Everyone has to go potty. But not every potty area is convenient, especially for a dog. Most owners have to take their dog outside to potty, whether itâ€™s out in the yard or out for walks. Regardless of where, the question is always- when?
The body naturally wants to eliminate waste. But what happens when we donâ€™t let it? What happens when we donâ€™t permit our dog to regularly take care of their physical necessities? Not only is it harmful, but itâ€™s just plain mean not to let your dog potty when they need to. Consider if you had to hold in your bowel movements for a long time. Wouldnâ€™t you feel uncomfortable? Perhaps even in pain?
Every good dog owner understands the importance of letting their dog take care of natureâ€™s call, but itâ€™s just as important to understand why.
Age and size matters
Not all dogâ€™s bodies are designed the same, and every dog has different habits. As for puppies, they should not be forced to hold their potty for any longer than two hours. It goes up an hour after their first birthday. For the most part, three hours is a good schedule of elimination for the average adult dog and eight hours is the maximum hold time. Senior dogs tend to have less bladder control as well, so be sure you address their timely needs.
Do keep in mind that if you have to go, itâ€™s likely your dog has to go too. This is one of the best ways to gauge potty time for your dog because it acts as a regular reminder about whatâ€™s necessary.
Feeding and drinking schedules play a part in potty needs. If they eat, they will need to potty, usually within the hour. Dogs are creatures of habit and will regularly need, or at least want, to go out during specific times of the day.
Physics apply- namely larger dogs have a higher bladder capacity than smaller dogs. Small dogs, therefore, need to be provided potty opportunities more often.
The waiting one
As far as your dog is concerned, they show signs whenever they need to potty. Circling, pawing at the door, coming to get your attention are all signs. A dog relies on their owner to help them fulfill a happy day. Initially, a dog feels the need to urinate when their bladder is half-full. The body senses the swelling of the bladder and informs the dog that itâ€™s ready to be relieved. A dog may start to show signs of needing to go before it is vital that they go. This is to give you adequate time to make arrangements to allow them to relieve themselves.
Remember that if they canâ€™t eliminate in the proper area, they will do so wherever they feel most secure- such as behind furniture. This is mostly because they understand that what theyâ€™ve done isnâ€™t according to the rules, but as far as their body is concerned, they needed to do what is only natural.
Obstruction of potty time
The important thing to know is that when a dog is forced to hold their potty for extended periods, it can cause physical damage to their body.
A dog that canâ€™t potty will often avoid eating or drinking as well, resulting in dehydration and malnutrition. If your dog isnâ€™t eating, it could be because they are sick, but it is often due to constipation. Rawhide bones have a tendency to build up in the intestines, causing blockages. If they canâ€™t potty for long periods, it can result in an impacted colon, requiring laxatives or even surgery to remove and repair the damage.
The bladder is something completely different. A bladder infection, or cystitis, is an inflammation of the bladder due to bacterial or fungal infection. When your dog is forced to hold their urine for extended periods, it gives the urine time to build bacteria. Resulting infections can occur which will only cause your dog to need to potty more frequently until treated properly.
Give them an option if you canâ€™t be there to provide the opportunity. If you spend long hours away from home, consider an indoor litter box so they can potty at their own leisure. This will help keep them from overwhelming their body or even secretly eliminating behind the couch.
Some dogs can hold it in for a long time, but that doesnâ€™t mean that itâ€™s okay for them to. Take care of your dog properly and make sure they stay happy and healthy.
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