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How Long Can A Chihuahua Hold Its Bladder? Puppy And Adult

How long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder

If you’re wondering how long a Chihuahua can hold its bladder, you’ve come to the right place.

Here you’ll find out the truth about Chihuahuas and their pee-stamina.

Continue reading to discover:

  • How to avoid unwanted pee accidents.
  • Simple tips to potty train a Chihuahua in 7 short days.
  • Exactly for how long Chihuahuas can hold their bladders (adults and puppies).
  • And more…

How long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder?

Healthy adult Chihuahuas can hold their bladder on average between 6 to 8 hours. Chihuahua puppies can hold their bladder typically between 1 to 2 hours. How long a Chihuahua can hold its bladder is highly impacted by your Chi’s health and level of training. 

Here I will examine factors of your Chi’s health to keep in mind.


I will cover the aspects and methods of potty training your Chi. 

Adult Chihuahua bladder strength

Your Chi can hold their bladder for a long time. Between 6 to 8 hours to be exact. In some cases, Chis can hold for up to 10 or more hours.

It might be possible, but it is most likely not comfortable.

Humans can hold their bladders for up to 10 hours as well. But that doesn’t make it ideal or preferable.

According to Dr. Kristy Conn at Cesar’s Way…

“Ideally adult dogs should be allowed outside to relieve themselves at least 3-5 times a day.”

Dr. Kristy Conn


Here are two misconceptions about Chihuahua’s bladders.

  1. Chihuahuas cannot be fully potty trained.
  2. Chihuahuas’ bladders are too small to hold in pee very long.

While potty training Chihuahuas is difficult, it is not impossible. Like any training, it requires patience and consistency.

As far as bladder size is concerned, Chihuahuas do have smaller bladders.

However, they also proportionally drink and pee less. 

Thus, they can feasibly hold their bladder for as long as big dogs can, too. 

Puppy bladder strength

Puppies of any breed have less bladder strength than adult dogs. 

If you decide to get a puppy, expect accidents to happen.

According to WebMD, puppies can begin learning to hold their bladder around 12 to 16 weeks of age. 

Completing potty training can take between 4 to 6 months. 

If you get your Chi puppy when they are already 12 weeks or older. In this case, they might already have some bad bathroom habits.

These include:

  • Equating carpet to grass.
  • Peeing or pooping in the crate.
  • Not wanting to go outside to potty.

Since they are already older, some extra correction and training could come in handy. 

However, a puppy is still a puppy. Shaping the behavior now will prevent bad bathroom manners as an adult. 

Take frequent walks

Chihuahua Meme Another Walk

The biggest lesson you want to teach is this:

Bathroom breaks happen outside.

You want your Chi to associate peeing or pooping with being outside. 

Therefore, taking them out frequently is a must. 

As an adult, your Chi might only need to go out two or three times. As a puppy, they will need to go out at least every half hour. 

With each month passing and the older they get, the longer their bladder hold time will become. 

A rule of thumb:

You can add between a half hour to an hour for each month of age. 

Let’s say your Chi can hold it for an hour at 3 months, that means…

  • 4 months = 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • 5 months = 2 to 2.5 hours.
  • 6 months = 2.5 to 3 hours.
  • And so on. 

The maximum amount of time is six to eight hours. You don’t want to push your Chi far beyond that. 

Puppy potty training

In a perfect world, potty training will happen effortlessly and flawlessly. 

In reality, every Chi is different. 

Potty training can be one of the messiest and most frustrating parts of training.

When your potty training your Chihuahua, it’s important to:

  • Stay consistent.
  • Maintain patience.
  • Walk your puppy frequently.

Here is a video that shows you how to potty train a Chihuahua in 7 short days:

Note: Adult Chihuahuas can be potty trained, too. It might be more frustrating and take longer, but it is possible. To achieve this, you’ll have to employ many of the same training tactics. If you are struggling with adult potty-training, consider seeking out a professional trainer. 

Health and bladder control  

Sometimes your potty-trained Chihuahua might start having accidents. 

This can be an alarming circumstance.

It is important to keep track of your Chi’s health. 

There are a number of health factors that contribute to Chi’s bladder control.

I will also cover 5 common health conditions in Chihuahuas.

Caution: If you believe your Chi is suffering from one of the below-mentioned health conditions, contact your vet immediately. 

Nervous bladder

Chihuahuas can suffer from anxiety and stress, just like humans. 

In fact, nervousness is a common trait in Chis. 

This can lead to urination due to stress. 

Here are some other symptoms of stress to watch for:

Chihuahua stress can have varying levels of severity.

