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Pet World: Healthy little dog wants to relieve herself frequently

Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

Pumpkin is a Yorkie mix. We rescued her two months ago. She is perfect in every way except that she whines and walks to the door frequently wanting to go out when we are home. When we take her out, she pees and sometimes poops, but once inside, she’ll sometimes whine again to go out once or twice an hour. She loves her walks and may pee a little at each one.

When we are at work, she stays in her crate and has never had an accident. Her vet exams have all given her a clean bill of health. Is this just attention-seeking behavior? She does drink a lot of water. Please help. My wife sometimes is woken up at four in the morning with her whines to go out. We are in an apartment, which means she has to be walked, not let out into a yard.

–John, Voorhees, New Jersey

Dear John,

I don’t think its attention-seeking behavior. She may just love to go outside. You can help her though, by doing a few things.


Pumpkin is fine in the kennel because she is not active in it. Dogs also don’t generally relieve themselves where they sleep. If she is in the kennel most of the day though, she is probably not drinking water and may make up for it when you get home. If this is the issue, she may need a water bottle inside her kennel, and someone to stop by for a mid-day potty break.

If she isn’t peeing a lot during these subsequent outings, call her to you when she whines to go out. Place her on or near your lap. If she falls asleep, then she really didn’t need to go out again. If she returns to the door and whines, then she must need to go out. A little training in this way can help her learn when she really needs to go out and reduce your trips outside.

As for the nighttime wake up calls, I would normally recommend crating her at night to prevent this, but if she is crated during the day, this is too much time in the crate. Instead, put a pee pad in the bathroom, so she has a place to go in the middle of the night. Small dogs have small bladders and she simply may not be able to hold it until morning.

Dear Cathy,


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