Owning a puppy comes with certain responsibilities that don’t put a smile on your face. The biggest challenge is dealing with a new puppy peeing every 5 minutes. You’re constantly cleaning up, putting them out the door, and tearing your hair out with frustration.
But why is your puppy peeing every 5 minutes? Here’s a short answer followed by a guide I wrote to help you manage it.
Your puppy is peeing every five minutes because he drank too much water, has a small bladder, can’t control his bladder yet, could be nervous, or possibly have a developmental or health issue.
This constant urge to pee could be triggered by a medical condition or behavioral problem. But your puppy’s situation isn’t a normal potty habit, peeing every 5 minutes is excessive.
Below explains why it isn’t normal for a puppy to pee every 5 minutes.
There’s one thing that nearly every puppy owner will agree upon: raising a puppy is pretty much signing up for round-the-clock potty break services.
Puppies and frequent urination go hand in hand. It often feels like each time you blink, your puppy is right in front of you, throwing hints that they need to go out and pee.
The thing is puppies don’t have a big bladder like adult dogs. And neither do they have bladder control. Their small bladders get full quickly, which makes them urinate a little too often than adult dogs – it can seem like they are peeing every 5 minutes.
And since your puppy can’t control their bladder, potty accidents may be the norm if you don’t respond to their potty request immediately.
A puppy’s ability to control their bladder gets much better as they grow older. The same goes for their bladder size. It will have grown bigger by the time your puppy approaches adulthood.
While it’s normal for puppies to urinate frequently because of their bladder inconveniences, but literally peeing every five minutes is a bit of a stretch.
The “potty-break-every-five-minutes” could be normal or abnormal, depending on the situation and how regularly it happens. By situation, I mean this:
1. They’ve drunk too much water
After drinking water, a puppy may need to pee as soon as five minutes later or after thirty minutes. This is particularly true if you leave water out for them all day.
Going by this fact, it’s correct to say that when your puppy drinks a lot of water, they will likely pee several times in an hour – which can seem like every five minutes, literally!
It’s normal for healthy puppies engaging in too many activities to quench their thirst more than usual and, in turn, pee several times a day. Don’t think they are peeing out of spite!
The keyword here is “healthy.” Excessive water intake could signal an underlying health problem. Conditions like diabetes and kidney problems can make your puppy extra thirsty even when they haven’t had an activity-filled day.
Handy Hint: Not all dogs lift their leg when having a pee. Here’s what’s normal.
2. When peeing every 5 minutes isn’t normal
If it seems like your puppy needs a potty break every five minutes, and this is the case daily, there’s reason to worry.
Your puppy’s urge to pee within a few minutes may be triggered by a medical problem or behavioral issue.
If you want to know how long your puppy can go without a potty break, use the one-month rule. It goes a little like this: the number of hours your puppy can wait to have their next potty break is equivalent to your puppy’s age (in months).
For example, if they are three months old, they can go for three hours without needing to pee. Of course, this may be an exception if they’ve drunk too much water.
So, if your puppy’s urge to urinate often comes every five minutes, and worse, they end up peeing too little to even consider “normal pee,” here’s what could be the problem:
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
UTI is common in puppies due to their fragile immune systems. It’s caused by bacteria that makes its way into a puppy’s urinary system.
If your puppy has UTI, the bacteria will irritate their bladder, same way you get an irritation on your throat when you catch a cold.
Due to this bladder irritation, your puppy will feel like they need to pee every few minutes. And most times, they will squat on their usual potty spot for a while, only to pee droplets. That’s how frustrating UTI is.
The irritation will also cause pain, so you will likely hear your puppy whining when peeing,
If left untreated, UTI can cause bladder stones. Bladder stones also result from too many minerals in your puppy’s diet.
Bladder stones are simply lumps of minerals that have formed anywhere in your puppy’s urinary tract — and they can be painful. These stones will lead to inflammation in your puppy’s bladder wall, creating the urge to pee all the time.
Your puppy might have an infection in their kidneys (one or both kidneys) that makes it harder for the kidneys to function properly.
Due to the infection, their kidneys will overwork to filter out wastes through urine, making your puppy feel like peeing every few minutes.
While diabetes mainly affects older dogs, puppies can also get it. One of the most common symptoms of this condition is excessive thirst and frequent urination.
If your puppy has diabetes, their kidneys will work overtime to flush out the excess sugar in their body through urination, leading to abnormal pee urges.
Urinary tract tumor
Though rare, puppies can develop tumors in their urinary tract. Urinary tract tumors come with several unpleasant symptoms, including excessive urination.
Medication side effect
If your puppy is on certain antibiotics or steroids, this might be what’s causing the need to urinate every five minutes.
The excess potty breaks will stop once they finish their medication. But if they persist, then there might be a much bigger issue.
Your puppy’s unusual peeing habit could be a result of a non-medical issue — too much excitement, anxiety, or inappropriate attention-seeking behaviors.
Some puppies can’t contain their excitement or nervousness, which triggers their body to release hormones that cause bladder contractions. And when the puppy’s excitement or anxiety prolongs, so will the bladder contractions.
These contractions will create an urge to urinate more than usual. Peeing when overexcited or overly nervous is scientifically known as submissive urination.
Your puppy might also be having inappropriate attention-seeking behaviors, where they do undesirable things to get your attention. For instance, making you take them for a potty break every few minutes, even when they don’t feel like peeing.
What to do if your puppy pees every five minutes
The best way to deal with this problem is to see the vet right away. Your vet will determine whether your puppy has a medical condition causing the excessive urination and put them on treatment should they find any health problem.
If your vet rules out a medical condition, then your puppy’s problem is behavioral.
In this case, it’s best to get in touch with a behaviorist. They will help you resolve your puppy’s inappropriate attention-seeking habits and undesirable response to overexcitement or anxiety.
Puppies pee frequently in a day because of their small bladder sizes and inability to control their bladder. But if your puppy always wants to pee every few minutes, they might be suffering from a medical issue like UTI, bladder stones, diabetes, kidney infection, or urinary tract tumor.
And if the vet confirms your puppy doesn’t have any medical condition, the excessive urination could be due to a behavioral problem.
As noted earlier, they might be suffering from a medical condition like UTI, diabetes, bladder stones, kidney infection, urinary tract tumor, or a behavioral problem.