The length of time a puppy or dog can go without eliminating depends on a number of factors: size, breed, age… Fortunately, the number of times you need to take her out to potty generally diminishes as your dog gets older. After getting a new dog or puppy, it might take some time to figure out how often you need to take her outside, but you will figure it out.
How long can a dog go without eliminating? – Two to five months old
If you have just purchased a new puppy that hasn’t yet been housebroken, chances are she can’t go very long without emptying her bladder or bowels. Water and food usually go through small pups quickly. Right when you bring your new puppy home, take her to the “special spot” and tell her to go potty. If she does, give her a treat immediately to reinforce this behavior. If not, take her inside and bring her out in another half hour. Bring her out every hour afterward. After the first day, you can probably take her out every hour or two.
How long can a dog go without eliminating? – Five months to one year
By the time your puppy is five months old, she should be able to go three to four hours without eliminating. She should not be having many accidents anymore, but don’t worry if she “leaks” a little when she gets excited. Never punish your dog for having an accident; quickly and quietly clean up the mess or take her outside and say, “Go potty”. Keep rewarding her with treats when she does eliminate outdoors if she still seems to be having a lot of accidents, and don’t let her have unlimited access to the entire house while you are away.
How long can a dog go without eliminating? – Adult (one year plus)
Some adult dogs can’t go more than seven hours without eliminating. It all depends on the breed and your individual dog. My puppy is only eight months old, but she can already go up to eight or nine hours overnight without having an accident–but I still keep her in a carrier next to the bed overnight to avoid wet spots all over the carpet, just in case. And pay attention to signs that she needs to go outside. If you can’t come home during your lunch hour to let her out, and if she can’t hold her bladder very long, don’t let her have unlimited access to water while you are gone.
2010 Dog Fancy Calendar