Dog health | Dogs

How Long can Dogs Hold their Pee? Here’s What you Need to Know.

how long can dogs hold their pee

Just as humans want to relieve themselves every time they feel the urge to pee, so do the man’s best friend; the dog. It is not only comforting but also a healthy practice.

As a first-time dog owner, probably a long-distance traveler or possibly a dog owner with a busy work schedule, you may want to establish how long can dogs hold their pee?

Well, a number of factors play in that include age, sex, physical activity, dog breed, body size, etc. It is, therefore, significant to observe your canine friend and determine her urinary frequency.

Also, find out what works for both of you in order to ensure that she maintains a normal urination frequency even when you are far away from home.

In this article, we delve into how often do dogs pee? how long they hold their pee, solutions to encourage normal urinary frequency, causes and possible solutions of frequent and infrequent urination in dogs.                        

How often do dogs pee?

Generally, a healthy dog pees three to five times a day. Most adult dogs pass urine after 8 to 10 hours depending on their body size, health conditions, and sex, etc.

However, you may find that your puppy may pee more or less frequently. A number of factors play in that may affect the frequency of your pup’s pee. They include sex, age, size, breed, activity, stress, level of hydration and diet.

For instance, a young puppy is more likely to pee more frequently since they have a small urinary bladder that doesn’t hold large amounts of urine compared to that of an adult dog.

Also, senior adult dogs are likely to pee more often not only due to the age factor but also their prevailing health conditions.

A well-hydrated pup will likely pee often as opposed to a dehydrated pup. Keep your canine friend well-hydrated at all times.

How long can dogs hold their pee?

Although dogs are individualistic just like other animals, generally a dog can hold urine for up to 8 to 10 hours. However, they should not exceed 8 hours before passing urine.

Remember, a pooch pees 10-20 ml for each pound of her weight.  

How long can dogs hold their pee also depends on a number of factors that include their physical activity, age, breed, etc.

A large dog breed that is physically active can hold urine for longer compared to small non-active dogs. That is approximately 10-12 hours without any health problem.

As a dog owner, it is important to potty-train your canine to pass urine after every 8 hours or less, since holding urine for long could be detrimental to her health.

Look out for signs that your dog is ready to pass out urine and respond accordingly.

Reasons not to let your puppy hold on pee for long

Even though dogs can hold urine for up to 10 hours or 12 hours (for some breeds), it is not advisable to regularly have them hold urine for this long.

It is not only uncomfortable for them but also poses certain health risks for your adorable canine.

Some of the possible health risks include:

Bacterial infection.

Your canine may suffer from the likelihood of contracting urinary tract infections (UTI) as a result of the increased accumulation of bacteria. UTIs need to be promptly failure to which your pet may develop urinary stones.


She may also develop certain types of cancers for instance bladder cancer, as a result of the interaction of the body cells and the carcinogens present in the urine.

A common symptom of urinary cancer is recurring UTIs and can be fatal within a short period, if not treated promptly. Treatment of cancer may involve processes such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.


She can also suffer from incontinence as a result of the bladder failing to hold urine for long, after several years.

Treatment of incontinence is mainly through surgical processes; Cystourethropexy and Colposuspension.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs):

As a dog parent, it is important to be on alert for any sign of urinary infections especially if your dog often holds urine for an extended period of time.

Potty-trained canines tend to hold urine for long until their master gives them a green light or prior to ‘accidents’.

Common UTI Symptoms

  • Increased urinary frequency or inability to urinate.
  • Discomfort when peeing.
  • Presence of blood or fluid in your dog’s pee.
  • Dog ‘accidents’ in the house/lack of bladder control.
  • Weight loss.
  • Lethargy and vomiting.
  • Lack of appetite.

If you spot any of these signs in your dog, you should promptly consult your veterinarian for clinical diagnosis and treatment.

Remember even a symptom could be a sign of a more complicated health condition.

Nonetheless, it is easy to manage UTIs in dogs using particular antibiotics that inhibit the growth of bacteria.

How to prevent your dog from holding urine for long. 

With our busy life schedules at work, sometimes it gets difficult managing our dogs’ urinary habits.

At the same time, we do not want to see our best friends suffer from health conditions that result from holding urine for long. 

