The health and happiness of a puppy are constantly on the mind of new dog owners. That’s a good thing, but it can also be difficult keeping track of dietary needs, reactions to food and medicines, and keeping a solid sleep schedule.
Also important: How often puppies poop. It’s important to know if your puppy is pooping after eating — it’s a big part of their overall health — and also what’s considered a normal poop schedule for your growing dog.
Here’s our guide to everything you need to know — yes, you need to know — about your puppy and pooping.
Should My Puppy Poop After Every Meal?
Ideally, yes. Think of it this way: Most puppies need to eat about three to four meals a day as they grow. And after those three to four meals during the day, they will need to pee and poop after each one.
They should; it’s healthy. Otherwise, your puppy could develop gastrointestinal issues and other serious diseases when they are young. A good rule of thumb is to serve the meals at the same time of day if possible.
It keeps the timing consistent, especially since that is followed by taking them out to use the bathroom each time when they are done. The habit will develop.
Puppies are too young to know how to control their bowel movements, so they should be pooping after each meal.
This is entirely normal for puppies, in addition to typically having to use the bathroom first thing in the morning (a whine from a crate or a room is a good indicator of that).
Some puppies may be reluctant to go to the bathroom after dinner. One thing to try is feeding them at least two hours before their usual bedtime. Try giving them an hour to digest the food and then take them outside.
Something that also may help is rubbing your puppy’s belly or running around with them for a bit. Both may stimulate a needed poop after a meal.
How Long Should I Wait For My Puppy to Poop After Eating?
For younger dogs, it’s best to wait between 5 and 30 minutes or so after they eat to get them to pee or poop. The younger your puppy is, the sooner you will need to take him out to use the bathroom after they eat each meal. As dogs age, they can hold it in longer.
Sometimes, puppies will need to poop usually within 10 to 15 minutes after any size of a meal. There is some variation that exists here.
You may only need to wait 5 minutes for your puppy to poop after eating, while some may take 30 minutes or so before they want to go out to use the bathroom.
But in general, waiting 15 minutes is entirely normal. Don’t fret if you see your dog wanting to use the bathroom right after a meal. All puppies are different. The bottom line is that they are using the bathroom after a meal — and that’s a very good, natural thing.
As a puppy ages, it will begin to gain more control over its bladder and will hold in its poop longer each day.
And while it can take between 6 and 8 hours for food to pass through the digestive system of a fully grown dog, so it can take up to 7 hours after they eat for them to need to poop. It takes much less time for a puppy to need to poop.
Should I Be Worried If My Puppy Isn’t Pooping After Eating?
Puppy constipation can be a serious issue. It means that feces are remaining in your dog’s colon for several days, making it difficult and painful for them to poop since the colon will remove moisture from the material.
Look to see if your puppy is straining while squatting unproductively over periods of time. That could also lead to your puppy not eating as much, then losing weight or not gaining weight as they should when they are growing.
When this happens chronically, it causes inflammation of the puppy’s bowel lining, releasing mucus or dark fluid into feces. If you are noticing this behavior or this fecal composition in your puppy, consider it a potentially serious issue.
Puppies can become constipated for a variety of reasons, including after swallowing objects or eating objects like grass and sticks, having a diet that is not appropriate for them, stress such as bringing in strange areas, or being boarded in unfamiliar surroundings, and poor grooming.
A veterinarian can help clear up the potential issues impacting your puppy’s poop schedule.
A general rule of thumb: if your puppy hasn’t pooped in more than two days, see your veterinarian.
A video call with a veterinarian can be a helpful and inexpensive option for medical advice with your puppy. You should also consult a veterinarian if your puppy crouches, whines, or strains when it is trying to poop.
Again, you can receive solid advice and medical help through a video call with a veterinarian if your puppy is experiencing this.
The Bottom Line
Paying attention to your puppy’s pooping habits is vital for dog owners. In general, it’s perfectly fine for puppies to poop after every meal they eat, even when it’s three to four meals throughout the day. Don’t be alarmed if your pup goes out to poop as little as 5 or 10 minutes after a meal.
If you’re noticing that your puppy is not pooping after eating, observe their behavior closely. Are they straining? Do attempted bowel movements seem painful or uncomfortable for your pup every time? If you’re noticing this behavior, it’s important to bring your puppy to your veterinarian right away or consult with one via a video call.
Not pooping after eating can be a serious problem for puppies, but with attentive care and veterinary help, they will be on the path to better health in no time.