It’s the age-old question: How much should my dog poop?
Okay, maybe it’s not an age-old question, but it’s one dog parents often have. Not only that, we also want to know how many times a day should a dog poop? What should dog poop look like? What should dog poop smell like? Why does our dog’s poop smell bad?
And the good news is that we are responsible and caring dog parents when we ask all those ‘ewww’ questions.
The truth is, there’s a lot our dog’s poop can tell us, and there’s a lot the consistency and regularity of our dog’s poop can tell us too.
How much should dogs poop?
We get it. You googled, “How much should dogs poop?” or “How much should my dog poop?” and you want to know to see if your dog is doing it right. Well, the short answer is that dogs should poop about 1-5 times a day.
Why such a range? How much dogs should poop each day depends on a lot of different things. It depends on their size, activity, diet, age, and even how many times they take walks. Obviously, a mini-dachshund will probably poop a good bit less (and less often) than a Bernese Mountain Dog simply because the size of the intestines is vastly different and that means food intake is probably very different too. Puppies often may poop more simply because they either have tiny tummies that are still growing (and can’t hold too much). Older dogs may poop more because they often eat smaller meals more frequently rather than large meals just once or twice a day.
However, a general guideline is that the number of poops a dog does typically coincides with how many meals they eat and/or how many walks a day they have. They like to have routines (just like we humans do when it comes to poop times) so you can usually count on breaks in their routine to give you clues as to their health.
What does my dog’s poop frequency and consistency tell about his health?
Here’s the thing. Everyone poops.
Or at least they should. And they should fairly consistently and regularly. If you’re wondering “Does my dog poop too much?” or “Is my dog pooping enough?” or even, “Why does my dog have diarrhea?” you may need to take a closer look at his gut health.
Yes, your dog’s gut health. It’s the number one regulator of poop frequency and consistency and perfect poop means a pretty healthy gut. Not-so-perfect poop? Your dog’s gut tells the tale through his butt.
What makes perfect poop in dogs?
In a few words? A healthy gut. It sounds simple, right?
But for many who believe that just giving their dog expensive dog-foods means they’ll get the best nutrition, they are quickly disappointed to find out that doesn’t guarantee a healthy gut.
You see, a healthy gut means your dog’s intestinal lining is nice and healthy and that is what helps them absorb nutrients from the foods they eat. When their gut has the right balance of healthy bacteria (probiotics), it’s able to fight off virus, illness, harmful bacteria, fungus and more. AND it’s able to absorb all the nutrients from the food you feed. If you think about it–poop is really just digested food your dog hasn’t absorbed throughout his digestive system and exits his rear as waste. The goal is to have a nice, consistent poop on the regular (see what we did there?).
- It’s a nice chocolate-brown color. It should never be black (that could mean blood and be a warning sign) or have red streaks of blood in it and it should never be gray or yellow-ish/clay color (that could mean your dog’s pancreas or gall bladder are having issues). You know that fun little poop emoji we all love? Yes, that’s the color!
- It shouldn’t have anything in it. No worms, no parasites, no blood (this could be constipation strain). It’s content really tells a lot about the health of your dog’s gut.
- It shouldn’t be coated in anything. Sometimes, you’ll pick up a poop (PLEASE tell us you always pick your dog’s poop up!) and it may seem a little more slippery than other times. That may signify mucous in the poop, and that’s not great. Mucous in your dog’s poop means his large intestine may be inflamed, which means that his gut health is off.
- It should have a nice, play-do-like consistency. Did you know there’s a chart for dog poop consistency that vets use? It’s true, there is. It starts at 1 (think rabbit turds) and ends with 7 (think poop soup). You want your dog to be a 2…maaaayyybe an *almost* three, but really, you want that nice doughy consistency that is firm, easy-to-pick-up and doesn’t leave a residue (like a 3 would).
What if my dog isn’t pooping right?
If you’re worried about how much your dog is pooping (or isn’t), that’s a first sign you may want to take a look into your dog’s gut health. Most of the time, if your dog is constipated and doesn’t poop as much as you expect, or your dog poops all day and you just want it to stooooop….it’s an issue that working on improving gut health can tackle. Changes to their diet, stress, antibiotics, a blockage…most of the time, these issues can be helped by working on their gut health.
And that starts with making sure they have enough fiber in their diet!
Experts always recommend a high-quality fiber to help dogs poop well each day, and with the right color, consistency and content. The fiber in Bernie’s Perfect Poop is a Miscanthus grass–eco-friendly and non-GMO, but full of fiber that will help bulk the stool in your dog’s digestive tract up and help it exit the rear in proper form.
The pre- and probiotics in Perfect Poop work on gut health so your dog can absorb all the nutrients he needs and then all he has to do is shoot the poop through the chute to get rid of waste. Because his gut will be a balanced microbiome, it’ll come out nice and firm–maybe even perfectly swirled (but we wouldn’t go looking for those big eyeballs on a pile of poop if we were you).
When your dog regularly has the perfect poop, it makes knowing something isn’t right with him even easier because he’ll show it with the *un*perfect poop. Vets always tell us the best way to know a dog who usually eats well isn’t doing okay is when he loses an appetite and the same goes for poop–when a dog who usually poops well (regularly and with good consistency) doesn’t? We know it’s time to check their gut health. Bernie’s Perfect Poop to the rescue!