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How Long After a Puppy Eats Do They Poop? A Quick Guide

puppy pooping

One question among puppy owners is how long after a puppy eats do they poop? Puppies are adorable creatures that bring joy to many homes. However, taking care of them requires a lot of responsibility, including feeding them properly and taking them out for potty breaks. 

The answer to this question varies depending on several factors, including the puppy’s age, breed, and diet. It’s important to note that feeding your puppy a balanced diet and providing them with plenty of water and probiotic chews can help regulate their bowel movements. You also need a good dog stain and odor eliminator to deal with accidents.

Understanding how long after a puppy eats do they poop can determine when to take them to go potty and help digestion. We’ve consulted experts and books like The Journal of Animal Psychology and Animal Nutrition for a complete guide on puppies’ digestion. 

Like humans, puppies have gastric-colic reflux, where the stomach filling stimulates the colon to make and release poop. The time a dog poops after eating is slightly different from how long a dog takes to digest food (covered in the linked article), although they’re both interconnected. 

It helps to bell train your puppy to alert you when they need to poop after meals because the earlier, the better. Even without the bell, pawrents can predict when to take their puppies out based on how long after eating they poop.

Individual puppies may have different digestion times, but they almost all range between 5 and 30 minutes.  Food type can also impact digestion time. Puppies who eat high-quality, easily digestible food may have shorter digestion times than those who eat lower-quality food.

As a result, puppies eating low-quality food tend to poop more because they can’t properly absorb nutrients. A study also found that dogs fed excessively large food portions eat more and may, therefore, need to poop more.

Additionally, puppies with digestive issues presenting signs like soft poop and liquidy diarrhea may have different pooping timelines. Such pups may demand to go potty even before they have their food as the body shortens the time food takes in the tract.

Understanding Puppy Digestion

Digestive System of Puppies

Puppies have a digestive system similar to adult dogs, but it is not fully developed yet. The puppies’ digestive system consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. 

The mouth and esophagus break down food into smaller pieces and move it to the stomach. Once in the stomach, the food is mixed with digestive juices and broken down further. 

The small intestine is where most nutrients are absorbed into the body, and the large intestine is where water is absorbed from the remaining food. Finally, the waste is eliminated through the anus. This makes the entire digestive process in puppies be ingestion, digestion, absorption, and excretion, as per medical sources

Factors Poop Frequency in Puppies

Several factors can affect how long it takes for a puppy to digest food and poop.

1. Food Type

One of the most significant factors is the type of food the puppy is eating. Puppies that eat high-quality, easily digestible food will have a shorter digestion time than those that eat low-quality food. Additionally, as per studies, dogs fed more insoluble fibers like cellulose had higher digestibility and, therefore, less pooping time. 

2. Age

The age of the puppy also plays a role in digestion time. Younger puppies have a faster metabolism and may digest food faster than older ones. Additionally, the size and breed of the puppy can affect digestion time. Smaller puppies may digest food more quickly than larger puppies.

Newborn puppies also need their mother to lick them them to stimulate their ability to poop.

3. Breed

Some dog breeds are known for having sensitive digestive systems and may need to go more frequently than others. For example, small breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkies may need to go more often than larger breeds like Great Danes and Mastiffs.

4. Stomach Issues

Puppies with upset and sensitive stomachs may need to go poop more often than usual. They typically have yellow poop, although it may come in other colors, and also diarrhea. 

5. Activity Level

More active puppies may need to go more often than those who are more sedentary. Exercise can help stimulate the digestive system and promote bowel movements. 

Does a Puppy Poop After Every Meal?

Yes, puppies have a faster metabolism than adult dogs and may need to poop after every meal. However, the frequency may vary based on the puppy’s age, diet, and activity level.

Typical Puppy Feeding Schedule

Puppies require a consistent and balanced diet to maintain their health and growth. A typical feeding schedule for a puppy includes three to four meals a day, depending on their age and breed.

The following table outlines a general feeding schedule for puppies based on their age:

6-12 weeks3-4 times a day
3-6 months3 times a day
6-12 months2 times a day

It’s important to note that the amount of food a puppy needs may vary based on their activity level and individual metabolism. 

The amount of food is generally 20 grams per 2.2 lbs (per kg). This is where dog food based on breed comes in because smaller breeds may need about 40 calories per pound, while larger breeds only need about 20 calories per pound.

