HOW LONG IS TOO LONG TO LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE?

● Dogs can only be relied on to hold their urine or feces one hour for every month old they are, until 8 hours at 8 months old. And remember that sick or older dogs won’t be able to hold it as long as healthy young adult dogs.
● A two month old puppy can hold his bladder for up to 3 hours. Time increases an hour per month of age. At 6 months of age he will be able to hold his bladder for 7-8 hours (a work day). No dog of any age should be made to wait longer than 8 hours!
● Different breeds have different social needs: hounds are extremely social, but some “working” breeds and guard dogs are fine for 10-12 hours. 
● Dogs can go for 8 to 10 hours without urinating overnight, while sleeping. However, all dogs need to be taken out after a meal or a drink, upon waking up and after a period of play.

Health: 
● Urinary frequency in dogs will vary due to factors such as age, sex, body size and overall health. 
● Typically, smaller breeds and younger dogs will need to urinate more frequently than larger breeds and older dog. 
● The average healthy dog will produce approximately 10 to 20 ml of urine for each pound of bodyweight per day. 
● Ideally adult dogs should be allowed outside to relieve themselves at least 3-5 times a day.

If they can’t have a stool for long periods, it can result in an impacted colon, requiring laxatives or even surgery to remove and repair the damage. A bladder infection, or cystitis, is an inflammation of the bladder due to bacterial or fungal infection. When your dog is forced to hold their urine for extended periods, it gives the urine time to build bacteria. Resulting infections can occur which will only cause your dog to need to urinate more frequently until treated properly. If this continues, kidney stones can form, and even cancer, or blockages, which can be fatal.

Give them an option if you spend long hours away from home, consider an indoor litter box or pads so they can relieve themselves at their own leisure. A doggy door to be let out into the enclosed yard is another option; asking a neighbor, relative or a dog walker to take out the dog are other options. This will help keep your dog from overwhelming his body or even secretly eliminating behind the couch.

Dogs show signs whenever they need to potty. Circling, pawing at the door, coming to get your attention are all signs. A dog relies on their owner to help them fulfill a happy day. Initially, a dog feels the need to urinate when their bladder is half-full. The body senses the swelling of the bladder and informs the dog that it’s ready to be relieved. A dog may start to show signs of needing to go before it is vital that they go. This is to give you adequate time to make arrangements to allow them to relieve themselves.

Remember that if they can’t eliminate in the proper area, they will do so wherever they feel most secure- such as behind furniture. This is mostly because they understand that what they’ve done isn’t according to the rules, but as far as their body is concerned, they needed to do what is only natural. Do keep in mind that if you have to go, it’s likely your dog has to go too. Consider if you had to hold in your bowel movements or urine for a long time. Wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable? Perhaps even in pain?

Every good dog owner understands the importance of letting their dog take care of nature’s call, but it’s just as important to understand why.