Your fuzzy buddy is full of life and endless energy. Unfortunately, he’s also jam-packed with a nonstop supply of urine. Puppies under 1 year old have tiny bladders that aren’t able to hold on to a lot of water, making them pee from morning till night. There are a few things you can do to figure out when it might be time for your pup to go, so you can get him outdoors ahead of time.
How Long Can He Hold It?
You can calculate about how long your pup can hold his bladder. Typically dogs 6 months old or younger should be able to hold it for one hour for every month of age, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Based on this calculation, if Rascal is 3 months old, he can hold his bladder for up to 3 hours. Keep an eye on your watch and no matter what, get him outside to go potty every few hours.
Monitor Water Intake
All animals need water and you should never restrict Rascal's water intake. However, you can monitor when he drinks so you know when to take him out. If you leave a bucket of water out all day long, he’ll be peeing all day long since you have no idea when he last drank. Usually puppies have to go to the bathroom about 20 to 30 minutes after eating and drinking. Put down a bowl of water every two or three hours, let him drink as much as he wants, pick the bowl up when he loses interest and take him out to go potty 20 to 30 minutes later. He’ll be able to relieve himself as soon as his bladder fills up and you’ll be on your way to having a perfectly housebroken pooch.
Don’t give Rascal any water about 2 1/2 hours before it’s time for bed to reduce his chances of having to get up to go during the night. A lot of the time young dogs can sleep up to a full seven hours without going potty -- roughly the same sleep schedule as you. He is still young, so don’t be discouraged if he yelps to be let out in the middle of the night. Don’t play with him if he wakes you up -- it’s not playtime -- simply take him outside to go potty and bring him right back inside. Otherwise you’ll start teaching him that waking you up in the middle of the night makes you play with him.
If Rascal is closer to a year old, he should be able to hold his waste for a longer period of time as long as he is fully potty trained. Depending on his breed and training, he may be able to go a full six to eight hours without going to the bathroom. Watching for behavioral cues helps prevent any accidents before they occur. If he stands at the door, grabs his leash or walks in a circle sniffing the ground, get him outside as soon as possible -- it’s time to go.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.