How Long Can A Dog Hold Their Pee?
[All you to need know]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Some dog owners feel like this is an embarrassing question, but it’s actually one of the most common ones. This can be an especially bothersome question if you’re going to be away from your canine for an extended period. Knowing how long your dog can hold their pee is essential!

This is important information for new owners; getting to know how and when your dog will pee is key to them settling into family life. Dog breeds are all different, but none should be holding their pee in for too long. 

The answer isn’t always as straightforward as you’d expect; it can vary from dog to dog and will also depend on different habits. Read on to determine the average time a dog can hold their pee and how often they should pee. 

The Average Length Of Time A Dog Can Hold Their Pee

The rule of thumb is that a healthy dog should be able to hold their pee in for 6 to 8 hours. The dog should never hold their pee in for 10 or more hours. This means that dog owners should let their dogs pee from 3 to 5 times a day, if not more. 

Some research suggests that dogs pass around 10 to 20ml of urine per pound of body weight daily. This will always depend on the dog’s age, body size, sex, and general health. 

The Exceptions To The Rule

Since all individual dogs are different, there will be exceptions to the rule. A key example is when training a puppy. Puppies cannot hold their pee in for long when house training, their bladder is smaller, and they will pee more frequently than adult dogs. Every dog can go a couple of hours without peeing, but some may need to go more. 

As dogs age, they may also need to urinate more frequently; this is also common in sick dogs. If your canine is older and starting to go more often, this could be a sign that a trip to the veterinarian is in order. 

Veterinarians suggest that when a dog holds pee in for a long time, health problems can occur. If you work long periods, you must bear this in mind to ensure your dog pees frequently enough and stays healthy. 

How Often Should You Let Your Dog Out To Pee?

It’s recommended that your dog should be taken out for a pee 4 to 5 times daily at the minimum. The younger your dog, the more you’ll have to let them out for a pee. If this recommendation doesn’t fit your pet’s schedule, don’t worry – age, sex, body size, and your dog’s overall health will determine how often they need to go. 

What Happens If They Hold Their Pee Too Long?

Problems can occur when your dog holds their pee in for too long; for example, they could experience health issues like UTIs or even urinary stones. Dog health research also suggests that carcinogens present in urine and are found in the urinary tract can lead to your pup experiencing types of urinary cancer. 

How Long Can A Dog Hold Their Pee Overnight?

Dogs are neat animals and don’t like to make a mess. If you train your pup to hold their urine and to go in a designated area, they will. However, potty training a puppy is something that needs to be done. Potty training ensures that your puppy won’t have any accidents. 

For example, an 8-week old puppy won’t be able to hold its urine through the night. This is because their bladder will not be big enough yet. The best thing to do in this situation is to place your new puppy in a box or crate that’s close to you. Do this for the first few nights. You’ll become aware when your young pup starts to toss and turn – this will alert you when they need to urinate. 

If you’re a deep sleeper and you’re worried you won’t wake up when they need to pee, consider setting the alarm to make sure you wake up, and they don’t have an accident. Try getting up at 5 am to let them pee, and if your puppy remained calm and didn’t need to pee, consider setting the alarm 30 minutes to 1 hour later the next day. This method should be repeated until your puppy no longer needs to pee through the night. 

A midnight potty run isn’t fun, but it’s needed until your pup can hold their pee through the night!

Why Isn’t My Dog Peeing?

If your pup is peeing less than the recommended 3 – 5 times a day, you should take it as seriously as when they don’t poop. Not peeing could indicate a severe health issue. The bladder is needed to remove toxins from your dog’s body. This can become fatal in a short amount of time, so make sure you’re aware of their habits and have a veterinarian local when needed. 

When your dog can’t urinate, these are some possible causes:

  • Urinary stones

  • Infections

  • Tumors

  • Kidney disease

  • Pinal injury

It’s important to note that environmental stressors could also be causing your pet to hold their pee. Suppose your dog is uncomfortable in its surroundings, especially when a puppy, it may hold its pee in. This doesn’t always mean a health concern is an issue. Allow your new puppy to become familiar with your home, and when they’re comfortable, they will pee. 

If you suspect something is wrong, take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Veterinarians will usually recommend some diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the issue. These could be urinalysis, abdominal x-rays, a complete blood count, or a CT scan. 

What Causes Frequent Peeing?

Frequent urination can be caused by many different causes. Also, a sudden fear can cause peeing issues in dogs too. However, this is a behavioral issue. 

Here are some common health issues that may cause your dog to urinate frequently:

  • Diabetes 
  • Kidney failure 
  • Polyuria and Pollakiuria 
  • Liver disease 
  • Tumor 
  • Lack/Overproduction of steroid hormone production 
  • Hormonal disorders 
  • Age 
  • Electrolyte imbalance 
  • Medication side effects 
  • Psychological or behavioral problems

What To Do If Your Dog Is Frequently Peeing?

The key step to helping your dog is to determine the cause of the frequent peeing. From here, you can tackle the illness or behavioral problem. This should be done by a vet, of course, so if your dog is frequently urinating, make sure to get them a checkup, you should never diagnose or treat your dog by yourself. 

If you suspect that frequent urination is a behavioral issue, not an underlying illness, the best way to tackle the problem is through proper training. Relaxation exercises may also help to teach your dog to manage frequent urination if it is due to them being scared or excited. 

Panic attacks can cause frequent urination in dogs, so if you suspect that this is the cause, you should take your dog to the veterinarian. The vet will know the best medicine or exercises for your dog. 

There are also some signs that there is something wrong. If you see any discomfort while peeing, a strange urine color (red or dark), or sudden and frequent urination make sure you consult a medical opinion. Ignoring signs that something is wrong can lead to less recovery, so take any issue seriously. The longer your pup is unattended, the longer they will suffer – comfort is always vital to take them for bathroom breaks often.

To prevent any trips to the vets, plan your days with your dog’s needs in mind. If you are away for an extended period, call a friend or family member to let your dog out a few times throughout the day. Remember that this is especially important for younger dogs. Even if your dog is trained they will still need to go throughout the day.

How To Deal With An Accident

The last thing any owner wants is a urine-stained carpet or sofa, however, if this issue occurs a good quality dog urine remover is the best solution. Training is the best solution for accidents, but when these pesky moments happen to have a urine remover on hand will be the next best thing!

The Takeaway

When you adopt a dog, there’s no way to know precisely how often it will be or how long it can hold in its urine. However, guidelines are helpful for first-time owners to estimate when to take their dogs out for a pee.