Not to mention the expensive medical care you will have to incur. There must be a remedy!

Investing in a doggielawn

If you are unable to take your pup out in the backyard to relieve herself often, then you may consider investing in a doggielawn.

It is an eco-friendly real grass that lets your dog pee in it, at her own schedule in the house or even outside. Doggielawn is not only easy to maintain but neutralizes odor as well. 

The bin is available in different sizes to serve all dog-sizes and also lasts for weeks. Many dogs find it friendly, therefore, a perfect dog potty grass pad.

Have a dog sitter

Employing a dog sitter is a preferable choice especially if you want your doggy to have a companion during the day when you are away.

A dog sitter will ensure that your canine pees regularly at recommended intervals by taking her out in the backyard.

In addition, she can engage your pup in healthy active play to help her keep fit while outside.

Doggy day-care

If you are away from your house for the better part of the day and would love your dog to have an extra-care, then consider registering your pup in a day-care.

There is an increasing number of doggy day-care centers owing to the demand for such services. Your canine friend will enjoy the utmost care and won’t have to hold urine for long.

Frequent urination among dogs

Are you worried about your dog’s urination frequency? Well, a number of behavioral problems as well as health conditions can contribute to frequent urination among dogs.

Some of the behavioral problems such as excitement and fear can lead to loss of bladder control hence accidental pee.

On the other hand, some health issues may contribute to the frequent urination. They include diabetes, kidney failure, tumor, liver disease, hormonal disorders, polyuria, and pollakiuria, etc.

Other causes include age and the effects of medication. 

Possible solutions to frequent urination among dogs

Determining the underlying cause of frequent urination goes a long way in finding a possible solution.

For instance, if it is a behavioral problem emanating from sudden fear and excitement, you may want to train your canine friend to contain her emotions as well as engage her in some relaxation exercises.  

Conversely, if it is a health-related issue, you should consult your veterinarian for clinical examination and treatment. With early diagnosis, your dog will be on the right path to healing and you get to forget the recurring ‘accidents’.

Infrequent urination. What to do.

You might find that your dog seems unable to pee but shows no sign of pain. Infrequent urination may be initial symptoms of dehydration. As a dog parent, you will need to offer her lots of water as well as electrolytes to keep her hydrated.

On the other hand, your dog may face infrequent urination but exhibit pain. This could be a case of an underlying health concern. Visit your veterinarian doctor to clinically examine your canine.

Some of the health conditions that may cause infrequent urination among dogs include kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTIs).


Generally, dogs can hold their pee for 8-10 hours and in some cases up to 12 hours depending on the breed. However, it is always advisable not to allow your dog to hold urine for more than 8 hours.

When dogs hold urine for long severally, they are likely to suffer from mild to severe health conditions that include bacterial infection, UTIs, and bladder cancer, etc.

Remember, normal urination frequency is a great sign of the healthy condition of your dog. Some dogs may experience frequent or infrequent urination. Always observe your dog and seek clinical assistance as deemed necessary.

Ensure that your dog exercises normal urination frequency even when you are away from the house. Invest in a doggielawn, employ a dog sitter or enroll her in a doggy day-care.


How long is too long for a dog to go without peeing?

A healthy dog can take up to 6-8 hours before relieving herself. However, under unavoidable circumstances, she can hold up urine for up to 10-12 hours.

Can dogs hold pee overnight?

Yes. Canines rarely require bathroom breaks at night. So you do not have to wake up to take her out to pee.

How often should your dog pee?

That would depend on several factors such as age, body size, and breed. Generally, an adult dog should pee at least 3-5 times on a daily basis. For young and smaller breeds, the frequency increase since their small bladder can’t hold much urine.

What happens if a dog holds its urine for too long?

If this happens severally, she is likely to suffer from urinary tract infections that if not managed promptly, can lead to urinary stones.

What is the hardest dog breeds to potty train?

There are a number of dog breeds that will take lots of patience to potty train them. They include Bichon Frise, Dalmatian, Afghan Hounds, Dachshund, and Jack Russell Terrier. 

How long can puppies hold their urine?

Puppies urinate frequently, therefore, you should offer her several bathroom breaks as well as potty train her, otherwise she will have several ‘accidents’.

Generally, a two-month-old puppy can urinate in an interval of three hours.

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