Bowl habits vary a lot from dog to dog, and even person to person. If your dog is pooping several times a day, you may be concerned about their health. You find yourself wondering if it’s normal. You may find yourself frustrated at having to clean up poop or take them out multiple times a day. There are lots of factors that affect how often your dog poops. These include age, diet, and activity level. 

Why does my dog poop so many times a day?

Pooping is a natural biological function, but sometimes the system can go into overdrive. Does it seem like your dog is always pooping? Do you feel like you are a slave to their bathroom habits?  

Fecal Bacteria

Fecal bacteria can cause a range of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. One gram of poop can contain 23 million bacteria. If your dog has other gastrointestinal symptoms, fecal bacteria could be the cause. 

Parasites

Parasites like hookworms and roundworms can also cause frequent pooping. Small numbers of parasites may cause your dog to poop more often. Severe infestation can cause anemia, weight loss, and diarrhea. 

Diet 

Diet has a big impact on your dog’s bathroom habits. Eating several small meals can cause your dog to poop more often, because they typically poop after meals. 

Food that is high in fat can also cause your dog to poop frequently. This includes treats and human food given to your dog. 

Overeating can also cause frequent poops, because your dog’s body is processing more food than it should. 

Stress

We now know that the gut and brain are closely connected. You’ve probably experienced the action of your “second brain”. Have you ever been anxious and then had stomach issues? This condition is often called nervous stomach. It occurs because the chemicals released by your brain during times of stress affect your digestive system. 

Stress can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea. If your dog poops often when they are stressed, this is likely the cause. 

Age

Puppies are poop machines. It can seem that all they do is sleep, eat, and poop, similar to human babies. Puppies grow at a very fast rate. This requires lots of nutrition from food. Of course, when food goes in, poop must come out. 

Puppies’ small stomachs and digestive systems aren’t able to hold large quantities of food and waste. They need frequent meals, which also means frequent poops. 

Older dogs often poop more often as well. They may not be able to hold poop in, because the muscles can weaken as they get older. They may also forget to poop due to cognitive decline. Older dogs are also at higher risk for medical issues that can cause frequent pooping. 

Activity Level

Your dog’s activity level plays a role in how often they poop. Generally, the more active a dog is, the more often it will need to poop. When your dog is active, it helps move food through the digestive tract, where it eventually comes out as poop. 

Dogs that are highly active will also require more calories. This means they need to eat more food than their less active counterparts. This, of course, leads to them pooping more often. 

Natural Tendency

Each dog seems to have its own standard poop setting. Some dogs will naturally poop more often than others. If your dog has always been a frequent pooper, it’s likely just its natural tendency. 

Habit

Dogs are creatures of routine. They will usually poop around the same time each day. If they poop multiple times a day, they will likely continue to do so out of habit.

In some cases, there’s something that causes your dog to poop more, like a parasite or stress. Once the situation is resolved, your dog continues to poop often out of routine. 

Why is my dog pooping a lot suddenly?

It can be concerning when your dog suddenly starts pooping a lot. There are several causes for this, including medical issues and dietary changes. 

Medical Issues

There are many medical issues that can cause changes in your dog’s poop habits. Colitis causes inflammation of the colon. This can cause diarrhea or constipation. 

Infection anywhere in the body can also cause frequent pooping. Cancer is fairly rare in dogs, but it also causes changes in bathroom habits. 

Poisoning

Food poisoning can cause gastrointestinal distress. This includes vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Poisoning can also occur when a dog eats a toxic substance. In severe cases, poisoning can cause internal bleeding, lethargy, and collapse. 

Dietary Changes

Changing your dog’s food can cause them to poop more often. This is particularly common if you switch from dry dog food to soft food, but it can occur due to any changes in diet. 

Overeating

Overeating can cause your dog to poop a lot. If your dog is suddenly eating larger portions, this can cause them to poop more. 

