dog is exhibiting other worrisome signs, you can start by giving your dog a bland diet. This involves simple proteins (cooked eggs, white fish, chicken, etc.) combined with simple carbohydrates (sweet or white potatoes, white or brown rice, etc.).

The same pumpkin that works for constipation can work for diarrhea too. If there’s no improvement after 48 hours, see your vet.

Other signs to look out for that means an immediate vet appointment include:

  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting (particularly with blood)
  • Extreme diarrhea (also with blood)
  • When it occurs after a dose of medication or vaccines

Always contact your vet if you’re ever concerned about your dog’s health or even if you just have questions.

What Does Normal Dog Poop Look Like?

dog poop
Image By: Javier Brosch ,Shutterstock

It’s important for you to keep an eye on your dog’s poop. This way, you can gauge if your dog has any health issues.

Experts recommend that you check the four C’s of dog poop: consistency, color, contents, and coating.

These are the best ways to understand what to look for and whether your dog’s poop is healthy.

  • Consistency – Normal dog feces should be moist and easy to pick up, with a squishy texture similar to Play-Doh. Anything drier or more watery is a sign of a problem.
  • Color – Dog poop can be all kinds of different colors, but it should be chocolate brown. Sometimes what your dog eats could change the color of the poop.
  • Contents – This can also affect the color, but if there’s mucus, grass, extra hair, or white bits that look like rice, a visit to the vet is in order. The white bits are probably worms, and the rest could be an indication of some kind of stomach or upset GI.
  • Coating – There shouldn’t be a coating at all. A dog’s poop should be that lovely chocolate brown, without a coating and just firm enough.

Summing Up

Dogs poop an average of two to three times a day, but that number can actually range from one to five times. Puppies poop even more!

Keep an eye on that poop! It will tell you so much about your dog’s health. Dogs are quite good at hiding health conditions until they become a serious issue, but poop can be quite telling.

How much fiber your dog is eating and even the kind of food, in general, are also factors. A high-quality dog food without any fillers is what you should aim for. Get intimately acquainted with your dog’s poop (not too intimately, though), and it should help you stay on top of your best friend’s health.

Next on your reading list:

Featured Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

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