Emily’s Story: A Heart Murmur
Seven years ago Jackie traveled 200 miles to get Emily,…
Your dog should be given the opportunity to urinate a minimum of three times daily. Holding urine for a long time makes dogs more prone to urinary tract infections, bladder infections and/or kidney infections because the dog’s bladder becomes a breeding ground for the bacteria in the urine – allowing it to reach high concentration.
Dogs who hold their bladder for long periods of time are at high risk for bladder stones. Bladder stones can cause bloody urine and painful elimination. Your dog might also hold a urination stance for longer, as they are almost forcing the act. The pain and irritation may also cause your dog to willfully avoid elimination, prolonging the problem.
Resisting urination for long periods of time can also, paradoxically, lead to incontinence. When a dog holds his urine for extended periods of time this may eventually lead to incontinence. Incontinence in this case can mean that your dog has to strain harder to urinate, cannot completely empty his bladder, or cannot hold his bladder at all.
Holding urine can also lead to transitional cell carcinoma – a malignant cancer of the urinary bladder that affects dogs, cats, and other domestic pets. While cancers are rare in pets, up to 70% of bladder tumors developed by pets are transitional cell carcinomas. The specific causes are not known, but are higher in females, and equated to less urine marking or possibly storing urinary toxins longer.
Make sure to provide opportunities for your dog to urinate at least three times a day. If you’re away from home for long periods of time, consider using puppy training pads or any of the “potty turf” products available (I’m actually really interested to hear how those work for different breeds, so send us an email and let us know about your experience!).