Why Is My Puppy’s Poop Soft?
The first thing you should know about your puppy’s poop is that it is the best indicator of how healthy they are.
The color, consistency and smell of your puppy’s stool will give you an idea as to whether they’re feeling well.
If you notice that your pup has diarrhea, they could be suffering from any number of conditions, including worms, parasites, infections, allergies, and even cancer.
However, if your pooch’s stool resembles cottage cheese, there are several reasons why this can happen.
Lack of Fiber
Dogs have a very specific dietary requirement, which is to eat a high-fiber diet.
This means having a lot of fruit and vegetables in their diets.
Your puppy needs a certain amount of fiber every day to help with elimination.
If they don’t get enough fiber from their food, they’ll end up with soft poop.
While your dog may not realize it, they need lots of fiber to keep them regular.
When dogs don’t get enough fiber in their diets, they tend to produce loose stools.
These are also known as “dry” bowel movements.
Dry stools often feel like cottage cheese, but they’re actually just dry because they lack moisture.
They’re also hard to pass and can cause blockages in the digestive tract.
In addition to being a sign of poor health, these types of stools can also lead to stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems.
To avoid this problem, make sure your puppy gets plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.
You might want to consider giving them a supplement of flaxseed oil, too.
Feeding Too Much High-Fiber Food
High-fiber foods such as carrots, brussel sprouts, cabbage and broccoli can all contribute to your pup’s soft poop.
While these foods are beneficial for your puppy’s overall health, they can also cause problems when fed in excess.
For example, feeding your dog too many carrots isn’t going to make them healthier.
It’s actually quite the opposite.
Carrots contain a compound called oxalic acid, which can cause kidney stones.
Feeding your dog too much of this type of food will only lead to more problems.
On the other hand, low-fiber foods such as raw meat, potato chips and cookies are excellent sources of fiber.
But while these foods have a place in your puppy’s diet, overfeeding them can lead to problems, too.
When dogs get used to eating low-fiber foods, they often develop a dependence on them.
Over time, this can lead to obesity and other health issues.
As long as your puppy is getting enough high-fiber foods in their diet, however, they shouldn’t have any problems.
Too Much Sugar
Another reason why your puppy’s poop may be soft is because they’ve consumed too much sugar.
Dogs love sweet treats, but when they consume too many carbohydrates, they can become bloated and experience gas.
Like humans, dogs require a certain amount of glucose to function properly.
This is especially important during exercise, when they burn through energy quickly.
As long as your puppy is getting enough protein and fat in their diet, they shouldn’t suffer from bloating or other digestive problems caused by a lack of glucose.
But if they do, it’s probably because they’ve eaten something too rich in sugar.
Constipation is another potential cause of soft poop.
A dog who doesn’t move their bowels regularly can end up with constipated stools.
This is usually caused by a combination of factors, including inadequate water consumption and insufficient fiber intake.
Since puppies need to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water per day, it’s easy for them to overlook the importance of drinking water.
Drinking enough water can prevent dehydration and promote good digestion.
If your puppy is prone to constipation, it’s a good idea to offer them a bowl of fresh water before each mealtime.
In addition to providing them with adequate hydration, offering your dog a small amount of fiber, such as oatmeal or cooked spinach, can help them stay regular.
While these supplements won’t eliminate their constipation completely, they’ll provide your pet with extra nutrients and fiber, making their stools softer, easier to pass and less likely to cause discomfort.
Possible Reasons for Soft Poop
Your puppy’s poop could be soft because they’re not getting enough fiber in their diet.
You can’t see it, but your puppy is probably pooping a lot more than you are.
It might be obvious that they’re eating and drinking more than you think, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly how much they’re eating.
They’ll eat the same amount as always, but what if they’re eating too fast or not chewing properly?
You can’t measure this with any sort of accuracy, so it’s easy to miss that your puppy is having problems digesting their food.
If you feed them well, then they should have no problem digesting it, but if you’re feeding them poorly, then they may be experiencing digestive issues that cause them to produce softer stool.
This is common in puppies who’ve been fed a very low-quality diet, especially if they were born in a kennel situation where they weren’t able to get out and exercise.
If your puppy’s poop is consistently soft, then there are many possible causes.
Some of these include:
- They’re underweight or malnourished.
- The food they’re eating has too little fiber.
- Their stomach acid isn’t strong enough for proper digestion.
- They’re constipated.
- They’re suffering from diarrhea or vomiting (see our article on diarrheal symptoms).
- They’re not being provided sufficient water.
Underweight or Malnourished
This is by far the most common reason why dogs’ poop is soft.
Most puppies are born small, which means that they’re also underweight.
The average weight of a newborn puppy is around 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms), while the average adult dog weighs between 22 and 53 pounds (10 to 24 kilograms) at maturity.
So, even though your puppy may weigh more than 10 times what an adult dog does, they’re still at least half the size of an adult dog.
And since a typical adult dog eats around 2 pounds (0.9 kg) of food each day, your puppy will only be able to consume around 0.5 pound (0.23 kg) per day.
