Differences Between Puppy, Adult, and Senior Dog Foods (and How They Affect Poop!)

Updated On: Thursday, June 29, 2023 15:00:05 PM America/Los_Angeles

Each stage of a dog’s life calls for a few adjustments, and their diet is no exception. Dog pawrents should, however, expect bowel movements to change along with those diet adjustments. Whether it’s changing potty habits or having extra pee pads on hand, knowing what changes lie ahead will help you be better prepared for them! Learn how different types of dog foods affect their bowel movements below.

Photo by Marek Szturc

Puppy Food

As you might suspect, puppy food contains extra good stuff (i.e. proteins, fats, and vitamins) to make sure that young dogs are getting all the nutrients they need to grow into healthy, happy adults. In particular, proteins and amino acids that contribute to bone and muscle development are commonly found in puppy foods. Puppy food also tends to be higher in calories to support their rapid metabolism and replenish their boundless energy!

The higher caloric content and quantity of protein can lead to increased bowel movements for these young fur balls. Plus, less developed digestive systems make softer, mushier poops more likely. Have a new pup in your home? Get potty training started right with a New Puppy Bundle!

Adult Dog Food

A major distinguishing factor when it comes to adult dog food is the decreased focus on growth and digestibility. Instead, adult dog food is primarily formulated to help canines maintain a healthy weight and overall health. At the same time, adult dogs are beginning to experience slower metabolisms and activity, so lower caloric content is to be expected. 

Poops may become more solid as doggos grow up. In addition to better regulated digestive systems, the content of adult dog food lends to healthier and more regular bowel movements.  

Senior Dog Food

As our canine companions age, they require foods that are a bit lower in calories and sodium. Senior dog food typically carries fewer calories to accommodate a slowing metabolism. And like puppy food, food for older doggos contains nutrients appropriate for their life stage that help prevent illness and age-related ailments.  

Bowel movements may become less regulated and problems like arthritis can make going to the potty difficult for our older furry friends. Using an indoor dog bathroom like DoggieLawn makes life a tad easier for those pooches who need extra assistance to take care of business. 

Diet changes should always be made gradually over the span of a few weeks to prevent tummy upsets. Speaking with your vet is always a good idea when making a major change to a dog’s diet – especially with older doggos. They may even have some suggestions that better target your fur baby’s unique health and needs!