If you're a first-time pet owner, you may find yourself wondering just how often your pet is going to need to visit the great outdoors. Is your new puppy sniffing at the door because of a need to pee or simply a desire to play? Is that older dog you adopted from the shelter ready to go out again, or are they just desperate for your attention? Understanding exactly how often your dog should go out to pee can help make you a better pet owner as you take your pet's comfort into consideration.
Every Dog is Unique Just like every person is different--your dad can go for the length of an entire road trip without stopping to pee, while your grandmother requires the entire family to stop at every rest stop, gas station, and fast food restaurant on the highway for a quick "pit stop"--so every dog is different, too. There are several factors that can decrease the amount of time your dog has between trips to the bathroom, including:
Diet, including the amount your dog drinks
It's important to carefully watch your pet's habits. If he or she is squirming uncomfortably after 6 hours at home or in the crate, you should make a habit of letting your pet out every six hours. Know that your dog can make it 10-12 hours without needing to go if you have to be away from home? You can stretch your walk times out a little bit longer, but keep in mind that holding for too long or too frequently can lead to an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and urinary tract infections.
Puppies and younger dogs may need to go out every hour at first. As a puppy gets older, you can add one hour for each month of the puppy's age. Senior dogs can usually manage 4-6 hours between visits outdoors. Adult dogs typically need to go out every 6-8 hours at a minimum. Crate-trained dogs and those whose owners are frequently gone for longer hours may be able to hold for as much as 10-12 hours. This is, however, fairly uncommon and should not be expected of your dog. The better you know your dog, the better you will be at judging how frequently they need to be taken outside. As you learn to pay attention to your pet's cues, you'll discover that you're able to easily tell the difference between a request to play and a true need to go outside. Letting your dog out regularly, however, will allow you to increase their comfort and reduce the number of messes around your house.
Worms are very common in dogs.
What happens if I see worms?
The most common way to pass worms is through a dogs stool, so if you see worms in your dogs faeces post-treatment, then don’t be alarmed!
In fact, some puppies and even adult dogs with chronic cases of worms can eject them by throwing the worms up. If this is the case then you will need to seek proper medical care. Contact your vet so that they can make sure that all the intestinal parasites have been treated and exterminated.
Different worming tablets have different side effects. Some deworming treatments paralyse and kill the worms – so you are likely to see them when collecting your dog’s poo – whilst other products simply dissolve the worms. If this is the case, then you won’t see whole worms wrapped up in your dog’s faeces, you’ll see bits of intestinal worms instead!
If you can, try and get a look at the worms found in the faeces, as you want to check that you have been treated your dog for the correct type although you can get all-purposes deworming products that are capable of killing more than one species of worm. Tapeworms and Roundworms are the most common, however, Lungworms, Hookworms, Whipworms and even Heartworms (USA only), can also be prevalent in dogs and puppies.
It’s never nice to notice worms, but it is much better that they pass through your dog than remain inside as this can cause health problems including weight loss, diarrhoea and in some cases even death! Additionally, an improvement in overall health and physical appearance can indicate that your dog’s dewormer is working and that worms are leaving her body.
Top tips for keeping your dog healthy post worming
Although your vet will recommend that you worm your puppy at two and four weeks of age, and then monthly until they reach 6 months, whilst adult dogs require regular deworming every 3 months; your dog is always at risk of catching worms.
This is because most worming products can only target and kill the adult worms that are already inside your dog. As most dogs are incredibly inquisitive, they are likely to pick up new worm infections through eating soil, stones and other debris. Therefore you should make sure that keep an eye on your dog, especially when out of the home as you do not want them picking up and bringing home any more parasites.
So to summarise…although worming products for dogs may start to take effect almost immediately by killing or breaking down the intestinal worms, it can take anything from a few days to two weeks for your dog to be totally worm free.