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Why Is My Assistance Dog Urinating More Frequently?

Why Is My Assistance Dog Urinating More Frequently?

Frequent urination, a condition medically known as polyuria, could be a sign that something’s wrong with your assistance dog. It’s often accompanied by increased thirst, also known as polydipsia. There are a number of possible causes, some being harmless and others serious, so it’s going to take some investigation to get to the root of the problem.

Remember, it’s not just an inconvenience if your hearing, guide, or service dog is urinating more frequently. While it may be difficult to deal with, and it could potentially interfere with her ability to concentrate on and perform her tasks, it’s also a question of her health.

What Constitutes “Frequent” Urination?

Not all dogs pee the same amount. A variety of individual factors, from age to size to certain aspects of lifestyle and others affect what’s normal for a dog. On average, though, a healthy grown dog produces 10 to 20 milliliters of urine per pound of body weight each day. Also as a generalization, most adult dogs should pee three to five times per day.

The key is to watch for variations in what’s normal specifically for your assistance dog. If she’s newly peeing more often or in noticeably higher volume, it’s possibly a warning sign that something’s not right. Like any change to what’s normal for your dog, it should prompt a visit to your veterinarian.

Have You Changed Your Assistance Dog’s Diet?

To start with the most simple—and harmless—explanation, consider whether you’ve recently started feeding your assistance dog more canned wet pet food. The kibble-versus-canned pet food debate is a big one. Generally, a mix of the two types that favors canned food is a smart approach to feeding.

Canned food has a typical moisture content between 75 and 78 percent, while most dry food falls between 10 to 12 percent water content. So, if your assistance dog is suddenly eating a lot more wet food, her water intake has probably increased considerably. This obviously can trigger more peeing.

Also, if your assistance dog’s dietary protein intake is too low, this can also lead to an increase in urination. Hypercalcemia (excess calcium in the blood) and hypokalemia (potassium deficiency) are other diet-related causes.

Medical Causes of Increased Urination

Assuming dietary changes don’t account for your service, hearing, or guide dog’s increased need to relieve herself, a health problem could be to blame. The kidneys are heavily involved in elimination of liquid waste, so they’re a particular concern when something’s amiss with urination; more peeing is also a hallmark symptom of diabetes.

Here are common causes of increased urination in canines:

  • Diabetes mellitus or insipidus
  • Kidney or other urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Renal disease/kidney failure
  • Hepatic disease/liver failure
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Addison’s disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Other conditions affecting hormone production
  • Medications (especially diuretics and corticosteroids)

Diagnosing and Treating Increased Urination in Dogs

As you can see, there are numerous possible explanations for your assistance dog’s increased peeing, some of which must be taken very seriously, right away. Make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Give your vet as many clues as possible to help determine the cause. Try to note when you first noticed the symptom, how much more your assistance dog has been urinating, and any other details about what’s changed.

Your vet will use your hearing, guide, or service dog’s history and a physical examination to gather more information that might point in the right direction for a diagnosis. Testing like urinalysis, blood tests, and maybe even imaging will also help.

Treatment, of course, depends entirely on the cause. Your vet will let you know how to proceed, and can advise you on whether your dog will be able to continue with her working responsibilities.

 

References:

PetMD: Increased Urination and Thirst in Dogs

PetEducation.com: Urinating Frequently (Polyuria) can Be a Sign of Serious Disease in Pets

Cesar’s Way: How Often Should a Dog Urinate?

US Food and Drug Administration: Pet Food Labels

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