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How Long Should You Wait Outside For Your Puppy To Poop?

Taking a puppy outside to poop is a process.

And while we all know that toilet training doesn’t come easy, it can sometimes make us question if it is even working at all.

Sometimes, you may find yourself waiting outside for longer than you might have hoped.

And it naturally leads to the question; should we be waiting outside at all? And if we decide to do so, how long is a good amount of time to wait?

What should we even do if our puppy doesn’t decide to go within a fair time frame?

Well that’s exactly what we will be uncovering here today.

How Long Should You Wait Outside For Your Puppy To Poop?

You should typically be willing to wait up to 15 minutes for your puppy to poop, having taken them outside.

The truth is. The time varies.

And it’s not something that will consistently stay the same for you and your puppy either.

If you are here, chances are you’re puppy is young or you have just got them.

In such a case, a puppy not pooping when you go outside isn’t all that uncommon.

In fact, it’s somewhat expected.

The trick is to find out when to go outside, as we shall soon discover in a further section (so keep reading for that).

Factors That Influence How Long It Takes For A Puppy To Poop When Outside

Several factors can influence how long it takes for a puppy to poop when they go outside.

Understanding these can help you anticipate your puppy’s needs and ensure a smoother and more efficient potty break.

Puppy Age

Younger puppies, particularly those in the 8 to 12 week range, have less control over their bladder and bowel movements.

As a result, they need to go more frequently, sometimes as often as every hour.

As your puppy matures, they gain more control and can hold their needs for longer periods.

By the time they’re around six months old, most dogs are fully house-trained and have predictable bathroom routines.


Puppies fed a healthy, balanced diet will have regular and consistent bowel movements.

On the other hand, a diet too rich in fats or one that includes items that puppies should not consume can lead to irregular bowel movements, diarrhea, or constipation.

Moreover, the feeding schedule can also influence your puppy’s poop schedule.

Regular meal times lead to regular poop times. So, try to feed your puppy at the same times each day.

How Long You’ve Had Your Puppy

If you’ve just brought your puppy home, they may need some time to acclimate to their new surroundings before they can comfortably poop.

Puppies, like adult dogs, prefer to poop in a spot they’ve marked with their scent.

If they haven’t had a chance to create that scent-marked territory yet, they might be hesitant or take longer to poop.

Furthermore, the comfort level with their new home and family can also impact how quickly they feel safe enough to poop.

Building a trusting relationship with your puppy is key in helping them feel secure enough to do their business.

What To Do If Your Puppy Hasn’t Pooped In 15 Minutes Of Being Outside

After around 15 minutes, if your puppy hasn’t pooped, you might start to wonder what’s going on.

Is it constipation?

Is there a health issue?

Here are a few tips on what to do in this situation:

  • Don’t panic: It’s essential to remember that puppies, like humans, aren’t always clockwork with their bowel movements. There could be various reasons they’re not ready to go, from not needing to poop at that moment, to distractions in their environment, or slight changes in their daily routine or diet.
  • Give them a little more time: If they’re not showing signs of discomfort, it’s okay to wait a little longer. Sometimes, puppies might just need some more time to find the perfect spot or to feel safe enough to poop.
  • Try a short walk or playtime: Physical activity can stimulate the bowel. Engaging your puppy in a short walk around the yard or some playtime can help jump-start their system.
  • Observe for signs of discomfort: If your puppy is showing signs of discomfort like straining, whining, or showing a distended belly but not producing any poop, it might be a good idea to contact your vet. It could be a sign of constipation or other digestive issues.
  • Consult your vet: If skipping bowel movements becomes a regular occurrence, or there are other changes in their poop (like color, consistency, or presence of blood), consult your vet immediately. It’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your puppy’s health.

Want to ask a a vet? You can do so quickly, and effortlessly, below:

How Do You Know When A Puppy Is About To Poop?

Knowing when your puppy is about to do their business is the first step towards understanding their routine.

Generally, pups exhibit a few universal signs before they’re about to relieve themselves:

  • Circling or sniffing around: This is a natural instinct for dogs as they often seek a perfect spot for their business. So, if you notice your puppy sniffing around more than usual or going in circles, it might be time to grab the leash.
  • Whining or scratching at the door: Some puppies may even start to communicate their need to go outside. If you see them whining or scratching at the door, they’re probably trying to tell you they need to go.
  • Changes in behavior: Sudden stillness or, on the contrary, hyperactivity can also be signs that your puppy needs to poop.

