Normal puppy bowel movements are firm, sausage-shaped and a light shade of brown that darkens as the stool dries out. Normal puppy stool should be easy to pick up with a plastic bag or pooper scooper.
Because newborn puppies eat only milk, their bowel movements look like jam but in various shades of brown. Mother dogs often eat their puppies' stool, according to Hilltop Animal Hospital.
An orphaned puppy younger than two weeks old will need its genitals and anus rubbed with a warm towel. This stimulates the puppy to urinate and defecate, which it cannot do on their own, according to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
Puppies over two weeks old will normally need to defecate about 10 minutes after eating, upon waking up in the morning and after very vigorous play or a brisk walk.
Call a vet if the puppy stool is flecked with or covered in blood or mucus, is foamy, has the consistency of fresh oil paint or is yellow or green, according to "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook." If diarrhea occurs and lasts for more than 24 hours, a vet should be contacted.
Puppies will eat their own stool because it may contain undigested food and perhaps tastes good. However, this can also make the puppy very ill, so talk to a vet about how to stop stool eating, or coprophagia.
puppy image by Lisa Eastman from Fotolia.com
Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.