The Scoop on Dog Poop

The Scoop on Dog Poop

How Many Times a Day Should My Dog Poop?

On this episode of Vet Chat with Dr. Ryan Llera, the discussion is all about the dirty end of our dogs. Yup, we’re talking about dog poop, dog stool, dog fecal matter, no matter what you call it, all dog’s do it, and we as dog parents get to pick it up!

But what’s normal when it comes to our dogs and their stools? How many times a day should our dogs poop? What about the consistency of our dog’s stool? And what happens if our dogs aren’t pooping?

Dr. Ryan Llera gives us the scoop on what we need to know about dog poop!

Everyone does it…especially your dog….multiple times a day, poop that is!  But have you ever given much thought to the mess your dog’s leave for you to clean up? Different stool colours, consistencies, and frequency all play a role in helping evaluate your dog’s health.  If you’re lucky, your dog will normally poop 1-3 times a day.

The colour of your dog’s stool can include the normal brown, an odd shade of green, black, red, orange, yellow, or white.  Sometimes the colour of your dog’s poop is off due to something they ate, parasites, bacterial infections, liver or gall bladder disease.  A one time difference in your dog’s stool is not likely to be of concern, but repeated episodes or a progression down the spectrum means it’s time to get your dog checked out.

Did you know there’s a dog fecal scale? 

Yes, we can grade dog poop from 1 to 5.  From rock solid  stool (a 1) to straight up watery stool (a 5), the consistency of your dog’s stool can be the first thing you may notice as a problem and each level (except normal) can create a whole new set of headaches. 

The Scoop on Dog Poop

Severely dry, firm stools can lead to significant constipation and impaction for your dog, leading to immense pain and loss of appetite.  In the worst of the worst cases, these dogs may need surgery to correct the problem and to keep it from happening again.  And while a watery fountain from your dog’s hind end is certainly a mess, the biggest problem is the dehydration your dog may have a result, along with the uncomfortable burning sensation from repeated episodes.

How much poop is too much poop for your dog?

How much poop is too much poop for your dog?  I’ve been asked before how many times a day your dog should use the bathroom.  While there is no set rule, most dogs in my experience go 2-3 times per day.  If your dog only goes once or even happen to skip a day, I wouldn’t get too alarmed.

48 hours without a dog poop could be a concern

But a full 48 hours without your dog going and I would get concerned.  On the other hand, if your dog is going more frequently it will not only lead to a sore hind end, but you’ll spend more on poop bags.  Possible motility issues, physical obstructions, or digestive problems all can be causes and may involve a variety of treatments for your dog, including diet changes, long term medications, or in some severe cases, surgery.

Without getting knee deep in it all, it doesn’t hurt to keep tabs on what’s happening in the back end of your dog.  Any differences noted in your dog’s stool should be brought to the attention of your vet after no more than 48 hours, as delaying could lead to worsening of problems for your dog. 

So when you scoop your dog’s poop, keep track of what might be happening on the inside of your dog!

Thank you Dr. Llera for sharing the scoop on our dog’s poop and what dog parents need to know.

What about you?

How many times does your dog normally “go” in a day?

With 2 dogs, averaging  3 stools each per day, I feel like I’m keeping the dog poop bag companies in business! That’s a lot of poop to scoop!


Dr. Ryan Llera Dr. Ryan Llera is a small animal veterinarian at the Kingston Veterinary Clinic in Kingston, Ontario. Though originally from Florida, he married a Canadian (who is also a vet!) and they share their home with 2 cats, 2 dogs, 2 horses, and a rabbit. Ryan is also a regular guest writer for the Ontario SPCA blog. You can find more of his writing at or see what else he is up to on Facebook & Instagram

Author: Kelly Harding

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