What causes increased urination in dogs?

When dogs urinate more frequently it’s a symptom or sign that something else is going on. An exception to that is if your dog has had excessive exercise such as a long run or hike, they will likely drink more water that day, therefore producing more urine.

Urinating more frequently often occurs when dogs drink more water, and when not associated with exercise, drinking more water is also indicative of an underlying health problem.

Dogs who are not neutered may also urinate more frequently (known as ‘marking’ behavior), but the overall volume is unchanged. Below area few common causes of increased urination:


After a long run or hike we need to replenish! Dogs feel exactly the same. Increased physical activity will result in your dog drinking more water, therefore producing more urine. This is totally normal; however, it shouldn’t persist for more than a day.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) or Bladder Infections

Urinary tract infections can occur when bacteria are introduced into the urethra. The bacteria can migrate up the urethra into the bladder, where they grow and reproduce, causing an infection in the urinary tract. 

Dogs with UTIs often feel the need to urinate constantly and may only produce a small amount of urine each time. The urine may be malodoros and can range in color from a normal yellow to orange or brown.

If your veterinarian suspects your dog has a UTI, they will run a urinalysis to test the urine for different kinds of bacteria. Your dog will likely be prescribed antibiotics to clear up the infection.

Dogs with a urinary tract infection will constantly feel the need to urinate, but will only produce a small amount of urine each time.

Diabetes Mellitus

Insulin, a hormone released from the pancreas, signals your dog’s body to convert glucose from food into energy. Dogs with diabetes don’t have enough insulin to create that signal, resulting in excess glucose in their bloodstream.

To get rid of the excess glucose from the bloodstream, your dog will urinate more frequently. Increased thirst and increased appetite are also common signs of diabetes in dogs. Your veterinarian will need to run a blood and urine test to diagnose diabetes mellitus.


Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland over produces the hormone (thyroxine) that controls metabolism. When this happens, the body goes into overdrive and a variety of symptoms can present, including increased frequency of urination.

The most common symptom is weight loss despite an increased appetite. Your veterinarian will need to run blood tests to determine if hyperthyroidism is the cause of your dog’s increased urination.

Kidney Disease

Like in humans, your dog’s kidneys are responsible for removing toxins from the blood and eliminating them through urination. They also conserve and balance water, electrolytes and acids.

If the kidneys are unable to maintain water due to disease or infection, your dog may urinate more frequently. Blood and urine tests will be run by your veterinarian to determine if your dog has kidney disease.

Cushing’s Disease

Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, Cushing’s disease occurs when cortisone, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, is overproduced. Cortisone is responsible for helping your dog control weight, respond to stress, maintain blood sugar levels, and more.

When too much cortisol is produced, your dog may exhibit signs including increased frequency of urination, excessive thirst, increased appetite, muscle weakness, and lethargy. Blood tests will determine if Cushing’s Disease is the underlying cause.

Other symptoms will usually be present in a dog with Cushing's Disease, including increased appetite and thirst, muscle weakness and lethargy.


If your dog is taking medication, it’s a good idea to investigate whether increased urination is a common side effect. Drugs such as steroids, seizure control medications, and diuretics can all make your dog urinate more and drink more. Ask your veterinarian if your dog’s medication can cause increased frequency of urination.