How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Poop?

How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Poop
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The first few months of dog ownership, I always find myself rushing home right after work so that my dogs could head outside and potty. It wasn’t clear to me how long can dogs hold their poop and once I came home to find poop with white specks on my carpet. To avoid this accident from happening again, I decided to look into this. 

How long can dogs hold their poop? Most adult dogs that are healthy can hold their poop for at least 8 hours if they really have to. When it comes to healthy puppies, they can hold their poop for at least 1 hour for each month in age and can hold their poop for at least 8 hours once they hit 8 months old.   

It’s important to note that there are many factors at play that can affect how long your dogs or puppies can hold their poop. Factors include the age of your dog, diet, and health problems they have (if any). Let’s dive in and discuss this further.

How long can a dog hold its poop?

how long can a puppy hold poop
dog holding poop for too long

A dog can hold its poop for up to 8 hours. We do not recommend that your dog hold its poop for longer than 8 hours. Forcing your canine friends to hold their poop for an extended period can be harmful to your dogs.

What happens if a dog holds his poop too long?

If a dog holds his poop for too long, it can become very painful and unbearable. He may start barking to inform his owner that he needs to go out and do his business. If his owner ignores him, he will want to poop immediately to get it out of his body and to get rid of that agonizing uncomfortable feeling which means there will be an accident on the carpet or floor. 

Keep in mind that even house-trained dogs will relieve themselves inside the house if they wait too long to go to the bathroom so don’t be surprised if you see a turd or two on your living room carpet if your dogs really have to go do their business. 

Most dogs will not want to wait for up to 8 hours to go outside and poop and will poop on your carpet or floor to save themselves the pain and discomfort if they have to.

Handy Hint: Try installing an electronic dog door for your dogs if you allow them to roam freely outdoor in your yard or patio throughout the day. Many owners install one so their K9 pals can head outside to poop during the day while they are away at work.

How long can a dog hold its poop after eating?

how long can puppy hold poop
How long can a puppy hold poop?

After eating, a healthy dog can hold its poop for 8 hours. However, it is disputable whether our dogs can really hold their poop for this long and how far they are willing to push to the limit when they really have to go.

This is especially important to know if you work a full-time job that may require you to work overtime which means you may have to stay in the office for an extra hour or two. 

Like many dog owners, I would feed my dogs in the morning and would sometimes get a sudden call that requires me to leave the house immediately for more than a few hours. 

Other times, I find myself sitting in a traffic jam for at least an hour and worry about my dog having an accident because it’s been more than a few hours since they’ve eaten. 

When my dogs were puppies, I would be worried about not being able to come home on time to take my puppies out for their daily scheduled walk. Initially, my puppies were not house-trained and I also worried they may have had a pooping accident before I arrived home.      

You may have a senior dog with health issues like hemangiosarcoma and who may be unable to hold his poop for more than one to two hours. 

Knowing how long can a dog hold their poop will help you handle this situation more effectively and efficiently. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to plan accordingly so your four-legged friends aren’t left alone holding their poop for an extended period of time.

This information will also help you avoid any unwelcoming accident or surprise on your carpet or flooring when you come home after a long day of work.

So, how long can dogs hold it after eating?

It’s best to avoid letting your dogs hold it for more than 8 hours after their meal. We all know the uncomfortable feeling when we have to go use the bathroom but can’t find any toilet nearby to do so. Your dogs feel the same when they have to go poop too.

Can dogs hold their poop?

While dogs can certainly hold their poop, it’s best not to leave them alone for an extended period of time of more than 8 hours. 

Continuously leaving your dogs for a long time and forcing them to hold their poop can cause your canine friends to develop bad behaviors such as chewing on furniture, destroying items around the house, and even anxiety.  

If you know your dog usually need to poop within 5 or 6 hours after eating, then it’s best to be available around that time to let them out for a walk and to do their business. 

Dog owners with a tight schedule or who will be at work when their dogs need to do their business can try asking a family member, relative, or friend to walk their furry friend while they are at work.

Alternatively, owners could hire a dog sitter to walk their dog at a certain time every day while they’re out at work.

How long can puppies hold their poop?

For those with puppies, it’s important to note that even house-trained puppies should not be left alone for more than 2 hours at a time. Otherwise, they could develop behavioral problems.

So, how long can a puppy hold poop?

In general, how long can a puppy hold its poop really depends on how old he or she is. 

  • A puppy that is 1 month old should be able to hold his poop for almost 1 hour.
  • A puppy that is 2 months old should be able to hold his poop for almost 2 hours.
  • A puppy that is 3 months old should be able to hold his poop for almost 3 hours.
  • A puppy that is 8 months old should be able to hold his poop for almost 8 hours.

Eight hours is the total amount of time that an adult dog can hold his poop. This is simply a good guideline and not a fixed rule. As we are aware, our puppies regardless of whether they are house-trained or not will poop when they need to no matter where they are. 

It’s best not to get upset when this happens as our puppies are still learning about what’s right and what’s wrong. 

It also depends on your puppies’ personality. It may take months before your puppies learn not to poop in the house. Be observant of puppies that are barking, circling you, sniffing or licking the floor, or scratching the front door.

How long can a sick or senior dog hold its poop?

Senior dogs are not able to hold their poop for more than one or two hours and will need to poop more frequently than before. It’s not surprising if your elderly dog needs to poop after its meal. 

If you have senior dogs, you can expect to take them out to do their business pretty frequently. Their pooping schedule is similar to that of puppies. By taking your older dogs out to poop, it helps to prevent any accidents inside the house. 

Dogs that are not feeling well, had an injury, or just had an operation done and recovering may need to do their business every other hour since they may not be strong or healthy enough to hold in their poop.

If you are ever concerned, we highly recommend that you consult with your vet and carefully observe the dog’s poop for any irregularities.

You may be interested in: How Long Does It Take For Dog Poop To Decompose?

Can a dog get sick from holding in poop?

Yes, a dog can get sick from holding in poop. Similar to how we would not want to hold in poop for so long, the same is true for our dogs.

When dogs continue to keep holding in poop, not only is it uncomfortable and agonizing, but the fecal matter can get reabsorbed into their body which will ultimately affect their health.    

Additionally, there may be an overload of poop in the body and can cause an increase in fecal bacteria. This can cause abdominal pain and your dog may hunch over in pain.

Naturally, a dog that needs to poop and has no other option will try to relieve himself. 

Dog owners can have a programmed electronic dog door to allow their dogs to head outside to the backyard to do their business while they are at work as we discussed above.

How many times should a dog poop a day?

On average, a dog should poop between 1 to 5 times every day, however other factors can affect the frequency that your dog needs to poop. Factors like stress, dehydration, bacterial infections, parasitic infections, or sudden change in diet and exercise can affect the number of times a dog poop a day. 

Both puppies and senior dogs will need to do their business more frequently compared to your average adult dogs.

You might also like: Is Chicken Poop Bad For Dogs?

Final thoughts

Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or just curious, we hope that this article gives you an idea of how long can a puppy hold their poop or how long can dogs hold their poop. 

You may find this article helpful especially if you live in a city with no backyard or garden and will need to rush home to walk your dogs outside so they can do their business. Alternatively, you may be on a road trip with your dogs and need to know how long your pup can hold its poop so you can plan each location and stop accordingly.

Whatever your reason, we hope this article was helpful to you!

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.