Last Updated on April 22, 2023
Dog owners know that their pups can produce a lot of waste, and it seems to get worse with certain foods. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of poop you’re picking up, this guide can help.
We’ll go over the best dog food for less poop, whether you have a puppy, a senior, or a dog somewhere in between. Here are our top picks.
- 1 Top 5 Picks for Best Dog Food for Less Poop
- 2 Best Dog Food for Less Poop (by Life Stage)
- 3 Is too much poop all that bad?
- 4 Best Dog Food for Less Poop Buying Guide
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 6 Improve your dog’s stools with the right food
- 7 Further reading: Dog Food for All Situations
- 8 Reference
Top 5 Picks for Best Dog Food for Less Poop
|Dog Food Recipes
|Best Overall Dog Food for Less Poop
|Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Salmon and Peas
|Best Budget Dog Food for Less Poop
|Nature’s Recipe Easy To Digest – Chicken Meal, Rice & Barley Recipe
|Best Puppy Food for Less Poop
|ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
|Best Adult Dog Food for Less Poop
|Stella and Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Patties
|Best Senior Dog Food for Less Poop
|Merrick Senior Grain Free
Best Dog Food for Less Poop (by Life Stage)
Whether you are on a tight budget or you’re willing to spend a lot on your pet food, there are lots of options out there that can be a perfectly balanced diet and also reduce waste.
Stella and Chewy make excellent freeze-dried raw food, while people on a budget might look at Nature’s Recipe.
Best Puppy Food for Less Poop
1. ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal
This grain-free food gives your pup the right start in life with lots of real chicken and turkey, along with whole fruits and vegetables, and some salmon oil for lots of healthy fat.
No artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors, and no meat by-products.
- Contains antioxidants and Omega fatty acids like DHA
- Has carrots, parsley, apples, spinach, blueberries, and kale
- Contains probiotics for a healthy digestive system
- A few dogs refuse to eat this recipe
Best Adult Dog Food for Less Poop
1. Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal
This food contains novel proteins like water buffalo and bison. It also has antioxidants and amino acids with no wheat, corn, grain, fillers, or artificial ingredients.
The brand features human-grade ingredients to make your dog’s digestive system happy. And if you want to go chicken-free, they have the Pacific Stream flavor made with salmon and ocean fish meal.
- Packed with probiotics
- Real fruits and veggies like raspberries, blueberries, and sweet potatoes
- Features Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
- Some owners think their dogs don’t like the taste or flavor of this dog food
- One pet parent complained that it made their dog’s coat “dull, dry with dandruff, and was falling out”
2. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Super Beef Dinner Patties
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney
The first six ingredients in this recipe are beef, followed by things like cranberries, spinach, broccoli, beets, carrots, squash, blueberries, and kelp – all organically sourced.
While the food costs more per pound than dry foods, you get a lot of nutrition packed into each bite, so you feed less.
- Hormone-free, grass-fed beef makes up the first 6 ingredients
- Formulated to be closer to a canine’s natural diet
- Organic, whole veggies and fruits, with limited ingredients
- There are owners who said this freeze-dried dog food are like rocks, while others think it was too expensive
3. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain, Dehydrated Chicken Recipe
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes
Featuring free-range chicken and high protein, along with lots of produce and some barley, this food is made with high-quality ingredients right in the USA.
There are no by-products, GMOs, or preservatives, so dog owners can feel safe knowing they’re feeding their friends healthy food.
- Made in the USA
- High-protein diet that’s suitable for all breed sizes
- Limited ingredients with chicken, barley, oats, peas, carrots, bananas, and kelp
- Picky eaters may not like this recipe
- Features grains like oat and barley, which some people avoid
4. Nature’s Recipe Easy To Digest – Chicken Meal, Rice & Barley Recipe
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice
No corn, wheat, or by-products helps make this food a nutritious option for your pup. It’s made in the USA and more affordable than many of the other options on this list.
- Affordable option for canines needing a diet for sensitive digestion
- No pea protein, which some dogs are allergic to
- Made in the USA
5. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal
This food is packed with protein and healthy carbohydrates to give your pooch a healthy diet.
Made without grains, it has taurine and lots of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, calcium, and phosphorus.
- Real deboned turkey is the first ingredient
- Has ground flaxseed, broccoli, spinach, carrots, apples, blueberries, and kale
- Contains probiotics, glucosamine, and fatty acids
- Pricier than some options
- While some dogs think it’s bowl-lickin’ good, other canines disagree
6. Natural Balance Ultra Premium Liver Formula Wet Dog Food
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Beef Liver, Beef Broth, Beef
This wet food has high-quality meat like beef liver, along with real veggies and brown rice for a healthy source of carbs. It also has Vitamins A and B12 for a healthy immune system.
