Why Is My Dog Peeing So Much, Should I Worry?

Most dogs urinate every four to six hours, while puppies and senior dogs tend to go more frequently. So, is your dog peeing a lot and is it a cause for concern?

Two dogs peeing outside.
Teaching your dog a cue for when it is (and isn't) okay to stop and pee can make your walks go more smoothly. Photography by Heinz Teh / Shutterstock.

My dog, Baby, is a healthy and happy Bluetick Coonhound mix. Our daily walks in the forest are constantly interrupted by various calls of nature. Baby is a scenthound, so she has an instinctive need to smell every tree trunk, pile of deer droppings and disturbed patch of pine straw in the forest. When that isn’t halting our progress, it’s her habit of peeing a lot. Between drinks of water before we leave the house and when we reach the turnaround point, she might pee five or six times! Is her bladder the size of a tanker truck? Is my dog peeing a lot and should I be worried?

I know I’m not the only pet parent who’s wondered, “Is my dog peeing a lot?” The technical term for a dog peeing a lot is “polyuria;” it’s not a disease itself, but rather a descriptive catchall that means “peeing a lot” or “urinating excessively.” There are many factors and conditions that can affect how often dogs relieve themselves. The possible causes for a dog peeing a lot range from the completely benign to health issues that require veterinary consultation. These reasons for a dog peeing a lot include:

  1. Age and aging
  2. Seasonal weather changes
  3. Marking
  4. Spay incontinence
  5. Urinary tract infection
  6. Diabetes
A pug peeing on a brick wall.
Age may cause frequent urination in dogs. Photography ©Artnature/Thinkstock.

1. A dog peeing a lot may be caused by age and aging

Is your dog peeing a lot? How old is he? A dog’s age has a definite impact on the number of times he’ll need to urinate. Whether they’ve just brought a new puppy home or are witnessing the early signs of a dog reaching seniority, first-time dog owners might be alarmed at how prolific or productive their dogs’ bladders are. Every dog is different, but on average, a healthy dog urinates once every four to six hours.

Until they are about 5 or 6 months old, puppies tend to urinate twice as often, every two hours or so. Part of that is lack of bladder control, which they master with maturity, house-training and force of habit. Polyuria can return naturally as part of the aging process or as a side effect if they are on certain medications.

2. A dog peeing a lot might signal overheating or increased thirst

If a dog spends more time outside during the warmer months of the year, he’ll need more water. Since dogs don’t sweat the way that we do, they regulate their body temperature by increased panting, which uses more of their body’s water stores. Dogs who go inside and outside often may drink more while they’re in the heat, but returning to a climate-controlled space means they’re not losing that extra drinking water to panting. This brings about a cycle where lapping up more water can make for a dog peeing a lot.

3. Marking may be a culprit for a dog peeing a lot

Dogs don’t use stickers or magic markers, so a dog peeing a lot is a common way for him to assert a claim to spaces he considers his territory. This practice, called territorial, or urine marking, is the primary reason my own dog pees so often when we’re out walking. How can we tell the difference between a dog just relieving himself and marking? Normal urination happens as a long and sustained stream.

Urine marking, on the other hand, occurs in short bursts, and may only be a few drops at a time. The practice makes little difference out in nature, but can be problematic if it’s happening in the house. One way of curtailing dog marking indoors is to have a dog spayed or neutered at the earliest opportunity. Dog owners who have recently adopted a second dog may find themselves in the crosshairs of a temporary urine-marking contest as the two dogs adjust to sharing a common space.

4. Spay incontinence may cause a dog to pee a lot

Interestingly, while getting a dog fixed can limit his drive to mark territory, the procedure can also lead to cases of incontinence, especially in female dogs. In this context, the reason behind a dog peeing a lot is because she lacks bladder control. There is a distinct difference between a dog peeing a lot because she has to or needs to, and one that urinates involuntarily.

Related: How to Deal With Your Dog Peeing in the House

Does this mean dog owners should think twice about getting their dogs spayed? No! According to Dr. Peter Dobias, the link is not to the surgery, but to how the dog’s back is stretched during the procedure. Indeed, Dr. Dobias says that back injuries to dogs may be a primary reason for loss of bladder control, especially as dogs age.

