Why Does My Puppy Pee So Much?
How much is too much when it comes to puppy pee 🤔
Does it feel like you spend the whole day taking your puppy out to use the bathroom?
You’re not imagining it. Puppies actually do pee more often than adult dogs. But it’s also possible that your puppy could be going a lot due to an underlying condition. So when should you be actually worried?
The Dodo spoke to Dr. Sehaj Grewal, a veterinarian and CEO of The Melrose Vet, to find out how often puppies pee and how to know when to go to the vet.
Why does my puppy pee so much?
It might seem like you’re constantly taking your puppy out to go to the bathroom, but that’s pretty common with puppies since they actually go to the bathroom a lot more often than adult dogs.
“Puppies urinate frequently because their bladders are small and [they] don't have enough control developed,” Dr. Grewal told The Dodo.
Puppies are much smaller than adult dogs, so their bladders are smaller, which means they can’t hold their urine for as long. And like human babies, puppies haven’t learned how to control their bladders yet — so when they have to go, they have to go immediately at that moment.
How often do puppies pee?
According to Dr. Grewal, “Depending on the age, a puppy urinates every few hours. The older they become, the less frequently they have to go.”
Puppies can typically hold their bladders for about an hour for every month of their age. So your 3-month-old puppy should be able to wait about three hours to go out. If your puppy just drank a whole bowl of water, though, he might need to go out right away since puppies usually need to go to the bathroom within 10–30 minutes after eating or drinking.
At around 9 months old, your puppy should be able to control his bladder and hold it for about as long as an adult dog can.
“I would say that at around 9–10 months of age, they should be able to control their bladder [to hold it for] eight hours or so,” Dr. Grewal said.
Medical causes of puppy frequent urination
If it seems like your puppy’s peeing way too much or suddenly starts going more than usual, there could be an underlying issue to blame.
“Some health issues that can cause excessive urination are urinary tract infections (UTIs), ectopic ureters (a congenital birth defect of the urinary tract) and metabolic diseases, such as diabetes,” Dr. Grewal said.
Here’s how to tell if your puppy’s peeing normally.
When a puppy has diabetes, either his pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or his body doesn’t process the insulin well enough.
When the blood glucose gets too high, the body passes it into the urine along with a bunch of extra water (since glucose attracts water), which is why some of the main symptoms of diabetes in dogs are drinking a lot and frequent urination.
Diabetes is more common in middle- and older-aged dogs, but younger pups can be diagnosed with it, too.
Urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria travel up the urethra to the bladder. If your puppy has a UTI, he might strain to pee or whine when peeing. He may also have blood in his urine and abdominal pain.
Ureters are tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder. If your puppy has ectopic ureters, they don’t attach properly to the bladder, which can cause incontinence.
The most common signs of ectopic ureters in puppies include an inability to hold their bladders and urine dripping, and they may also lick their gential areas frequently. Puppies with ectopic ureters are more prone to getting UTIs, too.
Bladder infections are caused by bacteria traveling into your dog’s bladder due to problems with urine flow, a weakened immune system or other causes. Signs of a bladder infection include frequent urination or having accidents in the house, painful urination and blood in the urine.
Kidney infections are usually caused by bacteria getting past the bladder and traveling all the way to the kidneys. Signs of a kidney infection include vomiting, excessive thirst and urination, not eating, abdominal pain, and a fever.
Bladder or kidney stones
Bladder or kidney stones can cause your pup to have to pee frequently. Other common symptoms are blood in the urine and straining to pee.
If your puppy has a complete obstruction in his urinary tract, he might not be able to release any urine, or he may only able to release tiny amounts, which can be potentially life-threatening. If you notice your puppy straining to pee with not much coming out, contact your vet.
Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can make your puppy have to pee frequently. If your puppy’s taking medicine, his frequent urination should stop when he’s done with it. Your vet can also let you know what any possible medication side effects might be.
Tumors in the kidneys or lower urinary tract can make your dog have to go to the bathroom a lot. These are pretty uncommon, and urinary tract tumors usually occur in older dogs, so you likely won’t have to worry about this with your puppy.
Behavioral causes of puppy frequent urination
If your puppy doesn’t have any underlying medical problems, there can be some possible behavior-related explanations for why he’s going so much.
Submissive urination is when puppies involuntarily pee because they’re stressed, excited or scared. You might have noticed this if your puppy pees a little bit every time you come home because he’s happy to see you. Dogs also urinate submissively to recognize dominance, so your puppy might pee to show that he knows you’re his owner.
Puppies usually grow out of this behavior as they get older, and house training your puppy will help.
Anxiety or stress
According to Dr. Grewal, “Non-medical [causes] could be anxiety or stress.”
Dogs will sometimes regress in their potty training when they’re stressed. This can happen if you’ve just brought your new puppy home and he still needs to decompress. Since he’s in an unfamiliar place and surrounded by new people and things, he might not be acting like his usual self.
Your puppy will quickly learn that you take him out every time he goes to the bathroom indoors, so he might be peeing to get your attention and spend time with you. A good way to stop this is to play with your puppy and take him on lots of walks so he’ll get to hang out with you without peeing all over the house.
Too much water
Puppies have to go to the bathroom soon after drinking water, so if you’re giving him water all day long, he might need to constantly go.
If it seems like your puppy’s drinking too much water, though, he could have an underlying issue like one of the ones mentioned above, such as diabetes or a kidney infection.
Not house broken
Your puppy might just not be house broken yet, and he may not understand which areas are appropriate to go to the bathroom in, which can be solved by potty training him (tips on how to potty train your puppy below).
How to potty train a puppy
If your puppy keeps peeing in the house, here are some tips for potty training him:
- Watch for signs that your puppy might need to go out, like circling or sniffing the floor.
- Crate train your puppy, and keep him in his crate when you’re not with him. You can get this crate that earned The Dodo’s Paw of Approval from Diggs for $375.
- Give your puppy treats and praise when he pees outside.
- Saying a trigger word, like potty, immediately before he goes can help train him to go on cue.
- Stop giving your puppy water about two hours before bed.
- Don’t discipline your puppy for submissive urination, since it’s involuntary and he’s unable to control it.
Puppies do have to go to the bathroom pretty often. But if your puppy suddenly starts going way more than normal, talk to your vet to see if there could be something else going on.
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