How Long Can A Dog Go Without Peeing?

How Long Can A Dog Hold Its Pee

How long can a dog go without peeing? Could the inability to urinate lead to fatal consequences for a dog? How often should a puppy urinate? Is it normal for dogs to urinate regularly? What is the recommended number of times a dog should urinate daily? The answers to these inquiries vary based on the dog’s breed, age, size, dietary habits, and any health conditions they may have.

An average healthy dog will produce approximately 10 to 20 ml of urine for each pound of the dog’s body weight per day. Often, even surgery, inadequate potty training, not catering to your pet’s diet needs, and having fear in mind are some of the factors that affect your dog’s peeing habits.

While knowing the average length of time a dog can go without peeing is helpful, there are other vital aspects you need to be aware of as a responsible dog owner. This article should resolve your questions related to your dog’s bathroom breaks and the peeing habits of canines.

How Often Do Dogs Need To Pee?

Most dogs are known to pee at least three to five times a day, or every six to eight hours. But most vets advise not letting your dog go without peeing for more than 8 hours. In cases of an untimely eating schedule, medications, kidney stones, or other various health conditions, this period can vary.

One thing is definite: young puppies tend to pee more than adult dogs. This is due to their smaller bladders that require more bathroom breaks. A sudden excitement or fear may also cause a dog to urinate unexpectedly. If your pet is not experiencing frequent urination, you must check for alterations in steroid hormones, electrolyte imbalances, and other bladder problems. Other facts, like the level of hydration, can also determine how often a dog needs to relieve itself.

Dogs hold their pee with no knowledge of the side effects. But a well-trained pet can hold its urine for extended periods without accidents inside your home. Thus, dog owners must give their pooch house training to go for potty breaks often.  If you own a young dog, you must establish a routine early, as canines require it. 

Apart from age, the following factors can increase or decrease the chances of your dog peeing on average three to five times a day:

Breed and Size

Smaller dogs may target a spot and wish to keep peeing there. It is more than just holding capacity as well. The muscles that contract to hold and release the bladder take time to develop.

Thus, they are more likely to pee more than older dogs. But some larger breeds also have small bladders, which cause frequent bathroom breaks. Other reasons include their quick metabolism and natural budding excitement; they require several bathroom breaks.

This isn’t necessarily a cause for worry unless these bathroom breaks are accompanied by a lighter stream than usual, your dog struggles to urinate, or there is evident discomfort experienced by the dog. 


Senior dogs may start to lose that muscle control as they age, too. Weakening of the muscles, mobility limitations, inflammation, and even liver and kidney function can contribute to more frequent urination to the point of experiencing urinary incontinence.


The kind of food and amount of water your pup has are key attributes in determining his frequency of urination.
Having said that, your dog might require a complete change of diet, especially if they are prone to stones or infections. Your vet will recommend a kibble that prevents these issues in the future. 

Health Issues

If your puppy is suffering from health problems, there is a high chance he will perform frequent urination. Bladder stones, bodily carcinogens, the growth of harmful bacteria, and hormonal stressors can lead to an unhealthy number of bathroom breaks.


Several dog owners complained that their pets urinated too often due to their high body weight. It is the extra amounts of food and water that cause the urge to urinate often.

Considering everything, pet owners should treat their adult dogs the same way you treat yourself when it comes to urinating. If you abuse your healthy dogs’ ability to hold their pee for hours or long periods, you will soon have a sick dog to take care of, or a health issue might occur as a result.

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Peeing?

The human bladder is between around 300 and 400 milliliters, or 16 and 24 ounces, meaning that it fills up in eight hours. However, most people don’t often wait that long because the feeling becomes extremely uncomfortable. 

So exactly how long can a dog go without peeing? Unlike humans, healthy adult dogs can hold their pee for ten to fifteen hours. This may sound like good news, as you won’t have to take your dog to pee more often. However, going for so many hours without peeing could lead to urinary tract infections, urinary stones, and other life-threatening health factors.

Knowing how long a dog can go without peeing can also be calculated by their age in months plus one. For example, a two-month-old pooch should be taken outside to urinate every three hours to prevent the inside of your home from becoming their toilet. 

You don’t want your dog to struggle with kidney problems, bladder disorders, hydration issues, or perpetual discomfort. When giving your puppy potty training specifically to hold their pee, make sure they aren’t forced to go without peeing for hours.

How long a dog can go without urinating also depends on whether or not they are trained to pee in their current surroundings. If the potty rules are etched in the thoughts of your dog, then he would make use of the assigned space and not risk doing otherwise.

Exceptions to be Aware of About Dog Urination

However, the takeaway from this topic is not something that you can set a standard for. As much as there is a general rule of thumb to how long a dog can go without peeing, there are always exceptions, which a dog owner may refer to below for more tips:

  • Younger dogs and smaller breeds who have undergone significant training to avoid pee accidents are not going to wait for as long as they can hold their urine. They would typically urinate every five to six hours at a designated area to avoid the possibility of getting into trouble with their parents.
  • Similarly, older dogs who suffer from health conditions would not be able to hold their urine for long and would pee more often. If your senior dog is eating sufficient food and drinking enough water, chances are he will pee every two to three hours.
  • Whereas, extremely high-energy dogs who are constantly playing and running around can hold their pee longer than the average duration. They could go without peeing for about ten to twelve hours and face no form of discomfort or urge to pee.

Every canine is unique, and their urination habits can differ based on the type of lifestyle they lead and the quality of food they eat. 

