No, a dog cannot hold its pee for 24 hours straight. The longest a dog can go without peeing is 15 hours before it starts to risk serious damage. While a dog can hold its pee for up to 12 hours, it shouldn’t be allowed to do so.
Once you notice your dog hasn’t peed in a while, you should prompt it to do so.
Several factors will determine how frequently a dog peed, including bladder size and fluid intake. Regardless, your dog should pee up to five times a day, especially after meal times.
Interestingly, a dog should only go up to 12 hours urinating when it is over the night. In the daytime, your dog should urinate at least once every six hours or after drinking fluids.
How Long Should A Dog Go Without Peeing?
The maximum time a dog should go without peeing is 8 hours, approximately the time it spends sleeping at night. Anything longer is putting your dog at risk, even if the dog is capable of going longer.
Some dogs can go as long as 12-15 hours without peeing, but you shouldn’t let them do so. You can stimulate your dog to pee when needed, enabling it to release its bladder instead of holding on.
The longer your dog goes without peeing, the greater your concern should be. If a dog hasn’t peed in a long time, it will likely be in discomfort, which will only grow the longer it goes without peeing.
The discomfort may not be obvious and only present itself when it is too late; hence, early detection is paramount.
Fun fact: Every dog is different, so each one’s urine frequency will differ. The best you can do is observe your dog’s normal routine, and only worry when it is urinating less frequently than usual.
Should I Be Worried If My Dog Pees Less Frequently than Normal?
Yes, any changes to your dog’s urination frequency are a cause for concern. While dogs can deviate from their normal routine due to a disruption in environmental stimulus, any change should be investigated.
Just as there may be no reason for concern, there could also be a potential health risk, and early detection is key. Only after the vet gives the all-clear should you be relaxed.
It is better to get a confirmation than assume everything is fine when there is a possibility that it isn’t.
For female dogs, conditions like pregnancy or heat can also cause changes to urination frequency. Your concern doesn’t need to be a panic rather, a genuine interest to know why your dog’s routine has changed.
Sometimes, a reduced urination frequency can be reduced to a reduced water intake. You will need to increase your dog’s water intake and see it return to its normal urination pattern.
Why Do Dogs Refuse To Pee?
Dogs refuse to pee when a problem has hindered their ability to do so. Dogs can hold their bladders but don’t usually do so because of the resulting inconvenience.
When they refuse to pee, a problem is usually preventing them from doing so. Most dogs will attempt to convey their discomfort, but not all will do so. Your best bet is to observe your dog and notice any changes in its urination patterns and frequency.
As early detection is key, you need to be alert and keen.
Understanding why your dog refuses to pee makes it easier to solve the problem. For certain reasons, solutions are obvious and can be done at home without needing a vet. Some of the possible reasons why a dog will refuse to pee include:
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are the most probable cause of a dog refusing to pee. Sometimes, an infection will cause it to hurt when the dog peed. While it can pee, it will choose not to avoid the pain. Once the infection is cured, your dog will return to normal.
Interestingly, an active urinary tract infection doesn’t need to be before a dog refuses to pee. A dog that has experienced more than one UTI in the past may choose not to pee sometimes, especially when it remembers the pain.
In such scenarios, you should address the dog’s trauma before it returns to normal.
An Obstruction In The Urethra
The urethra is the tract which passes out urine and any obstruction in it will result in an inability to pee. Urine will still accumulate in the bladder, but your dog will face serious discomfort with nowhere to go.
Obstruction in the urethra can arise when a dog holds a full bladder for too long or when there are stones in the urethra. In rare cases, the obstruction can be caused by low water intake, and increasing your dog’s water intake will solve the problem.
The longer the obstruction persists, the greater the discomfort and the higher the chances of causing permanent damage. You can try solving the problem at home, but a trip to the vet may be your best option.
Just as trauma can affect a dog’s willingness to pee, so too can injury. Depending on the location of the injury, a dog’s reluctance to pee will vary. Injuries don’t always prevent a dog from peeing unless they are severe.
Luckily, injuries are visible and easily addressed, returning your dog to its normal self in a short time.
Like trauma, however, an injury can have a lingering effect on a dog. Despite the discomfort, your dog may be physically healed but still reluctant to pee. You can manually stimulate your dog to pee or try to address the source of the trauma.
Likewise, surgeries can leave a lingering effect that causes a dog to refuse to pee. However, such occurrences are limited and should pass in a while. In the meantime, you will need to assist your dog in urinating.
Prostate Diseases, much like UTIs, can make a dog reluctant to pee. The prostate isn’t directly responsible for peeing, but discomfort in the prostate can be triggered when a dog attempts to pee.
Several prostate diseases can prompt a reluctance to urinate, all of which can be cured. Once the disease is cured, the dog will return to normal unless there is resultant trauma.
Cancer and tumours are major prostate diseases, both of which can cause urination problems for a dog. When a tumour grows too large, it can obstruct the urinary tract preventing your dog from urinating.
Your dog’s discomfort will be obvious in such scenarios, and you may not be able to assist it. Instead, contact your vet, as the dog may need surgery to remove the tumour before it can return to normal. In some cases, after the surgery, the dog may still have issues urinating until the scar tissue heals.
Stimulating Your Dogs To Pee
If your dog refuses or has trouble peeing, you need to help it out. Where a dog needs help urinating, you will need to stimulate it at least three times a day, just as it needs to urinate.
The process is known as bladder expression and may take a few tries to perfect. There are two main methods you can use, with both methods following a similar process:
The standing method
The standing method works on dogs of all sizes and gives you greater control over the dog. All dogs tend to stand, especially when they feel you are playing with them. It is also easier to locate the bladder in this position.
The lying method
This method is only for small dogs or similarly small animals and is sometimes difficult because many dogs are uncomfortable in this position.
Here, you will only be able to use one hand, the dominant one, allowing less control than the standing method. The bladder may also be difficult to locate, but you will locate it with enough time.
In both the lying and standing methods, the expression process is as follows:
Step 1: Locate the Bladder
The bladder will be filled with urine for a dog having trouble peeing, so it will be enlarged but not visible. Starting at the last rib, feel the dog’s abdomen, moving back towards the tail.
Use both hands if you’re comfortable, affording greater control and making it easier to locate the bladder. If you want to use one hand, use the dominant one, supporting the dog with the other.
The bladder will feel like a squishy toy; once you have it, hold on gently.
Step 2: Express the Bladder
Once you have the bladder, be careful not to let go, as it may be more difficult to locate a second time.
Gently apply pressure until the dog starts to urinate. Always be gentle, especially when there is a possibility of a UTI or stones in the bladder. You may need to squeeze more than one bladder spot, especially when you aren’t getting any results.
Your dog will likely lift its tail when you have the right spot in anticipation of a urine stream. Always ensure the bladder is empty or close to it before releasing. The empty bladder will feel like a deflated ball and your dog will likely look more comfortable.
Always wear short sleeves or risk getting pee on your clothes. Likewise, place the dog on a pee pad to soak up the urine instead of letting it urinate on the floor.
Last Words: Can dogs hold their pee for 24 hours?
Dogs can’t go 24 hours without peeing or risk damage or urinary tract infections. You may need to express your bladder if your dog has gone longer than eight hours without peeing.
Before you call the vet, you can increase its water intake and observe what happens next.