How Often Do Dogs Go Potty?

If you're first-time pooch parent, you may be wondering how often your buddy will need to potty throughout the day. Keep in mind that the frequency in which he needs to relieve himself depends on his age, how much water he drinks, how much food he eats and his overall health.



If you have a pint-size fur ball on your hands, you'll be making way more trips outside than if you had an older dog. Puppies simply cannot hold it very effectively at such a young age. Once your puppy feels the urge to urinate or defecate, he has anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes before he's going on your carpet, depending on his age. Your puppy needs to go out immediately after eating, when he wakes up and before he goes to bed. Aside from those situations, he can hold it for about his age in months plus one hour, up until about 7 to 8 months.


The more your pup eats and drinks, the more he'll need to use the bathroom. If your pup is running around like a madman, playing games and burning energy, he's going to drink and eat more, so he'll need to use the bathroom more. Poor quality dog food plays a part in this, because your dog needs to eat more of it to get the same nutrients he would get out of a good quality food. Look for meat in the first one to three ingredients, and then make sure he's getting whole grains, such as brown rice and whole cornmeal, as opposed to refined grains, such as white flour and white rice. You can also opt for grain-free foods, which typically contain a higher calorie content thanks to the added protein, meaning your pup needs to eat less.


Leaving the house for a few hours or working a standard eight-hour shift usually won't cause your pup to relieve himself on your floor, providing you take him out before you go. But medical conditions and medications can completely ruin that general rule. Diabetes, kidney disease, bladder infections, kidney infections, bladder stones and a whole slew of other conditions can cause an increased urine output. Parasites, harmful bacteria, gastrointestinal disorders and a large list equal to the reasons for increased urine can cause your pup to defecate more. Illnesses are typically why senior dogs develop incontinence. If you notice your pup relieving himself more often, his urine is dark or smelly or he's having loose or abnormal stool, call your vet.

Warnings and Tips

Don't leave your pup alone for more than eight hours, and always take him out just before you leave. Although he might be able to hold it for longer than eight hours, that's a risk you probably don't want to take. If you think you'll be gone for longer, have a friend or family member come over midway through the day to escort his furry butt outside.

Some canines suffer from separation anxiety, causing them to behave atypically the moment you leave the house. While destruction is one of the most common signs of separation anxiety, your pup may also pee and poop on the floor while you're away. While counter conditioning works for milder cases of separation anxiety, have a chat with your vet or a qualified trainer if Fido's relieving himself on your floor. You may need to employ an involved counter conditioning strategy or give him medicine to alleviate his anxiety.

By Chris Miksen

About the Author
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.