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Reasons Behind Frequent Urination in Dogs

on December 6, 2018
Posted in Dog Kidney Disease

For dog owners who don’t have a doggy door or a gated yard for their homes, taking the dog outside can be a bit of an inconvenience. Sometimes, it seems like the dog whines every 10 minutes to go out and pee, even though you just took them out.

While this may be an exasperated response to a perfectly normal bodily function, other times, your dog might actually be “needing to go” more than it should. Excessive urination might be a sign that something is wrong with your dog’s health.

When the urge to go is normal

There are plenty of reasons your dog might be peeing more often than it used to, and many of them are normal reactions to heat, diet and other factors.

Typically, the average adult dog will need to urinate once every four to six hours. It may even be able to go a longer span of time between bathroom visits if nobody is home. However, this frequency may change depending on your dog’s diet and activity level.

With puppies, however, you’ll need to make more bathroom trips thanks to their smaller bladders and lack of house training. Peeing every two hours is more common in young dogs, but it could be much more frequently depending on the age and training.

While on walks, be sure to note the difference between peeing and marking. If your dog likes to sniff around and mark its territory by leaving a little dribble here and there, that’s perfectly normal. What’s not normal is if it stops to steadily urinate a lot or if it looks like it’s in pain when it goes.

In the summer, your pet might drink more water to cool itself off and stay hydrated. But if its body doesn’t release that water in the form of sweat or from panting, it will need to pee a lot more.

Additionally, dogs on certain medication might urinate more frequently. Some medications may make your dog drink more water or will alter the way water passes through its system, forcing it to need to go more often.

When taking your dog out to pee, pay close attention. Know approximately how often your dog needs to go out during the day or how many times it usually stops while you’re out on a walk. Dogs tend to prefer routines, so a deviation from that may indicate that it’s dealing with a health problem.

Potential pee-related problems

Increased or excessive urination can sometimes indicate problems in the bladder or kidneys, or perhaps even diabetes. Bladder and kidney infections, liver disease and diabetes may all show similar signs, so it’s important to pay close attention to your dog’s symptoms once you notice its excessive urination.

One of the most common indicators of a health problem is hazy or dark-colored urine (like orange or red). Your dog might also show discomfort or strain when urinating or produce urine with a strong smell.

If you notice your dog needing to pee more often in addition to these symptoms, you should take it to the vet to see if it has one of these common health issues.

  • UTIs: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by a buildup of bacteria in the dog’s urinary tract. This kind of infection can cause your dog to need to urinate often, but only in small amounts. Dogs with UTIs may also whine or cry when urinating because it is painful.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes in dogs occurs when the body cannot convert food into energy properly. One of the major signs of canine diabetes is increased thirst, which results in excessive urination. Also watch for signs of lethargy, increased appetite and weight loss.
  • Kidney disease: Diseased or failing kidneys can also cause your dog to need to pee a lot. Usually, dogs with kidney problems will produce a very pale-colored urine because their kidneys aren’t working the way they should.
  • Liver problems: Liver disease may make your dog drink a lot of water and pee a lot more as a result. Increased thirst and urination frequently occur alongside lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting if the problem lies in the liver.
  • Pregnancy: If your dog is female and not spayed, she might be pregnant! Much like in humans, fetuses take up space in your dog’s abdomen, limiting the space the bladder has to fill, resulting in more frequent urination.

Bladder, urinary tract and other pee-related problems are typically easy to treat and manage with the help of a veterinarian, so be sure to visit as soon as you notice issues to get your dog diagnosed. With careful attention and assistance in managing its health, your dog should return to its normal urination routine in no time.

Read also: Keep Your Dog Comfortable and Cool This Summer

Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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