While getting a new puppy is an exciting and fun time in anyone’s household, the first few months after you bring the puppy home can be the most difficult. This is the time where you introduce and set up a potty training routine that your puppy can hopefully catch on to quickly.
Your puppy will have a few accidents, but how many times is too much? When does your puppy peeing stop being simple accidents and start being something that you have to be concerned for? When you do ask yourself, “Why does my puppy pee so much?”
We’re going to tell you how to set up a routine to minimize the times your puppy pees on your flooring. We’re also going to talk about medical and behavioral conditions that could cause excessive urination and what you can do about it.
What is Excessive Urination?
You have to understand that excessive urination can vary depending on your dog’s breed, their age, and whether or not this is the first time anyone has tried to housebreak them. For example, an adult dog can comfortably hold their bladders up to eight hours between urination without being uncomfortable while a puppy may only be able to hold it for 30 to 40 minutes at a time.
Older dogs have stronger bladder muscles combined with years of practice to be able to hold their bladders for longer periods. A puppy younger than six months may need to go to the bathroom every one or two hours.
On the other hand, a slightly older puppy can typically wait one hour for each month old they are up to nine months. This means that a five-month-old puppy should be able to hold their bladder up to five hours without an issue.
Excessive urination would be if a slightly older puppy has to go to the bathroom every two or three hours. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian because they can help rule out any medical issues that could cause this frequency.
Behavioral Conditions that can Cause Excessive Urination
There are three big behavioral reasons why your puppy could be going to the bathroom far more frequently than they should have to. Identifying these problems and treating them could reduce the number of accidents that your puppy has when they’re inside. They include:
Did you know that dogs can have anxiety and separation anxiety throughout their lives that can get worse as they age? Common symptoms of having an anxiety problem include things like excessive panting, seeking comfort, destructive behaviors, excessive barking, excessive urination, and even aggressive behavior.
There are several ways that you can reduce your dog’s anxiety levels depending on what type of anxiety they’re suffering from. You can schedule for someone to come and interact with your dog while you’re gone for long periods, use positive reinforcement, try crate training, socialize your dog more, or your veterinarian may prescribe anxiety medications are a last resort.
Your puppy may start to pee in your home if they don’t get enough attention or stimulation throughout the day. They start to pee on the floor because they learn that you pay attention to them when they engage in this unwanted behavior.
While this behavior can be annoying, it’s relatively easy and quick to fix as long as you’re willing to work at it with your puppy. You can get them some engaging chew toys, consider giving them a lot of positive reinforcement when they don’t go in the house, and simply start playing with them more and paying them more attention.
Incomplete or Improper Training
It’s your job as a responsible pet owner to thoroughly train your puppy on what is and what isn’t acceptable in terms of going to the bathroom and other behaviors. Your puppy may not understand that it’s not okay for them to go to the bathroom whenever they want if you don’t complete the training process.
This means that you’ll have to work hard and be very consistent in your puppy’s training schedule from day one. You want to keep going, keep your puppy on schedule, and don’t get frustrated until you’re completely sure that your puppy understands that they have to go to the bathroom outside.
Medical Conditions that can Cause Excessive Urination
Your puppy can have several medical conditions that can cause them to have excessive urination just like people can have. Your veterinarian will be the one to rule out these possible medical conditions. They include:
Diabetes is a common medical condition where either your dog’s body can’t produce the required amount of insulin it needs to stay healthy or your dog’s body starts to become less sensitive to the insulin levels present. Your dog’s blood sugar rises and prompts your dog’s kidneys to get rid of any excess water.
This excess water results in more water present in your puppy’s bladder and frequent trips to the bathroom. This condition can also cause your dog to feel like they’re always thirsty and need to drink constantly as well.
Your dog’s kidneys are responsible for helping their bodies filter out any excess waste. Kidney infections can result in your puppy feeling like they have to go to the bathroom very frequently and right away.
Luckily, kidney infections are easy to treat with one or two rounds of antibiotics from your veterinarian. They often occur at the same time as urinary tract infections, and a simple urine or blood test can determine whether or not your puppy has it.
Certain medications and even antibiotics like steroids, anticonvulsants, and vitamin D can cause both puppies and adult dogs to have the urge to pee more frequently. The good news is that your veterinarian will typically warn you of this possibility in advance.
You can usually find any warnings on the paperwork you get when you get the medications. You should monitor your puppy and see if their excessive urination tapers off once you finish the medications.
Stones – Bladder or Kidney
Bladder or kidney stones can cause excessive urination, urgency, pain with urination, and even blood in the urine. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do once your puppy has kidney or bladder stones but wait for them to pass and check with your veterinarian for pain medications.
You can help to prevent your puppy from developing kidney or bladder stones by feeding them a specialized diet containing lower amounts of protein and magnesium. Your puppy may also require special medications to help alter their urine’s acidity content to help prevent stones in severe cases.
Tumors in your puppy’s spinal cord or brain could cause problems for the nerves and muscles in their bladders. In turn, your puppy could feel the need to suddenly have to go to the bathroom.