It also has yucca schidigera extra, which is thought to aid digestion, ease sensitive stomachs, and reduce the smell of your dog’s poop.
- Made for healthy digestion
- Healthy source of protein and carbs
- Chicken-free and no common allergens
- Some owners said they have to mix it with dry kibbles for their dogs to eat it
- One pet parent complained about the strong smell of this canned dog food
7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal
Made for adults of all breed sizes with a sensitive digestive system, this recipe is backed by decades of cutting-edge research.
It has omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E that promotes healthy coat and skin, and prebiotic fiber for healthy digestion and less waste.
- Recommended by vets
- Contains amino acids, natural ingredients, plus added minerals and vitamins
- Highly digestible and crafted with beet pulp as a source of nourishing prebiotic fiber
- It may not agree with some dog’s stomach as a few pets experienced a bit of weight gain and diarrhea
8. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes
If you want to feed your pooch dog food with a taste of the fresh flavors of the sea, try this formula. It has flaxseed, sweet potatoes, apples, whitefish, and salmon for balanced and complete nutrition.
It’s also crafted to promote healthy skin, coat, and strong nails, reduce shedding, and support healthy digestion.
- A grain-free diet that uses wholesome and natural ingredients
- Cooked in the US using only the brand’s high-quality ingredients
- Free of soy, wheat, and corn
- Some dogs dislike this flavor
- There was an owner who said that their dog got dandruff after switching to this diet
Best Senior Dog Food for Less Poop
1. Merrick Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Improve your senior dog’s health with Merrick’s grain-free formula for older canines.
It’s crafted with 77% protein from animal sources and designed to have lower fat and calories to maintain a healthy weight.
- Has chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health and L-carnitine to help dogs with digestive issues to have healthier metabolism
- Made with omega fatty acids for a shinier coat and healthy skin
- Contains probiotic and prebiotic fiber
- Some dogs don’t even want to try this formula so other pet parents recommend getting a smaller bag first
Is too much poop all that bad?
If your dog is maintaining its weight, has plenty of energy, and looks healthy, then you probably don’t need to be worried about how much they’re pooping.
But if something changes and your pal suddenly has more poops, or they are softer, there must be an underlying issue.
Pooping too much and too often can indicate that there’s something going on in your pup’s stomach.
Generally, it means that your dog is eating a lot of stuff that the body can’t use, so it passes through the digestive system and out the other end.
A high-quality food results in less poop, and the poops will be firmer because it contains ingredients that your dog’s body can use. In other words, it’s not stuffed with cheap fillers.
Most dogs poop between one and five times a day, though puppies will need to go more often since they have such small bodies and their digestive systems are still developing.
Infections, kidney issues, liver problems, and colitis can all cause an increase in the volume of your pup’s poop.
If your dog is healthy but you want to reduce the amount that they’re pooping in order to ensure that they’re eating a healthy, high-quality diet, then any of the foods above should help.
How do I know if my dog’s poop is healthy or not?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are a few ways to tell if your dog’s poop is healthy.
First, observe the color. It should be chocolate brown, not greenish, orange, yellow, or light brown. If your dog is eating food with artificial colors in it, you might see some of these colors in there.
Next, look at the shape. It should hold its form and should be long, like a log.
If it is loose, your dog might not be feeling well or their food contains something that doesn’t agree with them. If it’s small and round, it can be a sign of dehydration.
Consistency comes next. Normal poop should be compact but not dry.
It should have some moisture, but not too wet. If you clean up your dog’s poop using poop bags, try giving the feces a gentle squeeze. It should feel like Play-Doh.
Next is size. If your dog is eating a lot of fiber or ingredients that its body can’t use, your dog will have larger poops. Dehydrated dogs will have small poops.
The stool should be in proportion to the size of your dog, as well.
Finally, look at the content. There should be nothing but poop in there. If you see chunks of food, that means his food isn’t being completely digested.
You might also see mucus, worms, or grass. If so, a trip to the vet is in order.
Reasons your dog poops so much
Dogs fed with diets that contain fillers can initially make them feel nice and full, but their body can’t use the ingredients. That alone can cause frequent pooping.
Some of the most common fillers are corn, soy, wheat, and rice. But manufacturers are coming up with new ingredients that most people don’t recognize.
These can include cellulose (which is sawdust!), beet pulp, soybean hulls, cornstarch, pea flour, tomato pomace, etc.
Fiber is an important part of a dog’s diet. They help maintain healthy digestion, regularity and keep the colon happy.
But cheap fibers aren’t the same thing as healthy ones. Whole fruits, veggies, and legumes are good sources of fiber.
But those cheap fillers like we mentioned above are considered inferior sources of fiber.
