Most of the time, your dog asks to go out every so often. But if you find your pupper has to go frequently - or even has accidents in the house - something else may be going on. Excessive and frequent urination is one of the most common reasons people give up on their pet dogs, or even surrender them to animal shelters. It doesn't have to be that way. Some dogs just need to pee more than others, while some dogs may have a medical condition or disease. That's why noting how many times your dog pees each day is important. If they're peeing more than normal, it may be time to visit the vet.
How Much Does a Dog Pee?
A dog's natural instinct to urinate can vary from one dog to another, but it's not unusual for a healthy adult dog to pee between one and six times per day. Drinking water and eating food both play a role in how often your dog pees. If they're drinking and eating a lot, this can affect the amount of liquid and therefore urine that comes out when they go.
Dogs who are eating raw or wet food may also urinate more than those consuming kibble. Raw and wet food both have higher water content than kibble, which affects how much your dog pees per day.
Your dog's size also plays a role. Small dogs with fast metabolisms may need to go outside every hour, while larger dogs with slower metabolisms may only need to go outside once or twice throughout the day. The bladder capacity of a big dog can be up to five times greater than that of a small dog. A large dog may hold it in for hours at a time, while a small dog cannot hold it in as long because of their smaller bladders.
Dogs Who Drink a Lot of Water
Some pups play hard, and they drink hard to cool down. If you've had a very active play session with your pup, and they're gulping down the water faster than you can fill their bowl, expect to see them need to go outside to pee more frequently.
Most dogs regulate their own water intake, and you should never restrict access to fresh water, even if your dog is peeing a lot. This can cause other health problems, so don't try to restrict your dog's access to water to keep them from peeing so much.
Puppies Can't Control It
Puppies pee more often than adult dogs, and it's likely to continue for the first year or two of their lives. They have smaller bladders than adult dogs, so they can't hold their urine for long. As your puppy grows, their bladder will hold more urine and they shouldn't have to go out as much. Puppies also drink more water than adult dogs, which means they need to pee more often, as well.
Puppies also have a very short attention span and are easily distracted by new things in their environment. While they are busy investigating something new, they might forget that they had to go potty and then pee before they can get back to what they were doing. Therefore, pet owners often notice more accidents in the house with a puppy than with an adult dog.
Older Dogs Go More
Most elderly puppers don't have the same control over their bladders that they once did. While they may be eating and drinking normally, they might need to go outside much more frequently than they did when they were younger. This might make it seem like they're peeing a lot, but it's just a consequence of aging. If your older dog is having accidents, you can try letting them out more frequently, or you can put out puppy pads to control the mess.
Excessive urination in dogs is a condition that is caused by a variety of factors. It may be because of an infection, such as bladder stones or urinary tract infection, or it may be due to an underlying health problem, such as diabetes. We'll go through each individually so you know what to look for.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are common in dogs, especially female dogs. Urinary tract infections are an inflammation of the urinary system, which includes the bladder, urethra, and kidneys. These UTIs can also involve the prostate gland in males. A UTI is often accompanied by excessive urination and blood in the urine. They can also be very painful for your dog and you may notice your dog straining when attempting to urinate.
Some factors that increase your dog's risk of developing a UTI include:
- Age: Puppies are more prone than older dogs.
- Breed: Smaller dogs have a greater risk of developing UTIs.
- Obesity: Fatty tissue can trap bacteria in the urinary tract.
- Diabetes mellitus: High blood sugar levels create an environment that attracts bacteria.
Urinary tract infections can be either acute or chronic. Acute UTIs often require immediate treatment because they can progress to a life-threatening condition. Chronic UTIs respond better to at-home treatments, but they should be checked by a veterinarian, as well.
Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps glucose, known as blood sugar, get into cells to be used for energy.
There are two main types of diabetes; type 1 and type 2. Dogs can develop either type of diabetes, but type 1 is much less common than type 2 in dogs.
Diabetes can cause increased thirst and urination. Additional signs include:
- Increased appetite
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Pale gums
- Weakness or fatigue
Kidney disease is another common cause of excessive urination in male and female dogs alike. As kidney disease progresses, less urine is produced by your dog's kidneys, which leads them to pee more frequently than normal, sometimes as often as every hour. Dogs with kidney disease will often drink much more water than usual because their kidneys cannot concentrate the urine properly.
Here are some other common symptoms to look out for:
- Weight loss
- Lethargy or depression
- Bad breath known as halitosis
- Poor appetite
Heat in Female Dogs
Dogs can be more aggressive, affectionate, anxious, and restless during heat cycles. They may also urinate more than usual. The age at which a dog goes into heat varies by breed, but it typically occurs between 6 and 9 months of age for small dogs and 1 to 2 years for giant breeds like Great Danes or Mastiffs.
While a female dog's heat cycle typically lasts about two weeks, some dogs will have shorter or longer cycles. You can expect your dog to begin showing signs of heat approximately one week before her first estrus or heat cycle. Additional signs of heat in female dogs include:
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Lack of appetite or hunger
- Sexual behaviors like mounting other dogs or objects
Prostate Issues in Male Dogs
Male dogs can develop prostate conditions that lead to more frequent urination. Your male dog could have swelling in their prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, which can lead to prostatitis, which is a swelling and infection in the gland. They may also have cancer, though this is less common. If you can't figure out what's causing your dog's increased urination, it's time to see your vet.
Cystitis Can Cause Issues
This condition involves inflammation forming in your dog's bladder. It can be caused by several diseases, including bacterial infection, or less commonly by tumors, polyps, bladder stones, and other health issues. The symptoms may appear to be similar to a urinary tract infection. If you aren't sure, you need to schedule a trip to your veterinarian.
Visit the Vet
A trip to the vet is the best way to find out what's going on with your dog. A vet can get a urine sample and run some tests for infections or other conditions. If you are worried about your dog's health, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Note anything abnormal and inform your vet about any unusual behaviors.
Watch Your Dog if They're Peeing a Lot
Most of the time, you probably don't have to worry too much if your dog is peeing more than normal. If your dog is playing a lot and tiring themselves out, they're probably drinking more water. Pay attention, and if you suspect a problem, begin tracking how often your dog is going out to pee. Watch for other symptoms, and take your dog to the vet if you see them straining to pee. Many of the issues that cause excessive urination in dogs are treatable, so your pup should be back to their old selves in no time.