Also, a tumor on the pituitary gland can cause your puppy’s hormone levels to fluctuate and for them to feel like they have to pee a lot. This is more rare, and a scan from your vet can rule out any problems with benign tumors.
Urinary Tract Infections
One of the most common causes of frequent or sudden urination in puppies is from a urinary tract or bladder infection. Since bacteria are the cause of these infections, they can come on fairly quickly.
However, urinary tract infections are relatively easy to diagnose and treat. Your veterinarian will take a urine sample to diagnose it and prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacteria and cure the infection.
Tips to Stop and Deal With Excessive Urination
We can now move into ways that you can implement to deal and stop excessive urination with your puppy. You may want to try a few and see which ones work the best for your situation. Our tips include:
We do recommend trying a few other options before you try a belly band, but these are good as a last resort. A belly band is basically a doggy diaper that comes with a pad that soaks their urine up when they go to the bathroom wearing it.
You do want to wash these doggy diapers after every use to help prevent irritation, infections, or odors. Also, your dog should wear these for shorter periods of time instead of all day because their urine can cause stains, chafing, and irritation.
Crate training is something you want to start as soon as you bring your puppy home to get them in a comfortable routine. Basically, you put your puppy in their crate any time that you can’t directly supervise them and monitor whether or not they have to go to the bathroom.
Puppies don’t like to go to the bathroom where they sleep but do want to let them out to go to the bathroom every hour or two when you first start training them. This will help ensure that they are able to go to the bathroom without having unwanted accidents in their crates.
Establish a Routine
Your puppy will not know that they’re not allowed to go to the bathroom in the house. You want to start establishing a potty routine with your puppy from the first day that you bring them home. You want to bring your puppy to the same general area to relieve themselves each time you bring them out.
Even though it seems like all you do is run to take your puppy out to the potty when you first get them, you should notice that it gets less frequent as your puppy gets older. Never get frustrated and take it out on your puppy because this can cause them to get fearful of you and have more accidents.
Focus on Odors
Your puppy is more apt to return to a place and urinate that they’ve already marked because of the odors that sink into the flooring. This is why it’s so important to clean up accidents quickly and thoroughly because the smell can sink into the flooring and be very difficult to remove.
You want to make sure that you really soak up any new urine stains as soon as you notice them. You can also try breaking down the urine with an enzymatic cleaner because this actually breaks down the urine’s structure into smaller pieces and neutralizes any lingering odors.
Longer Bathroom Breaks
Give your puppy a few more minutes to do his or her business when you let them out if you notice them peeing right after you bring them back inside. This few minutes can ensure that they pee more while they’re out and about, and this can lead to a more empty bladder.
This is especially helpful to do if you plan to put your puppy in their crate directly after bringing them in from their potty break. This way, they shouldn’t bother you to go out again for at least an hour or two or pee on the floor because they got the urge to go.
Monitor Water Intake
Your puppy should have access to fresh and clean water all day, but you do still want to monitor it and ensure that they’re drinking enough and not excessively drinking. Ideally, your puppy should drink between one-fourth and one-third of a cup of water per pound.
You can weigh your dog and measure out their water to get a good indication of how much they’re drinking every day. Also, you can ask your veterinarian if you’re concerned that your puppy is drinking too much or too little each day.
Another thing you can do to help prevent overnight accidents is to take their water away around two hours before your puppy goes down for the night. Combine this with taking them out one or two times directly before they go to bed to help reduce the risk of any accidents.
Puppies are a lot like babies in regards to sleeping for seven or eight hours at a time. You want to immediately get your puppy on a good sleep schedule when you bring them home because it’ll be easier to establish a potty routine at the same time.
Make sure that you take your puppy out to go to the bathroom right before bed, wake up and take them out if you notice them whining during the night, and bring them outside as soon as they get up in the morning. This will help them start to train their bladders and get in a routine.
Some dog breeds seem to be more difficult to housebreak than other breeds. Whether this is due to a smaller size or the dog’s nature, certain challenging breeds include:
- Basset Hound
- Bichon Frise
- Jack Russel Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
A lot of puppies get very excited to see you even though you’ve only stepped away for a few minutes. This excitement can trigger excited urination, and your puppy can have difficulty controlling it.
You can help avoid this response by ignoring your puppy for two or three minutes when you first come back into the house or room with them. Once they’ve calmed down, you can greet and pat them as you’d like. You may want to practice this on hard flooring though because your puppy may have accidents.
Submissive urination occurs when your dog feels intimidated by another dog or person. Unfortunately, submissive urination is an involuntary response on your puppy’s part, and it’s not necessarily a housebreaking issue.
It’ll take time and consistency from you to help fix this behavior, and it’s challenging because your dog doesn’t mean to do it. You can start by ignoring this response when your dog does it and work on socializing them more to get them used to different people and different surroundings.
So, why does my puppy pee so much? Now you know several possible medical and behavioral causes of excessive urination. We also went over tips and tricks to deal with this issue, which breeds are more prone to having housebreaking challenges, and other important considerations that you want to keep in mind when you’re housebreaking your new puppy.