The five most common reasons for frequent urination in the dog

The five most common reasons for frequent urination in the dog

Health & Safety

Exactly how much or how often any given dog should need to pee is something of a “how long is a piece of string?” Question, and can vary hugely for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to, age, breed, size, the weather, water intake, and what they are fed.

However, all dog owners soon get to learn about their dog’s usual toileting routine, and when they have fallen into a routine, when the dog needs to be let out to go to the toilet is usually easy to judge and will tend to occur at around the same times each day. Lifestyle changes, natural aging and various other factors can of course affect this, but most dog owners will soon come to notice if their dog appears to be needing to urinate more often than normal, and if there is not an obvious lifestyle trigger behind this, it can be cause for concern.

In this article, we will look at the five most common reasons for the need to frequently urinate in the dog. Read on to learn more.

Cystitis or infections

Canine cystitis, which is an infection of the bladder and urinary tract, is a reasonably common problem among dogs, and is the most common reason overall for the need for frequent urination, particularly in female dogs. The infection irritates and inflames the lining of the bladder, making it hard for the dog to hold it in, and causing the dog to ask to go out more often than normal.

While male dogs can potentially develop cystitis and urinary tract infections too, this is less common, due to the length of the male urethra, which makes it hard for bacteria-causing infections to enter the bladder in the same way as can occur with females.

Bladder crystals and stones

Dogs can potentially develop problems such as bladder crystals and stones, much as people can, and this problem is actually more common among dogs than you might think. Crystals and stones often have sharp or rough edges, which can irritate the bladder and urinary tract, again, leading to a greater need to urinate frequently.

Stones can range from the size of a grain of salt to the size of a pea or even larger, and can potentially block the ureter entirely, necessitating surgical removal. If your dog is suspected to have bladder stones, you will need to take them along to the vet for a diagnosis as soon as possible.


Canine diabetes is a problem that is actually on the rise, and can be found in the form of type one diabetes, or type two. Regardless of the type of diabetes, the main symptoms of the condition are rapid weight loss, drinking lots of water, and a frequent need to urinate.

High blood sugar levels encourage the dog to drink more water than normal, in order to flush the excess glucose out of the system, hence the need to urinate frequently. Canine diabetes is a serious condition that will require monitoring and treatment, and so it is important never to ignore these signs.

Cushing’s disease

Cushing’s disease or hypercorticism is a condition that is caused by an overproduction of the body’s natural corticosteroids, and is a condition that is most common in mature and elderly dogs. This means that the condition is often confused with the normal symptoms of advancing old age, but the condition can be treated, and so it is a mistake to simply ignore or write such symptoms off.

A great thirst, increased urination, loss of fur and weight gain are all symptoms of Cushing’s disease, and so if you suspect that your dog is affected, take them along to the vet for an examination.

Low oestrogen levels

This condition is unique to female dogs that have been spayed, and is most likely to occur within dogs that are spayed at a particularly young age. Oestrogen is an important hormone that is connected to reproduction as well as many other systems, and it is important that the body begins producing appropriate amounts of oestrogen before the spay procedure.

If your bitch is spayed too early, when the oestrogen production has not yet reached the appropriate level, this can affect the muscle tone in various parts of the body, leading to muscle weakness and poor muscle development. This can affect the urinary sphincter particularly, leading to weakness of the muscles and an inability to hold their urine.

This leads to an increased need to urinate, and may also cause urinary incontinence. In older bitches, oestrogen levels naturally decline with age, and so the same problem can occur in old age.

Fortunately, the problem can usually be managed with the supplemental administration of a synthetic oestrogen hormone therapy to help to correct the problem.

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