Having a regular bowel is one of the signs that shows your pet is healthy. Just like humans, defecating is very important for our dogs’ overall wellness. It is the body’s way of getting rid of the waste and toxins. In case your dog does not have a regular bowel movement, read on to know what you can do to help him.
What You Need to Know About Canine Bowel Movements
How many times should a dog defecate per day? There is no single answer to this because each dog is different. Your pet could bowel once or twice. Some dogs even poop as much as five times a day and that’s still considered normal.
Apparently, there are two main factors that affect a dog’s bowel movement, namely his diet and his age. But other factors could also have an effect on the frequency of his bowel. One of them is your pet’s hydration.
Dog’s Diet and Their Bowel Movements
Your dog’s diet has a big influence on his bowels. Some dogs only defecate once while dogs normally excrete their bowels a couple of times in a day. The American Animal Hospital made it clear that it’s natural for dogs to evacuate their bowels just several minutes after consuming their food. So, if you feed him twice a day, which is the recommended number of feeding, you can expect him to poop twice.
The amount of fiber in your dog’s diet can also affect the frequency of his potty time. Contrary to popular belief, fiber does not only aid when one is constipated, but it also helps in treating diarrhea. If your pup has a fast transit time, fiber delays the movement of food in the GI tract. On the other hand, it will speed up the process if your dog has delayed transit times.
If your pet is on a high-fiber type of dog food and he is having runny stools because of it, try switching to another brand. Ask your vet for recommendations. There are types of dog food specially formulated for those pets with sensitive stomachs. There are also dog probiotics that can help in treating diarrhea.
A change in your pet’s diet can also cause him to defecate more than he used to. Be cautious when feeding anything new to your pet, especially if he has a sensitive stomach. Some dogs tend to have allergies to certain food items.
The Effect of Age on Canine Bowel Movement
If you own a puppy, you might be wondering why he defecates several times a day. This has something to do with the advised number of feedings for their age. For younger dogs, the number of feedings can be as much as four times a day. Puppies less than five months old normally poop three to four times a day because that is also the recommended number of feeding for them.
There are instances when newborn puppies suffer from difficulty pooping. The common fix to this is to wet a clean washcloth with warm water and massage their rear end. It is believed to be helpful in stimulating a newborn dog to go potty. Once your puppy reached the eighth month of life, he will be more capable of holding it in.
When to Take Action Regarding Fido’s Bowel Movement
Don’t worry if your dog poops more than you expect him to. As long as it is not accompanied by any other problems, you should not worry too much. If your pet has a watery stool and he’s vomiting, call your vet immediately. If the consistency of his poop is normal, which means not too loose and not too hard, then there should be nothing to be concerned about. Otherwise, here are other things to keep an eye on, that also require veterinary attention:
- The dog seems to be in pain while pooping
- The pet looks bloated
- Stools are extremely hard
- There is blood or mucus in the stool
- The dog is having difficulty pushing out
There are many circumstances that can be associated with diarrhea in dogs. The most obvious reason is when our pets eat something they shouldn’t. They could suffer from diarrhea because of it. There are certain human foods that cannot be given to dogs, such as chocolates, raisins, grapes, and xylitol.
If your pet has diarrhea, it is recommended that you put him on fasting for 12-24 hours. Feeding him will only worsen his condition. After the fasting period, you should give him a bland diet. Anything that will be gentle to the stomach can be given to dogs with diarrhea so as much as possible, don’t give the sick dog any food that contains fat.
While diarrhea is more common in dogs, it does not mean they cannot experience constipation. If your dog has no bowel movements or having difficulties doing so, there might be something wrong going on in his digestive system.
As with diarrhea, there are many possible causes to constipation in canines. He might not be getting the appropriate amount of fiber, lacks exercise, or is suffering from anal sacs blockage. When your dog is on medication, constipation could be one of the side effects of it. In some cases, it is a sign of another health problem.
For constipated dogs, it is advisable to treat your dog with a laxative. If you are clueless about it, simply head on to your vet for assistance. You can also ask about medications that are formulated to enlarge the large intestine’s contractile strength. High-fiber foods, like wheat bran and canned pumpkin, can be given to canines having a hard time pooping.
The Bottom Line
On average, a dog poops around one to five times a day. If he is pooping six times or more, this could be because you introduced a new food in his diet and he is not reacting well. Otherwise, the excessive pooping might be an indication of an underlying disease. Seek your vet’s advice if your pet pooped more than the usual and if you noticed anything new to the consistency and color of his stool.
Aside from the dog’s diet and age, his level of hydration also plays a certain factor in the frequency of his bowels. Dogs that do not drink enough water in a day are prone to constipation. The stool stays softer when your pet is well-hydrated. Make sure Fido has access to fresh and clean water all the time.