How often does your dog pee?
August 24, 2011 5:13 PM   Subscribe

Dog needs to pee: I need a solution so I can leave my house for more than 6-7 hours.

I've recently adopted my 8-year-old family Labrador from my parents. He needs to pee every 7 hours or less. This means we need to take him out to pee at least three times a day. I work from home so generally that is no problem at all but sometimes during the weekends we are gone for a good portion of the day, over 7 hours. I always feel bad that my dog is at home needing to pee and usually need to cut outings short to come home and let him out.

Anyone have any suggestions? I am being over-dramatic with my dog's peeing habits? Is there an easy solution where he can pee by himself? I can't leave him out of the house because we have an apartment. Also, taking the dog with us is not always an option.

What do you MeFi-ers in apartments do with your dogs when you are out of the house for a good portion of the day or during the weekend?
posted by 1awesomeguy to Pets & Animals (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Most dogs can hold it for much longer than 7 hours - but you have an old dog -
and you know what they say about teaching new tricks to old dogs...
posted by Flood at 5:15 PM on August 24, 2011


There is a responsible twelve year old on your block who would love to take your dog out for a midday pee-break on the weekends. I used to do this for neighbors all the time growing up. "We're going to be gone on Saturday, can you take Muffin out for a few minutes? Key's under the mat." Give 'em a $5 iTunes card or something as a thank you.
posted by phunniemee at 5:18 PM on August 24, 2011


You should hire a dog walker? Is that too obvious?
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:21 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Potty Patch
posted by torquemaniac at 5:24 PM on August 24, 2011


You can hire a dog walker, you can come home in the middle of the day, you can train him to pee somewhere it won't do much damage, or you can gradually work up his time-between-pees. That's probably in increasing order of difficulty.
posted by supercres at 5:29 PM on August 24, 2011


Seconding getting a neighbor or close-by friend to let him out. As a pet-sitter I charge $10 to come by and let a dog out for a short pee/play session, but I only charge that much because of having to drive out to the house. $5 should be fine for someone who lives right next door or whatever.
posted by The otter lady at 5:29 PM on August 24, 2011


It doesn't even need to be a 12-year-old; I do this all the time for various neighbors, for free (we trade pet duties, vacation house-watching, mail-bringing-in, etc.)! I love dogs but don't have one and doing the letting-out favor gives me my dog fix.
posted by cooker girl at 5:34 PM on August 24, 2011


I hired a dog-walker.
posted by trip and a half at 5:59 PM on August 24, 2011


The easiest and cheapest way

On days when you need to be gone for 7 or more hours, take the dog for a walk first thing in the morning, and make sure it urinates.

On return, before leaving for 7 or more hours, DO NOT leave the dog a full bowl of water. Instead, leave 8-10 ice cubes. These will melt and give the dog all the oral hydration--"wetness" in its mouth--it needs without giving it anywhere near enough water to fill its bladder. Also be sure to shut the door to any bathrooms so it can't drink out of the toilet.

When you return from your outing, give it a full dish of water, take it for a walk--whatever your SOP is when you're at home.

Your dog doesn't have an internal clock that says "must pee every 6-7 hours." Instead, it has a digestive system that says "must pee as often as bladder gets full." Ergo, the easiest, most direct, and most effective way to keep pooch from needing to piss is to keep pooch's bladder empty. And the best way to keep the bladder empty is to limit the quantity of water you provide prior to having to leave for however many more hours than 6 or 7.
posted by BadgerDoctor at 6:08 PM on August 24, 2011


Please hire a dog walker or neighbor. Please do not ever limit the dog's water, especially that of an older dog.
posted by vers at 6:12 PM on August 24, 2011 [14 favorites]


I always feel bad that my dog is at home needing to pee and usually need to cut outings short to come home and let him out.

Welcome to dog owning!

I am being over-dramatic with my dog's peeing habits?

