Basic care

How To Make A Puppy Poop

Ameera Mills
By Ameera Mills. Updated: May 11, 2023
How To Make A Puppy Poop

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We will need to know how to make a puppy poop if they have been separated from their mother too early. Newborn puppies are altricial animals, meaning they cannot look after themselves and need a parent to support them. Their mother will take care of all their needs, from feeding and general security, to basic bodily functions such as pooping. Once they leave the newborn stage, puppies will be able to defecate on their own. However, there are some circumstances where they will have trouble pooping. It is for this reason AnimalWised explains how to make a puppy poop.

You may also be interested in: How to Care for a Labrador Puppy
  1. Helping a newborn puppy poop
  2. Other reasons a puppy can't poop
  3. Caring for a newborn puppy
  4. Caring for an orphan puppy
  5. Caring for an orhpaned puppy

Helping a newborn puppy poop

When puppies are born, they are very dependent on their mothers. As mentioned in the introduction, dogs are altricial animals so they cannot fend for themselves until they have developed the abilities to do so. Puppies don't even open their eyes until after approximately 10 days from birth. They cannot walk until they are 2-3 weeks old, so their mother has to move them towards her breasts for feeding.

Their mother also takes care of their hygiene. While they may be able to pass some urine or feces, they are so helpless that they need their mother to stimulate these processes. She does so by licking their genital and anal areas. Doing so helps to stimulate the elimination reflexes and allows them to get rid of waste. It isn't until around 3 weeks of life that a puppy can poop on their own.

For this and many other reasons, it is important a puppy remains with their mother and siblings until they are at a minimum of 8 weeks of age, although ideally they should stay until they are 12 weeks of age. After this time, the mother will start encouraging independence. Separating too early will cause the puppy many developmental problems, but not being able to defecate is one of the most immediate.

Other reasons a puppy can't poop

After three weeks of life, a puppy will start to poop on their own. However, there are other reasons why they will be unable to defecate. Whether due to constipation, general weakness or whatever the cause, we will need to take them to a veterinarian to find out the problem. Some of the reasons w puppy cannot poop on their own include:

  • Dietary issues: inappropriate or inadequate diet can lead to digestive problems, including constipation. Puppies will need a balanced diet suitable for their age, breed and specific needs. We will need to purchase feed which is formulated for their specific age, but they may also have health problems which will require a specific diet. Without such as diet, defecation problems can arise.

  • Gastrointestinal obstructions: puppies are naturally curious and may ingest objects that can cause blockages in their digestive system. We should not try to remove these obstructions on our own as doing so can cause damage to their internal tissues and make the problem even worse.

  • Dehydration: insufficient water intake can contribute to constipation. This can be exacerbated if they have a disease such as a virus which causes gastrointestinal upset. Puppies are yet to develop a strong immune system, so even minor ailments can have serious repercussions.

  • Lack of exercise: regular physical activity helps stimulate the digestive system. If a puppy is not given the opportunities to exercise according to their needs, it can have gastrointestinal ramifications.

  • Pathologies: various diseases can cause the dog to be unable to defecate. These will need to be diagnosed by the veterinarian.

  • Medications: if your puppy is taking certain medications, constipation may be a side effect.
How To Make A Puppy Poop - Other reasons a puppy can't poop

Caring for a newborn puppy

In the absence of the mother, puppies should stay together so that, at least during the recommended 8 weeks, they can socialize with each other. In their first days of life they need to be kept in a warm environment, such as a cardboard box with a comfortable blanket or cushion. We recommend placing a puppy pad covering the bottom of the box.

If you have more than one puppy, contact between them can serve to stimulate each other to urinate or defecate. The puppy pad will ensure that they always remain dry and it helps the puppies remain clean and hygienic. As they are still small and fragile, their immune systems have not quite yet developed, so you have to monitor puppies constantly. Any infection or illness can result in death.

Puppies should be fed special puppy milk every 2-3 hours both day and night. This milk can be found in veterinary clinics or specialized stores. As they develop, they will eat less regularly and by 3 weeks should begin eating more solid foods. It is important to use a bottle with newborn puppies, since its mechanism allows the puppy to suck the milk at his own pace.

Other methods, such as using a syringe, can cause milk to pass too quickly and without the puppy’s control it can lead to choking or aspiration pneumonia. Once the puppy has been fed, it is important to place them vertically in our hands as they should not digest on their backs. From this position we can proceed with stimulation to aid defecation.

Caring for an orphan puppy

This technique to help a puppy poop is only necessary during the puppy’s first weeks. Once they start to walk and feed themselves, this will mean they should be able to also defecate by themselves. Until they reach this point, here are some steps to follow:

  1. Place the puppy on their back, resting on our hand.
  2. Put a puppy pad in the defecating area, either under or above the puppy.
  3. Have a a container with warm water and a few cotton swabs or gauze prepared.
  4. Wet the cotton well, although it does not need to be soaked, and gently pass it from the genital to the anal area.
  5. Do this several times, gently.
  6. This stimulation, which simulates the movement of its mother, promotes urination and defecation.
  7. If this action doesn't work, massage the belly softly with cotton.
  8. If you notice that after a day the puppy still hasn’t defecated or urinated, you should contact your veterinarian as any discomfort can be fatal for these puppies.
  9. After the defecating process you must make sure that the puppy is clean and dry. Puppies can get cold very easily and this can result in illness.
  10. Puppies should pee and poop several times a day.

These steps are also suitable for constipation in nursing puppies if the mother fails to stimulate them correctly. And it is important to remember that a puppy usually defecates after each feeding.

Learn more about the causes and treatment of constipation in dogs.

How To Make A Puppy Poop - Caring for an orphan puppy

Caring for an orhpaned puppy

Once you know how to stimulate a puppy to defecate, other recommendations that have to be taken into account when caring for these little orphans are:

  • If you find an abandoned litter, you must go to your veterinarian immediately so that the puppies can be examined for any illnesses. This examination can also help to determine the age of the puppies and the vet can then deworm or vaccinate them appropriately.
  • It is important to keep the puppies in a calm environment and warm environment.
  • Puppies spend a good part of the day sleeping. As they grow older they will be able to stay awake longer. During sleep they might shake or whimper. This is completely normal.
  • While they still have their eyes closed you should make sure that there is no inflammation present. Inflammation can signal ocular infection in dogs which needs to be prevented. If any of the puppies have swollen eyes or apparent discharge they should receive veterinary attention immediately.
  • You need to also be very aware of a puppy’s navel. If there are any scabs or considerable stains in this area, you should clean it with gauze or cotton, soaked in saline or disinfectant. The navel should always be kept dry and clean to avoid infection. After birth, puppies will still keep a piece of umbilical cord. This will dry naturally until it completely falls out after 8-10 days. If the navel appears inflamed, red, hot, oozing or painful, we recommend going to the vet immediately.
  • Any change should be discussed with a veterinarian, especially during the first days of life: temperature drop, lack of appetite, whining, absence of eliminations and / or movements, infections, diarrhea, secretions, etc.
  • Puppies must always remain warm, suckle vigorously and grow bigger day by day. If they stop any of these processes, it is a warning sign of a potential health problem.
  • The presence of scabs and/or patches of hair loss can indicate that the temperature at which the puppies are found is too low or that the environment is lacking in hygiene.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Make A Puppy Poop, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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