How Long Can A Small Dog Hold Its Bladder Overnight?

Dogs can be trained not to pee at night. This will save you from the hassle of taking the dog outside in the wee hours. 

how long can a small dog hold its bladder overnight
how long can a small dog hold its bladder overnight

But how long can a small dog hold its bladder overnight? Like humans, dogs have varying tolerance when it comes to holding their urine. On average, any dog can hold its bladder for up to 10 hours. Still, you shouldn’t push the dog to its limits because it would lead to health problems.In this post, I discussed how long a dog could hold its pee together with training tips. This is based on my experience with my previous dog even before I got Sherlock.

how long can a small dog hold its bladder overnight

How long can a small dog hold its pee?

A healthy dog can hold its bladder for 6 to 8 hours. Overall, the size of the dog has very little to do with its ability to hold its urine.

How long can a small dog hold its pee
how long can a small dog hold its bladder overnight

The following are the factors that affect how long a dog can hold its bladder:


Puppies, no matter what the breed is, are still developing. This means that their bladder muscles aren’t as strong as adult ones. A one-month-old pup can only hold its bladder for an hour. As the dog gets older, its tolerance becomes longer. please read here how long can you leave a thundershirt on a dog 

The rule of thumb is that dogs can hold their pee for an hour for every month of their age until they reach 8 months. Once your dog is 8 months old, the maximum limit to holding its pee is 8 hours. This is enough for a full night’s sleep.

Other dogs can stretch it to 10 hours, but it’s not good to force your dog to go through this. As with humans, holding its bladder for too long can lead to urinary problems. please read here why dose my dog stretch so much.

Also, senior dogs tend to have poor control over their bladder. Many can’t hold it as long as they used to. It’s best to bring your senior dog outdoors every four hours so it can eliminate properly. This will also avoid accidents as the old dog tries to reach the door.

Health condition

Aside from age, you also have to factor in the health of the canine. Younger dogs with urinary problems will often suffer from incontinence, making it difficult for them to hold their pee overnight.

Urinary tract infection and diabetes are two of the most common conditions that make dogs pee frequently. Bladder stones, kidney infection, and certain medications will also affect your dog’s ability to hold its urine.


Anxious dogs are more likely to pee out of scheduled potty hours. Their nervousness increases their urge to empty their bladders.

How long can a small dog hold its pee
how long can a small dog hold its bladder overnight

To prevent this at night, you should give your dog a quiet ‘dog cave’ where it can relax and sleep until morning. Please read here how to cure dog anxiety

Seasonal changes

During summer, dogs drink more. However, they don’t sweat, so their way of cooling their bodies is through peeing. So the more your dog drinks, the more it urinates. please read here how to keep a dog cool insidethe house

Meanwhile, your dog will drink and urinate less during the winter season.

Level of training

How you train your dog will affect how well it can hold its bladder. Dogs won’t learn how to hold their bladder if you’re not going to teach them how to. This is the main purpose of potty training your dog. Below, I discussed some tips that will help prevent accidents in the middle of the night.

Tips for training your dog to hold its bladder overnight

If your dog is having a hard time holding its bladder overnight, the following tips will help a lot:

Stick to a routine

The first thing you should do is set up a routine for your dog. Canines are beings of habit, so they thrive on a specific schedule.

For example, you should bring your dog outside at exactly 6 am every day. After that, the next potty schedule would be at 2 pm or right after your dog’s lunch. And before bedtime, the last potty trip can be around 10 pm. You can also set up a doggy door, so your pet can pee on its own during the day.

Such routines will teach your dog that there’s a time for elimination. This will help prevent accidents, but you have to pair it with the next point.

Crate training is the key

Crate training is a necessary process if you want your dog to hold its bladder overnight. In crate training, you teach your dog to sleep inside a cage at night.

Tips for training your dog to hold its bladder overnight
how long can a small dog hold its bladder overnight

This small space mimics a dog’s den in the wild. And since it’s cramped, your dog will feel safe away from predators. It will also help nervous dogs relax.

However, crate training should be done slowly and carefully. You should never force or lock your dog inside against its well. Instead, lure it into the crate with food and toys. Allow your dog to sniff and explore the crate without closing or locking the door. You first have to build your dog’ trust that the crate is harmless.

Feeding your dog inside the crate will also work. After some time, try closing the door while your dog eats. If it cries and begs to be let out, open the door right away. Do this repeatedly until your pet can tolerate being inside longer.

Once your dog is fully crate trained, you should use the crate as a sleeping pod for your pet. Dogs don’t soil their sleeping area, so they will be compelled to hold their bladder and poop at night.

Limit water intake at night

Another important thing you should do is limit your dog’s water intake at night. Less drinking means fewer instances of peeing.

You should empty your dog’s water bowl three hours before bedtime. This way, the dog can urinate on its last potty trip before you put it in the crate.

Don’t worry because dogs can go on without water for hours. In the morning after its first potty trip, you can feed the pooch and put back its water supply. please read here how long can go a dog without water.

Rule out health problems

If your dog keeps peeing at night, you should take it to the vet’s clinic. Your pet might be suffering from a urinary problem or other health issues. It’s important to rule out this aspect so your doggo will receive proper treatment if it’s diagnosed with an illness.

Clean up accident spots

Lastly, always clean up accident spots properly. This is to prevent your dog from peeing on it all over again.

Remember that wiping the surface isn’t enough. Dogs can still sniff the remaining scent, which allows them to track their potty spot.

You should use an enzyme cleaner to get rid of all the urine traces on your pet’s accident spot. This will prevent the dog from tracking the area and causing another accident.

What happens if you force a dog to hold its pee for too long?

Forcing your dog to hold its pee for long can have health consequences. If done repeatedly, this will lead to urinary infections as well as the formation of urinary crystals. Over time, your dog will have kidney stones that will be expensive to remove and treat. Aside from that, a dog will find it hard to urinate if it always holds its bladder for long.

This is the reason why you should always schedule potty trips with your dog. It will prevent accidents and keep your dog healthy.

How long can small dogs hold their poop?

In general, dogs have to defecate once to four times a day. Most pups will go twice a day, but it’s completely normal if your small dog skips a day without pooping. This can happen if you cut back on your dog’s calorie intake.

However, if your dog isn’t pooping for three days, you should bring it to the vet. This isn’t normal, and your pet probably has a blockage that’s stopping it from defecating.

Is it normal for dogs not to pee for 24 hours?

It’s not normal for dogs to go without peeing for 24 hours. This should be a cause of concern for pet owners. The dog may be suffering from urinary problems that require veterinary care.

You shouldn’t wait for more hours before taking your dog to the vet. Early intervention will always cost less in terms of vet bills.

Why can’t my dog hold her bladder overnight?

If your dog is having a hard time holding its bladder at night, you should get urinary problems ruled out first.

However, you should also consider that your dog isn’t properly housetrained. If the vet ruled out any health problem, you should brush up with the dog’s potty training. You should also come up with a schedule so your dog will get used to holding its bladder.


How long can a small dog hold its bladder overnight? For the most part, the dog’s size has nothing to do with the canine’s ability to hold its pee. Age, health, and training will dictate your dog’s ability to hold it through the night. And no matter how long your dog can go without relieving itself, you shouldn’t push it to the limits.

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