Normal Bathroom Habits for Dogs

How often do dogs need to go to the bathroom. How long does it take a dog to digest its food. How many times a day do dogs need to poop. What is the normal number of times a dog should go poo. How often do dogs need to urinate. How long should my dog be able to hold it? How often do puppies need to go outside to pee?

Many new dog owners wonder how often their dog may need to go to the bathroom. This is a good thing to consider if a person wants to be sure they have enough time to take their dog out when needed, but there is not a simple answer.

Puppies

Puppies have a poor ability to hold it in for long. A rule of thumb is that an owner should not expect a puppy to hold their bladder for more than 1 hour per week of age. As such a 6 week old pup may be expected to hold their bladder for only 6 hours, but an 8 week old pup should be able to hold it 8 hours. Dogs of any age should not be expected to hold it for more than 8 hours. 

Some new puppy owners find that having a dog walker come over to let the puppy outside part way through the day is a good idea.

A Normal Dog's Daily Bathroom Habits

In a normal day the dog will want to urinate first thing in the morning. Then the dog is usually feed breakfast. After which the dog will run around for a bit, often defecating within 30 minutes. This is the food from the day before. Running around stimulates the bowels.

After this the dog may be fine for several hours, if on a premium quality food it may not need to defecate again throughout the day, but will urinate usually within an hour of drinking, urinating more often when it drinks more – noting that drinking a lot and frequent urination can be indicators of health problems such as a bladder infection or diabetes.

As such a dog eating a good food (see below) may only defecate once per day, but will still need at least 3 trips outside to urinate. A dog eating a lower quality food may defecate several times a day.

Amount of Poop Depends on the Food

Better dog food means more digestibility and less waste. As such dogs on better quality diets tend to defecate less frequently than dogs on poor quality diets. Puppies may poop more frequently regardless.

Some of the ingredients that are lower quality, and considered filler, are corn gluten meal, brewers rice, and by-products. When foods use a lot of cheap filler the dog has to eat more food to get more nutrition, and as such it has more food to process, and more waste.

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A Dog's Digestion

Dogs do not chew their food like humans do so digestion does not really get a head start. The stomach acids of the dog are three times stronger than that of a human, this due to the fact that dogs normally eat a greater variety of food than a human (on a natural diet) probably would. Dogs are more likely to eat things such as bones and grass. Their digestive system is relatively quick, with most food being processed, and out, within 10 to 36 hours. Raw foods are digested faster than dry kibble.

Note that because digestion does not start in the dog's mouth – like it does for humans, dogs are more prone to dental problems since there are no active enzymes cleaning the food from their teeth.

Be aware that some items such as pigs ears, or rawhide in particular, may be harder to digest.

Read more on Home Remedies for Constipaton in Pets

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