The first couple of days after bringing a puppy home can pass in magical bliss. You have this wonderfully cute bundle of fur that brings such joy and happiness. But often, after a day or two, certain issues can arise – none more common than pee and poop! If your puppy is peeing a lot, we will look into why and what you can do about it.
It is extremely common for a puppy to have accidents and to pee around the home. It may have been that in his breeder’s house, where he peed did not matter. It will almost definitely be that he is a baby who cannot hold his pee or isn’t aware that he is supposed to.
There are many questions you may ask when you have a puppy for the first time, and some things can come as a huge surprise. Such as, how do puppies sleep so much? At Canine Weekly, we try to make all aspects of dog ownership more straightforward. And this post is about one of the major surprises that come with puppies – the amount of pee!
Most puppies won’t have full bladder control until they reach between four and six months of age, so if you get your puppy at the usual two months, this is a long road. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and with a bit of patience, you will be able to stop your puppy peeing in the house.
How Much is Too Much?
If you feel that your puppy is peeing in the house more than he should be doing, then there may be a medical or psychological reason as to why. An experienced puppy owner should expect frequent accidents, but if you feel they are more than the average, this can be a warning you would be wise not to ignore.
Why is Your Puppy Peeing a Lot?
If your puppy is peeing more than once per hour per month of age, this could mean a urinary tract infection. This can usually be fixed in a short space of time by a veterinarian.
Often medical problems that would require more extensive medical help include:
- Diabetes – Diabetes in dogs can be environmental and due to lifestyle; predominantly diet, or it can be genetic, meaning that puppies are born with it. Some breeds are more prone to diabetes, including Poodles, Bichon Frize, Schnauzers, Beagles, and Pugs.
- Kidney Disease – It can be devastating to receive the news that your puppy has Kidney Disease, but it doesn’t always mean a life-limiting condition. Often, with medications, a specialized diet, and therapies, a dog can maintain a good quality of life.
- Incontinence – A birth defect could mean that your puppy is incontinent, and no amount of training can fix this. A vet may advise for therapies, medication, or even surgery, depending on the severity of the problem.
- Cushing’s Disease – Rare in puppies and young dogs, but not unheard of is a condition called Cushing’s Disease. This can range from mild to fatal and will require life-long medication.
- Cancers – Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers in dogs, with roughly 80,000 dogs being diagnosed in America annually. Like all cancers, this could be remedied efficiently and quickly, or it may be a fatal disease.
These more severe conditions will come with a number of symptoms, as well as excessive peeing, which could include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Grumpiness / Low Mood
- Hard Belly
- Blood in Stools
Frequent peeing could also be due to behavioral reasons, such as simple attention-seeking or possibly anxiety. Again, these problems will likely have one or more additional symptom, which could be:
- Barking / Howling
Are You Doing it Right?
To rip off the band-aid, it may be that you need to look at your training technique. Is it consistent? And, is it realistic? These are the two biggest pitfalls for new dog owners. It can be all too easy to sit back and presume the pup doesn’t need to go outside or to see the weather out and justify not wanting to go and stand in it for some time waiting for a dog to ‘go.’
It can also be that you are simply expecting too much and not being realistic with what a weeks-old puppy can achieve with training. Remember, your puppy is never trying to be naughty, and often the worst thing for a puppy to feel is that his owner is upset with him.
The nutrition we provide to puppies has a head-on impact on almost every aspect of their health and behavior. Wet foods produce more moisture, leading to more pee. Kibble can be more difficult for puppies to chew. Raw food is still in the early stages of scientific research for today’s domestic dogs. Read our guide to the best puppy foods to help with this.
Things Not to Do
Never get angry with your puppy; this will adversely affect any puppy training goal and only make the situation worse. If your dog becomes afraid of you, his response to training will be fear-induced, which is not a healthy way for a dog to be raised. An angry owner should possibly re-evaluate if owning a dog is the right thing for them.
