The length of time that a dog can go without urinating depends on a variety of factors – including it’s size, age, health, and how much your Dog drinks. Adult dogs can typically hold their urine for 6-12 hours; while young puppies can only manage 1-3 hours. It is also worth noting that these estimates are just averages, and the actual amount of time may vary.

On average, dogs produce between 23 and 46 milliliters of urine per kilogram of body weight per day, and they typically need to urinate 3-5 times a day if they are drinking a normal amount of water. For comparison, the average human produces about 1.4 liters of urine per day and needs to go to the bathroom 6-8 times per day.

Please Note: Large dogs with a completely empty bladder may be able to hold their urine for up to 16 hours – in the absence of drinking or physical activity. However; this is the absolute maximum, and it is not recommended to push a dog to this limit.


How long can Dogs hold Urine – an Overview

Here is an overview of how long dogs can hold their bladder on average. Further down you will also find breed-specific information.

AgeSmall DogMedium DogLarge Dog
< 6 month1-2 hours1-3 hours2-3hours
6 – 12 month2-7 hours3-8 hours3-9 hours
1 – 8 years6-10 hours6-12 hours7-14 hours
8 – 10 years4-8 hours4-10 hours5-11 hours
> 10 years3-5 hours3-6 hours4-7 hours
Table – How long can Dogs hold Urine – Size and Age

It is important to know that a distinction must be made here between “can” and “want”.

Because making dogs wait unnecessarily long before you let them out to pee can become a psychological torture for them.

Dog peeing

How long can Dogs hold Urine – Influencing Factors

There are several factors that can influence how long a dog is able to hold its urine. on average depends primarily on age, size, and other factors:

Age

It’s a well-known fact that young dogs have a shorter bladder capacity compared to adult dogs, even if they have been successfully housetrained.

The reason for this difference is anatomical. When they are young, the bladder and urinary tract are not fully developed yet. In fact, the bladder of a puppy is relatively small and the muscles that control the urethra and bladder are not fully formed.

As the puppy grows and matures, their maximum duration becomes shorter and shorter due to the weakening of these muscles from less activity.

Size

There is a clear correlation between a dog’s size and their bladder capacity. For example, Chihuahuas, which are known for being small breeds, typically weigh around 2 kg on average.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that their bladder is not much larger than a plum due to their anatomy. On the other hand, Mastiffs, which are much larger breeds with a shoulder height of almost one meter and a weight of up to 100 kg, have a bladder that is almost twice the size of a human’s.

It’s easy to see how small dog breeds would have a harder time holding their urine for long periods of time compared to their larger counterparts, as they simply have a smaller bladder and produce less urine.

Activity Level

The amount of physical activity a dog engages in can greatly affect their ability to hold their urine. At night, when the bladder and surrounding muscles are more relaxed, the urge to urinate decreases.

However, during the day when a dog is active, this urge increases. As a result, dogs that are constantly active can usually hold their pee for 6-10 hours, while those that sleep a lot at night may be able to hold it for 14-16 hours.

Health

Certain health conditions can also impact a dog’s bladder capacity.

For example, urinary tract infections, liver disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and obesity can significantly reduce the amount of time a dog can hold their urine or even lead to incontinence.

It’s also worth noting that mental health plays a role here, as dogs with anxiety disorders or those under severe stress may urinate more frequently.

Eating and Drinking Habits

The type of food and amount of water a dog consumes can also affect their bladder capacity.

Wet food and raw feeding, which contain a higher amount of moisture, can extend the period of time a dog can hold their urine, while dry food and less drinking can allow the bladder to be held for longer.

> Is Feeding Your Dog After 5 PM Really Not Recommended?

Female Castration

During female castration the ovaries are removed, where among other things “estrogen” is produced. However, this hormone is not only essential for reproduction.

Estrogen plays a role in regulating the sphincters on the urethra – so it’s not uncommon for neutered female dogs to experience incontinence after their operation.

Medication

Some drugs have a diuretic effect, i.e. they increase the urge to urinate. This is already in the name. Because “Diuretic” is Greek and stands for “urine-promoting”.