On top of not being as healthy for your dog, they can increase the amount of poop your dog has and can cause flatulence.
What sort of food causes bulky or loose stools?
While increased poop can just mean that your dog is eating more than it needs, it can also mean that their food is low quality.
A dog’s stomach can handle a lot, but daily meals with cheap ingredients tend to move through their bodies without being absorbed.
You might think that you should avoid lots of fiber since fiber moves through the digestive system without being absorbed, but fiber is key to improving your dog’s stool.
It improves digestive function, blood sugar levels, and it bulks up the food so your dog is satisfied with less.
A high fiber diet can help with diabetes, colon issues, constipation, and heart disease. Just as it does in humans, it can help lower cholesterol, as well.
What things apart from food can cause my dog to poop excessively?
So you’re sure your dog isn’t eating crappy food, but they’re still pooping a lot. What could it be? Sometimes it can be bad dietary habits, like too many treats.
It could also be that you’ve recently changed the amount, frequency, or recipe that your dog eats.
It could also be a health condition, a bacterial infection, a parasitic infection, or another physical issue. In that case, it’s time to get checked by a vet.
Don’t forget that emotional stress can impact your dog’s stomach just as it can.
If your dog has been through a big change or loss, it could be suffering from the emotional stress that is impacting its digestive system.
How to make dog poop less with food?
To help your dog poop less, pick a good food.
Any of the ones mentioned above are good options, but also consider Blue Buffalo, Whole Earth Farms grain-free, Hill’s Science Diet, or any other top-quality food.
What is a Low-Residue Diet?
A low-residue diet is one that limits dietary fiber in order to reduce the amount of activity in the bowels.
This is absolutely NOT what you want if you are trying to keep your dog healthy while reducing stools. While it might reduce the amount of poop they have, it isn’t a long-term option.
When are residue diets a good idea?
A low-residue dog food diet is for dogs who have physical issues that increase their stools, such as inflammatory bowel syndrome, colitis, diarrhea, or constipation.
Most of the time, it’s a temporary switch to give their guts a chance to recover.
Dogs with extremely sensitive stomachs may stay on this diet indefinitely but check with your vet, first to chat about what your dog needs.
Best Dog Food for Less Poop Buying Guide
So how do you choose the best food for less poop for your dog? What should you look for and what you should avoid? Here’s what to know:
What makes a dog food good for less poop?
When shopping, look for foods that have a high protein content and high-quality fiber content. The amount depends on your dog’s age and activity level, so be sure to read the label.
Also, look for foods that are highly digestible. Fish, whole veggies, turkey, venison, wild game, and whole fruits are all good options with high digestibility.
On top of fiber, carbohydrates, and protein, you want a healthy amount of fat. You might also want to consider adding healthy supplements to your dog’s diet, but again, chat with your vet.
Dry kibble tends to be the most digestible and you should be mindful of how much you’re feeding. Stick to the recommended amount.
Look for probiotics, prebiotics, and foods that are free from allergens if your dog is allergic.
Avoid mystery meats or byproducts, or any food that doesn’t identify specifical what the food is, such as foods labeled as having “meat by-products.”
Don’t choose anything with additives or artificial colors or flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Wet, Semi-Moist, or Dry? Which food for less poop is best for your dog?
As long as you are buying high-quality food with top-notch ingredients, including a high-quality protein source, it doesn’t matter if you feed your dog wet, semi-moist, or dry food.
All foods can reduce the number of stools if they are high quality.
To grain or not to grain: Do dogs need grain-free food for less poop?
Grain-free food can be better for dogs who are allergic to grains or have food sensitivities. Otherwise, grain-free won’t necessarily help reduce poop.
Can you give homemade food for less poop for your dog?
Some dogs might poop less on homemade dog food. That’s because homemade foods contain less junk, fewer additives, and are generally made with whole, natural ingredients.
This video has a great recipe for homemade food:
Improve your dog’s stools with the right food
For the average pup, Nulo’s Freestyle Grain-Free food is going to be an excellent option.
It has high-quality ingredients and none of the bad stuff you need to avoid. For raw diet lovers, Stella and Chewy’s patties make feeding raw easy.
With one of the healthy options above, your dog is sure to have better stools. No matter which dog breed or breeds you have, these foods are formulated to keep your dog healthy from end to end.
How about you? Which is the best dog food for less poop? Let us know what works with your dog by leaving a comment below.
Further reading: Dog Food for All Situations
Cess is the Head of Content Writing at K9 Web and a passionate dog care expert with over 5 years of experience in the Pet Industry. With a background in animal science, dog training, and behavior consulting, her hands-on experience and extensive knowledge make her a trusted source for dog owners.
When not writing or leading the K9 Web content team, Cess can be found volunteering at local shelters and participating in dog-related events.