How Long Can a Chihuahua Hold its Bladder?

How long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder

How long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder?

The topic of a dog’s bathroom usually comes up when you have to leave it home alone for several hours. Also, if you work long hours, then you would definitely worry how long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder?

It is indeed a good thing that you are wondering about how long your Chi can hold its pee. You certainly don’t want to come home to pee or poo accidents.

Whether or not you are planning to leave your Chihuahua home alone for prolonged periods, this article will help you understand your pet’s urinary health and bathroom habits. A knowledge about these can help you prevent indoor potty accidents as well as infections in your pet.

How Long Can a Chihuahua Hold its Bladder?

how long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder

How long your Chihuahua can hold its bladder depends on many factors. Knowing these factors can help you create a proper routine for your Chihuahua’s bathroom so you can prevent accidents and health issues in your Chi.

1. Age

An adult Chihuahua that is fully potty trained can easily hold its pee for 6-8 hours.

On the other hand, a young Chihuahua puppy that is undergoing its potty training might need potty break every 1-2 hours.

A Chihuahua is a small dog and a puppy will have an even tiny bladder. That is the reason why its bladder fills up quickly and needs frequent emptying too.

In addition to the bladder size and holding capacity, it also has to do with your Chihuahua’s muscle control. An older Chihuahua will naturally have more bladder control than a developing puppy.

Likewise, a senior or aging Chi might lose control over the muscles which could sometimes lead to urine leaks and potty accidents. Similarly, in aging Chihuahuas, other factors like development of inflammatory conditions, kidney disease, or impaired liver function could also require frequent urination.

The following table can help you determine how long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder:

Chihuahua puppy less than 6 months1-3
Chihuahua puppy older than 6 months2-6
Adult Chihuahua less than 7 years6-8
Adult Chihuahua older than 7 years4-6
Adult Chihuahua older than 12 years2-4

Use this table as a starting point but remember that every dog is different.

Some adult Chihuahuas can easily hold it in for 10-12 hours too but that does not mean you make it a norm to let it go that long without potty. On an average, you must take your potty trained adult Chi to relieve itself at least 3-5 times a day which means at least once every 8 hours.

2. Overall health

This is another factor that can be helpful when considering ‘how long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder’.

A Chihuahua that has kidney issues, urinary tract infections, or diabetes could require more frequent potty breaks. Obesity is also another factor that could put pressure on the dog’s bladder causing it to feel full and need more frequent bathroom trips.

Also, some Chihuahuas that are on diuretic medication might need more number of potty breaks as well.

If your Chihuahua suddenly starts having accidents at home or seems to need more number of bathroom breaks than usual, please speak to your vet.

3. What your pet eats

Chihuahuas on wet or canned food diet might need more number of bathroom breaks than those who eat dry dog food or kibble.

Likewise, Chihuahuas that drink a lot of water will also need to ‘go’ more frequently.

Many vets prescribe moisture-rich diets or canned or wet food for certain health conditions. Wet food is often better for dogs because the moisture helps flush out toxins.

Always examine your Chihuahua’s pee color – very dark or yellow colored pee could indicate dehydration. Have your vet examine your Chihuahua to rule out infections and also to determine ways to make it drink more water.

How Often Should an Adult Chihuahua Pee?

How long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder?

An adult Chihuahua should pee at least once every 6 to 8 hours.

Make sure that you give your Chihuahua 3-5 potty breaks per day. You can plan your work schedule and daily routine to incorporate those number of walks for a fully-potty trained Chihuahua.

For example, we take our 8-year old Chihuahua (Bella) out to pee first thing in the morning (around 7 am) and again around 12 noon. She then gets another potty break around 5 pm followed by one last pee before bed at 10 pm.

If this is too much for you, you could consider training your Chihuahua to go on potty pad. Potty pads are especially convenient for people living in high-rise apartments without balconies also for people living in wet or cold climate.

It is a good idea to involve all the family members in your dog’s potty routine. This can go a long way in preventing many health issues (which we will discuss shortly) in your pet.

How Often Should Chihuahua Puppies Pee?

Do Chihuahuas like to swim?

Chihuahua puppies pee and poop a lot!

You will want to take your Chihuahua out at least 5 to 7 times a day while you are potty training it and when it is between 6 to 8 weeks old. Please refer to our detailed guide on ‘how to potty train a Chihuahua.  

In it, I have given the complete step by step details on how often your puppy should pee and how often you need to take it out so it gets potty trained within a few weeks. It is also important that you invest in a dog crate and start crate training side-by-side.

Here is a potty training schedule that dog trainers recommend for puppies between 8 to 10 weeks of age:

Between 7 to 8 am first thing upon waking upPee only
After eating morning meal ( around 8 to 9 am)Pee and poop
Between 10-11 am after morning nap and trainingPee only
After eating lunch (between 12 and 1 pm)Pee and poop
Between 3 and 4 pm after napPee only
After afternoon meal (between 4 and 6 pm)Pee and poop
Between 7 and 8Pee only
Last meal between 9 and 10Pee and poop – last time before settling for the night.

During the potty and crate training phase, you might also need to set an alarm and wake up your Chihuahua for a pee around 2 am. Make sure you simply take it to the designated potty spot or puppy pad and let it pee.

Do not play with your puppy. Take it to its crate so it can sleep right away.

How Long Can a Chihuahua Go without Peeing Before it is Dangerous?

why do Chihuahuas sleep so much

Your Chihuahua puppy won’t wait for you and will go potty indoors as soon as its bladder is full.

