How Long Can Small Dogs Hold Their Pee?

Adrienne Farricelli

How long can small dogs hold their pee tends to vary based on a variety of factors. Let's take a look at some of them.

How long can small dogs hold their pee is ultimately a good question considering that there's a popular belief that small dogs can hold their pee for only so long because of their small bladders, but how true is that? Are small dogs truly incapable of holding their pee for too long? Is this the truth or is it a myth? As with many things in life, there is no black and white answer considering that there are several factors to keep in mind such as the age of the dog, whether the dog is truly urinating or marking and how well the dog is potty trained.

The Age Factor

How long does it take for a dog to go pee after he is done drinking water? Well this varies a lot based on age. With young puppies, it's as if fluids just go in and then shortly flow the other end, therefore, expect to take them out on a frequent basis.

For example, an 8-week old puppy may need to be taken out as often as every half hour when awake and active. As puppies mature, fortunately, their ability to hold their pee improves. It's all a matter of development and good potty training.

History of Potty Training

Puppies don't learn to entirely "hold" it on their own. Yes, they develop better control physiologically, but good habits needs to be inculcated by owners.

Ideally, breeders will start good potty training basics when puppies are still in the litter with their litter mates and mom by creating designated areas for eating, drinking and sleeping and areas for going potty. They should also introduce the puppies to crates.

Once in their new homes, new puppy owners should take over the task of potty training puppies. They should continue using the crate if it was used by the breeder, and puppies should be gradually taught to "hold it."

Many small dogs who have many accidents in the home weren't completely potty trained. This is often because it may be difficult for owners of such small dogs to notice when these small dogs have accidents.

Also, since the accidents of small dogs are tiny compared to the ones of larger dogs, requiring an industrial mop, owners of small dogs may not put much effort in the potty training process. Not to mention the fact that, too many small dog owners happen to use crates that are too large.

Urinating or Marking?

Many small dogs who urinate around the house are really marking more than urinating. The difference among the two are several.

When dogs urinate, they are emptying the bladder completely. Dogs that mark instead are purposely leaving small amounts of pee on surfaces for the purpose of leaving some "pee mail" behind.

Many male dogs urine mark by lifting their legs directing their urine on a vertical surface, but females can mark too lifting their leg or squatting.

Urine marking is particularly popular among intact dogs (dogs who are not spayed or neutered). This behavior is mostly driven by a biological drive to leave urine scent markers to advertise their reproductive availability.

Things to Consider

Small dogs may be capable of holding urine for long, it's just often just a matter of training them well. To attest this are many owners of small dogs who claim their small dogs are capable of holding their pee for several hours during the day and overnight.

While it's true that small dogs have small bladders, it's also true that they drink water in smaller amounts compared to bigger dogs, so all in all, it all evens up.

However, if you must leave your small dog for a long time, consider that it's not healthy for dogs of any size to hold it too long (this applies to large dogs as well) so make sure you can have a dog walker or neighbor stop by mid-day to take your dog on a potty break or train him to use pee pads when left home.