Behind dogs who poop so much, there are often owners who scratch their head and can't come up with a logical explanation behind the production of some much waste. What's up with these dogs
Let's face it, some dogs seem to be pooping machines at times and they often leave us scratching our heads in disbelief. Believe it or not though, there are several reasons as to why your dog may be pooping so much, and a popular issue may be your dog's diet.
How Does Normal Dog Poop Look Like?
Dog poop is not a fun and glamorous topic to talk about. In fact, it can be gross. However, if you are a responsible dog parent, chances are you will have to deal with many stinky situations on a daily basis.
Believe it or not, your dog’s poop offers a plethora of clues and tells you a lot about your dog’s digestive health. Going on poop patrol and knowing what to look for can help you deduce early signs of trouble such as abnormal poop color, frequency and consistency.
When examining your dog’s poop consider that there are six criteria that require evaluation. Those criteria include: color, consistency, content, coating, size and frequency.
Normal dog poop is chocolate-brown in color. This classical color is due to the presence of bilirubin (a chemical compound produced in the liver). Bilirubin is further degraded into urobilinogen and then stercobilin. In fact, it is thanks to stercobilin that gives poop its distinctive usual color, explains veterinarian Dr. Ivana.
Ideally, normal dog poop should come in a log-like shape and it should be easy to pick-up without leaving any sticky residue behind. There should be no mucus or blood coating it.
How Often Should Dogs Poop a Day?
Generally speaking, there are no rules of thumb as to how often dogs should poop a day considering that there are many individual variables to keep into consideration.
For instance, puppies are pooping machines compared to adult dogs (more on this below) and the type of diet fed and over all dog's health status and level of stress can cause variances in how often bowels are produced.
In general though, most healthy adult dogs tend to poop anywhere between 2 to 4 times a day. Puppies though may poop as often as 4 to 6 times. As puppies mature, they should gradually start pooping less.
A Matter of Diet
Back in time, when I worked for a pet store, my manager took me on a tour to see all the products that were being sold. He then took me into the "premium" dog food aisle where the price tags on the bags of food seemed to incrementally jump up every step we took.
He told me: "When people ask why these bags of food are so expensive compared to others, tell them that they are jam-packed with nutrients and have no fillers such as corn, wheat or rice.
Because of this, dog owners should expect, healthier dogs, glossy coats and reduced stool volume." I knew for a fact that dogs fed certain diets seemed to poop a whole lot more and there was a good reason for this.
Lisa Weeth, a board-certified veterinarian specializing in nutrition has a good explanation for this. Se claims: "Lower cost pet foods tend to have higher proportions of corn and wheat since these grains are also less expensive than animal protein. Too much fiber can increase the volume of stool, making your Yorkie poop like a Labrador."
Puppy Poop Machines
Is your dog a puppy and you're wondering why he's pooping more frequently compared to your adult dog? In general, young puppies tend to poop a whole lot more than adult dogs.
Just think that an adult dog generally poops a couple of times a day, while a young puppy may poop even up to eight times a day. There are several reasons as to why puppies tend to poop more. One of them is the simple fact of growing.
Growing takes a whole lot of energy and puppies have fast metabolisms. On top of that, don't forget that puppies also have very small stomachs, which means that compared to an adult dog, they will need to be fed in smaller amounts, but more frequently.
If you're not too sure about how much to feed your puppy, ask your vet or veterinary nutritionist. It's very important to avoid over feeding, especially in large breed puppies who are prone to rapid growth.
Warning! "For large-breed puppies, over nutrition or rapid growth—with weight more than height—along with excess calcium and genetics are the primary risk factors for developmental orthopedic diseases.” ~ Dr. Dana Hutchinson, veterinary nutritionist.
An Underlying Medical Condition
If your dog is pooping more than he usually does, you are right to be concerned. Listen to your dog's body, there may be something medical going on.
A common cause of an increase in pooping frequency and stool volume in dogs is dog colitis, the medical term for the inflammation of the dog's colon, the large intestine.
When this happens, the dog may poop more frequently and the poop may start coming out soft, sort of the consistency of pudding, and then at the end they turn gelatinous and slimy. On top of developing slimy stools, an inflamed colon may also develop erosions which may cause the appearance of blood in the dog's stool.
There are many causes of dog colitis ranging from dietary indiscretion (your dog raising the trash can or some family member feeding him table scraps), presence of parasites or protozoans or abrupt diet changes just to name a few of the many.
Older dogs may be prone to pooping more because they may develop more sensitive stomachs/intestinal tracts as they age. Have your senior companion see the vet if you notice increase of stool frequency.
Of course, increased pooping may be caused from a vast array of other problems ranging from parasites, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, to kidney or liver problems, to deadly parvo in puppies. If your dog is pooping a lot more than usual, play is safe and see your vet.
A Matter of Stress
Some dogs who poop a whole lot when walking or boarding may also be doing so because of stress. In this case, it's known as "stress-induced colitis."
This type of colitis is often seen in dogs who are under some type of stress. Sure dog's don't go through divorces, job changes or financial problems, but they are prone to feeling stressed when there are major changes in their lives.
Being boarded, moving to a new place, being hospitalized or even participating to canine sport events, may be enough to cause increased motility and rapid transit times which leads to diarrhea sometimes accompanied by blood and mucus in the stool.
Stress-induced colitis in dogs is fortunately destined to solve once the stressful event is over.
Now That You Know...
As seen dogs poop a lot for a variety of underlying reasons. Pay attention to your dog’s poop and think whether something happened that could have triggered changes in its frequency or appearance.
For example, have you made a change in your dog’s diet? Has somebody fed Fido some table scraps? Have you introduced new treats? Was your dog exposed to some type of stress? To reduce the quantity and frequency of stools, you can take several steps.
- See your veterinarian. If your dog has been pooping more than usual or the stools are on the soft side, see your vet. There may be an underlying medical condition at play or he may not tolerate a certain ingredient in the food.
- Have a stool sample checked. If you can, bring in a stool sample you have recently collected from your dog so the vet can rule out parasites. Collecting a stool sample is quite easy. All you need is a small amount, about 1 inch long should suffix. Make sure it's fresh, not older than 24 hours, and that it's stored in a clean container with as tight-fitting lid, such a margarine tub. Label it with your name, dog's name, phone number and the time the poop was collected.
- Talk to your vet about your dog's diet. Have your vet or veterinary nutritionist, help you choose a high quality food. Look for dog foods with the first ingredient being meat, beef, chicken, lamb etc. Feeding a low quality dog food will cause your dog to poop more due to all the fillers in the food. A high quality food, that is easily digestible instead has less fillers and therefore more quality product so that your dog's body uses more of it.
- Go gradual. If you are starting your dog on a new diet, make sure to mix the new food with the food your dog has been used to for several days so it there's not an abrupt diet change.