For a fully potty trained adult Chihuahua in good health, it is okay to hold the pee for about 8 hours. However, we still would not recommend this. Please take your Chihuahua to the designated potty area or a walk every 4-6 hours so it can relieve itself.

Forcing your Chihuahua to hold its bladder for longer than 8-10 hours can have the following effects:

1. Urinary tract infections

The urine flushes out bacteria and toxic waste from the bladder and keeps the kidneys clean and healthy. When your dog holds its pee for several hours, it lets the bacteria populate in the bladder.

This can lead to urinary tract infection or bladder infection which is characterized by burning pain, blood in urine, inability to urinate, and other painful symptoms. Over time, the infection can also harm your dog’s kidneys.

2. Kidney stones or crystals

Bacterial buildup in the kidneys due to holding the pee in too long can lead to crystal or bladder stone formation. This is very painful for your pet and can lead to fever, trouble urinating, abdominal pain, and other serious symptoms.

3. Cancer

When a Chihuahua goes without peeing for hours and hours, the toxins in the urine – which could be carcinogens – get more opportunity to interact with the bladder and kidney cells.

This could cause cancer in these organs which can even be life threatening. While the chances of this happening are very low, you may want to reconsider letting your Chi go for hours without peeing.

4. Urinary incontinence

When an aging Chihuahua is forced to go without peeing for several hours, its muscles in the bladder and lower abdominal area can get distended due to the pressure. This can weaken the tissues and muscles which then cause leaks.

Are Chihuahuas Hard to Potty Train?

Many owners believe that Chihuahuas are hard to potty train.

However, with consistent housetraining and by following a strict potty training schedule, you can easily train your Chi within weeks.

In rare cases, a Chihuahua might be stubborn or not so eager-to-please its owner. This could cause some hindrance during training. However, all these issues can be overcome with positive reinforcement, healthy treats, and a strict adherence to a meal-training-nap-and-potty schedule.

Here are some other reasons why a Chihuahua puppy might seem difficult to potty train:

1. Owner’s lack of motivation

Often a Chihuahua owner might not feel motivated enough to follow a strict potty schedule. Many think that a Chi’s potty is very small and easy to discard. With a larger dog, the motivation may be that no one wants to see huge pieces of turd in the middle of the rug/carpet.

So one of the key aspects of training any puppy is the owner’s motivation as well.

2. Missing the ‘signs’

Every dog will give a ‘sign’ that it wants to go potty. It might turn around in circles or squat or raise its leg. In tiny dogs like Chihuahuas, these signs could be easily missed.

3. Not cleaning the mess quickly

It is very important to quickly clean up the tiny puddles of dog’s urine produced by your tiny Chihuahua. Otherwise, it will use the scent of the urine to mark that spot and urinate over and over on it.

Many times, Chihuahua puppies take advantages of the space behind/under the bed or furniture to pee. If you miss those spots, then your pup will surely go over them again.

TaoTronics Black Light, 12 LEDs 395nm UV Blacklight Flashlights Detector for Pets Urine and Stains with 3 Free AAA Batteries

Use a pee light detector to find the pee and clean it right away.

How to Stop a Chihuahua from Peeing Indoors?

How long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder

If your work entails you to leave your Chi home alone for hours, then the following tips can help you stop it from having accidents at home:

1. Use dog potty pads

These are especially important and useful during potty training your Chihuahua puppy. They absorb odors and prevent mess seeping on your floors and carpets.

Amazon Basics Dog and Puppy Pads, Leak-proof 5-Layer Pee Pads with Quick-dry Surface for Potty Training, Regular (22 x 22 Inches) - Pack of 100

We recommend this one as it is suitable for small puppies and adult dogs too.

2. Use litter box

A litter box isn’t just for cats. You can even train your Chihuahua to use it.

PuppyGoHere Puppy Indoor Litter Box, Beach Sand Color: Size: 24" x 20" x 5". Opening is on 24" Side. See Size Diagram Prior to Ordering

This indoor bathroom can be handy on snow and rainy days as well.

3. Install a doggy door

If you have a backyard or a balcony designate a potty spot there and install a simple door flap in the entrance door. This will allow your Chihuahua to come and go as it pleases.

4. Hire a dog walker

This step is beneficial when you have to leave your Chihuahua home alone for hours. Get a pet sitter or dog walker to walk your puppy 4-6 times and your adult Chihuahua at least 2 times each day. If pet sitters aren’t an option, get a neighbor/friend/family member to check on your pet from time to time.

5. Try doggy day care

If your Chihuahua has separation anxiety or dislikes being alone, then a doggy day care might help. It will make your Chi more social and also help it expend energy running and playing all day.

6. Clean up accidents right away

As mentioned above, dogs use the same spot to mark and urinate over and over. The use of enzymatic cleaners can put a stop to this vicious cycle.

Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator - Enzyme-Powered Pet Odor & Stain Remover for Dog and Cats Urine - Carpet Cleaner Spray - Enzymatic Cat Pee Destroyer - for Small Animals

We recommend an enzymatic cleaner as it can eliminate urine smell by breaking down the molecules completely and deodorizing the spot thoroughly.

7. Rule out health issues

Visit your vet to ensure that your dog isn’t peeing indoors due to infections or diseases. Identify and eliminate stress triggers which can also cause urination indoors. Spaying and neutering your Chihuahua can also help eliminate territory marking.


How long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder?

An adult Chihuahua can hold its pee for 6-8 hours while a young puppy can only hold it for 1-2 hours.

You must not let your Chihuahua hold its bladder for prolonged periods as it can lead to many health issues.

If your Chi is having accidents indoors or you are facing difficulty in its toilet training, please consult a dog trainer or your vet.

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