This type of medication is mostly used in cases of high blood pressure, edema, cardiac insufficiency, and kidney and liver disease.


Important: If your dog does not urinate within 24 hours, then I advise to immediately visit the vet. This is neither normal nor healthy.

Overall, the length of time a dog can hold its urine depends on a variety of factors, including age, size, activity level, health, and eating and drinking habits.

It’s important to consider these factors and be aware of any changes in your dog’s behavior or routine to ensure they are able to hold their urine comfortably and avoid any potential health issues.


How long can dogs hold their urine – Breed specific data

Here’s a list of the 50 most popular dog breeds in the U.S., along with statistics on how long they can hold their bladder for at most.

Dog BreedAge < 6 monthAge 6 – 12 monthAge 1 – 8 yearsAge 8 – 10 yearsAge >10 years
Airedale Terrier2-3 h3-8 h7-12 h5-10 h4-7 h
Akita (American)2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Alaskan Malamute2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
American Cocker Spaniel1-2 h2-8 h6- 11 h4-9 h3-5 h
Australian Shepherd2-3 h3-9 h7-13 h5-10 h4-6 h
Basset Hound2-3 h3-9 h7-13 h5-10 h4-6 h
Beagle1-2 h2-8 h6-11 h4-9 h3-5 h
Bichon Frise1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Border Collie1-3 h3-8 h6-12 h4-10 h3-6 h
Boston Terrier1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Boxer2-3 h3-8 h6-12 h4-10 h3-6 h
Brittany Spaniel1-3 h3-8 h6-12 h4-10 h3-6 h
Bulldog2-3 h3-9 h7-13 h5-10 h4-6 h
Cairn Terrier1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Chesapeake Bay Retriever2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Chihuahua1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Chinese Shar-Pei2-3 h3-8 h6-12 h4-10 h3-6h
Chow Chow1-2 h2-8 h6-11 h4-9 h3-5 h
Dachshund1-2 h2-8 h6-11 h4-9 h3-5 h
Dalamatin2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Doberman2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
English Springer Spaniel2-3 h3-9 h7-12 h5-10 h4-6 h
German Boxer2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
German Shepherd 2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
German Shorthaired Pointer2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Golden Retriever2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Great Dane2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Great Pyrenees2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Labrador Retriever2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Lhasa Apso1-2 h2-8 h6-11 h4-9 h3-5 h
Maltese1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Mastiff2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Miniature Pinscher1-2 h2-8 h6-11 h4-9 h3-5 h
Newfoundland2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Pekingese1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Pembroke Welsh Corgi1-3 h3-8 h6-12 h4-10 h3-6 h
Pomeranian1-3 h3-8 h6-12 h4-10 h3-6 h
Poodle1-3 h3-8 h6-12 h4-10 h3-6 h
Pug1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Rottweiler2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Saint Bernard2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Samoyed1-3 h3-8 h7-12 h5-10 h4-6 h
Schipperke1-2 h3-8 h7-12 h5-10 h4-6 h
Scottish Terrier (Scottie)1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)1-2 h2-8 h6-11 h4-9 h3-5 h
Shih-Tzu1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Siberian Husky2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
Weimaraner2-3 h3-9 h7-14 h5-11 h4-7 h
West Highland White Terrier1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
Yorkshire Terrier1-2 h2-7 h6-10 h4-8 h3-5 h
*Statistics: How long can this dog breed keep their urine – 50 most popular dog breeds in the USA

Every dog owner should be aware that these estimates are only a good guide but may not apply to every dog.

Some young dogs can hold their pee for up to 10 – 12 hours if needed, but that does not mean they are comfortable doing so.

As the dog owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your dog can go out to pee regularly and does not have to hold back his urine unnecessarily; just like humans, it is painful for dogs!

An average adult dog should be allowed to pee at least 3 to 5 times a day. That is at least once every 6-8 hours.


What Can Happen if a Dog Holds Pee for Too Long?

