Do Puppies Poop After Every Meal [The 15 Minute Rule]

Most puppies will poop within 10-15 minutes after each meal. The reason puppies poop so quickly after each meal is because they haven’t learned how to control their bowels yet. In other words, they aren’t as good at “holding it” compared to adult dogs.

Puppies should poop 15 minutes after each meal. As they get older they'll be able to hold it in longer

Owning a puppy may not be as taxing as caring for a child, but sometimes it sure does feel like it! Like babies, you can’t simply ask them what they need.

The responsibilities of owning a puppy are immense and require vast amounts of care and supervision. Every dog is different, and none of them come with an instruction manual, so it’s important to understand your pup’s specific needs…and that includes their bathroom needs!

In this article, we will discuss your puppies pooping habits, if they should poop after each meal, and what you should do if your puppy doesn’t seem to be pooping as often as they should.

Puppies Poop…A Lot!

It’s well known that puppies poop a lot (that might be the understatement of the year), but why do they poop so much? Besides the fact that they are trying to constantly eat, there is actually a scientific and anatomical answer to this.

When pups are young, their bowels aren’t fully mature yet. For anyone trying to house train a puppy right now, you are well aware of this.

Puppies have less control over their bowels. This is partially due to the fact that their colon is linked closely to the stomach. Certain nerve endings become triggered immediately after food hit’s the stomach, causing an almost instantaneous urge to use the bathroom.

This reflex prompts the stomach to eliminate anything ingested. These urges or “triggers” are calmed once the pup gets older and acquires more control over their bowel movements. This will happen with time and appropriate house-training techniques.

Pooping 10-15 Minutes After a Meal is Normal

Pooping habits change as dogs get older. Older dogs (who have been properly house-trained) have much better control over their bowels, while pups are still getting the hang of it.

On average, puppies will need to use the bathroom 10-15 minutes after a meal. Although this can differentiate between dogs. Some will only take 5 minutes, while others might hold off for an entire hour.

Older dogs may take 20-30 minutes or up to three to four hours. Many aspects will affect the time and place an older dog will poop. This includes their diet, stress levels, the size of the dog, how much exercise they get, breed, and pre-existing health conditions.

Older dogs have had time to mature and develop their digestive tract. Simply put, they are better at holding it!

So, if you notice your pup having to poop immediately after a meal, it is completely normal. They just need to get through the puppy stages.

What If Your Puppy Doesn’t Poop After Every Meal?

Some dog owners become concerned if their puppy is pooping more often than expected, but there is nothing wrong with being regular. In fact, you should be watching out for the exact opposite.

Pups that don’t poop regularly may be experiencing digestive issues due to a poor diet.

If your puppy isn’t pooping when they should, they may be experiencing impacted bowels. In basic terms, this means your dog is constipated.

Impacted bowels can be dangerous as the stool will harden and block anything else they are trying to expel. This can wreak havoc on the digestive system. (Humans may suffer from this as well).

You can avoid this by introducing a healthier diet, complete with un-processed food containing high amounts of fiber.

As a rule of thumb, you want to avoid foods made with wheat or corn, as they are difficult for their premature systems to break down. If you are dealing with a constipated pup, try adding pumpkin into their diet (yes, pumpkin). Canned pumpkin is soft, easy to digest, and comes loaded with fiber and healthy nutrients.

Does your puppy drink enough water? Dehydration may cause digestive issues, along with many other health concerns.

Irregular eating patterns may contribute to poor gut health as well. Setting a specific mealtime routine can help the puppy become regular.

For example, my dog eats when I eat—breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of course, I’ll give him a treat when I succumb to those adorable puppy dog eyes. But still, make sure you don’t give them too many snacks throughout the day.

Pooping After Each Meal Helps With Potty Training

Dogs learn by association. The more they poop outside (and get rewarded for it), the quicker they’ll learn that’s where they are supposed to go to the bathroom. Take advantage of the fact that puppies poop a lot. The high frequency of pooping results in quicker learning if you potty train correctly.

When you first begin house training your pup, it’s a good idea to bring them outside right after every meal, regardless of whether you think they have to go.

This creates healthy habits and teaches the dog to move towards the great outdoors whenever they feel a bowel movement coming on.

Besides taking them out after a meal, be sure to let your pup outside right after waking up and before going to bed. They will grow comfortable with this habit and understand when it’s okay to move those bowels.

Is Your Puppy’s Stool Healthy?

You can tell a lot about a puppy’s health from the look of their stool.

Typically, a dog’s stool should be dark brown in color and have a semi-solid consistency. Green stool usually indicates that your puppy has been eating too much grass, but in extreme cases can signify gallbladder issues.

Finding red in dog stool can be alarming, as it usually signifies blood. There are a variety of infections that can cause this. Even a cut near the dog’s anus can set streaks of blood within the stool.

A common color dog owners observe in the stool is white. This may scare people, but it’s usually nothing to be concerned about. Dogs who consume a primarily raw diet will experience this. It’s caused by increased calcium deposits and an abundance of minerals.

What you really want to watch out for is black (and greasy) stool. This can mean that your dog is suffering from internal bleeding and should be brought to a medical professional right away.

It’s Healthy For Puppies to Poop After Each Meal

If you notice your puppy having to poop after every meal, worry not! This is entirely natural and healthy. Plus, it’s going to make potty training much easier (and quicker). If your puppy isn’t pooping after each meal, remember to stick to a consistent eating schedule and healthy foods that include plenty of fiber.

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