5. A urinary tract infection (UTI) could be the reason behind a dog peeing a lot

Urinary tract infection, or UTI, in dogs, is a common and treatable reason for a dog peeing a lot. Like incontinence, urinary tract infections affect older female dogs at a much higher rate than male dogs of any age group. As with many serious medical conditions, though, a dog peeing a lot is not the only, nor the most alarming, symptom a pet parent will notice. What is more likely to catch their attention is hazy or blood urine, a dog who squats for an extended period of time before starting to pee, or one who is whining as they urinate. The biggest culprit is bacteria in a dog’s urethra, which can be resolved with a course of antibiotics.

6. A dog peeing a lot might signal diabetes

Diabetes, specifically diabetes mellitus, in dogs, can also be signaled by a dog peeing a lot. In dogs, this form of diabetes arises when the digestive system cannot effectively convert food into usable energy. Similar to UTI, there are a host of additional symptoms beyond frequent urination. As the disease advances, the symptoms begin to create a feedback loop revolving around consumption and excretion.

Low blood sugar means the dog has less energy and feels the need to eat more. In order to void all the additional food sugars they are consuming, the dog will have to drink more water and pee accordingly. Canine diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed through a regimen of diet, exercise and medication.

Does your dog pee when meeting people? Here’s what might be at play >>

The bottom line: Familiarize yourself with your dog’s peeing habits!

By itself, a dog peeing a lot should not be a cause for immediate concern. It may seem like strange advice, but watching your dog pee at every opportunity can be a boon to your dog’s health, especially as he grows older. Familiarize yourself with how, when, where and the number of times your dog urinates. It doesn’t take much practice or observation for a dog owner to learn to differentiate between peeing, marking and involuntary leaking. Make note of dramatic changes in the color of a dog’s pee, as well as any other changes in the dog’s energy level and eating habits.

Top photograph: Photography by Heinz Teh / Shutterstock.

63 thoughts on “Why Is My Dog Peeing So Much, Should I Worry?”

  1. My family and I were gone last night, we left around 10am and I came home by myself around 2pm today, and my two dogs were home alone with just the cats. The bigger dog was outside and the smaller dog was in the house in his crate because he isn’t used to being outside yet (he’s probably around a year old and we’ve had him since January.) When I got home, I noticed that he had ripped up his potty pads. After I had set my all my stuff down, put a new potty pad in the small dogs crate, and let the big dog back inside, the smaller dog and I hung out for just over two hours before I had to get ready for work. I left for work around 5pm and I got home at like 11:30pm. When I walked inside he had ripped up the second potty pad. Then I took him to the bathroom with me so he wasn’t alone anymore, and he peed 3 times. Then we were in the kitchen for a bit and then I brought him to the bedroom, set him down on the bed so I could get settled in, and then he peed on the comforter So I put him in his smaller kennel in the bedroom. A while later, he peed on his bed in his kennel so I put him in the bathroom while I put a potty pad in his smaller kennel. This took less than 5 minutes. When I went into the bathroom to get him, he had peed again. By this time, it was like 12:55am. Why is he peeing so much? Is he having separation anxiety, did he not pee the whole time I was gone? Or does he have a bladder infection or something?

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  15. My dog is a Male Maltese and he is about 10 years old. After we trained him not to go in the house he has been fine with walks. After we got a cat and he started peeing in the house but we have had that cat for almost 1 year and a half and he still constantly pees in the house even though we walk him 2 times a day

    1. Hi there,
      So sorry to hear you’re going through this! Please see a vet / trainer / behaviorist to get some individualized insight into this matter. These articles might provide some good insight, too:

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  18. Well, last night, she crawled up into bed with me again and cuddled. I rolled over and went to sleep and when I woke up in the morning I was surprised to see her still in bed. I woke up, took her downstairs and let her outside to pee.

  19. So tiny backstory. I lived with my bestie forever [at least to my dog his whole life 5years] until last year. Moved up north then due to pregnancy complications back down 3 months later. After spending all resources had to wait until some money built and finally got a place. So my dog [chihuahua] is potty trained this whole time just recently started peeing in the house. Its almost as though he can’t wait but i can’t tell if this is behavioral??? He has always drank a lot of water [not sure if more now but i mean a lot of water] and ive started taking him out 2x as much….cant tell if its stress from moves/baby coming [I’m 9 months pregnant] or a legit problem…any ideas?

    1. Hi there,
      Congrats on your coming-soon addition! We suggest asking your vet about this problem.
      Here are some articles that might provide some insight, too:

  20. My 9 yr. old poodle just started peeing om our bathroom floor at least three times a night! She has been potty train since she was 1 yr. old. She started peeing and she drinks soo much water all of a sudden. What can I do????????

