How Often Are Dogs Supposed to Go Potty?

by Melodie Anne Coffman Google
    "I really had to go when we were inside, but now I don't need to go."

    "I really had to go when we were inside, but now I don't need to go."

    Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    You catch Buster piddling in the corner, so you grab the leash and hurry to scramble to get him outside. Sadly, by the time you get him out, his bladder is already empty and he just gives you a blank stare. Every dog has a different potty schedule, but you can help set his potty times for him. He'll let you know when it's time to go.

    How Often?

    Potty frequency depends on so many things. How old is he? What type of dog is he? When did he eat last? Adult potty-trained dogs should be let out to relieve themselves at least four times per day, suggests the ASPCA. Usually this is roughly first thing in the morning, once on your lunch break, as soon as you get home from work and once more before bed -- at the bare minimum. Puppies may have to go out as often as once an hour during potty training. Small teacup-size dogs may also have to go more often, since their tiny bladders can't hold much waste.

    Input Equals Output

    Dogs who eat and drink all day also go potty all day. If you keep track of what goes in his mouth and when it eats or drinks, you'll be able to figure out when it's potty time.
    Put your pooch on a feeding and watering schedule. He'll have to go potty about half an hour after he eats and drinks. Put his breakfast down, give him about 20 minutes to dine and drink water, pick up his bowls and go get ready for work. Keep an eye on the clock and after around 25 or 30 minutes, put him on his leash and take him out to relieve himself. If he doesn't quite have to go yet, you might have to go back inside and watch for him signal for when he gets the urge.

    Behavioral Cues

    Canines are good about letting you know exactly what they want. Watch for behavioral cues that let you know when potty time comes. He'll stand by the door, paw at his leash or sniff around in a circle. He might even stare at you and bark for what you think is no reason. When you catch him doing these things, it's that time. Let him out as soon as possible before he has an accident on your rug.

    Health Concerns

    If Buster seems to be peeing all the time, he might have a urinary tract infection that requires immediate attention. While it might sound unpleasant, monitor his droppings as well. If his stools are watery, something in his diet is making him sick. On the other hand if he doesn't have a bowel movement for several days, he's constipated and could have a blockage in his intestinal tract. Take him in for a checkup and let your veterinarian know about the peculiar behaviors.

    Photo Credits

    • Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Melodie Anne Coffman has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.

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