7 Reasons Why Your Puppy’s Poop Soft And Smelly

puppy poop soft and smelly

Puppies are really adorable. There’s nothing quite like hanging out in a roomful of puppies and letting them climb all over you.

There is another thing that puppies are known for and that is pooping.

Yes, puppies are pooping machines and it’s even worse when the poo is soft and smelly. It feels really gross to pick up and the smell can make you lose your last meal.

Been there, puked that.

As gross as it might seem, your puppy’s stool does tell a lot about its current health. But what could be causing your little dog’s poop to turn soft and smelly?

Your puppy’s digestive system is still very sensitive and can be affected by many factors like poor diet, too much exercise, change in diet, food allergies, etc. There are also certain medical conditions that can make your dog’s poop smell really bad and be soft.

Let us take a look at the possible reasons that can affect your dog’s digestive system and what you should be doing about it.

1. A Poor Diet

When your dog is still a puppy, you need to ensure that its diet is on point. A poor diet for your puppy can definitely cause its stool to become soft and smelly.

The dog’s diet is the first thing that I would look at assuming that your puppy is healthy and has no underlying medical issues.

The type of diet that your puppy is on would largely depend on its age.

If your puppy is currently less than 6 weeks old, it should still be on a milk formula. For puppies that are older than that, they can be transitioned to normal dog food.

If your puppy needs milk, you need to ensure that you are feeding it the right type of milk. Don’t feed your dog cow’s milk as that will give your dog a bad tummy.

Cows milk has too much lactose for a puppy to handle as compared to a female dog’s milk.

Get a puppy milk formula from the pet store or your vet to give your puppy the type of milk that it can easily digest.

Puppies that are on normal dog food are easier to feed due to the wider choices available. But I do strongly suggest getting your puppy started on good canned or raw food rather than kibbles.

I understand that kibbles or dry food is more convenient and cost-effective but it isn’t the best diet for your dog in the long run.

Kibbles contain a lot of carbs, fat, fillers, grain, by-products and preservatives that aren’t healthy for dogs of all ages.

When I first brought my dog home from the vet, he was used to eating dry food. My dog’s poo was constantly stinky and soft.

It was only after I upgraded his diet that his stools got better.

2. Change In Diet

dog eating hungrily

When the time comes for you to transition your puppy from milk to solid food or from kibbles to wet food, doing it slowly is important.

The good news is that trying to transition a dog to a new diet is a heck lot easier than with a cat. But doing it gradually will reduce the risk of your puppy’s digestive system acting up.

Doing it too quickly can lead to green poop from your puppy as your dog’s digestive system isn’t used to the new diet yet.

Let’s assume that your dog is currently on kibbles and you wish to switch it to wet food.

Start mixing some wet food into your dog’s dry food for each meal. Do not add in too much as we don’t want to stress the stomach. A 1:9 ratio is a good starting point.

Slowly increase the portion of wet food over the next few weeks until your dog is fully eating its new diet without any problems.

The same goes if you are transitioning your puppy from milk to solid food. Gradually add the solid food with the milk until your pup is completely eating solid food.

3. Food Intolerance

Similar to humans, your puppy can develop an allergy to certain food since birth or even develop an allergy as it gets older.

The thing is, you won’t be able to tell what your dog is allergic to until it happens.

One common mistake that many dog owners do is to continue giving their puppies milk as it gets older.

Symptoms of a food allergy include:

  • Red itchy skin
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite

It might surprise you to know that dogs are actually lactose intolerant. They lose the ability to break down the lactose in milk as they mature.

Giving a lactose intolerant dog dairy products is a quick way to soft and smelly poo.

There are times when your dog could even be allergic to certain meats or ingredients in the dog food. It can take some trial and error before choosing one that doesn’t upset your dog’s tummy.

4. Too Much Food

puppy eating too much food

The reason why puppies are pooping machines is that they are eating machines too. Puppies are in the development stage of their lives and require a lot of nutrition to due that growth.

However, there can also be such a thing as overfeeding your puppy. Too much food in your dog’s system will put it under too much stress as it struggles to digest and absorb the contents.

The majority of the food would be expelled in a not so pleasant way from your dog’s rear.

If you are planning on taking your puppy on a road trip, make sure to not overfeed it too often or your dog might start pooping in the car.

It is important for your to know how much food to give your dog in relation to its current age and weight. You definitely do not want to be underfeeding your dog as well.

The breed of your dog matters as well.

With all things being equal, a Great Dane puppy would need more calories compared to a Chihuahua. It would be best to speak to your vet about the amount of food that your dog should be eating.

5. Intestinal Parasites

intestinal parasites

Almost every dog will have some type of worm infestation in their lifetime. This is due to the outdoor nature of dogs and their close contact with other dogs.

Puppies tend to get worms from their mothers while they are growing inside the mother’s womb. Another common parasite in puppies is called heartworms. These worms will leave in your puppy’s heart and cause many heart problems. Your puppy can take Heartgard to get rid of heartworms.

The most common types of intestinal parasites are:

  • Hookworm
  • Roundworm
  • Tapeworm

These worms will take up residence in your dog’s digestive tract and start to reproduce. They are called parasites because they will leech off on the food that your dog eats.

Over time, these worms can cause your dog to become anemic and weak which can lead to fading puppy syndrome.

It is important for your to recognize the presence of intestinal worms in your dog.

Symptoms include:

If you suspect that your puppy has worms, please take it to the vet together with a stool sample for analysis.

The vet will prescribe dewormer tablets for your dog to take until all the worms are destroyed.

Goodbye leechers!!

6. Too Much Exercise

Puppies have an energy source that is never ending. They can run and play for hours without feeling tired. Even though playtime is good for young dogs, too much of it can cause chronic diarrhea.

When puppies play, they tend to get very excited. And this excitement causes the body to secrete more adrenaline which leads to soft runny stools.

The added blood flow in your dog’s body will also cause the digestive system to become more active.

Don’t stop exercising your puppy but make sure to not over-exert your dog.

7. Underlying Health Problems

dog at vet

There are some diseases and infections in young dogs that can also cause smelly and runny dog poo. Medical conditions like Giardiasis, Parvo, Herpes, etc can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system.

If you have yet to take your dog to the vet for a check-up or to be vaccinated, you could do it soon.

Puppies do not have strong immune systems and many of these diseases can be fatal to them.

What Is Considered Unhealthy Dog Poop?

Dog poop isn’t the nicest thing to be looking at especially when your puppy is having a digestive issue. But you should be able to distinguish between healthy dog poop vs not so normal dog poop.

A healthy dog’s poop should be firm in texture and in the shape of a cigar. The color should range between light to dark brown.

If your dog’s poo is runny, has blood or a lot of mucus in it, you should consult the vet just to be safe.

We all know that a dog’s poop smells bad but it should not be foul smelling or remind you of rotten food.

Particularly stinky poo could also indicate that something isn’t well with your dog.

How Can I Make My Puppy’s Poop Solid?

There are some natural ways that you can try to firm up your dog’s poop. This is what I will also do for my cat or dog when their poop is more runny than usual.

I will feed them either some pumpkin or psyllium husk. Just mix a little into their food until their poop starts to firm up. Dogs with pancreatitis also benefit from having pumpkin in their diets.

Small to medium sized dogs will do well with 1-2 teaspoons per meal. Larger dogs can handle between 1-2 tablespoons.

For pumpkins, use only fresh or canned pumpkin puree without any added ingredients.