How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Pee? What You Need To Know

As dog owners head out of their house for the day, they might wonder: how long can dogs hold their pee? I know this was a question I often had when I had to go out for more than a couple of hours.

Even if your dog can stay in the house for six, eight, or more hours, is it really okay for them to hold their pee for so long? I know I would never want to be put in that situation!

It can be dangerous for your dog to hold their urine for too long, but you’ll be surprised to find out how long it’s okay to keep your dog inside. Let’s go through everything you need to know about dogs & their bathroom habits.


How Long Can Dogs Usually Hold Their Pee?

how long can dogs hold their pee

There is a general rule that you can follow about how long you can expect a dog to hold their urine.

They can hold their urine or feces for one hour for every month old that they are - up to a maximum of 8 hours!

The main thing you need to look for are any signs of anxiety in your dog or if they are having accidents. If your dog is dealing with either of these things, then they need to be let out to use the bathroom more often.

You should make sure that your dog gets to go outside to use the bathroom 3 to 5 times a day.

Notable Exceptions

There are some exceptions to this rule.

For example, if your dog is not yet house trained, they will not hold it inside. Also, if your dog is getting up in their years, they may not be able to hold it for as long as they could when they were younger dogs.

There can also be a difference between breeds. Some working dogs that are bigger can hold their pee for 10 - 12 hours without any issues. It will depend on your specific dog, their breed, their health situation, and many other factors.

How Often Should Dogs Urinate?

how long can dogs hold their pee

When you are wondering how long your dog can wait to use the bathroom, you should also understand how often a healthy dog should be passing urine.

Healthy dogs that have no health conditions should urinate every 8 to 10 hours. Age, sex, body size, and other health issues will affect how often they use the bathroom.

If a dog is a smaller breed or younger in age, they should be urinating more often than every 8 to 10 hours.

How Often Should A Dog Be Let Outside To Go To The Bathroom?

how long can dogs hold their pee

They should go outside 3-5 times at a minimum. Your dog might let you know that they need to go outside more often, but they should be let out at least this many times to give themselves the chance to relieve their bladders.

Is It Dangerous A Dog Holds Their Pee For Too Long?

Yes, it can be bad for a dog if they have to hold their urine in for too long.

Dogs that have been trained will try to hold their pee in until they are let outside, even if you are late coming home. Dogs that have to hold their pee often have been shown to have a higher risk of urinary tract infections and urinary stones.

There are also some people that theorize that dogs might be more at risk of certain cancers because of the contact between the urine and the cells in the body.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection?

If you are concerned about your dog having urinary problems, you should keep an eye out for signs of a urinary tract infection.

Keep an eye on how often your dog uses the bathroom at home. Additionally, look for common signs of urinary tract infections. These are some of the most common signs of urinary problems:

  • Having accidents indoors
  • Needing to urinate more frequently
  • Seem to be in pain when urinating
  • Having blood or pus in the urine

If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, you should make sure to take your dog to the vet. While there are some at-home remedies for urinary problems, they could be an underlying symptom of a bigger problem, so it is always best to have a full exam at the veterinary clinic.

Solutions To Use The Bathroom More Often

how long can dogs hold their pee

If you can’t be home to let your dog out more often, you might want to try one of these solutions to allow them to go to the bathroom as soon as they need to!

• Doggy Door

Adding a doggy door is a way to let your dog let themselves out. If you do this, the dog needs to have either a fence or an electric collar so they don’t get lost!

• Piddle Area

You can actually set up a specific area for your dog to use the bathroom inside. These sanitary areas can let your dog relieve themselves at will.

• Hire A Dog Sitter

You can hire a dog sitter to stop by your house in the afternoon to make sure that your dog gets the chance to use the bathroom and play outside for a few minutes every day.

• Dog Daycare

If your dog needs more attention or you’re going to be away from home for more than 9 hours, you may want to consider enrolling them in doggy daycare.

Don’t Make Them Wait Too Long

how long can dogs hold their pee

How long can dogs hold their pee? For more than 8 or even 10 hours, but that doesn’t mean that you should make them wait. Make sure that you understand how often your dog needs to go to the bathroom.

If you can’t take them outside that often, invest in a solution such as a dog sitter or a doggy door. Your dog’s urinary system will thank you!

Make sure to comment how your handle your dog’s pee problems below! Then, share this with any new dog owners who may be wondering how to handle this problem.


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