It is important for dogs to be able to relieve themselves regularly in order to maintain their urinary and overall health. If a dog holds its pee for too long – this can lead to a number of health problems, including:

  • Urinary tract infection: When a dog is unable to urinate – bacteria can build up in the urinary tract and cause an infection of the Urinary tract. This can be painful for the dog and may require antibiotics to treat.
  • Bladder stones: If a dog is unable to urinate regularly – mineral crystals can form in the bladder and lead to the formation of bladder stones. These stones can be VERY PAINFUL and may require surgical removal.
  • Incontinence: Holding urine for long periods of time can lead to incontinence – which is the inability to control urine leakage. This can be frustrating for the dog and may require medical attention and treatment.
  • Dehydration: When a dog is unable to urinate and does not drink – this can also lead to dehydration. It is important to ensure that your dog has access to clean water at all times and encourage it to drink regularly.

In order to prevent these health problems, it is important to make sure that your dog has access to a place to go to the bathroom and is able to relieve itself regularly.

If you are unable to provide your dog with the opportunity to go outside to use the bathroom; you should consider providing it with an indoor potty area or using training pads to prevent accidents.
Regular visits to the veterinarian can also help to identify and address any urinary issues early on.


Why Toilet Training for Puppies is Important

Toilet training for puppies is an essential part of raising a well-behaved and healthy dog. Here are some of the key reasons why toilet training is so important:

  • Prevents accidents: Toilet training helps to prevent accidents in the house – which can save you the hassle of cleaning up messes and reduce the risk of damage to your home.
  • Establishes routine and boundaries: Toilet training is a crucial part of establishing a routine and boundaries for your puppy; this can help to create a sense of structure and security for your dog, which can lead to a happier and more well-behaved pet.
  • Prevents health problems: Allowing a puppy to relieve itself indoors can lead to the development of urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and incontinence later in life. Toilet training will help to ensure that puppies are able to urinate and defecate in an appropriate and healthy manner.
  • Responsible pet ownership: Toilet training is an important aspect of responsible pet ownership. It helps to reduce the risk of disease transmission and keeps neighborhoods clean and hygienic.

To prevent possible peeing accidents, the following products are a real blessing:

  • Dog Flap: Burglar-proof, completely airtight, and allows only your dog into the house.
  • Pee Pads: Like a carpet-shaped tampon that absorbs all urine instantly and keeps it dirt-free.
  • Dog Diapers: Completely waterproof, reusable and an absolute hit visually.

Overall, toilet training is an important part of raising a happy and healthy puppy. With patience and consistency, most puppies can be successfully toilet trained in a short period of time.

A dog on an absorbent diaper diaper pad

“Does my Pup need to Pee? Watch for These Signs

As a pet owner, it’s important to recognize when your furry friend needs to go outside to relieve themselves. Most dogs start exhibiting certain behaviors when their bladder is around three-quarters full.

Pay attention to these signals so you can give your pup the opportunity to go potty before it’s too late. Here are some common behaviors to watch for:

  • Circling around
  • Scratching at the door
  • Standing near the door
  • Whining or barking
  • Seeking attention
  • Hiding or sneaking away
  • Staring intently at you
  • Being restless or fidgety
  • Running back and forth between people
  • Going back to a spot where they’ve peed before
  • Licking their hind end
  • Sniffing the ground intensely

Summary

The length of time that a dog can hold it`s urine depends on a variety of factors including a Dogs size, Dogs age, health, and how much your Dog drinks.

Adult dogs can hold their urine for 6-12 hours while young puppies can only manage 1-3 hours. It is important to understand that these estimates are just averages and the actual amount of time may vary.

There are several factors that can influence a Dog’s ability to hold its urine – including age, size, activity level, health, and eating and drinking habits. Please provide your dog with regular opportunities to go to the bathroom and to monitor its health and well-being – to ensure that your puppy is able to urinate and defecate normally.

Read also: Proven Natural Methods to keep Feals of your Dog!

Categories: DogsDogs Health

Marco

Marco Heitner

Hello, my Name is Marco. My family has had pets since I can remember. Today we have a large aquarium and, since recently, a four-month old Labrador. I am the owner of this website, and it is my great pleasure to provide helpful knowledge about pets. Our team is constantly working hard to publish well-researched reports here.

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