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6 month puppy drinks a lot.

Species: Dog
Breed: Papillon
Age: 6-12 months
I got Bentley at 3 months old. Since the beginning I always felt as if he was unusually hard to potty train. I've had several dogs, some more difficult then others, but in this case I feel as if there might be something more to the problem. Bentley had to go every hour for the first month, every two hours for the second month I've had him, keep in mind this is all with me carefully monitoring his water intake because he will drink and drink and drink. At this time he was five months old I got him checked for a uti because In my previous experiences this seemed a bit often to take out a 5 month old puppy. He did not have an infection. Bentley is now 6 months old. He will sleep through the night without accidents but he will still only go 3 hours max before we have to take him out again. If he's aloud to drink as much as he likes he'll literally pee every hour. It seems he knows he's suppose to go outside but he just can't seem to... Build up his bladder. I tried crate training him to stretch the time slowly that he'd hold it but he has never had a problem peeing in the crate and laying in it no matter how small I make it so this wasn't effective. I know how to potty train a dog, I just feel like maybe something else is going on as far as his health that is preventing him from being where he should be at at this age. Bentley is fixed and it's not a marking problem. I'm just wondering if every 3 hours for a 6 month old puppy is normal, or if there may be a health reason that you might suspect from the symptoms I've explained. I was hopeing it was behavioral, but I'm really starting to think there's something more to this because he is highly intelligent and picks up things that are asked of him very quickly. Besides this Bentley is a big puppy, very energetic, playful and happy. Thank you


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thank you for your detailed history of your dog's problems. At this age, Bentley really should be able to go more than three hours without urinating.

My main concern with what you have described is the fact that he is so thirsty. This is not normal. A rough estimate of what a dog should drink in a day is 60-80mL per pound. So, let's say Bentley is 4 pounds (I'm guessing here.) If that's the case he shouldn't be drinking more than 320 mL (1 1/4 cups) of water per day. If he is drinking more than that then there could be a problem.

You can ask your vet about the possibility of him having something called diabetes insipidus. This is not a very common condition. It is like sugar diabetes, but instead of sugar (glucose) being the problem, a hormone can cause him to want to drink a lot.

Another possibility is that he has a kidney problem. There are some dogs that can be born with kidney issues. If he has not had blood tests done, then I would highly suggest that you have some bloodwork done to determine if there is a problem with his kidneys.

Some dogs can get a condition called medullary washout where they have drunk so much water that it messes up the electrolytes in the kidneys. When this happens the urine is very dilute and it's a vicious cycle. They urinate lots and then they have to replace the urine with water which makes them want to urinate more. A controlled water depravation test can solve this, but, this is NOT something that you should do at home as it can be dangerous. It is something that would need to be done by your vet at a veterinary clinic.

It does sound like there could be a medical issue here and I really do think that more tests are necessary.

I hope things work out ok!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.