 Always consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate feeding schedule and amount for your puppy. Smaller breeds like chihuahuas and Maltese need to be fed more frequently (at least 3 times) to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood pressure). 

Signs of Healthy Puppy Poop

When it comes to a puppy’s health, their poop can tell a lot about their digestive system. Here are some signs of healthy puppy poop:

  • Consistency: A healthy puppy’s poop should be firm but not too hard or too soft. It should also be easy to pick up without leaving any residue behind.
  • Color: Healthy puppy poop should be a chocolate brown color. It could indicate a problem with their diet or digestive system if it’s too light or too dark.
  • Odor: While not exactly pleasant, healthy puppy poop should have a mild odor. If it has an extremely foul smell, it could be a sign of an infection or other health issue.
  • Frequency: Puppies typically poop after every meal, so they should go several times daily. If they’re not pooping enough or are having trouble going, it could indicate a blockage or other issue. If they are pooping constantly, it could be an issue like colitis.

It’s important to note that changes in a puppy’s diet or routine can affect their poop, so it’s not always a cause for concern. However, if you notice any significant changes in their poop or other signs of illness, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

Dealing with Irregular Poop Schedule

When it comes to puppies, it’s not uncommon for them to have irregular poop schedules. This can be frustrating for pet owners, especially if they’re trying to housetrain their puppy. However, a few things can be done to help regulate their schedule.

One thing that can be done is establishing a routine for feeding and taking the puppy out. Feeding them at the same time every day and taking them out shortly after can help encourage regular bowel movements. It’s also essential to take them out after they wake up from naps and after they’ve been playing.

If the puppy still has irregular bowel movements, it may be time to adjust their diet. It’s important to ensure they’re getting high-quality food appropriate for their age and breed. 

Diets that are high in insoluble fibers like cellulose, wheat bran, and whole grains can help a dog who doesn’t poop outside due to constipation.

In addition to adjusting their diet, it’s essential to ensure the puppy is getting enough exercise. Regular exercise can help stimulate bowel movements and promote regularity. It’s also essential to ensure they have access to water at all times to help keep their digestive system functioning correctly.

When to Consult a Vet About How Long It Takes For Your Puppy to Poop

If a puppy is not pooping regularly or is experiencing any digestive issues, it may be time to consult a veterinarian. Some signs that indicate a puppy needs to see a vet include constipation, diarrhea, blood in the poop, vomiting after eating, and appetite loss. 

Help! My Puppy Poops A Whole 2 Hours After Eating

Puppies waiting two hours after eating to poop is absolutely not normal. Add insoluble fiber like cellulose, wheat bran, whole grains, beans, and potatoes, to alleviate constipation. If the symptom persists, you may need to make a quick call to the vet’s office to confirm that everything is okay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait to take my puppy out to poop after eating?

It is recommended to wait for at least 30 minutes after a puppy eats to take them out for a potty break. This gives their digestive system enough time to process the food and for the urge to poop to arise.

How Many Times a Day Does a Puppy Poop?

Most puppies poop about 3 to 4 times per day, depending on how many food portions you give them. Some poop even 5 to 6 times a day, depending on feeding times and age. It’s concerning if a young puppy poops less than two times per day consistently. 

How long after a 5-month-old puppy eats does it poop?

A 5-month-old puppy may take around 30 minutes to an hour to poop after eating. However, this may vary based on the individual puppy’s digestive system and food type.

How long does it take a 2-month-old puppy to poop after eating?

A 2-month-old puppy may take around 15 to 30 minutes to poop after eating. However, it is important to note that puppies at this age may need to poop more frequently and may have less control over their bowel movements.

How long does it take a 4-month-old puppy to poop after eating?

A 4-month-old puppy may take around 30 minutes to an hour to poop after eating. However, like with all puppies, the timing may vary based on the individual puppy’s digestive system and diet.

How do I get my puppy to poop before bed?

To encourage your puppy to poop before bed, take them out for a potty break after their last meal of the day. You can also try taking them for a short walk or playtime to stimulate their digestive system. It is crucial to establish a consistent routine to help your puppy develop good potty habits.

Final Thoughts

Understanding how long it takes for puppies to poop after eating is vital for responsible and effective puppy care. While the timing can vary based on individual factors such as breed, age, and diet, a general guideline suggests that puppies typically eliminate within 30 minutes to an hour after a meal.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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