How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Pee


Most experts advise taking out your dog to pee at least three times a day. However, this is just not doable for some pet owners. You don’t have to walk your dog three times a day though. All you need to know: How long can dogs hold their pee?

In worst-case scenarios, dogs can go 12 hours without peeing. Even though dogs can hold their pee for 12 hours, they should pee once every 8 hours. 

It’s understandable if your dog holds its pee for 12 hours once a month. Every once and then, you just can’t make it in time. You should walk your dog however your schedule allows you to. It’s best to stick to a routine, let’s expand on this.

How Many Times A Day Do Dogs Need To Pee

How Many Times A Day Do Dogs Need To Pee

Owning a dog requires you to have a certain amount of free time. Most of that free time you will spend walking the dog. Ideally, you have an open window in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening or late at night.

For some pet owners, this isn’t really an option. Some wake up late in the morning, some go to work really early, some come back home from work really late.

Dogs should pee at least two times a day. Ideally, dogs pee three times a day but that’s not necessary. Two times a day is okay as long as the dog is not holding its pee for a long time. [Source]

If you can’t walk your dog three times a day, that doesn’t really mean that you shouldn’t own a dog. Many pet owners with busy schedules find the time to walk their dogs.

[Related Article: How Do Dogs Drink Water and How Much is Enough]

How Long Is Too Long For A Dog To Go Without Peeing

Since the most important thing is for the dog to not hold its pee for too long, that’s what you need to worry about. Dogs that frequently hold their pee for too long can develop some serious health issues.

For most adult dogs, 10-12 hours is too long to go without peeing. Although dogs can probably hold their pee for that long, it’s not healthy to do so. Doing this once in a while is probably okay. But this shouldn’t happen frequently.

For old dogs, 8 hours is too long to go without peeing. With elderly dogs, it’s a bit different. They are slow, and their urinary tract can’t hold pee for long. Also, they are more likely to develop some health problems. So, old dogs should not go 8 hours without peeing.

Puppies are untrained so they pee when they want. If you ever had a puppy, you know what I’m talking about. Puppies can’t hold their pee at all. Also, they don’t really know that they should hold their pee. Puppies will pee when they need to whether you like it or not. Usually, they pee every 2-3 hours.

[Related Article: 10 Signs That Your Dog Is Crying For Help Or Under Distress]

Dog Potty Schedule

Dog Potty Schedule

The most important thing when it comes to taking your dog to pee is to abide by a regular schedule. Just like us, dogs make a routine out of their potty habits. If a dog pees at the same time every day, its urinary system will know that it should pee at that exact time.

So, if you have a busy work schedule, you can train your dog to adapt to that schedule. As long as the dog is not holding its pee for more than 8 hours, you can make your own schedule.

  • Take your dog to pee as early as you can in the morning.
    Whether you are working a nine-to-five job or you have flexible work hours, the morning walk should be dedicated to peeing. This is something that you need to figure out.
  • If you are going late to work and you come back late in the afternoon, walk your dog later in the morning. 
    Let’s say you are going to work at 10 or 11. Then, it doesn’t make sense to walk your dog early in the morning. You are going to get back home late, so your dog will hold its pee for more than 8 hours. That’s why you should walk your dog a bit later.
  • Walk your dog as soon as you come back from work. 
  • Make sure your dog has peed 8 hours before its morning pee walk. 
  • Consider 2 short walks dedicated just for peeing. 
  • Consider housetraining your dog. [Source]
  • If you have a yard, let your dog pee in the yard at night or in the morning.
  • Stick to the schedule. 

[Related Article: Is It Too Late To Train My Dog After 2 Years Old]

What Happens When Dogs Hold Their Pee For Too Long

Most adult dogs have the ability to hold their pee even for more than 12 hours. For a dog to hold its pee for too long once or twice is not that dangerous. After all, most of us pet owners couldn’t make it back home in time at least once.

Dogs holding their pee for too long can lead to some health problems. This only happens when dogs hold their pee for too long repeatedly. When that happens, dogs can develop urinary tract infections. Also, stones and crystals may form in the urinary tract.

To avoid this from happening, you need to walk your dog regularly. Do not allow your dog to hold its pee for more than 8 hours more than once or twice a month.

Dogs with urinary tract infections will not be able to hold their pee at all. So, you will see your dog peeing at home after you had taken it out for a walk. Consult with a vet if this happens. Most likely, you will need to get dedicated dog food.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Can A Dog Hold It For 10 Hours

Yes, dogs are able to hold their pee for more than 10 hours. This is not a good thing though. Dogs should not hold their pee for more than 8 hours. Otherwise, infections will form in the urinary tract.

How Long Can 4 Months Puppy Hold Pee

A 4-months old puppy can hold its pee for as long as 4 hours. After that, the puppy will probably find a place to relieve itself.

Tim Adams

Tim has experience of 15 years with a wide variety of pets. Anything animal-related is his passion, so he is here to share some good practices to know about owning pets.

Recent Posts