It might just be a training issue. Your Chihuahua might feel insecure due to a lack of routine. 

However, this type of nervous urination can also have neurological causes.

In this case, treating it might require medication.

If you are able, seek out a vet specialized in Chihuahua care.

You might also like: Why Is My Dog Acting Weird? 18 Surprising Reasons + 5 Tips

Urinary tract infection (UTIs)

UTIs are most often bacterial infections.

These kinds of infections can have many symptoms, including:

  • Lack of peeing.
  • Excessive peeing.
  • In-house accidents.
  • Bloody or cloudy pee.
  • Strained or painful urination.
  • Licking around the genital area.

If you notice these symptoms, take you Chi to the vet immediately.

Canine UTIs are fairly common and treatment is readily available. 

Most treatments will include an antibiotic. Additionally, your Chi might require extra water to prevent dehydration. 

When left untreated, UTIs can become severe.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), untreated UTIs can lead to:

  • Blood poisoning.
  • Kidney or bladder stones.
  • Kidney infection or failure.
  • Dysfunction of the urinary tract.
  • Inflammation of the prostate gland.

Bladder stones

Bladder stones are a hard mass composed of minerals located in the bladder.

Unfortunately, Chihuahuas are more prone to get them than other breeds.

The symptoms of bladder stones are almost identical to that of UTIs. In fact, an untreated UTI might be the cause of the bladder stones. 

Other causes include: 

  • Infections.
  • High blood calcium.
  • Nutrient imbalances.

There are many cases where bladder stones were caused by food brands.

That’s why it’s crucial to research your Chihuahua’s food. 

That being said, feeding your Chi scraps from the table can contribute to a nutrient imbalance. 

Note: It is always best to stick with food and treats made for dogs.

Urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is an inability to control the bladder at all.

According to PetMD, obesity and inflammation are the most common causes of this condition. 

This can also be caused by:

  • Untreated UTIs.
  • Neurological conditions.
  • Disruption of the nerves.
  • Obstructions in the bladder.
  • Overactive bladder syndrome.
  • Underdevelopment or other birth defects.

Recurring UTIs are a major symptom. 

Other symptoms include:

  • Wet spots on bedding.
  • Urine puddles when sleeping.
  • Involuntary peeing (‘leaking’).

Treatment almost always involves medication. Most cases are resolved after medication.

In other instances, ointments or other topical remedies might be used.

As always, consult with your veterinarian before beginning treatment. 

Neutering or spaying

The neutering process can have effects, both before and after having it, on the bladder.

Before neutering or spaying, you Chi might be more ill-behaved.

Urinating excessively, for example, might be a sign of your Chi marking territory.

The good news is that this behavior often diminishes after the neuter or spay. 

As to what happens after spaying, there is research that suggests spaying can cause incontinence.

This mainly affects spayed female Chihuahuas. 

One study suggests that spaying before the first heat is the primary issue.

This is a rare occurrence though. So, the odds are in the favor of having your animal neutered or spayed.

If you have strong concerns, seek out a consultation with one or multiple veterinarians.

Behavioral bladder control

So you have been to the vet, and nothing is wrong health-wise.

Your Chi’s bladder control issue might stem from a behavioral issue.

That could be the result of inconsistent training.

Submissive urination

Submissive urination ties in closely to your Chi’s confidence.

An insecure or fearful Chihuahua might cower or show you submissiveness.

One way to express this behavior is by peeing. 

Puppies are the most likely to act out this behavior. However, adult dogs might also have this habit if not properly trained.

This will occur most frequently when your Chi is especially excited or nervous. 

Moodiness and mood swings are common in Chihuahuas.

Developing a consistent routine will help to even out your Chi’s mood. 

Your vet could prescribe medication if your Chi is an adult.

Attention seeking

Chihuahuas are smart little dogs.

Potty training might teach them that accidents get them attention.

As a result, they could use urination as a means to attract your attention.

That’s due to the fact that for many dogs, any attention is good attention.

Thus, punishing your Chi for in-house accidents might have the opposite effect.

Attention should be a reward, not a punishment.

While you want to correct the behavior, don’t overdo it. Give a firm ‘no’ and then clean up and take them out. 

Only provide positive reinforcement (grant them with attention) after they have shown obedience. 

Final thoughts

If your Chihuahua is totally healthy, they can hold their bladder for a long time!

However, taking your dog outside multiple times is preferred.

This will help with their overall happiness and well-being.

If you believe your Chi suffers from a medical condition, contact your vet immediately.