Frequent Urination in Dogs


In and out and in and out -- you no sooner get busy doing a chore when your dog sits patiently by the door, asking you for yet another potty break. If it's a glorious spring day you may think it's simply an excuse to go outside to enjoy the weather, however, if she's urinating more than normal, it's likely a sign that something's not quite right, requiring a visit to the vet.

Normal Urination

A healthy dog will drink approximately 3 to 4 cups of water per day per 20 pounds of body weight -- if your dog weighs 60 pounds, that's roughly 9 to 12 cups of water. His urine output will be less than what he consumes, ranging between around one-third to two-thirds of an ounce per pound of body weight. Your 60-pound dog will likely produce about 20 to 40 ounces, or 2.5 to 5 cups, of urine.

Excessive Drinking and Peeing

Puppies and small dogs tend to urinate more often than mature or large dogs. However a dog with long-established patterns may change his urination routine. Polyuria refers to an unusually high urine production. It's often associated with polydipsia, an increased level of thirst. Polydipsia encourages polyuria; if a dog increases his water intake -- perhaps because he had an overly strenuous exercise routine or he's developed a medical condition -- he'll need to urinate more frequently.

Causes of Polydipsia and Polyuria

When excessive thirst and urination are partners, there's often a medical cause. Diabetes mellitus, kidney failure, excessive blood calcium, liver disease, pituitary gland abnormalities, low blood potassium, hypothyroidism, Cushing's disease and pyometra, a serious uterine infection, are potential health conditions causing polydipsia and subsequent polyuria. A high-salt diet and medication such as corticosteroids may also affect a dog's drinking and urinating habits.

Seeking Treatment

If your dog's frequent urination has become a new routine, you should consult a vet. Pay attention to his behavior to determine if he exhibits other symptoms. Urine volume, color and odor, as well as weight loss, energy level and changes in appetite are additional indicators that assist in diagnosing what's behind his polyuria. The vet will review any symptoms your dog displays to help with the diagnosis. Blood work, urinalysis and radiographs assist in the diagnosis. If there is a medical cause for your dog's new routine, the vet will determine a treatment plan. If your dog receives a clean bill of health and is simply urinating more frequently, the vet may recommend managing his water intake while monitoring his hydration level.

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