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Why Does My Dog Want to Go Outside Every 5 Minutes? 4 Common Reasons

Written by: Rachel Giordano

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

boston terrier dog standing infront of glass door

Why Does My Dog Want to Go Outside Every 5 Minutes? 4 Common Reasons

Dogs can be goofballs and provide us with daily entertainment. Most dogs love to have something to do to avoid boredom, such as playing with toys or engaging in a game of fetch, and if a dog gets bored, destructive behaviors may arise. Dogs are also curious creatures that love to investigate the world around them because that’s just what dogs do! But why would your dog want to go out every few minutes? Should you be concerned?

Many reasons could be the cause of your dog wanting to go out often, and in this post, we’ll list possible reasons why your dog is engaging in this peculiar behavior.


The 4 Common Reasons Why Your Dog Wants to Go Outside Every 5 Minutes

1. A Possible Medical Issue

The first possibility you’ll want to rule out is if there is a medical problem present. A urinary tract infection (UTI) could be the reason for the behavior. A UTI can make your dog feel the urge to urinate often, so much so that it could be every 5 minutes. When you let your dog out, observe if it is urinating every time it goes out and how much urine comes out. If just a little comes out each time, a UTI is likely the culprit and needs addressing by your veterinarian. While non-life threatening, a UTI will make your dog very uncomfortable, and prompt treatment is recommended.

If your dog moves its bowels each time, and the consistency is more diarrhea-like, a trip to the vet is in order.

What Does a UTI Look Like in Dogs? 

Your dog may strain to urinate or even cry or whine while in the process. Sometimes, blood may be in the urine, or the urine may come out in little drops rather than a full stream. The urine may have a strong odor, and your dog may lick their genitals. Observe your dog while it urinates to see if any signs of a UTI are present. If so, take them to the vet for prompt treatment. 

2. Your Dog Is Bored/It’s a Game

Dogs can get bored rather easily, especially depending on the breed. If you don’t give your dog enough physical and mental stimulation, you’ll have one bored dog on your hands. If your dog is bored, they may want out frequently to quell the boredom. Going outside every 5 minutes could become a game to them because it’s getting a reaction out of you.

If you feel this is the case, try exercising your pooch to get them tired. Throw the ball around in the backyard or engage in a puzzle game to exercise their mind—if your dog wants out every 5 minutes, exercising them will likely diminish this behavior.

Happy Dog Running Through Backyard with Ball
Image By: Emily on Time, Shutterstock

3. A Critter Is Outside

Dogs are predatory by nature, and if you constantly have birds, squirrels, or other critters in your yard, odds are your dog will want outside to chase them—this is especially true if you have a dog belonging to the sporting group, such as a Labrador Retriever. Herding dogs, such as the Border Collie, may also have an impulsive interest in chasing critters in an attempt to herd them.

Stray or feral cats roaming around may also entice your dog to have the desire to go outside constantly. Even if the animal is no longer present, the scent is, which will not leave your dog’s mind that quickly. The result? Your dog will want to go outside frequently to smell and investigate.

4. Your Dog Is Going Through an Adjustment Period

This scenario pertains to adding a new dog into your home, especially from a shelter. It takes time for shelter dogs to acclimate to their new surroundings, as everything is brand new to them regarding your home. Your dog could feel intimidated by all the new sounds, smells, and sights of your home and would rather be outside to avoid them.

Another scenario is your dog is looking for their previous owner. Some dogs form strong bonds with their owners, and if you have adopted a surrendered dog from a shelter due to health reasons or even the previous owner’s death, your dog may want outside to look for them.

Sometimes, you never know the history of an adopted dog, and the dog may have had a doggie door in their former home, allowing them to go outside anytime. If you don’t have a doggie door, your dog may simply be alerting you that they want out since they can’t do it on their own in your home.

shy basset hound poking head out of its dog door
Image Credit: Dmussman, Shutterstock

divider-dog paw

How to Stop the Behavior

The first and most important step is to rule out a medical issue discussed above, such as a UTI or upset tummy. If these reasons are not causing your dog to want out every 5 minutes, then it’s time to assess the situation accordingly.

Try a Distraction  

If you feel the reason for your dog’s frequent desire to go outside is due to hearing a cat or other animal, such as another dog, try a distraction, such as turning on the TV, playing music, or playing white noise. In addition to playing sounds, close the curtain or blinds so your dog cannot see them.

jack russell terrier dog playing on treat dispensing toy
Image Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock

Exercise Your Dog

As we’ve discussed, dogs require both physical and mental stimulation to keep from getting bored, which could be the reason for your dog’s constant desire to be outside. Grab your dog’s favorite toy and start up a game of fetch (weather permitting). If it’s raining, too cold, or too hot, play a game indoors—mental stimulation games and puzzles are excellent for this purpose and will tire your dog out.


Final Thoughts

Dogs are curious by nature and will need to investigate the world around them. Being outside stimulates tons of senses for dogs, and this could be the reason for your dog wanting outside every 5 minutes. Remember to rule out a medical issue first, and if no medical problem is present, exercise your dog to tire them out, both mentally and physically. You can also block your dog’s view of critters and other animals by closing the curtains or blinds.

Featured Image Credit By: Christine Bird, Shutterstock

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