Why does my dog pee so much? I’ve asked that many times about the senior dogs I’ve had and the answer was always kidneys or diabetes, and most recently hormones.
There are many causes that can explain this, so let’s look at what they are.
An increase in exercise
More exercise = more water = more peeing. If your dog has recently started exercising more or for longer periods of time, it stands to reason he will be thirstier, drink more water and of course have to pee more.
You may have moved to a warmer climate, are on vacation with your dog somewhere hotter than he’s used to, or as he ages doesn’t handle the heat as well. All of these factors will lead to greater thirst, increased water consumption and peeing more often.
Change in diet
Have you recently made some changes to your dog’s diet? Perhaps you’ve changed his brand of dry dog food, or started feeding him a dry diet. Or the opposite – he’s eating more/different canned food, or you’ve added some fruits or vegetables to his current diet which contain quite a bit of water.
If the urine is particularly pale it’s likely your dog is not concentrating it, due to a hormone issue. Red has this problem which is being very well managed with a human hormone product called Desmopressin.
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection not only causes an urgent need to pee, but an increase in thirst as well. Red has had a couple of UTIs which my vet believes were a result of her “picking something up” because of how low she crouches to pee. I now use doggie wipes afterwards.
Similar symptoms to a UTI
Medications to remove excess fluid from the body
Read this ⇒ Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs
Read this ⇒ Liver Disease in Older Dogs
Yes there’s a reason your dog is peeing more, but it could simply be an infection easily cleared up with antibiotics or a natural remedy if you see a holistic vet.
Make an appointment with your vet
The only way to find out what’s causing all that peeing is to make an appointment to have your dog checked. There are some things you can do ahead of time, to make your appointment more productive and really help your vet.
Depending on the reason for my visit I find it helpful to make notes so I’m fully prepared and don’t forget anything. A couple of times I’ve taken a video because my concern was behavioural, which is easier to “see” than describe.
I write down things like:
- What I’m specifically worried about
- When I first start noticing it
- If there is a certain time of day or night it’s happening
- Any changes in eating or drinking
- Other behaviour changes I’ve noticed
Bring a urine sample
Your vet is going to want a urine sample, so it’s quicker and easier if you bring one with you. Collect the sample no later than 2 hours before your appointment, catch it mid-stream and do not refrigerate.
No one but your vet can give you the answer, and not until he has conducted the tests he feels are necessary to yield a diagnosis. It may be an antibiotic, medication, change in diet, insulin…
If he feels your dog is dehydrated as a result of all that peeing, he may keep him at the practice for a few minutes or hours on fluids. A rehydration support may also be recommended to add to your dog’s water bowl.
You can easily test for dehydration at home by, gently, grabbing a bit of fur from the back of your dog’s neck than letting go. If it springs back into place quickly he’s fine, if it takes a bit of time he’s dehydrated.
Dehydration can be deadly in dogs so if you notice his fur is a bit slow to flatten out, call your vet and see him right away.
What not to do
I’m not wild about my dog peeing on my carpet, but what can I do? She’s 16 and has some health issues. She needs me to be kind and compassionate and to help her. Please do not yell at your dog or heaven forbid dump him in a shelter. There are plenty of things you can do to help control the situation.
You’ve identified a concern, you’ve made an appointment, took some notes and now you’re waiting. There’s nothing else we can talk about in terms of your dog, but we can discuss some housekeeping issues I imagine have made you a little INSERT YOUR CHOSEN WORD HERE!
When your dog is peeing a lot, it seems like you can never take him out enough, and you walk into the room and see a pee stain on the carpet. Yes I know how you feel!
How to save your carpet
Pee pads have been an absolute life saver, or should I say carpet saver, for me and I keep a supply on hand. I wish I had thought of buying stock in the company years ago!
The urge to pee can be so strong they won’t always have time to let you know they need to go out, so pee pads are a big help.
Put a couple down near your dog’s bed, and/or a corner of a room and show him where they are. There are lots of videos on YouTube that can help you if he needs some guidance.
Red is blind so one or two won’t help, since she can’t tell the difference between the carpet and the pee pad. In her case I block off an area for her to stay in when I’m out, and cover it in pee pads. At night I line the hallway with them in case she has to pee in the middle of the night (which almost never happens), or gets up before I do (which sometimes happens).
How to clean your carpet
A good enzymatic carpet cleaner will not only get rid of the stain but the odour as well.
The first thing to do when you notice a stain is blot it with paper towels or a rag, absorbing as much of it as possible. My trick – I put the paper towel over the stain than stand on it wearing a heavy duty shoe, which works much better than simply pressing down with your hand.
Then use your spray, following the directions since each one is different.
I use Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover which comes with an attached brush.
Make your own carpet cleaner
After blotting the stain as mentioned above, soak the area with undiluted white vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes than blot dry.
After blotting sprinkle with baking soda, let it sit for a few hours than vacuum.
After blotting mix one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water, pour over stain, let sit 5-10 minutes then blot dry.
Protect your furniture
When I first brought home a rescued puppy mill dog, I expected she would pee on the floor but on my beautiful expensive couch? Luckily my husband was able to clean it well and then I sprang into action. All the seat cushions were covered in garbage bags, pee pads on top of that, then easy to wash blankets and throws on top. Nothing wrong with wanting your furniture to look nice, but now it was well protected.
Anything else need saving?
Why does my dog pee so much – conclusion
I talk a lot about the importance of keeping an eye on your dog’s behaviour, particularly if you have a senior dog. Any changes in behaviour, no matter how slight they may seem to you, are always worth investigating. Some older dogs, especially if they already have health issues, can go downhill quite quickly so a “wait and see” attitude is never a good idea.
I urge you not to panic and work yourself into a frenzy, although I know it can be difficult. I have too often feared the worst and Red is still with me, so all that panic accomplished was to raise my stress levels.
Please be patient with your old dog, it’s not his fault this is happening and please don’t surrender him because you have some extra cleaning up to do.
Have you noticed your dog peeing more often? What was the diagnosis and how have you been treating it? Sharing helps others so leave your comment below, or on my Facebook page.
I would like to invite you to join Senior Dog Care Club, a new Facebook group for senior dog parents. There you will find lots of helpful tips and advice, a place to ask questions and share experiences. I look forward to welcoming you.
There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you buy something through a link I will make a few pennies. That money goes towards caring for rescued animals.