Unfamiliar Surroundings or Routine

Changes to your dog’s environment or routine can cause them to poop more often. It occurs in humans as well. Traveler’s diarrhea is diarrhea that occurs due to traveling. 

Often, there’s a bacteria or parasite to blame. However, the change in surroundings can cause stress, which can lead you to poop more often. The same is true for your dog. 

Some dogs are more sensitive to change than others. A change in your work schedule, a new pet or family member in the home, or a change in the dog’s schedule can all cause them to poop frequently. 

How often should I take my dog out to poop?

How often your dog should poop will depend on its age, diet, and activity level. 

Puppies

Puppies should poop around 4-5 times a day. As they get older, they should poop less often. A high-fiber diet and small frequent meals may cause your pup to poop 5 times a day or more. 

Your puppy should be taken to potty 30 minutes after eating. They’ll also need to go first thing in the morning and right before bed. Puppies can hold their poop for about one hour for every month of age. You can expect your 3-month-old puppy to hold their poop for 3 hours, while an 8-week old puppy may only be able to hold their poop for 2 hours. 

Adult Dogs

Dogs should poop at least once a day. Up to five times a day is considered healthy. Adult dogs usually need 8-12 hours to digest a meal and poop. Many dogs will poop in the morning and evening. 

Each dog will have its own schedule and routine when it comes to pooping, so it’s important to figure out when your dog normally poops and how often. Adult dogs can hold their poop for about 8 hours. 

Senior Dogs

Senior dogs may need to poop more than adult dogs as well. They may eat more meals which cause them to poop more often. Taking them out twice a day to poop is a good starting point. If your dog poops more often, you’ll need to take them out more often. Remember that senior dogs lose some of their ability to hold their poop. 

What to do about my dog pooping a lot?

If your dog is pooping a lot, you may be concerned about their health. You may want to cut down on how often they poop for convenience. In some cases, you can change how often your dog poops. First, let’s look at when you should worry about your dog’s poop. 

When to Worry

If your dog regularly poops a lot, it’s usually just their natural tendency. However, if they suddenly begin pooping more than normal, you’ll need to do some investigating. 

Are they still pooping in their normal spot? If they are pooping in a different area, it can be an indication of diarrhea. 

Your dog’s poop should be fully formed. If it’s watery, this is also an indication of diarrhea. Healthy poop is brown. If you notice white flecks in the poop, your dog may have worms. If you see flecks of green, this is likely grass and nothing to worry about. If your dog’s poop is bloody, black, gray, green, or yellow, you’ll need to take them to the vet. 

You should also look for a coating on the poop. This can indicate gastrointestinal problems.

Lastly, you’ll need to check the smell. Poop should smell like poop, which isn’t exactly pleasant. However, if you notice a significant change in the smell, this can also indicate a problem. 

How to Change Food

You should never change your dog’s food all at once, unless it’s under the advice of your veterinarian. Start by adding a small bit of the new food and gradually increase the ratio of new food to old food. The entire process should take about a week. Then, your dog should be able to eat only the new food without gastrointestinal issues. 

Vet Examination

Since changes in the frequency of poop can indicate a disease or medical condition, you should take your dog to the vet if you are concerned. If your dog suddenly starts pooping more often, but the poop appears healthy, look for any changes that could cause them to poop more often. If it continues or you can’t find a cause, it’s a good idea to go for a check-up. 

Foods to Reduce Frequency

If you want to slow the poop train, one of the best methods is to feed foods that firm the stool. A few tablespoons of pumpkin can be added to their dog food. Be sure to use plain canned pumpkin, instead of pie filling. 

Cottage cheese and rice mixed with bone broth are also great additions to your dog’s diet. 

If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, he may need a break from dog food. Feed them brown rice and boneless chicken mixed with chicken or bone broth. You can make enough for a few days and refrigerate, or freeze individual portions. These bland foods will provide nutrition while allowing the dog’s digestive system to rest. 

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.