If your puppy is underweight, then they’re going to have trouble absorbing all of the nutrients in their food.
In addition, their body is working overtime to try and produce more waste than usual, which leads to softer stools.
Low Fiber Intake
While it’s true that dogs need lots of fiber to help keep their bowels moving, it’s not necessary for them to eat a large amount of fiber every single day.
A healthy adult dog only needs to consume about 1/8th of a cup of dry dog food per day (about 5 grams of fiber).
However, your puppy doesn’t need to consume more than 1/16th of a cup of dry food per day (about 7 grams of fiber) to meet their daily nutritional requirements.
So, if your puppy is consuming less than ½ cup of dry food per day, then they’re likely not getting enough fiber to help move their bowels.
While this may seem like a small amount of food, it can make a difference when you consider how much your puppy is actually eating.
It’s pretty difficult for us to gauge exactly how much is in a bowl of food, but if you watch them eat, it shouldn’t take long before you realize that they’re really eating more than you thought.
If you suspect that your puppy is not getting enough fiber, then start giving them a higher-fiber diet.
For example, if you give them Purina Pro Plan Premium Dry Dog Food, then you can increase the amount of fiber in their diet by increasing the percentage of whole grains in their food.
When you do this, you want to avoid overfeeding your puppy, so don’t just add another tablespoon of fiber to their food every time you give it to them.
Instead, only add one tablespoon of fiber at a time until you notice a change in their stool consistency.
Weak Stomach Acid
Some people believe that weak stomach acid can cause soft poop, but this is simply not true.
Weak stomach acid would prevent your puppy from digesting the food they eat, but this doesn’t mean that they’re producing soft feces as a result.
Rather, it means that they’re unable to absorb all of the nutrients in their food, which could lead to malnutrition.
Another common reason why dogs’ poop is soft is because they’re suffering from constipation.
Constipation occurs when your puppy’s bowel movements become impacted, which causes them to form hard, painful lumps of poop.
These lumps can stick together and block up the intestines, which prevents normal movement of waste through the system.
This can lead to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies.
If you suspect that your puppy is constipated, then you should contact your veterinarian immediately to make sure that everything is okay.
Diarrhea or Vomiting
It’s important to note that diarrhea and vomiting can both cause soft poop.
However, diarrhea is usually caused by infection or parasites, whereas vomiting is caused by a virus or bacteria.
Both of these conditions will cause your puppy to produce softer stool, but you only need to worry about diarrhea if your puppy is showing signs of weakness or lethargy.
If you suspect that your puppy is suffering from diarrhea, then you should contact your vet right away.
When to Worry about Soft Poop
Soft poop is not an immediate health concern, but it’s something you should keep an eye on as your pup ages.
As puppies age, they often experience constipation and develop diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration if left untreated.
This is why it’s important to start paying attention to your pup’s bowel habits early on.
If your puppy has been experiencing constipation or diarrhea, you should see your vet right away.
In the meantime, there are things you can do at home to help your dog stay healthy and happy.
Warm Water Baths
A warm water bath is a great way to relax your dog while helping them digest food.
You could also use this time to play with your furry friend.
When bathing your dog, make sure to use a towel that will dry quickly so you don’t get wet yourself!
High Fiber Food
Adding high-fiber foods to your puppy’s diet can help prevent constipation and soft poop.
Canned pumpkin is one good option, though you can also feed your puppy fresh fruits like apples, pears, prunes, and carrots.
You can also add dried fruit like raisins and dates to your puppy’s meals.
These will give your pup more energy and help keep them regular too.
Dogs are naturally inclined to chew, especially when they’re bored.
If you notice your puppy is chewing excessively, try giving them a toy instead of letting them use your furniture or upholstery.
A chew bone or Kong toy is always a safe bet.
While chews aren’t necessarily bad for your dog, they can cause teeth damage and even choking.
Make sure your puppy doesn’t put these toys in their mouth by placing them out of reach!
Overfeeding can make your dog feel full all the time, leading to stomach upset and diarrhea.
Limit the amount of food you give your puppy each day to avoid this problem.
How to Help Your Puppy with Soft Poop
If you’ve noticed that your puppy’s stool is soft and mushy, there are several things you can try to help him out.
1.Add Fiber to Their Diet
Soft poops are usually caused by an imbalance of water and fiber in the dogs’ diets.
If your dog has been eating too much dry kibble and not enough wet food, she could have a problem with her stools.
You should also make sure that she gets plenty of exercise so that her digestive system doesn’t get stressed.
You can add some canned pumpkin to your puppy’s meal plan to provide more fiber to her diet.
This will keep her from having diarrhea and help maintain healthy stools.
It is important that you feed this high-fiber food on a regular basis.
Pumpkin contains a lot of dietary fiber, which helps to prevent constipation and improve digestion.
2. Give Her More Water
Puppies are highly susceptible to dehydration because they eat so much and drink so little.
When they don’t have enough fluid in their systems, they tend to urinate frequently.
