Small Dog Hold Bladder Overnight

How Long Can A Small Dog Hold Its Bladder Overnight?

Small dogs can hold their bladder for up to 12 hours overnight. A standard overnight run is 8 hours; even a small dog can get through it without needing to pee.

In this context, small dogs refer to the breed size instead of age.

On the other hand, young dogs have less control over their bladders and may pee themselves or wake up to urinate at night.

Thankfully, dogs produce hormones inhibiting urine production at night, so there isn’t much holding. Still, it isn’t advised to let a dog go overnight holding its bladder, as it may have negative effects.

No dog should be allowed to hold its bladder for up to six hours, even though it can handle it.

Interestingly, you can potty train your dog to pee before bed and not deal with the stress of taking them out each night. The potty training should start early before the dog settles into nasty habits, which will cause a problem. However, potty training can start at any age, even if the dog is a rescue and an adult.

Can Small Dogs Hold Their Bladder As Long As Big Dogs?

Yes, small dogs can hold their bladders as long as big dogs. Contrary to popular belief, bladder size doesn’t determine how long a dog can hold its bladder. So, despite having smaller bladders, a small dog can hold its bladder, and bigger dogs.

Infants are the only small dogs that can’t hold their bladder the same as others.

Small dogs seem to urinate with a higher frequency when compared to larger dogs. When awake, a small dog may pee several times in a few hours, unlike a large dog, who may pee just once.

However, the dogs’ metabolism is the reason for the difference in urination frequencies. Despite their metabolism, many small dogs can still hold their pee, the same as big dogs.

Fun fact: You are better served going off instinct than predicting your small dog’s urine pattern off a large one’s. While each dog has a set pattern and routine, they are usually unique.

Study your dog and base all plans on the observed results.

Factors That Determine How Frequently A Dog Pees

The same factors determine how frequently a dog will pee, small or large. While each factor may work differently in each dog, it still determines the outcome. The factors that contribute to a dog’s urination frequency include:


Every dog’s urine schedule and frequency usually depend on age and change as it grows. Younger dogs, most notably, urinate more often than older ones and have less bladder control.

Where an adult dog can hold its urine till it is in an appropriate place, a younger one will urinate whenever it feels like it. When they are young, it is also the time when dogs need to be trained and learn a bathroom schedule.

Towards the latter ages, dogs also tend to regress, losing regard for schedules and training and urinating whenever they feel like it. In summary, they have less bladder control towards a later age.

Fluid Consumption

The most significant contribution to how frequently a dog urinates is fluid consumption is directly proportional to the amount of urine produced. The more liquids your dog consumes, the more it will urinate.

Smaller dogs drink less water than bigger dogs; hence, their stomachs and bladders don’t get full more often. While big dogs do have larger bladders, they consume more water.

Fluid consumption covers more than just liquids, including the nature of a dog’s diet.

Some meals are liquid based, contributing largely to how fast your dog’s bladder fills up, directly influencing how frequently they urinate.


Several diseases can alter a dog’s urination frequency, and they aren’t all easy to deal with. Some diseases can cause a dog to pee frequently, while others may hamper urine production, ultimately causing more problems.

Diseases are often accompanied by several symptoms, all of which is a deviation from the normal. Early detection is key to thwarting any diseases; hence, any strange behavior from your dog should be reported to your vet.

If your dog shows symptoms of diseases accompanied by a change in urination frequency, you should get help immediately.

Luckily, most diseases can be cured, especially with early detection.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence isn’t technically a disease, but rather a condition that comes with age. Unlike the age factor, however, not every dog that ages suffer from this condition.

Dogs with urinary Incontinence are unable to their bladders and urinate anytime, anywhere. Urinary incontinence results from weak bladder walls brought about by years of stress.

With urinary Incontinence, there is no cure, only managing the condition till the dog passes. Luckily, it is only associated with senior dogs, so in most cases, dog owners don’t have to deal with this for long.

Dog owners will, however, have to deal with increased surveillance to avoid seeing pee everywhere.

How Often Does A Small Dog Need To Pee?

A small dog must pee at intervals not exceeding 3-6 hour stints. Most small dogs will pee about 5 to 6 times daily during their awake hours.

The final amount of times its water intake will determine your dog pees during the day. The more it drinks, the more it will pee, especially when it has little to do all day.

Small dogs tend to eat and frequently drink during the day, with small stomachs and bladders to fill constantly. If you leave a small dog at home alone all day, you should account for this.

With food and water to last your dog through the day, it will surely urinate frequently the day. Leave the dog outside or potty train it to use the appropriate places.

Funny enough, smaller dogs are harder to potty train than larger ones, with many attributing this to bladder size. Whatever the reason, the early days of potty training a small dog can be frustrating and will require you to be patient. A

fter a while, the dog will pick up the training and be potty-trained.

Is my dog urinating too much?

Can Medication Make My Dog Pee Too Much?

Yes, medication can cause your dog to pee too much, the same as the illness it is intended to treat. Medication tends to alter many things in the body, usually weakening them to eliminate the cause of an illness.

Once such medication has run its course, your dog’s urination schedule will return to normal.

Not all medications can cause your dog to pee frequently, with some even reducing urine frequency. The medication in question influences thirsts levels causing increased or reduced fluid consumption.

So, medication works indirectly, instead of speeding up metabolism or weakening bladder walls. In smaller dogs especially, medication has a powerful influence on how frequently they urinate.

Ironically, medications are usually used to treat dogs for conditions that cause them to urinate too much.

The stronger the medication, the more effective it is at increasing or reducing pee frequency. There is no need to pull your dog off any such medication; better to let it run its course.

How Long Can You Leave A Dog Alone?

It would be best if you didn’t leave a dog alone for longer than eight hours, regardless of its size. Smaller dogs especially don’t like to be left alone, preferring human company as opposed to an empty house.

If you have to leave for work, you can either drop the dog off with a sitter or daycare. Alternatively, ensure you return home as soon as you finish work.

Similarly, if you have to leave town for a few days, your dog cannot be alone the entire time. It doesn’t matter if the dog is trained and has adequate food and water; they will still get bored.

Many small dogs suffer from separation anxiety so they will need attention and companionship. You can leave the dog alone, so long as you have someone drop by a few times a day to keep it company.

If you have more than one dog, it may complement your absence, provided they can get along when left alone. Still, a human presence is irreplaceable, and the dog should have it frequently.

Should I Wake My Small Dog Up To Pee At Night?

No, you don’t need to wake your dog up to pee at night, even a small one. A dog can comfortably go through the night without needing to pee, lasting at least eight hours in most cases.

If your dog has been asleep for too long, it may be cause for concern, and you may need to wake the dog up after a while, only when it has exceeded eight hours.

Dogs tend to produce less urine at night when they sleep, thanks to the hormones they produce during that period. While they may not need to pay through the night, they should not be allowed to sleep with a full bladder.

Before your dog goes to bed, it is advised to prompt it to empty its bladder, reducing any pressure and chance of peeing on the bed.

Most dogs can wake up to relieve themselves if they feel pressure at night. A potty-trained dog may choose to hold it in if the assigned peeing location isn’t accessible. Your dog’s pee pad or the bathroom should be close to their bed.

Conclusion: How Long Can A Small Dog Hold Its Bladder Overnight?

A small dog can hold its bladder overnight, but it is always advised to have them empty its bladder before bed. Your dog should never hold its urine for longer than eight hours; once it has slept that long, it may be time to wake it.

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