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How Often Do Newborn Puppies Poop

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Newborn puppies need help to go to the toilet, usually by their mother who will lick them to stimulate them to urinate and defecate before or after each feed.
  • Puppies should poop every two hours throughout the day, and should go at least eight times per day during their first week of life.
  • Feeding more often can cause puppies to poop more frequently, as can consuming excess fiber or certain medications.
  • Stress can cause puppies to defecate more often due to the communication between their brain and intestines.
  • To keep newborn puppies safe, it is necessary to provide 24/7 care and supervision, including feeding, toileting, temperature monitoring, and daily weighing.
Written by Jay
BsC (Hons) Animal Behaviour & Welfare graduate with a passion for advocating for misunderstood animals.
Gold medalist veterinary student from UVAS Lahore writes captivating articles and is passionate about animal care.
Published on
Thursday 3 December 2020
Last updated on
Monday 5 June 2023
how often do newborn puppies poop
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You’ve just welcomed your new fur babies into the world, and naturally, you have a lot of questions and concerns. How often do newborn puppies poop? And how can a breeder help them to go to the toilet? These are questions that every beginner breeder has.

Your newborn puppies have digestive systems that are still developing. This leaves them unable to urinate and defecate on their own. But how often do newborn puppies poo initially? With a little help from their mother and you, a newborn puppy can be stimulated to go to the toilet every two hours. But how often do newborn puppies poo initially?

How Many Times do Newborn Puppies Poop?

Most newborn puppies defecate after each meal, but some prefer to go before they feed. In their first week of life, newborn puppies need to nurse every two hours. So, your newborn puppy should defecate every two hours throughout the day. Your newborn pups will also need one or two nightly feeds, depending on how well the puppies sleep. Overall, this means that the typical newborn puppy should go to the toilet at least eight times per day.

By two to four weeks of age, puppies do well with feedings every six to eight hours. This means that these older puppies should defecate less often. Your older puppy will also have a stronger bladder and is better able to control when and where they urinate and defecate.

What Can Cause Puppies to Poop More?

Even if this isn’t your first time raising puppies, it can be confusing how much crying, feeding, and pooping are normal for your puppies. If you’re struggling with puppy poo anxiety, we’ve got some explanations and tips for you!

If They Eat More

Puppies need to feed more often than adult dogs. You already know that newborn puppies need to eat every two hours, so it would make sense for them to poop more with more feedings. As your puppy grows, it’s understandable that you may wish to feed them more. However, your puppy may also defecate more if they snack between meals, eat too much junk food, or face any sudden change in their diet. It’s important for any puppy owner to responsibly manage their puppy’s diet to ensure their digestive health.

newborn puppy poop
Newborn puppies eat every two hours, therefore they poop often.

If They Get More Fiber

Soluble fiber encourages water to remain in the stool, making your puppy’s poop softer and easier to pass through your intestines. Insoluble fiber adds more bulk to the stool, hastening its passage through the gut. Puppies need both types of fiber. Puppy food contains more fiber than milk does, so it’s not uncommon for puppies to poop more and have softer stools through the weaning process. If your puppy’s diet contains too much fiber, consider gradually switching to a lower fiber kibble. This kibble should be made with highly digestible proteins and healthy oils to ensure good digestive health.


Some veterinary prescribed medications can cause increased defecation as a side effect. Certain diuretics, antihistamines, narcotic pain relievers, and also sucralfate may cause increased defecation, but constipation is also possible, depending on the individual dog taking the medication. These medications may also cause increased urination in dogs. If your dog experiences these side effects, it’s best to ask your vet for advice. Increased defecation and urination could lead to dehydration if severe.



A puppy’s brain and gut talk back and forth non-stop. When a puppy is stressed, their gut’s enteric nervous system (ENS) is rampant with chemical signs from the brain, causing diarrhea, nausea, or constipation. What may seem easy for humans can be extremely stressful for our furry friends, so if your puppy is defecating more often due to stress, pinpointing the stressor is not always easy. But what causes stress? There are plenty of situations that cause stress in puppies. To name a few, change of residence, travel in a car, loud noises, and separation anxiety are all major stressors for many pups.

