How Long Can A Dog Hold Its Bladder During The Day?

Last Updated on October 2, 2021 by Marco

Does your dog spend most of its time indoors? Is it cold outside where you live? Perhaps you live in an apartment, and ‘outside’ is an elevator ride away.

If you own a dog that comes inside, you need to know, how long can a dog hold its bladder during the day?

Read on to find out.

How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Pee?

How long a dog can hold its pee for depends on a few factors. The main factor is their age. A healthy adult dog can go overnight without needing to pee, provided that they are let out to pee last thing at night and first thing in the morning. 

During the day, however, when they are drinking water (and more so if the weather is hot and they are drinking even more), then every four to six hours is a good amount of time between pee trips.

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Peeing?

This all depends on the dog! The bigger the dog, the bigger the bladder. So if you have a toy breed they may need to go out more frequently than a husky.

Your dog will let you know when they need to pee. They will be restless and start to pace. Many dogs will stare at you, or go to the door. They are willing you to take them out, so don’t ignore them!

Can Dogs Hold Their Pee?

Dogs can hold their pee up to a certain point but just because they can does not mean they should have to. They really rely on us to give them access to the toilet to avoid stress and discomfort.

Making them hold their wee for too long is not good for their bladder, and over time making them hold on all day may lead to weakened bladder muscles and urinary tract infections.

Puppies and Pee Times

Puppies need to pee a lot more than adult dogs. They should be taken out every one to two hours. They are still learning how to control their bladder muscles and their bladders are still small. 

Learn more about: How To Clean Up Runny Dog Poop On Carpet

If you live in an apartment then you may want to provide your puppy with puppy training pads in case you don’t think they can hold on until you get outside.

Here are some examples of puppy wee pads you can buy:

AmazonBasics Disposable Puppy Pee Pads

These disposable wee pads come in a pack of 100. They feature five-layer technology for super absorbency and they have a special scent embedded inside the layers to attract your puppy to it when they need to wee. They also come in multiple sizes, just like puppies do.

Uboory Pee Pads 

These reusable pee pads come in a pack of two. They are pretty big, covering an area of 30 by 36 inches. These pads are made of soft polyester, have a breathable water membrane, a super-absorbent cotton layer, and a no-slip base. They are easy to machine wash and are suitable for older incontinent dogs too.

Similarly, older dogs will experience some weakening of the bladder muscles as they age and therefore should be allowed to go out to pee every few hours.

Incontinence In Older Dogs

Older dogs may experience some dribbling when they get old. This is nothing to worry about generally, and they cannot help it. Just keep some disinfectant wipes on hand to clean up after them. 

When you’re out walking an older dog you may find that they need to stop several times to wee and only release a little bit at a time. This is quite normal too.

You can also buy disposable or washable diapers for senior dogs, that may suit your circumstances.

Here are a few that we like:

Hertz Disposable Dog Diapers

We like these disposable dog diapers because they are designed for both male and female dogs. They have a snug fit that won’t leak, ‘flash’ dry to ensure comfort, and they offer up to 6 hours protection. These diapers come in various sizes and patterns.

Pet Parents Reusable Dog Diaper

These washable reusable pet diapers are made for both male and female dogs. They come in. A pack of three and they are all black so they won’t stain. They have a hole for your dog’s tail, Velcro straps for an adjustable fit, and they come in several sizes.

Dog Pee: What’s Normal and What Isn’t

With a healthy adult dog, you will know the difference between them marking their territory and them having a proper wee. When you let an adult dog out first thing in the morning they don’t muck around. They usually release their bladder entirely in one go.

It pays to observe your dog weeing from time to time to make sure their wee is coming out in a strong and steady stream (easier to observe in male dogs, granted.) It should look clear, and not cloudy (mustard-colored wee may indicate liver problems) and it should not smell too overpowering.

Very yellow wee means your dog needs to drink more. Dog wee should be light yellow, clear, and relatively ‘clean’ smelling.

The Takeaway

Puppies and older dogs cannot hold their bladders too long and should be taken out to wee every hour or two.

Adult dogs can hold their wee for four to six hours during the day when they are drinking more, and for longer overnight (when they are not drinking); just make sure you take them out last thing before bed and first thing in the morning.

Dogs are very good at telling us when they need to pee, they will get restless, stare at you, and sometimes hang around the door.

Healthy adult dogs should have a strong and steady flow of light yellow and clear wee that does not have a super-strong smell.

If your dog is straining to wee or has mustard-colored, cloudy, or foul-smelling wee, take them to the vet. There may be issues with their urinary tract, bladder, or even their liver.

Wee pads and dog diapers are good options for young and old dogs who are having trouble holding their wee and who have unpredictable toilet schedules.

And NEVER scold your dog for weeing inside! When you gotta go, you gotta go…

Read more about: Can You Trim A Dog’s Whiskers?

Leave a Comment