Yes, you are. Three times a day is not an excessive amount of trips outside for an 8 year old Lab. You either arrange your schedule around your dog or you do what the rest of us do and hire a dog walker.
posted by crankylex at 6:25 PM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do you have a fenced garden/backyard that you could leave him in while you are out?
posted by Year of meteors at 6:35 PM on August 24, 2011


I have a fenced yard and a dog door so my dogs can just pop out for a pee when ever they need to. I know this is a lot less common to do this in the US, but its what I used to do when I lived in Australia so we do it over here too. It works fine for us, though I know a lot of my neighbours think I'm mad but I only have small dogs and the door is shut at night. The dogs get to go out for fresh air, a pee and the odd session of chase the squirrel and we don't have to rush home to let dogs out if held up at work.

If you crate your dog instead or don't have access to a safe yard then finding a friendly neighbourhood kid who will let your dog out for a few bucks sounds the way to go, that's what my in Laws do.
posted by wwax at 6:55 PM on August 24, 2011


Yeah, that's dog ownership, more or less. My dogs (7 and 15(!!!)) go out on this schedule: the minute I get up, an hour or so later after they eat in the morning, when I get home from work, after they eat dinner, and probably twice more over the course of the evening. I don't restrict their water during the day. Three times a day sounds super minimal to me. Try more frequent trips out when you are home, maybe?
posted by donnagirl at 7:48 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any reason why you aren't taking the dog with you?
posted by KokuRyu at 10:05 PM on August 24, 2011


Thanks guys. Lots of good answers. I knew there were better solutions out there that I had not thought of!


You should hire a dog walker? Is that too obvious?

-Never even thought of that, actually, so I guess it is not too obvious. I will look into this as well as become more friendly with the neighbours as many others suggested.


Potty Patch

-Very interesting product. I am going to look into this as well.


Do you have a fenced garden/backyard that you could leave him in while you are out?

-No, I live in an apartment with a homeowner's association that wouldn't allow me leaving my dog in the public areas.


Any reason why you aren't taking the dog with you?

-Well sometimes it's just not possible. For example, one of our friends is allergic to dogs so we cannot bring a dog over when we go visit.
posted by 1awesomeguy at 11:57 PM on August 24, 2011


In your situation, I agree that a dog walker or friendly neighbor is probably best, since your need seems to be minimal – but for general interest, I saw this UgoDog "indoor dog potty," which looks interesting. If you do try some indoor solution like that, my (probably obvious) tip would be to saturate some paper toweling with your dog's urine when he pees normally during a walk, save in a baggie, and then when you see that he's needing to go out again, put the paper towel on the litter area (you might have to wet it a bit to "reactivate" it, and let him sniff it. If you have a "go potty" command, use it now. It might take a few practice tries, but this is how I taught my dog to go outside in our courtyard for emergency potty (me sick or weather too bad for a walk).

Of course, don't place something like this anywhere near any of his food/sleeping/hanging out areas.
posted by taz at 1:36 AM on August 25, 2011


And the best way to keep the bladder empty is to limit the quantity of water you provide prior to having to leave for however many more hours than 6 or 7.

seconding vers about not limiting your dog's water. i leave a full bowl of water for my dog when i leave the house all day. when i come back, almost all of it is still there. when nobody is home, my dog limits himself so he doesn't have to go to the bathroom until someone gets back. he can hold up to 12 hours if he has to. if your dog can't, then yes, hire a dog walker or a neighbor kid.
posted by violetk at 1:41 AM on August 25, 2011


nthing dog walker or neighbor. In my elderly dog's last few months, she couldn't hold it in for a whole work day, so a fantastic neighbor took her out midday every day. If she hadn't been around, I would've hired a dog walker for the duration.
posted by bentley at 6:28 AM on August 25, 2011


I think that the Potty Patch would be okay for a little dog, but a Lab is a big dog with a big bladder and the amount of urine in that thing would be hard to manage, not to mention the smell.
posted by crankylex at 10:18 AM on August 25, 2011


An unmentioned alternative is a dog day care that also boards. Develop a relationship with a place where you can leave your dog for the day, or overnight if you need to.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:43 PM on August 25, 2011


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