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How Often Should a Dog Poop? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQs

Jana Blagojevic

By Jana Blagojevic

french bulldog pooping at grass field

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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Believe it or not, dog poop can give us a lot of insight into our canine’s overall health. Healthy dogs with proper diets and ample activity will typically poop once to twice daily. Some dogs might even poop three times a day, which is nothing to worry about if it stays consistent. When your dog suddenly starts pooping way too much or not at all, you may start worrying.

Often, irregular bowel movement will be followed by other symptoms such as lethargy or vomiting, so if this occurs, you may need to take your dog for a check-up at the vet’s.

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Optimal Pooping Schedule for Your Dog

The ideal pooping schedule for dogs will depend on many factors. The most important factor that will influence your dog’s schedule will be their age, followed by their diet and activity levels. For example, puppies go much more often than adults or seniors, sometimes as often as five times a day, depending on their diets. Puppies usually poop after meals, so you can expect to take them outside 30 minutes after mealtime. These are perfect times to plan out your walk and will be perfect for training younger dogs.

Adult dogs usually do their business once or twice if they have two meals daily. Dogs with diets that are high in fiber tend to poop more often, up to three times a day. Following your dog’s pooping habits is very important. However, it can be harder for people living in houses with large fenced yards, while those living in apartments with their pets can monitor their pooping schedule more easily.

Dog pooping
Image By: Kittibowornphatnon, Shutterstock

How Often Should Dogs Poop?

Normal defecation of adult dogs will occur once or twice a day, sometimes even three times a day, depending on their diets. If your dog poops anywhere between once or three times a day, it is considered entirely normal and is not a cause for worry. If one of your dogs always poops three times a day, while your other dogs poop only once, it is still entirely normal, as they may have a faster metabolism than your other pets. The most important thing to remember is that consistency is key. So, if you notice any recent inconsistency in your dog’s pooping schedule, you need to look at their diet and activity levels.

It takes dogs around 8 to 12 hours to fully digest their meals, so the number of meals will most likely influence the number of times they do their business. Remember that they need less time to digest smaller meals and that younger dogs will go more frequently than older dogs.

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Why Is My Dog Not Pooping Regularly?

While each dog is different, a certain consistency in the pooping schedule is expected, so if you notice your dog suddenly begins pooping much more often or not at all, you need to look at any recent changes in their diets. Not pooping enough during the day can indicate a health problem. When your dog begins having issues pooping regularly and having difficulty doing so, they may be constipated. This may happen due to dehydration or some other health issues.

Intestinal blockage or obstruction can be another reason for being unable to poop, meaning your dog’s intestines or stomach may be blocked.

sad and worried dog lying on a wood floor
Image By: Elayne Massaini, Shutterstock

When To Visit the Vet

If you are worried about your dog’s pooping habits, which have drastically changed over the last few days, it might be best to check with your local veterinarian. Usually, a lack of regular bowel movements will be accompanied by several other symptoms indicating a severe problem.

The symptoms to look out for are:
  • Vomiting
  • Change in stool color or consistency
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty or painful defecating
  • Traces of blood
  • Slime or Mucus over feces

If you notice any of these symptoms along with your dog’s irregular pooping schedule, you will need to consult your veterinarian for a check-up.

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Final Thoughts

Having regular and consistent bowel movements is an integral part of your dog’s day, and monitoring this habit is crucial for every dog owner. A healthy dog will poop once or twice a day consistently. Any changes should be noted, and if other symptoms appear, it is best to visit a vet for additional advice.

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Featured Image Credit: KRITSANA NOISAKUL, Shutterstock

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