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.
  • Strictly for how long Chihuahuas can hold their bladders (adults and puppies).
  • And more…
Chihuahua Potty Training HP long 1
Chihuahua Potty Training HP long 1

How long can a Chihuahua hold its bladder?

Healthy adult Chihuahuas can hold their bladder on average between 6 to 8 hours, and Chihuahua puppies can have 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 your Chi’s health factors to keep in mind.


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

Adult Chihuahua bladder strength

Your Chi can hold your bladder for a long time. Between 6 to 8 hours, to be exact. Sometimes, This can keep 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. 

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. 

Completing potty training can take between 4 to 6 months. 

Suppose you get your Chi puppy when it is 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 lousy 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. 

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

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

A rule of thumb:

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

Let’s say your Chi can hold it for an hour at three 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.

When you potty training your Chihuahua, it’s essential 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:

YouTube video

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

Health and bladder control  

Sometimes your potty-trained Chihuahua might start having accidents. 

This can be an alarming circumstance.

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

Several health factors contribute to Chi’s bladder control.

I will also cover five common health conditions in Chihuahuas.

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Auction: 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. 

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 can, seek out a vet specializing in Chihuahua care.

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

Urinary tract infections (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 your Chi to the vet immediately.

Canine UTIs are relatively 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, and an untreated UTI might cause bladder stones. 

Other causes include: 

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

There are many cases where food brands cause bladder stones.

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

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

Note: It is always best to stick with dog food and treats.

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 congenital disabilities.

Recurring UTIs is a significant 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 the pill.

In other instances, You might use ointments or other topical remedies.

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, your 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, research 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 favor of having your animal neutered or spayed.

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

Behavioral bladder control

Shocked Chihuahua.jpg

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

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

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 adequately trained.

This will occur most frequently when your Chi is incredibly 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 intelligent little dogs.

Potty training might teach them that accidents get their attention.

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

That’s because, 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, please don’t overdo it. Give a firm ‘no’ and then clean up and take them out. 

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

Final thoughts

If your Chihuahua is healthy, it can hold its 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.

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