Dog parents want the best for their furry loved ones. Aside from making sure, they are well-fed and hydrated, you must know how many times they have to do their business. For a first-time pet owner, you might be wondering how often should you take your dog out. Let’s find out.
How Often Should You Take Your Dog Out?
The number of times you need to take your dog out depends on many factors. Each dog should have at least three to five bathroom breaks a day as the average. This means they need to pee every four to six hours.
Anything less than that may put your loving pet at risk of urinary tract infections and bladder issues in the long run. Plus, it can be uncomfortable for them, too. They also might not be able to hold it and have “accidents” in the house.
Dogs differ from each other in many ways. Their urinary frequency varies too, and so as their required trips outside. To know the number of times, you’ll need to consider your dog’s age, breed, water intake, medical conditions, and activities done during the day. If your dog is taking medications, this can also be a factor as well as if your dog has been potty-trained.
There can also be other reasons for you to take your dog out aside from letting them relieve themselves. Playtime in the yard or at the dog park is an example. Another one is walking your dog for physical activity. These are separate from the regular potty breaks you give to your dog.
Potty Breaks vs. Dog Walk
We’ve mentioned how many times your dog should go out to pee, but that is the least. So, how many times should a dog go out in a day? Well, because we love to give the best to our four-legged family members, we should let them out not only for bathroom breaks but for walks too.
Taking your dog for a walk offers a lot of benefits. Walks give the physical and mental activities your dog needs. Walking your dog allows them to interact with other humans and dogs too. Social interaction helps your dog become more confident and less fearful. Plus, who doesn’t want to smell the fresh breeze or see nature and other activities outside? I bet you’d want to go out often, too.
Dog walks differ from potty breaks. Bathroom breaks tend to be shorter offering less exercise or interaction to your dog. If adhering to a schedule is hard due to work and other reasons, you can always get a professional pet care provider to walk your dog.
Each Dog Has Different Needs
After discussing how many times a dog should go out, let’s tackle the factors affecting the urinary frequency of each dog.
The size of a dog depends on its breed, and so as its bladder. Tiny dogs, like the Yorkie or Chihuahua, have small bladders. They’ll need to relieve themselves more often if they drink a lot of water. Large dogs have larger bladders, so they can hold their pee longer.
Puppies have trouble holding their pee because they are still young. Their bodies are still developing, including their bladders. A two-month-old puppy may need to pee every two hours while a 4-month old may hold it for as long as 4-5 hours. Senior dogs may also have trouble holding their pee, thus requiring more trips outside.
Overweight and obese dogs have a higher urinary frequency than those that are not. A study revealed that too much body fat can put more pressure on a dog’s abdomen decreasing their ability to hold their pee. So, they will need to go out more often to potty.
What goes in must come out. So, the water intake of your dog affects their bathroom habits. Your dog may drink more water after physical activity or when the weather is hot. But, if you notice that they are drinking more water than usual, have them checked. This is to rule out increased thirst due to diabetes.
Diabetic dogs, like humans, feel increased thirst. Drinking more water results in increased urination requiring more potty breaks or causing messes in the house. Cushing’s disease also increases your dog’s thirst. Other kidney-related diseases may affect your dog’s urination and diet.
Some medications also influence the number of potty breaks your dog needs. Oral steroids, and medications for seizures, and heart ailments may cause your dog to drink more water than normal.
Have you been noticing messes in the house? Potty training struggles are common when the environment is new for your dog. It also happens a lot to puppies and newly-adopted dogs. Be consistent in potty training your puppies and don’t forget the reward.
Some dogs are more naturally active than others. The energetic Border Collie enjoys hikes while English Bulldogs prefer to take naps all day. The varied activity level of dogs influences their water intake, thus affecting their potty trips.
Overall Health Condition
Healthy dogs often go out to potty a regular number of times. But, their overall mood may intervene with their routine. Scared or nervous dogs tend to pee more than usual.
What To Do When You Can't Take Your Dog Out
Dogs look forward to bonding moments outside, even the short potty breaks. See those wiggles of excitement as you open the door?
Even if you want to, there are days that it can be a struggle. You might need to stay at work longer or need more time for errands. So, what should you do when you can’t take your dog out?
- Install a dog door to give your dog easy access to the backyard.
- Install a fence in the backyard for security
- Use a portable fence indoors to avoid having messes around the house.
- Put on diapers for your dog.
- Use pee pads or pet potty containers.
- Give your dog a puzzle toy to break his boredom or a Kong to keep him busy.
When the weather is uncooperative for both of you to go for a walk you can opt for indoor games by:
- Teaching your dog new tricks
- Playing fetch using the stairs or hallway
- Playing the classic tug-of-war
- Enjoying a game of hide-and-seek
We all want to give all the love we can to our dogs. So, to keep them healthy, they need to go out regularly. Aside from giving them heartwarming cuddles, it’s vital to understand your dog’s needs to give the best you can to your beloved pooch.