    1. Hi there,
      So sorry to hear you’re experiencing this. Please ask a vet for the best insight. These articles might help provide some insight as well:

  21. My dog is a boxer and almost 11 he has to constantly pee and he is drinking a lot even though we let him out all the time. A couple of hours ago he peed in the hallway and all over the kitchen and we let him out before going to bed. He is an inside dog and I just don´t know what to do. Can you help me?

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out. Sorry to hear you’re experiencing this! Please contact your vet for the best advice.

      These articles might provide some insight, too:

  22. My 17 year old ToyPoodle has started peeing in the house, he doesnt even try to go out his doggie door anymore. He is peeing in the house 5-7 times within 15 minutes, the puddles range in size from about a silver dollar to a 15-16 oz steak!!! AND he only weighs 10 lbs. It seems like he has had some mini strokes or has Dementia and doesnt even know where he is somedays, and on those days I think maybe its time to make a decision . . . and then the next day he seems to be OK, other than being Blind and Deaf. ANYBODY have any suggestions?

    1. Hi there Pam,

      Thanks for commenting! We suggest taking your dog to the vet to be examined in order to make sure it isn’t an underlying medical issue.

  23. My 10 month old Labrador Retriever is being a lot, inside and out. She can’t seem to help it. She was sayed a few months ago. If her being spayed has caused this, is there anything that be done to help her????? Thanks.

  24. My 3.5 yr old female rottweiler is peeing normally BUT the last few seconds of her stream has blood in it. Should I be concerned?

    1. Hi there Mitchell,

      Thanks for reaching out! We suggest taking your dog to the vet to make sure there isn’t a problem. We hope your dog feels better!

  25. My boxer is 3.5. I recently moved states about a month ago and around that time, she started peeing more. I still take her out the same amount of times per day, she hasn’t had any accidents in the house & she doesn’t seem to ever be in pain. The only concern is that she started peeing multiple times when we would go out sometimes, specially if we go on a walk or something. She’ll pee then 10 min later pee again, but it’s hdually only about 2-3 seconds of pee the second time around. Should I be concerned?

  26. Hello! My dog just recently started peeing HUGE amount of pee in the house. He is potty trained so it is very weird to not let us know before. He is peeing huge amounts every hour. Even after he pees outside. He doesn’t cry while peeing, and there’s no blood. Could you help me? Is he just doing it for attention? I just recently started a new job with new hours so I’m not home as often. But when I say huge amount, it’s HUGE AMOUNTS. It’s like he is peeing out a pond

  27. Sadly, it wasn’t until we saw blood in our dog’s urine that we discovered his frequent peeing was due to bladder cancer.

  28. Another possibility is “water diabetes”- Diabetes insipidus . Our yellow lab mix was diagnosed with this, and he now is on a strict medical regimen(desmopressin) to control it. We noticed that he was frantic about drinking lots of water, and equally frantic about being able to go outside to pee. Large volumes. Once we discussed with our vet, and after testing, this was the diagnosis. He has been on this regimen for the last 5 years, and his water intake and urinating is much closer to normal, and he does not get frantic about either.

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  31. We just got a French Bulldog puppy and he is about 6 months old he is peeing like crazy sometimes 5 times in the matter of 10 minutes it’s not all the time and usually he holds it when he is in his cage for a couple hours we dont know if this is something that should worry about

  32. My dog over the last 7 or 8 months has started peeing alot she is 9.5 years old black lab. She can hold her bladder for long periods but when I let her out she pees every 45 seconds I have seen her squat 15-20 times in just a 30 minutes trip outside. She has had blood tests, x Ray’s, unltra sounds, urine tests, and been put on many medications to try and fix it but nothing seems to work and the vet is stumped any ideas?

    1. Hi Dustin —
      Maybe this is the issue? https://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/ask-a-vet-why-is-my-dog-wetting-the-bed

  33. Our 5 year old Great Dane has begun peeing a lot more than he was 6 months ago. He has to be let out to pee at least 10 times a day and if we don’t let him out quick enough he pees in the house. Is it just his age or should we get him in to see the vet asap?

    1. Hi Denise,
      Definitely take your dog to see a vet! These articles on peeing might help provide some insight, too:

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    1. Hi there,
      Here’s more info on dog urination, but we suggest contacting a vet about this particular issue:

  35. My dog Pomerania 1 year old and fix neuter a month ago and I notice he pee a lots why ? Can you explained to me … he very healthy and playful

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