You should never punish a dog because he doesn’t understand what you want him to do. Science is clear, with more studies emerging finding that the average dog is as intelligent as a 2-year old baby. You certainly would not rub a baby’s face in an accident, so please, can we stop doing this to dogs?
Puppies have lots of challenging behavior, especially in the beginning. But every puppy will respond better to positive praise over punishment. I believe there is no such thing as over-praising a puppy for doing the right thing, a pack of puppy toys can be an affordable way to reward good behavior and be a great way to start to build that owner-dog bond.
If you’re reluctant to keep going outside with your puppy, he will pick up on this and be unwilling to go outside too. On the scale of things, we’re talking weeks here for a dog who can give you more than a decade of love and devotion.
Make your outdoor time fun and a positive experience for both of you – so much so that he, at least, will forget this is a chore, and when he is relaxed, so are his muscles – which includes the bladder! You could play fetch, throw a frisbee, or generally lark around and when he goes to the bathroom, out comes the praise and reward.
Play, pee, repeat – hourly in the early days.
Puppy Pads – Should You, or Shouldn’t You?
Often you will find a negative response in the dog world to puppy pads. Some dog experts say that these are unnecessary, expensive gimmicks that send the wrong message to the puppy – ‘peeing inside is fine if you have something soft to do it on.’
Now, I get this. But, there are also times when puppy pads are a necessity. If you have a shared garden, for example, where other – possibly inoculated – dogs frequent, it is essential that your dog does not until fully vaccinated. In this instance, you should ignore those against puppy pads – for the sake of your dog’s health and his life.
It may be that your mobility, the dog’s mobility, or your accommodation makes getting in and outside tricky. If this is the case, I have previously written a guide about indoor dog litter boxes. I have also written about the best types of artificial grass that owners often use as a training tool in place of pads.
But, if you want to try puppy pads for yourself, I recommend odor-eliminating pads to ensure that your home doesn’t start to smell like a doggy toilet! The American Kennel Club has also introduced a range of different scented puppy pads you may want to try.
Crate, Should You or Shouldn’t You?
Crating a puppy while you’re at work is a great way to keep him safe. The home can be full of harmful substances and equipment, such as cleaning products, wires, and electricals. Often people opt to keep a puppy in a crate at night for the same reasons. The Humane Society suggests that puppies under 6-months of age should spend no longer than four hours in a crate.
Crates keep puppies safe, are excellent training tools, and have lots of other positive qualities, too – such as providing a quiet space for a pup to take five from a busy household. If you do decide to use a crate for your puppy, then you should expect some accidents, especially if they’re in there for more than an hour or so.
I would advise lining the crate with an absorbent, washable mat and selecting a small crate water dish to try and reduce the amount of liquid intake. It would be great if you could have a friend or neighbor come in and give the puppy a bathroom break, but if this isn’t feasible, then the puppy will pick up on your behavior when you return – lots of praise and rewards for a dry crate, and totally ignoring an accident.
Anxiety plays a massive role in puppies’ toileting. A fantastic product to try in a crate is a Snuggle Heartbeat Plush Dog Toy; this provides the warmth and sounds reminiscent of an owner of the mamma dog that will soothe the puppy and hopefully reduce his anxiety-related peeing.
What Should You Do Now?
The internet can be a wonderful place to seek information and answers to questions. But, it can also be a very conflicting place to find advice. What one expert suggests, another will slam down. It is always best to look to reputable sources for guidance, such as Canine Weekly!
It may be that your puppy is just not grasping the housebreaking rules and that training should be tweaked, or more patience is needed. I have previously written a guide on potty training a puppy fast, which may help speed up the process.
If you still believe that the amount of pee your puppy is releasing is too much, then seek veterinarian advice. Often a puppy will be eligible for a free health check, where you can discuss any concerns with a veterinarian who could perform diagnostic tests or simply put your mind at ease.
The Humane Society has provided some tips to get more affordable veterinarian care in your area here.