Remember, all pups are unique and might display different signs

When should You Take A Puppy Outside To Poop?

Puppies usually need to go outside immediately after they wake up, about 15 to 30 minutes after eating, and just before they go to sleep. However, the frequency can vary depending on their diet, age, and physical activity.

As a rule of thumb, you should be taking your puppy out every one to two hours during the early months.

As they grow older and develop bladder control, the frequency will decrease.

Always remember that consistency and a routine will help your puppy understand when it’s time to do their business.

How Long After A Puppy Has Pooped Should You Go Back Inside?

You should wait at least 2-5 minutes, after a puppy has finished pooping, to take them back inside.

This will ensure your puppy has had the chance to properly go, and they are ready to return to the house.

How To Tell When Your Puppy Has Finished Pooping

Most puppies will show signs of relief and readiness to play or move on. Their body language relaxes, and they often move away from the area. They may even scratch at the door, or actively look to return to the house.

Just remember that some puppies might take a little longer and may have two or three bowel movements during one outing.

How To Help Ensure Your Puppy Poops When You Go Outside

Ensuring that your puppy poops when you go outside is all about creating a conducive environment and building a consistent routine.

Here’s how you can help set your puppy up for successful bathroom breaks.

Develop a Schedule

Creating a schedule is a powerful tool in your puppy potty-training arsenal.

It provides a sense of security for your puppy and sets clear expectations for them.

Typical times you’ll want to take your puppy out include:

  1. First thing in the morning: Like humans, dogs often need to relieve themselves after a long night’s sleep.
  2. After meals: Puppies usually need to poop within 15 to 30 minutes after eating. This is due to a natural phenomenon known as the gastrocolic reflex, which triggers the need to defecate after eating.
  3. Before bed: This helps avoid any overnight accidents.
  4. Every couple of hours during the day: Young puppies don’t have fully developed bladder and bowel control and may need to go more frequently.

Stick to a Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to helping your puppy understand when it’s time to go.

This goes beyond just the poop schedule – it also means feeding them at the same times each day and using the same door to go outside each time.

The predictability of a routine will help your puppy understand what is expected of them.

Keep a Food and Poop Diary

Keeping a diary might seem like overkill, but it can be incredibly helpful, especially in the early days of understanding your puppy’s routine.

Note down what and when they eat, and also when they poop.

Over time, patterns will emerge that will help you predict their bathroom needs better.

This is also valuable information to have at hand if you ever need to consult a vet about your puppy’s digestive habits.

Others Tips & Suggestions When Taking Your Puppy Outside To Poop

  • Use a leash: This helps guide your puppy to the designated pooping area and also keeps them safe from any potential dangers.
  • Create a ‘potty zone’: Having a specific area in your yard designated for bathroom breaks can help signal to your puppy where they should do their business. It also keeps clean-up localized and easier to manage.
  • Use a cue word or phrase: Consistently using a cue like “go potty” can help your puppy understand what is expected of them. Say the phrase as they’re doing their business initially, and over time, they’ll associate the phrase with the action.
  • Praise and reward: Once your puppy has done their business, make sure to reward them with praise or a small treat. This positive reinforcement will help them understand that pooping outside is good behavior.
  • Stay patient and calm: Remember, puppies are just babies learning about the world. It’s important to remain patient and calm during their training process. Accidents are bound to happen, but with time and consistent training, your puppy will learn.
  • Avoid punishment for accidents: Punishing a puppy for having an accident can lead to fear and confusion. Instead, if an accident happens, calmly clean it up. Make sure to reward your puppy when they do poop outside to reinforce positive behavior.


If you find yourself waiting for extended periods of time outside, waiting for your puppy, you’re not alone.

In fact, this is one of the most common experiences new puppy owners face.

It could just be down to timing.

It could be your puppy just isn’t ready.

It could be that something else is distracting them in the environment, or that they have not become familiar enough with the environment altogether. It’s not ‘their’ territory yet.

As hard as it sounds, developing a consistent pooping routine takes time, patience and consistency.

You’ll soon learn when you need to take them out. You’ll soon see the signs they need to go.

That being said, if this is a new development, is outside of the norm for your dog, or you have noticed anything else that doesn’t seem quite right, it’s always prudent to consult with a vet.

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