How Long Can a Dog Go Without Peeing?

By John Myers / August 6, 2021

Just as we have to use the bathroom every few hours, so do our dogs. If you’re a new owner, you probably wonder how long can a dog hold its pee.

In most cases, trained dogs will ask to go outside, but even then, they might have been holding it in for a while. Imagine not going to the bathroom for eight hours, and you’ll understand why that can be unpleasant to them, too.

dog peeing on grassFor them, holding their pee is also harmful. Though every breed is different, none should be forced to hold their pee for too long. If this happens too often it can cause many inflammations and health conditions.

Plus, every time your pet pees on the carpet is breaking his habit of doing that outside. Let’s go through all that you should know about this so your canine never has to hold it for longer than he should.

How Long Can They Hold Their Pee?

As we said, every dog is an individual and has different needs and abilities. We can train them one way or another, but there’s only so much we can do.

small puppy about to use the bathroom outside.Luckily, there’s a general rule about how long they can hold their bladder.

Canines can hold their pee from four to ten hours. Still, none should have to do it for longer than 8 hours.

Take that as a guide but look at how your canine behaves. Is it anxious? Is it having accidents?

If anything like this happens, you need to let it out more often.

For starters, let the pup out for three to five times a day and see how that works. You’ll then see if you need to do it more often or not.

Is it Dangerous to Hold Their Bladder For Too Long?

infographic of dog holding pee

The simple answer is yes. Now, once or twice probably isn’t as harmful, but frequent holding in the bladder is definitely bad.

If you think a canine won’t hold their pee for longer than eight hours, you’re wrong. Trained ones will try their best to hold their bladder for as long as you don’t let them outside.

dog urinating on couchAt some point, they probably will give in but rest assured they’ll try for hours before they have an accident. Some dogs appear to have frequent urinary tract infections and urinary stones.

Some people believe that there’s a higher risk of cancer, too, because of cells in the body coming in contact with urine.

How Often Should Dogs Urinate?

small dog urinating on grassJust like people, canines are different. Some might go for hours, while others need more regular outside time.

What determines this? Here are the several factors that decide how often they should urinate:

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Diet
  • Size
  • Stress
  • Activity

dog peeing outsideVery young and old dogs can’t hold it in for as long, while most adults can do it for about 8 hours. Its training has to do with this, too.

A potty trained canine will ask or wait to go outside, while the one with no training will just pee indoors.

The best thing to do to prevent discomfort, accidents and urinary infections is to watch the way your pup behaves.

dog peeing outside on grassIf it has been five hours since the last bathroom break and your canine is already anxious and uncomfortable, it’s time for another break.

Related Article: How to Prevent Dog Urine From Killing Grass Naturally

Keeping a close eye will help you determine how long your pet can go between bathroom breaks.

How Often Do They Need Bathroom Breaks?

small brown dog going to urinateFactors such as age, breed, activity level and stress can affect their need for bathroom breaks. It’s also important to consider its training or lack of it.

Puppies often need breaks and a general rule to determine when exactly is with some math. Take their age in months and add one to get how many hours they can hold their bladder.

white puppy sitting with momAdult breeds are expected to keep it in for four to ten hours, though everything longer than eight is risky and dangerous.

Still, ten hours between bathroom breaks shouldn’t be a problem once in a while as long as it’s not too often.

This is probably a little tricky for people who work for eight hours or longer. If that’s the case, see if you can get some help from a family member or a neighbor.

When to Call The Vet?

vet examining puppy's urineMore frequent peeing doesn’t always have to be a problem for a vet. Dogs sometimes need to go more often than usual if they’re old, weight more than they should, etc.

Still, some signs should tell you to call the vet as soon as possible. Here’s what should alarm you:

  • Discomfort when peeing
  • Strange urine color (red or dark)
  • Sudden and very often need to pee

sick dogIgnoring these signs means less chance of recovery, so you should take it seriously. These symptoms are telling you something is wrong, and you should call the vet immediately.

The longer your pooch is unattended, the more it will suffer. Since its comfort comes first, make sure to let it take bathroom breaks often.

pug urinating in houseTo prevent any needs for a vet, consider your pet’s needs when you’re making plans. Will you be out the entire day?

Make sure you ask someone to let your pet out a few times before you return. Every vet can help with these symptoms, but why not try to prevent all of this from happening?

What if My Dog Causes an Accident?

Urine Remover

bottle of dog urine removerThe last thing any owner wants is a urine stain on a carpet or furniture. Not only those look horrible, but there’s a smell that follows, too.

Training may be the best solution to avoid an accident, but what can you do when it does happen?

A quality dog urine remover eliminates stains and odors that follow saving your furniture and carpets. Having one at hand in case of emergencies is a good idea.

Potty training

dog being potty trainedThere’s hardly a more important thing for an indoors dog than potty training. This way, the pup will learn when and where it can pee and poop.

Now, potty training takes some time and patience especially. There are tips and tricks you can use to train your pet this way, but it doesn’t have to be complicated at all.

puppy that is being potty trainedSometimes, it’s enough to just take the canine out for a walk. Grab its collar and leash and go outside for a nice stroll around the neighborhood.

Your pet will undoubtedly do its business somewhere along the way. Of course, don’t forget to bring bags to pick up the mess.

Related Post: How to Stop a Dog From Peeing in The House


How Long Can Older Dogs Hold Their Bladder?

old dog peeing outsideOlder breeds are much like older people. They need more frequent bathroom breaks simply due to their age.

Still, nobody can tell you how long they can hold it in. Four to six hours is probably the most, but make sure to keep an eye for any changes in behavior.

How Long Can Puppies Hold Their Urine?

puppy holding urinePuppies can’t hold their bladder as long as adults. If your new puppy is two months old, it shouldn’t hold urine for longer than 3 hours.

More so, young ones won’t show they want outside; they will just pee whenever they feel like it. This is why you have to make frequent breaks and potty train the puppy as soon as possible.

How Long Does it Take For Dog Odor to Go Away?

chihuahua that urinated on couchThe smell shouldn’t stay for long if you clean the stain right away. One good cleaning with a urine remover and the odor is gone. It can take far longer if you let the stain sit there for days.

Final thoughts

It’s needless to repeat that all breeds are different and there’s no telling for sure how long they can hold their pee. Still, there are some guidelines we can use to try and reduce accidents.

two dogs happy to use the bathroom outisdeUse the info above as some general rules but remember to pay special attention to your pet until you figure out its needs.

Have patience with your canine, and none of this should be hard. Remember to make sure your pet is comfortable and happy at all times. We hope you found some valuable information on how long can dogs hold pee.

About the author

John Myers

When I'm not working, you can find me spending all my time with my dogs. My dogs mean the world to me, and I do my best to give them the world. I'll do anything for them. I hope that my love for dogs can spread with everyone else that visits my site.

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