Puppies come into this world the same way that humans do – without bladder control. According to the ASPCA, pups under 12 weeks of age have not developed bladder and bowel control yet. As your puppy learns how to control his natural urges, you can expect to deal with a few “accidents” in the house. Occasionally, your pup’s frequent urination could indicate a medical problem. This is especially true for puppies who develop increased urination after being successfully house-trained. Consult with your vet about any concerns you may have about your pup’s urinating habits.
Polyuria is the production of an excessively large amount of urine. As your pup loses excessive amounts of fluid waste, his body will try to compensate by drinking more water than usual. Polydipsia, or increased thirst, often accompanies polyuria. While neither condition is life-threatening on its own, your vet will need to ensure that these are not symptoms of a more severe underlying condition, such as diabetes, kidney diseases, Cushing’s syndrome and pituitary tumors.
Red blood cells in the urine are caused by hematuria. You may notice a blood red tinge to your pup’s first portion of urine, before it begins to run clear. Blood in the urine could indicate a plethora of medical problems, including diseases of the bladder, kidneys and ureters. Since females have a shorter urethra, they are more susceptible to bacterial infections of the urinary tract. Hematuria could also be caused by a problem in the penis, vagina, urethra, prostate or uterus.
If your puppy’s frequent urination is accompanied by pain or discomfort, he may have dysuria. Signs of dysuria include crying while urinating, straining, licking at the vagina or penis, dribbling or urinating small amounts at a time. Your pup may also pass blood clots, bloody urine or mucus. If your puppy is in obvious distress, a trip to the vet can provide a prompt diagnosis. In most cases, painful urination is caused by a disorder of the prostate, urethra or bladder.
Puppies with urinary incontinence have lost the ability to control their bladder. Incontinent pups may urinate frequently and have little control while starting and stopping. Pups may also uncontrollably urinate when stressed, fearful or excited. Often, your puppy will not realize he is voiding. He may wet his bed, urinate or dribble on the floor while standing, or urinate while sitting. If you suspect loss of bladder control, consult with your vet about the best treatment options.