We all need to wee, that’s a fact of life. However, whereas we can just pop off to the toilet to relieve ourselves as and when we need, it’s not that simple for our dogs. They can’t tell us when the time is nigh, and so have to rely on us to know when to let them out to do their business to avoid accidents in the house.
But, how often do dogs need to pee? Should you be letting your four-legged friend out more often than you already do? And what about puppies?
Keep reading to find out how often you should take your dog or puppy out to pee.
How often does a dog need to pee?
To put it simply, adult dogs generally need to toilet three to five times a day, and most vets will recommend a maximum window of between six to eight hours between toilet trips. However, it’s important to understand that each dog is different, and a variety of factors such as their age, breed and diet will impact how often your dog will need to pee.
For example, overweight or obese dogs may need to pee more. There are also some medications which may cause more frequent urination, as well as health conditions such as diabetes which can influence how many times they need to nip out to the bathroom. Additionally, smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas have much smaller bladders than a larger dog like a Labrador, so you’ll need to take this into account also.
You should also never make your dog wait too long to use the toilet as, not only is this very uncomfortable for them, but it can also increase the risk of them developing some bladder or kidney problems and urinary tract infections.
How often should a puppy pee?
If you’re wondering how often you should take your puppy out to pee, it’s a good idea to do so every hour. This is a good way to instil toilet training habits into them and prevent accidents in the house. It’s also worth noting that puppies tend to need to go to the toilet within 15 minutes of eating or drinking, so be sure to keep a look out and take them outside to give them the opportunity to do their business.
How often should a senior dog pee?
As with puppies, senior dogs also can’t hold their bladder for very long. This causes many owners to get frustrated as they think they ‘forget’ how to toilet properly, but you shouldn’t blame or punish them, it’s really not their fault! When we get older it’s common for us to struggle to hold our bladders and have little accidents and it’s the exact same for your dog too. The general guide is senior dogs should be let out to go to the toilet every four to six hours, but again, this will depend on their breed, weight and if any health issues are present.
Spayed bitches can also sometimes develop a condition called urinary sphincter mechanism incontinence (USMI) when they get older. This is where they are not able to hold the urine as they could before and so small amount may start to dribble out, especially when they are lying down. If you notice your dog is urinating inappropriately, it’s always worth speaking to your vet as many conditions, such as USMI, are treatable with medication.
What if I’m going to be out all day?
If you’re going to be out all day and can’t get home to let your dog out to the toilet, you should either ask a friend or family member to pay a visit or hire a pet sitter or dog walker. Dogs should never be made to hold their bladder for too long, as this can cause health issues and ultimately, it’s not fair for them as holding their pee for long periods can be extremely uncomfortable! And, if you frequently work all day and can’t be home to let your dog out to pee and give them the attention they need, it’s a good idea to look into doggy day-care.
Is my dog urinating too much?
Frequent urination is not always a cause to worry, but sometimes it can be a sign that something is wrong, especially if it comes on suddenly or is paired with other symptoms. If your dog is weeing very frequently and it’s paired with the following symptoms, take them to the vet as soon as possible:
- Straining or showing signs of discomfort when urinating
- Producing urine that is an unusual colour such as red or dark red
- Producing urine that has an unusual smell
- Excessive drinking
- Urinating in inappropriate places
- Dribbling urine
- Licking around their back end excessively or rubbing their bottom along the floor
That’s our guide to how often dogs need to pee! Remember that each dog is different and all will have different urination requirements. It’s a good idea to let your dog out regularly, and keep an eye on the signs that your dog needs to pee, such as going to the door, etc. If you need further support, or have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact your vet for advice.