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How Long Can Dog Hold Its Pee? [6 Factors Affecting Pee Frequency]

Updated by Sheryl on Nov 4, 2021

Most dog parents have to leave their pets for a long time at home during their work hours. Similarly, when house training a dog, or during air travel with your pet without pet lavatories, the owners are worried about the bladder control of their pets.

This post will cover all info about factors affecting dog's urinating frequency. In addition, you'll know the risks for a dog holding pee for too long.

puppy pee
  • How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Pee
  • 6 Factors Affecting Pee Holding Frequency in Dogs
  • How Often Should Your Dog Go out for Pee
  • Risks for Dogs Holding Pee for Too Long
  • What Should You Do for Improvement of Your Dog's Urinary Health

Generally speaking, healthy adult dogs can control their pee for 6 to 8 hours. Some can go without peeing for 10 to 12 hours.

Some dogs can even control their bladder for longer than this duration. But you should not let your furry friend go without emptying the bladder for too long since it can be risky for its urinary health, and it can lead to accidents in the house.

Puppies have the least bladder control during early weeks. Puppies under 3 months of age can hold their pee from 1 to 3 hours. As they grow up, their urine holding duration increases.

On the other hand, senior dogs have poor bladder control due to muscle weakening.

In short, each dog has an individual personality, and they grow at different rates. Several factors are responsible for pee holding frequency in dogs.

Breed Size

Smaller dog breeds have a smaller bladder with less urine holding capacity. This factor matters a lot in the successful house training of your dog. It means that you should be patient while potty training the smaller breeds since they take time.

Depending on their body weight, puppies pass 10 to 20ml urine per pound in 24 hours. Similarly, larger dogs also take frequent pee breaks in the early days of life.

However, pee holding frequency depends more on housetraining than the capacity of the bladder. Therefore, the more effectively you train your pup, the more they can wait before emptying the bladder.


The dogs suffering from health issues tend to urinate frequently. The common health problems affecting the urinary tract include infections, stones, kidney and liver diseases, cancer, etc. The kidney and urinary tract stones can block the passage of urine. This condition is extremely serious for your pet. Certain pet medicines have side effects on the bladder.

Food and Water Intake

Some dogs drink more water in a single time. It may also increase the urination frequency. On the other hand, the raw or wet diet also hydrates the body and leads to frequent potty breaks. The dogs that eat dry food tend to urinate less often.

puppy pee


Puppies have underdeveloped and small-sized bladders that tend to fill quickly as compared to adults. Plus, they are learning potty training, and their bladder muscles are still developing. That's why they can't hold pee for too long.

So how long can puppies hold their pee? With each month of growth, their pee holding duration increases to 1 hour. For example, puppies under 3 months of age can control their bladders for up to 3 hours. At the same time, 6 to 8 months old critters can go without urinating for 6 to 8 hours.

The dogs, 8 years older and above, are senior dogs. They need frequent (every 2 to 3 hours) potty breaks due to weak bladder muscles, liver, kidney problems, and mobility issues that may cause accidents in the home.

Bad Habits

Most un-neutered dogs (both males and females) have territory marking behaviors. They try to communicate with other dogs of that area through their urine scent. Plus, the female dogs find mates by keeping the other dogs away from their place.

Sometimes, younger dogs unconsciously pee at home due to excitement and overwhelming situations. Meeting a new person or pup also makes them leave a puddle. Such bad habits need the training to rule out until your puppy behaves calmly.


If you stay at home and take your dog out to do its business several times a day, it means that your furry friend can hold its pee for a particular time after this housetraining. Contrarily, if you have an 8 to 9 hours workday, your dog will be trained to control its pee for longer. In short, your pet's house training determines the frequency of potty breaks.

puppy pee

You should allow your dog to go out for a pee and relieve itself at least 3 to 5 times a day. However, this frequency can be more or less depending on the situation and other factors. Some dogs are trained to hold their bladder for too long.

You should not encourage them since controlling urine for more than a certain period might result in serious health issues. Therefore, sticking to a toilet schedule is the key to the success of house training.

  1. Bladder Distention:

    Senior dogs can suffer bladder distention if they go without urinating for long periods. Typically, the bladder walls are elastic, but they can stretch to a limit. Beyond this limit, it results in leakage and permanent damage to bladder muscles. In this case, surgery is required to reposition the bladder's neck though it doesn't cure 100%.  Do take your senior dogs out for pee every 3 to 5 hours.

  2. Urinary Tract Infection:

    Most dog parents want to know the answer for, Can dog get UTI from holding pee? The answer is yes; your dog can develop a urinary tract infection if it makes a habit of controlling the bladder for too long. If this condition persists, it leads to crystal formation in the urinary tract, bladder, and urethra. In a healthy dog that follows a bathroom routine, the infection-causing microorganisms don't accumulate in the bladder. Contrarily, bacteria build up in the bladder, causing infections.

  3. Cancer:

    Sometimes, your dog's pee might contain carcinogenic compounds. If these compounds come in long-term contact with the epithelial lining of the bladder, it can cause urinary cancer.

puppy and toilet

To improve your dog's urinary health, you should encourage him to pee instead of holding it for longer than 8 to 12 hours. You can follow these mentioned tips.

  • Set a pet toilet in your home: It is best to housetrain your pup from an early age. Dogs usually don't poop or pee in their sleeping place. So, you can train them to go out to do their business or use a pee pad if they can't go out, especially at night. For this purpose, set an indoor toilet space for your pet so it can relieve itself when needed.
  • Make a Vet Visit: Make a quarterly (or monthly if you can) vet appointment for a thorough physical exam of your dog. It will help rule out health issues before getting too late.
  • Hire a dog walker: If you have long duty hours and you can't come back home in midday breaks, hiring a dog walker is the best option for you. In this way, your dog will not only pass out its wastes but also find enough time to stay out and explore even when you are busy.
  • Dog daycare is also an option if you don't have enough time to supervise poop and peep breaks of your pet. With friendly professional support, your pooch will stay engaged in positive activities instead of staying alone at home.


How to Stop a Dog from Peeing in the House?

How to Potty Train a Puppy: Expert's Guide to Training Your Puppy

Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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