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How Often Does My Dog Need Potty Breaks?

May 31, 2024 0 comments

An important question many new dog owners hesitate to ask: How often should I take my dog out to pee and poop? It's understandable, as dogs can't communicate their needs verbally like humans can. Puppies are often likened to human babies in this regard; they need to learn where and when it's appropriate to relieve themselves. Expect accidents on the floor, couch, and even your favorite blanket as they learn. Taking on a furry companion means taking on the responsibility of teaching them proper habits and household rules. Through this, they'll grasp what's acceptable and what isn't. So, if you're wondering about how often should a dog go out, read on for some guidance.

How Often Should a Dog Go Out

Whether you've got a tiny puppy or a wise old dog, their age and health play a big role in how often they need potty breaks. Puppies and smaller breeds have itty-bitty bladders, so expect more frequent trips outside.  And our senior pals or those with health issues? They need extra TLC too!

  • On average, a healthy dog lets out about 10 to 20 ml of pee per pound of their furry weight every day. 

But don't worry, they don't let it all loose at once! And let's not forget about the classic "marking behaviors" during outdoor adventures. 

Now, onto the other end of things—poop! Dogs usually go once or twice a day, often right after chowing down on a meal. Setting up a routine with bathroom breaks after meals and at regular intervals throughout the day is key. No pupper should hold it for more than eight hours, so plan those potty breaks accordingly.

But what if life gets busy, and you can't always escort your furry friend outside? While it's best to join them, keeping an eye on them from afar still lets you monitor their well-being and behavior. And hey, accidents happen—it's all part of the learning journey. Just stay patient and keep up that positive reinforcement. 

Creating a Potty Training Schedule

Don't let your furry friend's bathroom breaks catch you off guard—take control! Start potty training your pup from day one to set clear expectations. This not only prevents awkward accidents but also establishes a routine that'll make life smoother for both you and your dog down the line. Keep reading to learn just how often do dogs pee and poop.

Day 1: Getting Started with the Routine 

It's day one of potty training, and we're diving right in. Show your furry friend their designated potty spot and introduce them to the routine. Every time you notice those telltale signs—like sniffing or circling—guide them gently to the spot.

For young pups, bathroom breaks are a frequent necessity. After eating, drinking, playing, or waking from a nap, it's time for a trip outside. Aim for hourly outings to prevent accidents and help them associate the spot with relief.

And don't forget the praise!  When your dog nails it and uses the potty spot, shower them with praise or a tasty treat. 

Accidents are bound to happen, but keep your cool. Clean up promptly with an enzymatic cleaner to banish odors.

Day 2: Reinforcing the Routine 

We're sticking to the plan laid out yesterday. Regular trips to the potty spot, after meals, and playtime are essential. By now, your pup should be catching on to where to go. Keep those rewards flowing for successful bathroom breaks!

Accidents may still occur, but stay calm.  Scolding only adds confusion, so focus on reinforcing the right behavior instead.

Day 3: Consistency and Progress 

On day three, we're seeing progress! Keep up with the routine and positive reinforcement. 

Your pup might even start giving signals when they need to go—talk about a breakthrough. Consider adding a bell to the door and teaching them to ring it when nature calls. Gradually extend the time between bathroom breaks to help them learn to hold it longer. If accidents are minimal, start granting them more freedom indoors under your watchful eye.

Stay consistent and patient, even if there are setbacks. Every dog learns at their own pace, so keep at it.


If you Google search "how often should I walk my dog to pee," you'll get tons of results, but luckily, you clicked on the right link and found the best recommendations.

This cheat sheet isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for every pup, but it's a great guide for most.  Remember your furry friend's individual quirks (age, breed, health) to tailor the advice to your specific situation.

  • Little ones: expect outings every hour, adding hours as they grow, one for each month.
  • Seniors: they can usually hold it for 4 to 6 hours between outings.
  • Adult dogs: typically need a break every 6 to 8 hours.

If your pup is crate-trained or you're often away, they might hold it for 10 to 12 hours, but that's the exception, not the rule. 

Wondering how often should I let my dog out to pee? Given that they often mark their favorite spots with light sprays here and there, it's important to keep this in mind and let them do their thing.

Pay attention to your fluffy buddy's signals! With practice, you'll easily distinguish between a desire to play and a genuine need for a walk. Regular walks not only keep your pet comfortable but also minimize messes in your home.

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