If you notice that your puppy is drinking less than usual, it is time to give her extra fluids.
It is best to use fresh water rather than bottled water.
This way you know that you’re giving her something safe to drink.
Make sure that you change the water bowl often so that she doesn’t develop any illnesses related to dirty water bowls.
To avoid this issue altogether, you might want to consider getting a dog hydration system.
3. Change Their Diet Plan
There are many different types of foods that puppies love, but they all contain protein.
Protein is essential for maintaining good blood flow throughout the body.
However, if your pup eats too much protein, she won’t have enough fiber to absorb the nutrients properly.
She may end up with soft stools as a result.
To fix this problem, you need to balance her diet.
Instead of feeding her too much dry kibble, switch to canned food.
Canned food is easier to digest and provides more nutrients than dry food.
You can also add fruits, vegetables, and even meat to her diet.
Just make sure that you stick to a certain percentage of each type of food.
Diet Changes for Puppies with Soft Poop
There are two main reasons why your puppy’s poop is soft:
- They don’t have enough fiber in the diet.
- Their digestive system isn’t working properly.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what’s wrong, I highly recommend consulting with a veterinarian.
The following list includes diet changes that can help with soft poop:
Add Fiber to Their Diet
When it comes to adding fiber to your puppy’s diet, there are several options available.
The easiest way to add additional fiber to their diet is to simply increase the amount of vegetables and fruits they eat.
Adding more vegetables will also help make their stool softer.
This is because vegetables contain cellulose, which helps promote healthy digestion.
If possible, try to incorporate vegetables into every meal so that your puppy gets at least one vegetable in each meal.
You can even sprinkle a little extra on top of their food if they like it!
Increase the Amount of Fruits They Eat
Fruits are another great source of fiber when it comes to making your puppy’s poop softer.
Fruit contains pectin, an insoluble dietary fiber that promotes healthy bowel movements.
Adding fruit to your puppy’s daily meal schedule is an easy way to ensure they get enough fiber in their diets.
You should avoid feeding your puppy too much fruit though.
While fruit is a good option for helping them have soft poops, it can also cause diarrhea and stomach upset if consumed too much.
Make sure you monitor your pup’s behavior after eating fruit to gauge how much they need and how often they should consume it.
Feed Them More High-Fiber Foods
High-fiber foods such as beans, lentils, peas, oats, and corn are ideal for puppies who don’t have enough fiber in their diets.
These foods provide additional fiber for your pup to digest.
Feeding your puppy these types of foods can help give them a soft poop without any discomfort.
Just remember not to feed these foods too frequently unless you have consulted with your vet first.
Some dogs tend to overeat certain high-fiber foods and end up with loose stools, which could lead to diarrhea.
Be aware of this risk before feeding your puppy these foods.
Change Their Water Source
One of the best ways to change your puppy’s poop is to switch their water source.
Dogs generally drink around half of their body weight in ounces of water per day.
If your puppy drinks more than that, then their poop will likely be hard.
On the flip side, if they drink less than that, their poop will likely be soft.
It’s important to note that changing water sources can cause other health problems as well.
Consult with your vet before switching water sources if your puppy has any medical conditions.
Puppy Poop Schedule
If you have a puppy that is not eating well, it could mean that the puppy is sick, has an infection, or is underweight.
You should take your puppy to the veterinarian if they are losing weight and/or do not seem to be eating as much as normal.
If your puppy is showing signs of illness, you will need to make sure you follow the recommended treatment plan before taking them to the vet.
When you bring your puppy into the vet, let them know about any changes you see in your puppy’s behavior over the past few days.
You can also mention any recent changes in their diet.
The vet will want to examine your puppy to determine what is going on.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
The first step in treating your puppy is to figure out what is wrong.
There are several different causes for your puppy’s soft poop.
The most common cause is a lack of dietary fiber in their diet.
This can happen when a puppy does not get enough exercise to burn off all of the calories from their food.
Another cause is a digestive disorder that prevents your puppy from absorbing nutrients properly.
If this is the case, you may notice that your puppy is vomiting after eating their food.
Your puppy may also start having diarrhea during the day after eating.
Puppies with this problem usually lose weight quickly and have soft stool.
A third possible reason for your puppy’s soft poop is that they are suffering from worms.
In this case, your puppy will have very loose stools and may even vomit at times.
Puppies with worms often have poor coat quality and may look pale.
When you pick up any puppies that are infected with worms, you will notice that they are unusually dirty and have a foul odor to their breath.
While these symptoms are typically seen in dogs who live outside, you may notice them in indoor pets too.
There are also cases where a puppy’s digestive system is working just fine but they are still experiencing diarrhea.
This type of diarrhea is generally milder than the other types of diarrhea mentioned above.
Diarrhea can occur because of something that your puppy eats or drinks.
Some other less common causes include pancreatitis, kidney disease, and liver disease.
If your puppy is in pain or seems lethargic, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
They can perform blood tests to rule out any diseases listed above.