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How Often Do Dogs Need Bathroom Breaks?

66I have the pleasure (and curse - when you work from home, you're always at work!) of working from home, so taking Kitsune out regularly has never really been an issue for us.  When he was a puppy, Kitsune was a huge pain to potty train.  But now that he's older, I don't even remember the last time he's had an accident in the house.  He rarely asks to go outside, unless it's really an emergency, and normally just waits until I take him out to use the bathroom.  How often do you take your dog out for bathroom breaks?

I take Kit out, on average, once every 5 hours during the day.  He goes a bit longer overnights.  I don't like making him wait too long between trips outside.  Holding pee too long can lead to heath issues such as urinary tract infections, bladder, and kidney problems.  Holding poo for extended periods of time can cause constipation, which isn't fun for anyone!

ggggggggHow often do dogs need bathroom breaks?  The answer can depend on a lot of factors, including (but not limited too) your individual dog, his/her age, diet, activity level, and general health.  A general rule for puppies is that you can take their age, in months, and add 1.  That's how many hours they can be expected to be able to hold their bladders for.  So an 8 week (2 month) old puppy can generally go around 3 hours between bathroom breaks.

A general time frame I've seen for adult dogs is anywhere between 4 - 10 hours between bathroom breaks.  I do wonder, though, if the higher estimate is based more on people's work schedules than it is on maintaining pet's comfort.  I'll admit that Kit did go a bit over 10 hours without a bathroom break before, but it was under extenuating circumstances and is not, by any means, a regular occurrence for him.

I understand that not everyone has the luxury of being able to work from home.  People who work long hours can, and do, make awesome dog owners too.  Usually this entails enlisting the help of a dog walker, doggy daycare, family members, neighbors, etc, to ensure their dogs get not only regular bathroom breaks, but attention during the day.

Comment below!  If you have a dog, how often to you take him/her out to use the bathroom?  What do you feel is an acceptable amount of time between bathroom breaks for an adult dog?

  • Great post! I try to get the girls out at least 4-5 times per day. On rainy days we go out 3 times. They literally will not pee in the rain so it's pointless to go out any more than we do.

    • Thanks!

      Kit hates the rain. I usually try to wait it out if we can, but if it goes on for too long I'll bring him out in it. He's never happy about it, but he will pee quickly before running back inside.

  • Our dog, Jake, very rarely asks to go outside. He must have a good bladder, I guess. But I'm home 24/7 too, so I routinely take him outside 3 or 4 times a day. That would roughly translate to first thing in the morning, noon-ish, suppertime, and bedtime. We live in the countryside, so it's also not a problem to leave him outside for awhile if we're going to be gone on errands. Great article. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • My dog is the same way. He very rarely asks to go out, so I have to make sure to take him out on a schedule. I live in the city, so it's not safe to leave Kit out by himself, but we spend a lot of time at our local park together. It gets me out of the house for awhile too! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  • I take my dog out 4 - 5 times on work days. Morning,Lunch and 2 - 3 times after work. On days off, it is a lot more than that, we both like to spend as much time as possible outside.

  • Chrissy

    My dog goes 12 hours at least two to three times a week without an accident during the day. He has since I got him 5 years ago. He is 7. Neutered male 55 lbs.

  • Shelly DiPhillipo

    For the people who say that their dogs never really ask to go out...My dog is same way he does not signal me to use bathroom but I am home all day so he gets many walks only problem is that if he has to go and i have not taken him for a while he just goes in the house...why won't he signal that he needs to go? I've been trying to train with a bell but no go so far. He is a 5 yr. old rescue male 12 lbs. Thanks

  • Diane Johnston

    My dog is 21 lb adult, neutered male. I take him out early morning, lunchtime, late afternoon and bedtime. He rarely has accidents inside, only if he's ill (diarrhea), and he usuall does that by the door - he will stand by the door when he needs to go out.

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