How Often Should You Let Your Dog Out?

Are you a new dog owner and you’re not sure how many walks a pup needs per day? Then you’ve come to the right place! I was also a new dog parent one day and wasn’t sure what to do when it comes to caring for my new puppy.

Today, however, I know just what a canine needs. I’ve done my research over the years and will help you learn the answers to your questions. So, how often should you let your dog out? A typical dog needs to go outdoors at least three to five times per day for bathroom breaks and a nice, long walk.

how often should you let your dog out
How often should you let your dog out?

Below, I will provide more information about taking dogs outdoors on walks. So, how often should you let your dog out? Keep reading to find out!

How Often Should You Let Your Dog Out for Bathroom Breaks?

You will need to train your dog to ensure your home stays clean and your pup knows to only defecate outdoors. Once your puppy has been potty trained, it will need to go outdoors for bathroom breaks at least three to five times per day.

However, depending on the dog’s age, health conditions, and breed, the number of bathroom breaks will vary. Essentially, try taking your pup outdoors very regularly in the beginning. That will help your canine get enough exercise as well.

You will want to play with your dog outdoors to give it adequate stimulation. Play a game of fetch and throw the ball around.

How Long Can You Leave a Dog Home Alone?

The experts disagree on just the right amount of time you can leave an adult dog home alone. Some dog shelters advise that you should never leave an adult dog home alone for more than five or six hours.

The UK-based People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) states that you should not regularly leave a dog home alone for more than four hours.

You will need to start teaching your puppy crate training. You can leave your pup alone for short periods of less than an hour. Then, gradually, increase the amount of time your dog spends alone.

Before you know it, you can leave the pup home while running errands around town for up to four hours.

mini apricot labradoodle boy puppy looks out window
A Mini Apricot Labradoodle (my dog Max) looks out the window

How Often Should Puppies Go Outdoors?

Puppies usually do not have the same bladder control as older dogs. As such, puppies will need to go outdoors more often and may need to pee frequently as compared to adult canines.

As such, you should probably take your puppy outdoors about every single hour during the day. However, you won’t need to stress about it during the night.

All you need to do is feed your puppy its dinner and last meal of the day about three hours before bedtime. Also, take the water bowl away about one hour before bed.

That way, you can ensure your dog excretes everything on its last walk in the late evening and won’t make a mess overnight.

different puppy breeds
Different breeds of puppies running at the beach!

How Many Bathroom Breaks Do Adult Dogs Need?

Take your adult dog outdoors at least three to five times per day. Essentially, create a schedule where you can take your pup out for a walk about every four hours throughout the day. The typical dog walking schedule for adult canines includes:

  • 7 a.m. – First walk of the day
  • 11 a.m. – Second walk of the day
  • 3 p.m. – Third walk of the day
  • 7 p.m. – Fourth and last walk of the day

If you need to leave for a long time every once in a while, a dog can hold its pee for eight to ten hours. However, you don’t want that to happen too often.

If you keep your dog inside for eight hours regularly, it can develop stones or urinary tract infections.

Labrador with red collar
Labrador with red collar sitting outside in an afternoon.

Do Elderly Dogs Need More Time Outside?

As dogs get older and start getting health problems from old age, you will see that your aging canine does not have the same bladder control as a younger dog.

The aging dog isn’t misbehaving but cannot hold its urine. You will want to take your older dog outside at least once every four hours.

The schedule depends on the health of your pooch. Does your canine have diabetes and drinks water often? If so, you’ll want to take it outdoors more often.

Also, dogs with cognitive decline may need a more specific schedule to go outdoors. Cognitive decline or dementia means that dogs may not be able to remind you when it’s time for them to go.

senior dog Boxador
Senior Boxador in the garden in a sunny afternoon!

The Health Benefits of Taking Your Dog Outdoors for a Walk

You will find that taking your dog for long walks every day can lead to health benefits for you and your canine. For example, constant walks, including long hikes, will increase your physical fitness. Walking is a low-impact exercise that will help train your muscles, bones, and joints.

After a long walk or hike, you will likely see your dog falling asleep the second they get back indoors. Essentially, long walks can help improve sleep for both dogs and their owners.

Walking also improves your mood and benefits your mental health. Walking your dog has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Dogs may have a higher likelihood of depression if you don’t take them on long walks much.

woman walking with dog
A woman walks with her dog by the seashore.

Can Dogs Get Depressed by Not Walking?

If you stopped going on long walks with your dog, then you might find that the pup gets depressed. Any major changes to a dog’s schedule can lead to depression in the canine.

For instance, if the pup enjoys spending time with his owner every day, a change like the work-from-home owner finding an in-office job can cause depression in the dog.

However, you can help a dog get out of its depression by showing your pup some extra love. Take it for a long walk in the evening and get into a new routine. If you can make it home during your lunch break and live close to your work, take a quick walk with your pup.

Alternatively, hire a professional dog walker to take your buddy for walks while you are at work. A retired neighbor may also like to walk your pup for free.

why is my Husky sad
Why is my Husky sad? [Depressed Husky + Photos]

How Long Can a Dog Hold Its Pee Overnight?

A dog can hold its urine for eight to ten hours overnight while it’s sleeping. However, you will need to wake up with your dog and take it for a walk first thing in the morning. Don’t forget to take your pup out after she has drunk water from her bowl or had a meal.

However, the length of time that a dog can withstand holding its pee greatly depends on the canine’s health, age, sex, and size. You shouldn’t have trouble with your pup overnight, but make sure to get it outdoors soon after you wake up.

woman with her dog at night
A woman looking after her dog at night.

Can a Dog Hold It for Ten Hours?

A dog can hold its urine for up to ten hours. However, you do not want to leave your pup alone for that long during the day. Only leave your dog alone for ten hours if you experience an emergency.

You don’t want to do that regularly since your pup can develop health issues, like urinary stones or urinary tract infections.

In general, an adult dog needs to go outdoors every four hours or so. However, that depends on the health of your canine.

Pomeranian anxious looking
Pomeranian is anxious looking on the floor.

Do Dogs Get Bored of the Same Walk?

You will want to pay attention to a dog’s signals to see if the repetition of the same walks and routines is making the pup bored.

Has your pup started chewing on your furniture, barking more, or jumping into trash cans? If so, the dog might have gotten too bored.

If you’re worried that your dog has gotten bored of the same walk, the answer depends on your particular pet. Younger dogs or highly intelligent and active pooches may get bored of taking the same ten-minute stroll around the neighborhood.

However, the simple solution is to take a different route with your pup and explore other parts of your neighborhood.

Beagle reluctant to walk
A Beagle refuses to walk.

Before You Go

Now that you’ve read through the guide, you should understand the importance of letting your pup out. Let it out of the house at least three times a day.

If you’re a responsible dog owner, let your friend out five times a day or more. To benefit your physical and mental health as well as that of your pup, go on long walks every day.