You might be wondering why anyone needs to make a newborn puppy poop, but the answer is that it can be a very common occurrence. In fact, I think I have had to make puppies poop with every litter that I have ever produced. It’s just part of being a breeder.
Since you are interested in breeding, knowing how to make a newborn puppy poop is a valuable skill. Especially if you have to do this with an orphaned litter. So let’s delve into the world of newborn puppy poop because you are going to see a lot of it as a breeder.
How Does a Newborn Puppy Poop?
It may seem like a strange question to ask but not everyone knows that newborn puppies can’t defecate on their own. In fact, they can’t urinate either without help from mom.
From birth until about 3 weeks of age, give or take a few days, newborn puppies rely solely on their mom to eliminate their bladder and bowels. This is done by the mom’s licking, which stimulates the puppy to poop and pee.
Mom will help her puppies potty, and eat their poop, until about 3 or 4 weeks of age. Usually, she stops stimulating them once the puppies switch to solid food.
That stimulation is important because, without it, puppies can quickly become constipated and have several health issues from not evacuating the bowels.
How Many Times do Newborn Puppies Poop?
The number of times that a newborn puppy will poop will really be determined by their schedule and how often they eat. The general rule of thumb is that a puppy will poop after each meal. If you are feeding the puppies every 2 to 3 hours, then you should expect them to go to the bathroom either right before or right after they eat.
That can mean that a newborn puppy will go to the bathroom at least 8 times a day. As their feedings get further between, the number of times they go to the bathroom will also get further apart.
In addition, age will also help with spacing potty times apart. Puppies can usually hold their bowels for one hour per month of age plus one. So a 4 week old puppy should be able to hold his bladder/bowels for 2 hours.
Why Would I need to make a Newborn Puppy Poop?
Now that you know how a newborn puppy poops, you might be wondering why you would need to make them poop. There are actually a few different reasons for this, including:
- Mom Won’t Clean Puppies: I have some females who refuse to clean their puppies. This means that after every feeding, it is up to me to do it. And this behavior is more common than you’d think.
- Orphaned Puppies: Although it doesn’t always happen, you can end up with orphaned puppies. Studies have seen an 8% death rate in females giving birth, however, that won’t be the only reason for orphaned puppies. Sometimes, mom won’t care for a puppy for various reasons and it falls to the breeder to take up the work.
- Constipated Puppies: This is common in formula fed puppies but constipated puppies often need more help to poop than just mom’s stimulation.
- Stressed Puppies: Often linked to constipation, stressed puppies can have a harder time pooping, which means more effort is needing to make them poop.
- Medications: There may be some medications that the puppies are taking that can cause potty issues.
- Mom Unavailable: There could be reasons that mom isn’t with the puppies for a certain amount of time, such as a vet emergency or longer stay at the vet clinic after a c-section.
Supplies Needed to Make a Newborn Puppy Poop
There really isn’t a lot of supplies that you need to get a puppy to poop but I want to mention a few things. First, you will need warm water so that it simulates the mother’s tongue. Second, you want something that is soft and fragrance free. Items you can use are:
- Baby Wipes: Use gentle skin, unscented baby wipes. These are very handy and a lot of breeders use them.
- Paper Towel: I know breeders use paper towel but I only recommend it in a pinch or if your only doing one potty session. Paper towel can be abrasive so I tend to avoid it.
- Cotton Balls: Excellent for small puppies, cotton balls are soft and hold a lot of moisture.
- Cloth: Washcloths can be great for stimulating a puppy and tend to be easier on your budget, but means a lot of washes if you are caring for an orphaned litter.
Everyone has their preference for pottying puppies and it is great to have multiple supplies on hand as needed.
How to Make your Newborn Puppy Poop
Okay, once you have the supplies, we are off to the races and it’s time to learn how to get a newborn puppy to poop. It is very easy and shouldn’t take that long, usually seconds per puppy.
Step One: Wet Down a Cloth
Using warm water, dampen a cloth or cotton ball. You want to have enough moisture that it simulates the mom’s tongue but not too much that you end up soaking the puppy.
Step Two: Securely Hold the Puppy
Make sure that you are holding the puppy securely. This can make them squirm when you are doing it and it can be easy to drop a puppy if you don’t have them held tight.
Step Three: Gently Stimulate
Take the cloth and gently rub the area between his legs and lower abdomen. You can also rub on his anus but you want to be careful when you do. Instead, focus more on the lower abdomen unless the puppy is having a hard time pooping.
Step Four: Wipe Away
Once the puppy starts pooping, continue stimulating until he is done. Wipe away any pee or poop that might be on his skin. If you leave it on, it could irritate the puppy’s skin.
Step Five: Repeat
And that is all it takes to get a puppy to poop. Once he poops, return him to his whelping box and then repeat the process until all the puppies are pottied.
If your puppy has severe constipation, you may need to run his bottom over his bottom. Generally, you can give him things that will help get his bowels moving and in extreme situations, you can do an enema, but I only recommend that if absolutely necessary.
While it is very easy to properly potty a puppy, it is good to have a full understanding of it. Before your litter arrives, make sure you have all of the supplies you need to care for a litter by yourself without mom’s help, including pottying supplies. By doing so, you will be prepared and that will help ensure the health of your puppies.