How to Stimulate a Puppy to Poop

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The younger the puppy, the more often he should poop.
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The life of a puppy is mostly spent eating and sleeping, with several much-needed bathroom breaks peppered in between. For litters who are with their mothers, mom can help stimulate bathroom functions by licking her puppies, which encourages a bowel movement. Sometimes, however, a puppy's human guardians may need to step in to assist, be that because mom isn't in the picture, or due to other medical issues, like constipation. Stimulating a puppy to poop is an important part of canine health and can be done easily in just a few steps.


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Why won’t a puppy poop

All puppies need help using the bathroom until they reach a certain age, which is generally around three to four weeks of age, so if your pup is younger than that, she will not be able to use the bathroom without help from someone. Puppies who are a bit older in age may still have trouble eliminating if their diets are too low in fiber, or if they have underlying medical issues, like tumors in their digestive tract, spinal diseases, or disorders of the central nervous system, says the American Kennel Club.


How to stimulate pooping

Puppies need help with almost everything just after they're born in order to stay alive and well. It's very important to help your puppy use the bathroom if his mother isn't around or if he is having trouble going as neglecting to do so can result in serious medical problems, like a ruptured bladder. In order to get your puppy or puppies to poop and pee after they eat, VCA Hospitals recommends taking a clean towel or a cotton ball and lightly wetting it, which will essentially mimic the tongue of a mother dog. Once the towel or cotton is wet, use it to gently massage your puppy's genital region, which will stimulate a bowel movement.


Newborn puppy constipation

If your puppy has become constipated, the most common suggestion will be to adjust her diet to feature more fiber or water. Switching to wet food if your puppy is eating dry kibble is a good place to start, and adding pumpkin puree has also been known to settle upset stomachs and aid in digestion. Making sure your dog gets regular exercise will help keep bowel movements regular, as will supplying plenty of fresh, clean water, which can feature electrolytes if you have a dehydrated dog on your hands. For a newborn puppy, constipation can be a very serious health issue, and it's recommended that you contact your veterinarian immediately, especially if your puppy is still too young to be eating anything more solid than milk or a milk replacer.


One thing that is not recommended to help a dog pass a bowel movement is offering her laxatives designed for human use. Instead, you can talk to your veterinarian about adding a fiber supplement, like Metamucil, to her diet to help keep her regular. For chronic constipation, veterinarian-prescribed pet laxatives may be a solution to consider, and for very serious cases, surgical removal of impacted feces may be required.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.