Sometimes, your beloved German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) pees so much that you can feel as if half your life is spent standing on the lawn waiting for them to do their business.
Both harmless and medically serious conditions cause frequent urination. Let’s explore why your GSP is peeing so much when it’s O.K. and when to get worried.
Your German Shorthaired Pointer may need to pee more often due to different conditions, which are grouped into six broad categories:
- Increased water intake
- Their life stages
- Behavioral reasons
- Hormonal changes
- Genetic conditions
- Underlying pathologies
To understand what constitutes frequent urination in GSPs, owners need to understand three things: 1) How vets define frequent urination vs. incontinence; 2) How frequent urination compares to normal urination patterns; 3) The causes of excessive peeing.
How Many Times A Day Should An Adult GSP Pee?
The number of times a healthy GSP needs to pee each day depends on various factors such as:
- The amount of water they have drunk
- Body condition
- Play and exercise activities
Generally, most GSPs need to pee 3 to 5 times each day and should never go more than 5 to 7 hours without going to the bathroom.
Although older dogs can hold their pee for 10 to 12 hours, this is not a healthy habit to encourage as it can cause health complications later in life.
That’s why most GSPs will ask to go out during the night hours; it’s not just a ploy to get some human attention!
The Average Amount Of Urine Produce By A Healthy GSP Per Day
|Gender||Size||Weight||Minimum Urine Output per day (mls)|
|GSP Males||Small||55lbs (25kgs)||550 to 1100|
|GSP Males||Large||70lbs (31.7kgs)||700 to 1400|
|GSP Females||Small||45lbs (20,4kgs)||450 to 900|
|GSP Females||Large||60lbs (27,2kgs)||600 to 1200|
The Difference Between Incontinence And Frequent Urination
Frequent urination is medically defined as a dog that pees more often than would be expected for its health profile. With frequent urination, the volume of pee released may be smaller, larger, or the same as normal urination patterns.
By comparison, incontinence refers to the involuntary voiding of the bladder. Incontinent GSPs will have no control over when and where they pee.
Many GSPs become very distressed when they accidentally pee while sleeping. Incontinence is always due to an underlying medical condition and should be treated by a vet.
What Causes Frequent Urination In GSPs?
There are many reasons your dog may need to pee more often; the individual causes typically fall into one of six categories.
Increased Water Intake Causing GSPs To Pee A Lot
Drinking more water on hot days than cold days is one of the main strategies GSPs employ to regulate their core body temperature in hot weather. However, the more water that goes in, the more water that must come out!
Your GSP will lose water when they are working hard. The increased metabolic activity means that the kidneys excrete more waste, and thus more water needs to be taken in to support the kidneys.
The harder your GSP’s kidneys work, the more water they must drink and the more they will pee.
Most GSPs LOVE playing in the water; it’s their happy place! However, sometimes water play can lead to a rare but dangerous side effect. GSPs can ingest too much water, resulting in water poisoning, also known as water toxemia or hyperhydration.
It commonly occurs when GSPs accidentally swallow non-essential water, e.g., when playing fetch, your GSP accidentally swallows mouthfuls of water as they attempt to grab their toy out of the lake or swimming pool.
Your GSP’s body will need to work extra hard to eliminate all that extra water and normalize their sodium and hydration levels. Severe water poisoning is fatal if left untreated.
Frequent Urination In Different GSP Life Stages
Puppies are born immature, with poor bladder control. As they age, the renal system will develop and mature, allowing the GSP to control when and where they void their bladders. Patience and time are the cure for this cause of frequent urination.
Old dogs may start struggling with arthritis and back pain which can, in turn, lead to poor bladder control. Well-trained GSPs will attempt to avoid messing in the house by making frequent trips outside to pee.
Pregnant bitches will need to pee more frequently not only because of the increased metabolic demands but also because the puppies may be sitting on her bladder!
Any pregnant woman will be able to attest to the near-permanent need to use the bathroom during late pregnancy.
Behavioral Reasons For Frequent Urination In GSPs
Young GSPs and anxious GSPs will often do small pees when over-excited or nervous. It’s a natural part of dog behavior but can be very off-putting for owners.
Territorial marking is typically only seen in mature adult males. Intact male GSPs will deliberately control the amount of pee they let out, thus allowing them to spread their “mark” further afield by marking multiple points.
Both issues are easily solved if the correct techniques are used. An experienced animal behaviorist or dog trainer can help you gently and sympathetically control your GSP’s inappropriate peeing.
Hormonal Changes Causing Excessive Peeing In GSPs
As spayed bitches grow older, their estrogen levels drop. The lower the estrogen levels, the less control they will have over their urethral sphincter. An incompetent sphincter will initially present with frequent urination but ultimately lead to complete incontinence unless treated.
Bitches with incompetent urethral sphincters and abnormal urination patterns are treated with hormone replacement therapy.
Frequent Urination Due To Genetic Conditions In GSPs
Hyperuricosuria is a genetic condition causing elevated levels of uric acid to occur in the GSP’s urine. These high uric acid levels predispose the GSP to bladder stones, which in turn will cause your GSP to do lots of little pees.
GSPs with cystinuria, another genetic condition affecting the renal system, cannot reabsorb cystine in the kidneys. Excessive cystine causes crystal formation.
As the crystals pass from the kidneys to the bladder, they irritate the walls of the renal structures causing chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation will result in painful, frequent urination patterns in your GSP. Thankfully, cystinuria is not common in GSPs.
Underlying Pathologies Causing GSPs To Pee A Lot
Your GSP may need to go to the toilet more often because of an underlying medical condition. These conditions include mild, easily treated acute illnesses, chronic pathologies, and serious life-threatening diseases.
A few of the more common medical reasons behind frequent urination are listed below:
- Bladder Infection
- Renal failure and disease
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney stones and bladder stones
There are numerous reasons your GSP may need to relieve themselves more often than expected.
The causes of frequent urination range from non-harmful immaturity that will resolve itself as your GSP grows into an adult to severe medical conditions that a vet must manage.
It is always wise to see a vet if you are concerned by the frequency of your GSP’s pees. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to improving your GSP’s prognosis if an underlying medical condition affects their urination habits.