If you’re a pet owner, you know that one of the most important things you have to do is take your dog out for a walk or a bathroom break. But how often do you need to do it? And what’s the best time of day to go? Keep reading for answers to all your questions about dog walks!
How Many Times a Day Do I Have to Take My Dog Out to Pee or Poop?
The answer to this question depends on a few things, such as the size of your dog, their age, diet, how active they are, and whether or not they’re house-trained.
A good rule of thumb is to take your dog out 3 to 5 times each day. It’s not recommended, even for superbly potty-trained dogs, to make them wait longer than 6 to 8 hours for a bathroom break.
Now let’s take a look at the various factors that affect how often you have to take your dog out:
The Age of Your Dog
Puppies under the age of 12 weeks should be taken out every hour or two, as they can’t control their bladders for very long.
From 12 weeks to six months old, puppies should go outside every two or three hours.
After six months, you can start to extend the amount of time between bathroom breaks to three or four hours. Remember to be patient with your pup at this stage. Most dogs don’t have a full-sized bladder until 6 months old, and some take a whole year to develop and stabilize this system.
It’s also important that you take a puppy out within 10 to 20 minutes after feeding them a meal or a good amount of water. This will help your puppy to associate going outside with doing their business.
A dog between 2 and 8 years old should be able to hold it for about six hours.
Senior dogs, those aged eight years or older, will likely need to go out more often. They may have a harder time controlling their bladders and bowels, and may not be able to hold it as long as they used to.
How Much Your Dog Eats and Drinks
If your dog eats a lot, it’ll need to go out more often. The same goes for dogs that drink a lot of water – they’ll likely have to relieve themselves more frequently. Feeding an excessive amount of treats or table scraps to your pup can also increase the need for bathroom breaks, so make sure to provide these items in moderation.
The more active your dog is, the more it’ll need to pee. A couch potato pup may only require one bathroom break per day, while an active dog that goes for walks and plays fetch will need to go out more often. Dogs that are more active may also need the psychological stimulation of the outdoors and ask to go out more frequently.
Dogs that are house-trained don’t have to go out as often as those that aren’t. If your pup knows where they’re supposed to do their business, you can space out their bathroom breaks a bit more. However, you should still take them out at least twice a day, even if they’ve been potty-trained.
The Size of Your Dog
Larger dogs have a harder time holding their bladders, so they’ll need to go out more often than smaller breeds. Make sure that you take your big dog out for regular bathroom breaks throughout the day, especially if it’s young or active.
If your dog is on medication that affects its bladder or bowels, you’ll need to take it out more often. Ask your vet how many times a day you should be taking your pup for a potty break and whether or not their medication is a diuretic or laxative.
The Best Time of Day to Take Your Dog for a Bathroom Break
There’s no one perfect time of day that works for everyone and every dog. However, there are a few times when it’s generally better to go outside:
- First thing in the morning
- After meals or water breaks
- Before bedtime
- Whenever your dog seems to be indicating that it needs to go out
A midday break is a good idea for your dog but can be challenging if no one is home at that time. You may want to consider hiring a dog walker or taking your pup to doggy daycare to give them a chance to relieve themselves in the middle of the day if you can’t make it home during a lunch break.
How Many Times a Day Do I Have to Take My Dog Out for a Walk?
Most dogs need one or two walks a day, but this varies depending on the size and breed of your dog, as well as their age and activity level. A young, active dog will need more walks than an older pup that spends most of its time napping. And a big, lazy dog won’t need as many walks as a small, high-energy dog.
The best way to figure out how many walks your pup needs is to observe them and see when they start to act restless or whine. This is usually a sign that they need to go outside and take a walk.
Benefits of Walking Your Dog
In addition to giving your dog a chance to relieve itself, walks have a number of other benefits for your pup. They’re a great way to get some exercise, socialize with other dogs and people, and explore the world. Walking your dog also provides them with mental stimulation and can help prevent boredom.
You may notice reduced anxiety or aggression in your pup after regular walks, and some dogs even seem to enjoy the process of being walked so much that they’ll start wagging their tail as soon as they see you put on their leash.
Your dog will also benefit physiologically from regular walks. Walking helps to reduce stress hormones, improve circulation, and increase joint flexibility. It can also help to strengthen the bond between you and your pup.
Walking is such an important part of taking care of your dog that many experts recommend walking your dog before you do anything else in the morning, even before you have breakfast yourself.
However, taking time to find a walking schedule that works best for you will be the most sustainable way to make sure that you’re sticking to a routine. If you have a busy schedule, try breaking up your dog’s walks into shorter periods throughout the day or hiring a dog walker to help take some of the burden off of you.
Do I Have to Take My Dog Out Every Day?
Many people worry if they’re not taking their pup out for a walk every day, but the truth is that most dogs don’t need to be walked every day. However, it’s important to provide your dog with this quality time on a regular basis.
Not only do dogs appreciate walks as a way to get exercise, but it’s an important bonding moment for you and your pup. It establishes a routine, shows your dog that you care, and helps to release any tension or anxiety that they may feel.
If you can’t walk your dog every day, try to at least give them ample time in a fenced backyard. You can also purchase toys that simulate physical activity, such as a Kong ball, a ball thrower, or a tug toy.