When Do Puppies Develop Bladder Control Properly?

when do puppies develop bladder control

New puppies are great fun. However, one of the not so fun things is the constant peeing. Puppies pee on the floor, on your bed, furniture, and even on you. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe it.

My wife and I compared having a young puppy to having a baby or toddler. Expect just as much mess and pee mishaps… but there will be a time when your puppy has developed bladder control. So, don’t think it won’t happen.

When does a puppy develop bladder control? Many puppies will not gain full bladder control until they are 6 months old. It can several months for them to develop bladder control so you will have to go through several months of pee inside your house.

The bottom line is you need to put the effort into potty training. Patience and perseverance are key here… here’s more information and help.

At what age does a puppy have bladder control?

Puppy owners are advised to begin potty training between 3 to 4 months of age. If you do this, most puppies will gain full bladder control when they’re between 4 and 6 months old.

Before then, a lot of your life as a puppy owner will revolve around your puppy’s bladder and tummy.

when a puppy will gain bladder control
Don’t expect any form of bladder control in your puppy when they are this young.

Why is bladder control hard for puppies?

A puppy’s tiny body contains a tiny bladder. Puppies usually need to pee within 10 to 30 minutes of filling their bladder with water. This is why they have such little bladder control, and the reason for some frequent peeing.

This means that if you leave your puppy in a crate overnight without potty breaks, he will definitely make a mess in it because he is not physically capable of holding it in until you wake up in the morning.

How long can puppies hold their pee?

The rule of thumb is that the number of hours a puppy can hold his bladder = age + 1. That means a two-month-old puppy will be able to hold it for three hours.

How can I improve my puppy’s bladder control?

Improving a puppy’s bladder control begins with potty training which is all around a routine. If you take him out to do his business at these regular intervals, he will quickly get used to it. Puppies are smart little things, and it should be easy to teach them this new bathroom habit.

You should fit in your puppy’s potty breaks throughout his daily routine. For example, let him out when you get up first thing in the morning, then after his morning nap, then after a play session, after a meal, and so on, until his last potty break right before bedtime.

As your puppy grows up, you will be able to extend the time between potty breaks.

If you follow this routine with patience, you will help to speed up how quickly it takes for your puppy to gain full bladder control.

You can help that by paying close attention to your puppy’s eating, drinking, and potty habits. He should be pooping and peeing according to his diet. If he is peeing too often, you should get him checked by a veterinarian.

Invest in puppy pads

You can also use puppy training pads when their bladder control isn’t there, before transitioning to potty training outdoors. Potty pads can absorb several cups of liquid without leaking.

They also come with pheromones that encourage puppies to go in one specific spot. These pads can help avoid messes and ruined floors and are available on Amazon.

What are the signs that your puppy needs to go out?

In the first few weeks of bringing home your puppy, you need to make sure that someone is at home to watch him frequently. You need to learn his signs that show he needs to go out whilst he still learns to control his bladder.

If your puppy is crying, pawing at the door, pacing in circles, sniffing, whimpering, or jumping where you hang his leash, he likely needs to poop or pee.

You should get him outside as soon as possible and reward him if he does his business in the designated area.

This is how potty training begins. Consistent positive reinforcement when he does something right will lead him to understand that it’s worth his while to wait and that you will be pleased with him when he does well.

The worst thing an owner can do is to punish their puppy when he gets it wrong. They are far too young to have developed bladder control yet and can’t help peeing in places.

Punishment will only lead to fear and aversion and may even lead to your puppy peeing even more because he’s so scared of you. Positive reinforcement and constant rewards are the healthiest way to train puppies and dogs.

Is my puppy peeing too much?

Puppy bladders are small, but they grow in size quickly as puppies age. Suppose your puppy urinates more often than the bladder formula (hours = age in months + 1). In that case, he might be suffering from a health problem.

For example, if your four-month-old puppy is peeing once an hour, he might have a urinary tract infection, diabetes, kidney problems, or other internal conditions. If there is upheaval in your habits at home, he may be experiencing anxiety or is seeking your attention.

Other reasons for puppies and dogs peeing too much: drinking too much water due to hot weather, marking behavior, bladder incontinence after getting spayed, and more.

It’s best to keep track of your puppy’s peeing habits as he grows up. If there’s a marked change in frequency, it may be best to consult a veterinarian.

What is the best way to clean puppy pee?

Potty training is a long, arduous process, and your puppy will not develop full bladder control overnight. For the first few months of your puppy living at home, you will have to deal with many pee accidents. Possibly even multiple times a day.

You need to act quickly because you don’t want the pee smell to permeate your house. No matter what surface your puppy pees on, it’s best to be vigilant and to take action immediately.

Aside from getting rid of the smell, thoroughly cleaning a pee spot will ensure that your puppy will not be going back to pee on it again.

Any lingering smell that the puppy can detect might lead him back for another go at the scene of the crime over and over again.

If your puppy has had a little pee accident, follow these steps:

  1. Glove up: Always wear gloves before cleaning dog pee or poop. Animal waste contains many pathogens that can cause problems in humans, such as the Leptospirosis bacteria in dog pee or tapeworm parasites in dog poop. Make sure not to get any of it on your bare hands.
  2. Soak up the liquid: Use a thick wad of paper towels or toilet paper to soak up the urine. Try to absorb as much liquid as possible, but don’t rub any of it on the surface.
  3. Use an enzyme-based cleaner: The best cleaners have enzymes that neutralize the substances in urine that cause stains and odors. Most chemical cleaners are good at removing stains but cannot completely eliminate the odor. All dogs have great senses of smell, and they will likely be able to sniff out their marked spots again.

Avoid cleaners that contain ammonia because these products may even mimic the smell of urine and make the pee spot even more attractive to your puppy.

Here is a pet-specific cleaner on Amazon that can neutralize pet stains and smells. They can be used on all types of surfaces—wood, carpet, furniture, bedding, stone surfaces, car interiors, and more.

If you don’t have an enzymatic cleaner, you can mix 1-part white vinegar with 1 part water and a splash of lemon juice. You can apply this solution using a sponge or a spray bottle.

Diluted vinegar should be safe for most surfaces in your home, but make sure to test it out with twice the water content on sensitive areas.

If you smell dog pee but you can’t find it, try your best to find the pee spot. The smell will not just go away on its own, and your puppy will surely go back to that spot the next time he needs to pee.


Bringing home a brand new puppy is a fun and exciting time for any household. Puppies are so great to have around because they’re tiny, adorable, they love to play, and they conk right out on any surface when they’re tired.

But it will take lots of accidents and patience before your puppy gains full control of their bladder… and you can help them with training.

Image in header via https://unsplash.com/photos/fk4tiMlDFF0

Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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