Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for anyone, but it will come with many challenges. A worry for many owners is how to manage potty training and the many accidents that will surely happen along the way. This article will teach you everything you need to know about your puppy and their bladder.
So, how long can a puppy hold their bladder? A general guideline is that a puppy can hold its bladder for one hour per month of age. If your puppy is 3 months old, they can hold their bladder for about three hours, and so on.
Let’s cover everything you need to know about puppies holding their bladder, followed by some potty training tips and tricks.
How Long Can a Puppy Hold It?
When you get a new puppy, they’re going to need a lot of your time and attention. This is partly due to how often they need to eliminate.
Very young puppies can’t really hold their bladders for long and will frequently need to go outside to eliminate. As your puppy grows older this time frame will start to increase, but you should never push the limits. Let’s take a look at a rough timeline of how long your puppy can hold their bladder depending on their age.
4-8 weeks – Your puppy will be able to hold their bladder for up to 1 hour, and even that is pushing it. Frequent potty trips will be your new exercise routine during these early stages!
8-10 weeks – Your puppy should start following the “one hour per month of age” rule more closely, but still, it won’t be completely accurate. At this age, your puppy will be able to hold their bladder for about 2 hours.
3-6 months – Your puppy will be growing rapidly by now and their overall body size should mean they can hold their bladder for around 3 hours at 3 months, and around 6 hours by the time they’re 6 months old.
Over 6 months – As your puppy gets nearer to their adult years, they will slow down growing significantly. By now 6 – 8 hours is the typical amount of time an adult dog can hold their bladder. This can vary depending on your dog’s size and health.
You can use this timeline to gauge how long you could leave your puppy alone, without them making any accidents. Although it’s not recommended to be leaving puppies alone in the first place, there will be times when it can’t be helped.
Can Puppies Go Without Peeing at Night?
So with the puppy bladder timeline in mind, you’re likely wondering what will happen during the night? How long can puppies go without needing to pee at night? Let’s find out.
Luckily, your sleep doesn’t have to be ruined as much as you think. Although a puppy of 1 month can only hold their bladder for one hour, during sleep, it’s a little bit different.
Fortunately, you won’t have to wake up EVERY hour to let your puppy out. If you follow some basic potty training rules before bedtime, it’s not uncommon for your pup to sleep around 3-5 hours without waking up to pee. But this time can vary and will depend on multiple factors.
So to answer the question… Yes, puppies can typically go part of the night without needing to pee, but how long will depend on their age, size, and potty routine before bedtime.
Should You Wake up Your Puppy to Pee at Night?
A frequently asked question amongst puppy owners is whether or not you should wake up your puppy to go out for a pee. Let’s run through exactly what you should do depending on their age.
There are many different answers to this question and there are even more opinions. The only way to really know is to do some tests with your own puppy and see what works for you and them, after all, every puppy is different.
The only danger in waking up your puppy at a set time every night is that you could unintentionally create a long-lasting bad habit. It is not ideal to have an adult dog waking you up at 3 am to go outside every night!
Early stages: 2-3 months
During this time, it’s almost guaranteed your puppy won’t make it through the night without needing to pee. So what should you do? During this early stage, it is actually a good idea to wake up once and take your puppy out to pee.
The reason being is that your puppy will definitely need to pee anyway and actively avoiding potty mistakes inside the crate will support your attempts at house training. Dogs naturally don’t like to soil where they sleep, and if you are making a point of your puppy eliminating outside, this will only strengthen their understanding that the toilet is outside of your house.
So during the early stage where your puppy can’t physically hold their bladder. It is a good idea to wake up at a certain time every night to let them out.
If your puppy is eliminating inside their crate already at say 2am, you should wake up 30 minutes before to avoid this happening.
After 3 months
Now, ideally, you should start transitioning into leaving your puppy longer during the night. This should avoid any would-be bad habits developing further.
Start setting your alarm for later in the night, until you are able to turn it off altogether. There may already be some mistakes happening when you first try this, so it’s important you get this out of the way quickly and break the habit of waking up.
What will help at this age is having a solid bedtime routine. This will play an important part in allowing your puppy to remain asleep throughout the whole night.
Their last meal, treat or snack should be at least 2 hours before they fully go to sleep. You should take them out to eliminate right after they have eaten, and then once again before they go to bed. When they wake up, immediately take them outside.
How Often Do Puppies Poop or Pee?
New puppies will have certain potty habits that we can learn and use to save ourselves from future accidents.
Although there is no magical number of times every puppy will poop or pee during the day, there will be many telltale signs that will give you an indication. If you’re aware of them, you can act appropriately.
Aside from having a proper potty training routine in place, it’s good to know the usual moments when a puppy needs to eliminate. Let’s take a look at them below.
1. After Eating or Drinking
A puppy will nearly always need to eliminate after eating or drinking. This is a natural response and will happen usually minutes after they eat or drink. Whenever your puppy eats their meal, snack, or takes a drink, you should guide them outside to your potty training area, wait patiently, and encourage them to eliminate.
2. After Sleep or Naps
Just like most of us, it’s normal to need a pee upon waking up. Depending on their age, your puppy has likely gone a good few hours without eliminating, so they’re going to be desperate. Right after waking up, take your puppy outside to your potty training area.
3. After or During Playtime
Puppies are small bundles of joy and hyperactivity. When they go into a silly hyper mode, it’s really easy for them to actually pee themselves. This happens in the earlier stages when their body doesn’t yet have full control over their bladder, pee can easily come out without them knowing what’s happening. You should also be ready to take them out after they stop playing, another common time for them to pee or poop.
4. When You Come Home
This isn’t just limited to when you come home, but whenever you happen to leave them for a short amount of time. Their excitement to see you again can easily overwhelm them, even if you haven’t left the house! So the next time your puppy gets hyper upon seeing you, be sure to guide them outside to their potty training area.
5. When Visiting New Places or Rooms
Puppies can get overwhelmed by a lot of new experiences. If your puppy has spent most of the day in the kitchen with you, if you decide to bring them in the living room, the excitement of a new room may just be enough for them to need a wee. This may sound silly, but it can be true for any new experience your puppy has. Meeting a new person can also trigger the same response.
One Important Thing To Remember
It’s vital that you give your puppy all the time and attention you can, especially in the very beginning. This is more so to train and monitor them rather than to play and cuddle them (although that’s important too!)
You’ll need to be committed to them, attend to their needs and make sure you are encouraging good behavior and practices. There will be mistakes in the beginning and regardless of what it is, you should never reprimand your puppy. One quick way to a disobedient, fearful dog is through reprimanding.
In times your puppy gets it wrong, sure, let them know that it’s wrong, but then you show them how to do it right, and when they do get it right, praise them heavily. Reinforcement based training is, without doubt, the best training method across the board.
For a complete guide on potty training, check out my potty training article here: https://www.myhappyhusky.com/potty-training-a-husky (it’s for husky puppies, but it’s the same process for any puppy)
So there you have it, you now know that a puppy can hold their bladder for around one hour for every month of age they have. You also know some valuable information on their potty habits throughout the night and how to manage them.
If you have any extra tips, please comment below as we would love to hear them!
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