How Long Can a Small Dog Hold Its Bladder Overnight?

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How Long Can a Small Dog Hold Its Bladder Overnight

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Like a newborn baby, a puppy is a small bundle of joy. The excitement of bringing one home is inexplicable. Unfortunately, the excitement comes with many nights of limited or uninterrupted sleep. Puppy in Training published an article claiming that a puppy generally pees 24 times a day. Of course, this figure is more of a generalization but the truth of the matter is that a small dog pees quite a lot. A puppy has a tiny bladder than his adult counterparts and will need to go to the bathroom multiple times. If you don’t establish a nighttime potty routine, your house will be sprayed with dog urine round the clock. So, just how long can a young puppy go without peeing at night?

The Short Answer

According to the Humane Society, the number of hours a small can hold his pee is directly proportional to his age. For instance, if he’s one month old, he can hold his bladder for one hour. So, if you have a two-month-old, you might want to wake him up to pee every two hours. If you don’t, you will have accidents all over the house. As he grows older, keep adding an hour for each additional month.

The Long Answer

Like human beings, dogs have sphincter muscles that control the action of the urethra. In the first few weeks of his life, a puppy will have little or no control over these muscles. To complicate things even further, the bladder is quite tiny at this point. This combination is a perfect recipe for frequent peeing. Different puppies hold their bladder for different periods. An 8-week-old puppy can go as long as four hours without the need to pee while another one of the same age will soil his bed only one hour after his last bathroom break. Why is this so? Let’s talk about the factors influencing the length of time a puppy can hold his bladder:

  • Age: The younger the puppy, the frequent the urination. In case you are wondering, puppies sleep through the night only after turning 14-16 weeks of age. Until then, they will need to take breaks from time to time.
  • Health Issues: Certain conditions including diabetes can cause a puppy to pee more often. This is because a high blood sugar in the body causes extra urine to be produced, causing the dog to drink more water to cover up for the loss. In addition, a urinary tract infection (UTI) may tamper with the bladder control department. Thankfully, this condition is more prevalent among older dogs. Kidney infection, bladder stones, and medications have also been known to cause a puppy to pee more often.
  • Seasonal Weather Changes: During summer, your puppy will spend most of his time outdoors. Consequently, he will need more water. Because dogs don’t sweat as we do, they will pant to regulate their body temperatures. This deprives their water stores further making them even thirstier. The result? Frequent urination. When winter rolls in, your dog will drink less water and ultimately urinate less frequently.
  • Anxiety: Many puppies get an urge to urinate whenever they are nervous. To help your puppy, get a dog cave bed where he can retreat when the nervous breakdowns come knocking.
  • Training: This might come as a shock to you but the reason your dog pees way too much is incomplete or improper training. A puppy is literally a baby. He needs to be taught everything including the right and wrong places to pee and poo. It is solely your job to help him during the training period. Develop and maintain a solid schedule that takes into account his bathroom time.

The Danger of Holding Pee for Too Long

Having a puppy sleep through the night is the end goal for many puppy parents. While the idea of your dog holding pee for longer may excite you, it can damage your dog’s health. The same way you shouldn’t hold your pee for too long is how your dog shouldn’t either. Holding urine for too long has been linked to urinary tract infections and bladder stones. Some dogs have even developed urinary cancers because of prolonged contact between the urinary tract cells and carcinogens present in urine.

Tips To Help Reduce the Frequency of Bathroom Breaks at Night

Although a puppy is naturally predisposed to frequent urination, you can help reduce the frequency of the bathroom breaks. Some of the ingenious tips for doing that include the following:

1.Crate Him

In theory, dogs can hold their bladders better when they are confined than when left freely. For this reason, it might be a good idea to get him a crate to sleep in.

2. Stop all drinks and meals a few hours before bed

By stopping all eating and drinking an hour or two before bed, your dog can hold his bladder for longer. Plus, it makes it easier to ensure he has one more successful potty session before bed.

3. Take the dog outside frequently during the day

The recommended frequency is once every two hours. However, if you can’t manage to go for walks every two hours, try to do it as often as you can. Even taking your puppy to the yard makes a huge difference.

4. Let the dog have one last bathroom break before bed

When you are ready to retire to bed, wake your puppy up and rush him outside for one last elimination.

5. Add the bathroom break if the number of accidents goes up

While many puppies hold their bladders depending on their age, every dog is unique. If yours keeps soiling the crate despite taking him out as recommended, you might want to shorten the time between the breaks.

6. Be firm about zero night playtimes

When you take your puppy outside, make it clear from the onset that when the sun sets, going outside is strictly for peeing purposes.

7. Offer treats

Puppies respond well to treats. Whenever your small dog manages to pee outside with less drama and hassle, be sure to give them a treat.

8. Take him outside first thing in the morning

Once your puppy wakes up, his bladder will wake up too. This means that if you don’t rush him out quickly, he will release its contents somewhere inside the house.

The Bottom line

Puppies are innocent and sweet but require a lot more care than adult dogs. Potty training can be a real headache. Fortunately, with plenty of patience and determination, your little friend will hold his bladder throughout the night. The trick is to keep training him until he can go all night without going outside to pee.

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Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.