Newborn Puppies Need Help for Pooping

Your newborn puppy can’t defecate by themselves. From birth up until the puppies are around three weeks old, the mother will be the one to help them on their way. The mother should lick her puppies’ genitals to stimulate them to urinate and defecate before or after each feed. It might help to hold each puppy up to their mother to encourage her to lick them. This is especially true for first-time mothers who may be uncertain about how to care for their little ones.

If the puppies are orphans, it’s up to you to stimulate the pups to go. You can do this using a damp, warm cloth or cotton ball. To do this, gently rub around the anus and genitals. The puppy should urinate and defecate in one or two minutes. Ensure that the pup’s anus and genitals are clean and dry after this to prevent bacterial infections.

How Often Do Newborn Puppies Poop – FAQ

Have any questions or concerns about your little ones’ toileting habits? Our Frequently Asked Questions section should have all the answers you need!

How do you stimulate a puppy to poop?

For the first two weeks of their life, your newborn puppies will need help going to the toilet. To stimulate your newborn puppy to poop, you will need warm water, a cotton ball, and a soft cloth.

Using one hand, support the puppy gently and use your other to hold the cotton ball. Next, dampen the cotton ball in some clean, warm water. The cotton ball doesn’t need to be soaking wet to be effective. Once you have prepped the cotton ball, gently massage your pup’s genital area. The puppy should go to the toilet within two minutes.

Make sure that you contact your vet if you cannot stimulate your puppy to poop. Constipation can be painful and dangerous for a newborn puppy. Your vet can prescribe a stool softener or an enema to help your puppy to defecate normally.

How long does a mother dog eat poop?

Mother dogs will eat their puppies’ feces for around three weeks. This is because a mother dog helps her puppies to go to the toilet until they are three weeks old. After she has helped the puppies to go, she should instinctively “clean up” the whelping box by consuming the feces. Eating these feces is not harmful to a mother dog. In fact, it’s a natural behavior known as allocoprophagia. This behavior not only keeps the whelping box clean but protects the defenseless puppies from predators.

Because puppies are always learning from their mother, they take up allocoprophagia themselves. Some puppies eat poop just because they like to put things in their mouths. In a nutshell, puppies explore the world with their nose and mouth, and eating poop to do so is not out of the question.

How often should you check on newborn puppies?

Newborn puppies need round-the-clock care and supervision. They need to be fed every two hours, toileted every two hours, weighed daily, and the environmental temperature must be monitored closely.

Although newborn puppies sleep for at least 90% of the time, a lot can go wrong within a few hours of being left unsupervised. For instance, puppies who wander away from their littermates can quickly succumb to hypothermia. Inexperienced mothers may sit or lay on top of their puppies, causing fatal injuries. Puppies can also get stuck underneath blankets or other objects and can quickly suffocate.

For all of these reasons, many breeders sleep beside the whelping box for the first few weeks to ensure the safety of their litters, and so that they can check on the puppies at least every two hours.

How long can a puppy hold its poop?

Generally speaking, puppies can control their bladder and bowel movements for about one hour per month of age.

So, if your pup is four months old, they should be able to hold their feces for about four hours. Some breeders prefer the month-plus-one rule. For this, take the age of your puppy in months and add one to that number. This is the maximum number of hours that a puppy can comfortably hold their feces between toilet breaks.

With that being said, there are dozens of factors that can influence how long a puppy can hold their stool. Consider the amount of water your puppy drinks, the activity levels of the puppy, and any stressors in the household.

So, how often does a newborn puppy poop? To summarize, puppies need to feed and defecate every two hours. In addition, a newborn puppy will need stimulation from the breeder or their mother to go to the toilet.

One comment on “How Often Do Newborn Puppies Poop”

  1. Michele

    What if my 3 week old puppies haven’t pooped for 2 days?

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