Health Condition Could Also Affect Dogs' Ability To Hold Their Pee

Health Conditions That Affect A Dog’s Urinating Habit

Several health issues determine how long dogs can hold their pee. Their urinating habits can be a mess if they have bladder stones or urinary stones, a urinary tract problem, kidney problems, tumors, or have undergone surgery.

Any health issue should be considered a symptom of urination problems. Even antibiotics to eliminate infection and medication to curb these issues could influence your dog’s peeing habits. A dog owner should teach their dog relaxation exercises to deal with peeing accidents[1] due to the following health issues:

  • Polyuria
  • Tumor
  • Lack of hormonal activity level
  • Bladder Infection
  • Fish-like odor due to Vaginitis
  • Urinary Cancer
  • Psychological factors
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure or malfunction
  • Side effects of drugs

There are a lot of possible things that result in symptoms of urination issues. Rather than letting infections worsen, you must take your pet to a veterinarian and identify the cause for these changes in excretion patterns.

In such an instance, book an appointment for a dog urinalysis. This should give an idea of the toxins leading to the inability to pee for periodic durations. Based on the types of pain, alterations in cells, sex, and dog breed, the veterinarian can deduce an answer and pinpoint the exact causes.

Remember, not every dog is susceptible to such problems. As a rule of thumb, an older dog with such problems would be more likely to work around absurdly timed bathroom breaks. Medication for treatment also affects older dogs quickly.

You should also know the importance of visiting your vet if your dog shows the mentioned signs, as their health depends on it. Take extreme care concerning their treatment plans to avoid further illness.

The Thing Is, When Should You Be Concern Of How Long Can Puppies Hold Their Bladder & The Frequency Of Dog Peeing

Should I Be Worried If My Dog Is Urinating Less Frequently Than Normal?

Yes, you should be worried when your dog goes without peeing for more than half a day, frequently. This could be a sign of dehydration or a sign of undiagnosed health problems and may require medical help.

If your pup is peeing a lot or peeing too little, both are considered dangerous. As long as you’re providing and the puppy is drinking enough water, there shouldn’t be urination problems. If you see pus or blood in the urine or even discolored urine, the odds are your pet is suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI) and needs immediate attention.

Veterinarians have a crate full of solutions and are adept at finding the cause that has the most harmful role to play. Sometimes another area of the body may need help due to inflammation or lack of physical activity.

Some dogs and puppies tend to intentionally pee on the same spot several times to mark it as their territory. If you notice this behavior, there is no need to call the vet. You could also keep your dog stimulated, both physically and mentally, to relieve their anxiety, fear, and stress.

Simply spray some enzymatic cleaner on that spot and also try giving birth to a citrusy scent, as it repels dogs.

Bonus Tip: As a responsible canine owner, add electrolyte powder to your pet’s drink. This could stop the root cause and be the reason to gather some control over bladder functionality.

Pets' Tip - Never Ever Punish Dogs For Urine Accidents, Check With The Vet For More Answer

Balancing Work Life and Your Dog‘s Needs

If your work schedule means that you need to leave your dog home alone for more than 8 hours per day, then there are options for looking after your dog’s urinary health. Decide on the options that best suit what your dog needs.

Purchase Pee Pads

These are especially helpful for puppies and dogs that are kennel-trained.

Doggy Daycare

If your dog needs constant attention or can’t be trusted at home alone, then a daycare for dogs is the way to go. This fun and engaging environment will enable them to run and play all day while being supervised by trained professionals.

Dog Walker

Having a professional dog sitter check on and walk your pup is a great way to prevent destructive behaviors from occurring and manage his bathroom schedule. By taking your dog outside or going on a trip, they’ll also have a chance to experience the new smells of their surrounding. Encourage them to pee by taking them to a quiet place with fewer distractions so they can be comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a dog’s bladder burst?

Yes, a dog’s bladder can burst due to ruptures associated with cysts, tumors, urethral obstruction, etc. A torn bladder can be recognized when your pup fails to urinate when wanting to.

Even vomiting and deflated bladders can help in identifying the rupture. Such circumstances require a visit to the vet’s office, as a more fatal issue may happen if not accommodated right away.

How do you know when a dog has to pee?

When your dog is scraping the door, showcasing restless behavior, squatting, circling, whining, and fidgeting, you should take it as a sign that your dog wants to pee. 

If any of these behavior traits are noticed, go outside with your dog to avoid home peeing accidents. Any disruption in their patience, unnecessary stretches, or even barking with stress could be a sign that the canine needs to pee.

What can I give my dog to help her pee?

It is best to treat your pet with canned dog food when you want to help her pee. The water present and the option to add chicken broth make every dog want to pee quicker after canned meals. If the body size of your adult dog is comparatively larger than that of an average adult dog, then feed her extra water too.


Now you have an idea of how often puppies pee, how long dogs can go without peeing, and how often should a dog urinate. Any discrepancies in these factors call for the interruption of your local vet. Do not expect them to go without peeing for more than eight hours as it can result in a more detrimental health issue.

To make sure your dog is performing frequent urination and in good health, take him for a walk often, and ensure your best friend finds comfort in his surrounding environment. Fear from people, separation from family, high amounts of skin irritation, odors of citrus fruits, and puppies who are deprived of sufficient food naturally hold their pee for longer.

The post How Long Can A Dog Go Without Peeing? first appeared on Well Pet Coach.