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How Long Can a Dog Go Without Peeing?

Small poodle peeing on tall grass

Just like humans, it is also very unhealthy for canines to control the urge to pee for too long. The people who have a pet must know how long their dog can go without peeing. This question is even more essential for the owners who like to travel with their pups.

Similarly, you should also be able to spot signs of potential health problems that can cause frequent urination in dogs. Whether your dog is peeing more or less than normal, you need to seek immediate veterinary help.

How Often Do Dogs Need to Urinate?

Puppies need to go much more often than adult dogs. A healthy dog can be expected to produce 10-20 ml of urine for each pound of its weight. The occurrence of urination should remain quite steady at 3-5 times a day or after every 6-8 hours.

Several factors are responsible for causing a variation in the peeing habits of canines. Likewise, they also play an important role in determining the duration a dog can manage without peeing.

Factors Affecting Your Dog’s Peeing Habits

In addition to some psychological factors, age, breed, size, diet, and physical activity of your pup can affect his/her frequency of urination.

Size and Age

Overweight weiner dog standing in grass

Much like humans, puppies tend to pee more often because they have a smaller bladder. Another explanation for their frequent urination is that they eat and drink more than adult dogs.

On the other hand, healthy, adult canines can go without peeing for much longer. However, the situation will change when your furry companion grows old. Older dogs tend to pee more frequently because of certain health conditions that are linked with the aging process. Diabetes is one of the biggest examples of these ailments.

Lack of Physical Activity

This problem is generally observed in older dogs. They can’t have an active lifestyle because their bodies have become weak. Consequently, the organs of these canines also slow down.


Bulldog sitting in grass

The breed of your dog is another critical factor to determine his/her peeing frequency. For instance, an English Bulldog who doesn’t get much exercise might pee more often than a Schipperke who is always active.


The level of hydration also plays a vital role in molding your dog’s peeing habits. The pups who drink more water have to go more often. In contrast to that, the canines who don’t like to drink water can go without peeing for several hours.

How Long Can Dogs Go Without Peeing?

Boxer peeing on a trash can

Even though they do not apply to all pooches, experts have determined some limits for peeing duration. For example, small dogs can wait for up to 3 hours to pee. Similarly, adult dogs can wait up to 8 hours, but they shouldn’t hold for more than 6.

In the case of senior dogs, a lot depends on their size and health. Having said that, they can generally wait for 2 to 6 hours. These estimations vary according to a dog’s size, health, and habits.

If a canine is forced to hold his/her urine for too long, he/she becomes vulnerable to many medical problems. Urinary tract infections, stones, and crystals are among the most common ailments. Additionally, holding urine for too long is just plain uncomfortable, and can lead to accidents in the house.

How Long Can Your Puppy Go Without Peeing?

brown and white puppy sitting next to pee puddle on kitchen floor

Normally, people prefer puppies instead of adult dogs while considering their pets. Therefore, they need to know about the capability of puppies to hold pee. The following is a complete breakdown for puppies of different ages.

8-10 weeks

These young puppies simply can’t hold their urine for more than an hour, and even that is pushing it. You can start crate training at this age, but you shouldn’t leave a young puppy there for long spells. This is because there are significant chances that he/she will wet the bed.

10-12 weeks

Although the bladder capacity is growing, canines of this age can’t hold pee for more than 2 hours.

3-6 months

At this stage of a canine’s life, consider the one hour per month rule. This means that a 3-month-old puppy can wait for three hours whereas 6-month-old pups can hold for six hours.

After 6 months

Just like adult dogs, an older puppy can go without peeing for 6-8 hours. Ideally, the holding period shouldn’t exceed the barrier of 6 hours.

What Triggers Frequent Urination in Dogs?

bottle of pills spilling out onto blue surface

Various causes can lead to frequent urination in dogs. For instance, fear or anxiety may lead to unexpected peeing accidents. In addition to that, many health problems can also cause this unwanted condition. The following is a list of some of the most common reasons for frequent urination in dogs.

  • Psychological or behavioral problems
  • Side effects of medication
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Other hormonal disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Polyuria and Pollakiuria
  • Kidney failure
  • Tumors

When to Call the Vet

Beagle being examined at vet

Frequent urination in dogs isn’t always a symptom of a problem. Instead, factors, like age, weight, and breed, can all cause your dog to pee more often than usual. However, some warning signs can indicate serious medical emergencies. The list of these critical symptoms include:

  • Change in the color of urine especially to very dark or red
  • Straining or discomfort when urinating
  • A sudden, diverse increase in the number of times your dog needs to pee


Always keep in mind that your pet’s comfort comes first. When you’re making plans for your pup, make sure that you consider his/her specific needs. For example, be careful about their eating schedule and peeing habits to keep them happy and satisfied.

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