Shih Tzus are charming and affectionate companion dogs known for their long, flowing coats and charming personalities. Like all dogs, they need regular toilet breaks to keep them healthy and happy. In this article, we’ll discuss how often you should take your Shih Tzu outside to pee, taking into account factors such as age and other important considerations for puppies, adults, and senior dogs.
Understanding the needs of your Shih Tzu
Before we get into the specifics of how often to take your Shih Tzu outside to pee, it’s important to understand their unique needs and characteristics. The Shih Tzu is a small breed with a relatively small bladder compared to larger dogs. This means they may need more frequent toilet breaks. Additionally, their long fur can be prone to collecting urine and faeces, making hygiene and regular outdoor trips crucial.
Factors affecting the frequency
Several factors can affect how often you should take your Shih Tzu outside to pee. These factors include:
- Age: As dogs age, bladder control and bladder capacity change. Puppies have less bladder control and a smaller bladder than adults and older dogs, which affects how often they need to go outside.
- Activity Level: A Shih Tzu’s activity level can affect their need to urinate. More active dogs may need to urinate more often than less active dogs.
- Diet and Hydration: The type and amount of food and water your Shih Tzu consumes can also affect their bathroom habits. dogs that eat and drink more may need to urinate more often.
- Health problems: Certain medical conditions, such as urinary tract infections or diabetes, can cause you to urinate more often. It is very important to monitor your Shih Tzu’s health and consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in his bathroom habits.
- Environmental Factors: Weather conditions such as extreme cold or rain can affect how often your Shih Tzu wants to go outside to pee. They may be less willing to go outside in bad weather.
And now let’s analyze the recommended frequency of taking shih tzus of different ages outside to pee.
Puppies are bundles of energy and curiosity, they also have smaller bladders and less control over their bodily functions compared to adult dogs. For a shih tzu puppy, it is important to take them outside to pee more often to avoid accidents and help potty train them. Here are general guidelines for how often to take your Shih Tzu outside:
- 8-10 weeks: At this age, puppies may need to go outside every 1-2 hours during the day. They should also be taken out after waking up, after eating or drinking, and before going to bed.
- 10-16 weeks: As your Shih Tzu puppy gets a little older, you can gradually increase the time between potty breaks to every 2-3 hours. However, continue to remove them after meals and before bed.
- 4-6 months: By this age, most Shih Tzu puppies can hold their bladder for 3-4 hours during the day. They still need regular breaks and should be taken out after meals and before bed.
- 6-12 months: As the Shih Tzu approaches adulthood, it begins to gain better bladder control. You can gradually increase the time between potty breaks to every 4-6 hours. However, be aware of their signals and shoot them as needed.
Adult Shih Tzus have better bladder control than puppies, but they still need regular toilet breaks. Here is an instruction on how often to take an adult Shih Tzu outside to pee:
- 1-2 years: Adult Shih Tzus usually need to go outside every 4-6 hours during the day. This applies to morning, noon, afternoon and bedtime.
- Over 2 years of age: As your Shih Tzu reaches adulthood, they may hold their bladder for longer periods of time, such as 6-8 hours during the day. However, it is important to monitor their individual needs and adjust accordingly.
- After Eating: Always take your adult Shih Tzu outside to pee soon after they have eaten or drunk. This helps prevent accidents and reinforces their potty training.
- Night: Most adult Shih Tzus can sleep through the night without going outside. However, if your dog has a habit of waking up in the middle of the night to pee, you may need to go outside late at night.
As Shih Tzus age, their bladder control may deteriorate and they may need more frequent toilet breaks. Here’s a guide on how often to take your older Shih Tzu outside to pee:
- 7+ years: Older Shih Tzus may need to go outside every 4-6 hours throughout the day. Be mindful of their individual needs, as some older dogs may need more frequent trips due to age-related health issues.
- At night: Older dogs may find it more difficult to hold their bladder overnight. It is advisable to take them outside before going to bed and maybe once a night if necessary.
- Health measures: Keep a close eye on the health of your older shih tzu. Diseases such as arthritis or kidney problems can affect their mobility and bathroom habits. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in their urination frequency or behavior.
Tips for successful potty training
Regardless of the age of your Shih Tzu, successful potty training is essential to maintaining a clean and happy home. Here are some tips to help with the potty training process:
- Consistency: Create a regular bathroom break schedule and stick to it. Consistency helps your Shih Tzu learn when and where to do his business.
- Positive reinforcement: Praise and reward your Shih Tzu when he pees outside. Use treats or verbal praise to let them know they did well.
- Supervision: Keep a close eye on your Shih Tzu, especially when he is at home. Watch for signs like sniffing or circling that may mean they need to go outside.
- Crate Training: Consider crate training your Shih Tzu as dogs are less likely to destroy themselves in the sleeping area. Use the crate as a potty training tool, but never use it as a punishment.
- Accidents happen: Be patient and understanding when accidents happen. Never scold or punish your Shih Tzu for accidents; this can lead to anxiety and confusion.
- Clean up immediately: If accidents happen inside, clean up the mess immediately with an enzyme cleaner to completely remove the smell. This prevents repeated accidents in the same place.
- Watch your water intake. While it’s important to keep your Shih Tzu hydrated, be aware of excessive water consumption, especially before bed, as this can lead to more frequent trips to the bathroom at night.
Taking your Shih Tzu outside to pee is an important aspect of responsible dog ownership. Understanding their age, activity level, and individual needs is essential to ensuring the appropriate number of toilet breaks. Whether you have a lively Shih Tzu puppy, an active adult dog, or an elderly dog, following the guidelines in this article will help ensure a happy and healthy life for your furry companion. Remember that patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key ingredients to successful potty training. By meeting the needs of your Shih Tzu and providing proper care, you will enjoy a wonderful bond with your beloved pet for many years to come.