How Long Can Puppies and Dogs Go Without a Potty break?

An image showing a puppy indoors beside a puddle of urine. The puppy appears concerned, with its ears down and a guilty expression on its face.
If you are considering adopting a dog or puppy and you work full time, knowing how long your pup can go without a potty break is definitely a must! Knowing this information will help you create a solid plan so your pup can relieve itself at the appropriate times. Just like people, it can be harmful to your pet to hold urine in the bladder for extended periods of time. It can cause kidney problems, urinary tract infections, bladder stones, incontinence and bladder cancer.
How long can your pup “hold it”? It will vary based on their age, sex, body size, and overall health. Smaller and younger dogs need to pee more often than older, larger dogs.


Typically, puppies can hold their bladder for approximately one hour for every month of age.

Time limits for potty breaks vary based on age:

  – 8-10 weeks: 1 hour or less

  – 10-12 weeks: 2 hours

  – 3-6 months: Follow the one-hour-per-month rule (e.g., 3 months – 3 hours, 4 months – 4 hours)

  – 7-8 months: Between 6 and 8 hours

Adult Dogs:

Most adult dogs need to urinate approximately 3-5 times per day.  Factors such as personality, training, and size influence the frequency of necessary potty breaks.

– Time limits for adult dogs:

  – 8 months into adulthood: Between 7 and 8 hours (holding it longer may cause health issues if consistent)

  – 8+ years: 3-6 hours

Options for Potty Breaks During Long Work Days:

– If permitted, take your pup to work with you.

– If feasible, go home on your lunch break.

– Install a doggy door if you have a fenced-in yard, enabling your dog to let themselves out.

– Consider doggy daycare, where your pup can socialize, enjoy frequent potty breaks, and expend energy.

– Hire a professional pet sitter or dog walker to visit your home for potty breaks, walks, and playtime.

Remember to consider your dog’s preferences, comfort levels, and individual needs when creating a healthy bathroom break schedule. Every dog is unique and deserves to relieve themselves as frequently as necessary.


Understanding your puppy or dog’s potty break needs is crucial for their overall health and well-being! Create a schedule that accommodates their needs during your work day. Explore options like doggy daycare or hiring a professional pet sitter or dog walker to ensure your furry friend receives the necessary care and attention. Prioritize your dog’s comfort and happiness by providing them with appropriate bathroom breaks throughout the day.

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Brandy Emmert

Hi! I'm the proud owner of Four Seasons For Paws, a renowned pet care company that provides dog training, dog walking, pet sitting, and home security checks. I am passionate about leading a team of certified, knowledgeable, compassionate pet care specialists and trainers who love pouring their hearts into caring for our animal companions. I love having the opportunity to provide complete peace of mind for so many pet parents in our community! And I love sharing advice and educating pet parents on any and all things that can enhance their lives, and the lives of their pets. ❤️

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