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How Many Times a Day Should a Dog Poop? Vet-Verified Facts & Advice

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Dog Pooping

How Many Times a Day Should a Dog Poop? Vet-Verified Facts & Advice

VET APPROVED

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSC GPCERT (OPHTHAL) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

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, what the factors are that influence this, and when you should be worried. Generally speaking, a healthy adult dog will pass normal poops once to three times a day. We also look at poop consistency and what is healthy and when you should consider a visit to your veterinarian.

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How Often Do Dogs Poop?

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

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

  • The dog’s age
  • The dog’s diet
  • The dog’s physical activity
  • How much they have eaten in the past 24 hours

Dogs should poop at least once a day, and most dogs will usually average about two to three normal poops in a day. If the color or consistency of the feces is different than usual, if there is mucus or blood, or if they are struggling to defecate, the frequency will likely change and you should contact your veterinarian. 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 bladder and bowels, just like humans. Typically, puppies need to poop about 10 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 a dog fed human-grade fresh food defecated less frequently than those that ate kibble-based dog food.

The human-grade food was cooked and commercially available, so it was not homemade or raw, but the ingredients were human grade and the food was fresh and minimally processed. 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 high amounts of cereals, such as rice, wheat, and corn, but these ingredients, referred to as fillers, are being looked into because they don’t add much 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 attracts water to form a gel around the ingesta and slows digestion, whereas insoluble fiber helps balance the gastrointestinal transit time. A nice balance between the two is necessary because, otherwise, digestive issues may occur.

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

What Happens if Your Dog Is Pooping Less?

Dogs usually poop one to three times 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
  • Painful abdomen
  • 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. You should take your dog to the vet if you suspect constipation.

What if Your Dog Is Pooping More?

Jack,Russell,Dog,Guilty,For,The,Poop,
Image By: Kiadtisak-Khwanyu, Shutterstock

As long as your dog’s poop is a normal consistency and color and your dog is acting normal, it’s usually okay if your dog is pooping slightly more than the average.

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

Causes of diarrhea include:

  • Change in diet
  • Eating bad or low-quality dog food
  • Allergies
  • Food intolerance
  • Viral or bacterial infections: distemper, coronavirus, parvovirus
  • Toxic plants or other toxic substances
  • Parasites: intestinal worms
  • Medications
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Eating something not meant to be eaten (like fabric or a toy)
  • Colitis and inflammatory bowel disease

If your dog has passed one softer poop and is otherwise fine, you can start by giving your dog a bland diet. This involves a single source of protein (cooked eggs, white fish, chicken, etc.) combined with a single source of carbohydrates (sweet or white potatoes, white or brown rice, etc.).

If there’s no improvement in the poop’s consistency or your dog seems lethargic, off their food, or vomits, see your vet immediately..

  • Diarrhea with blood
  • Vomiting
  • Your dog seeming unwell

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 is typically chocolate brown; however, 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 gastrointestinal tract.
  • Coating – There shouldn’t be a coating at all. A dog’s poop should be chocolate brown, without a coating and just firm enough.
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Summing Up

Dogs poop an average of one to three times a day, but that number can go up to four or five. Puppies can poop a lot!

Keep an eye on that poop! It will tell you so much about your dog’s health. Dogs don’t always show obvious signs of illness 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 complete and balanced high-quality dog food suited to their age and lifestyle is what you should aim for. Do not hesitate to speak to your vet about your dog’s diet to get tailored professional advice. 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.

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Featured Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

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