How Often Do Dogs Urinate & Have Bowel Movements?

Bring along a plastic bag to clean up dog poop in public places.
i scoop the poop image by Joyce Wilkes from

Going potty on a regular schedule is one indicator of good overall health. It is nature's way of eliminating toxicity and waste from the body. If your pup isn't going pee and leaving poop deposits with some regularity, it's worth investigating why to determine if there is an underlying problem.


No matter what their size, all dogs should need to go pee at least every 8 to 12 hours, according to the American Animal Hospital. That equates to at least two to three times per day. Smaller breed dogs with smaller-sized bladders, younger dogs still learning to control their urinary urges and older dogs experiencing incontinence often relieve themselves many more times per day. According to the Cesar's Way website that specializes in helping humans better understand canine behavior, a healthy dog produces 10 to 20 milliliters of urine each day per each pound of body weight.

Going Too Often

According to the PetMD, it isn't unusual for large breed dogs and older dogs to have bladder control challenges. This is especially true for dogs that are overweight. In veterinary terms, it is called urinary incontinence. In particular terms, it means the dog has lost the ability to control when it will pee. Dogs with this condition are more prone to urinary tract infections.

Eat First, Poop Second

According to the American Animal Hospital, it is normal for a canine to defecate within a short period of time after eating a meal. Going No. 2 should happen at least once each day to keep a dog on a healthy potty schedule. Some dogs will poop more than once per day. This is dependent on the type of food they are served. Foods with a high fiber content pass through the digestive system more quickly, thus resulting in more pit stops.

Doggie Constipation

There's nothing sadder to watch then seeing a dog straining to go poop. According to the Pet Place, constipation is relatively common in dogs with varied symptomatic signs not necessarily immediately revealing that feces has been retained for days. That's why regular monitoring of your dog's bathroom behavior should be part of daily care. A dog cannot "tell" you that he is straining to go poop. By the time the lack of action becomes visually obvious, the dog is often hunched over in a prolonged and painful posture.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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