5 Reasons Why Your Dog Hasn´t Urinated for 24 Hours

dog pee in a park

If your dog hasn’t urinated in 24 hours, there is most likely a serious issue that needs to be addressed. 

The fact is that this is not a normal amount of time for a dog to go without urinating at all.

How Often do Dogs Urinate?

The amount of time that a dog can go without urinating depends on a number of factors, including its age and breed. Puppies need to urinate every couple of hours or so, whereas adult dogs can go up to eight hours without peeing. 

A puppy typically has to urinate 15-20 minutes after drinking some water from its bowl. Senior dogs don’t typically need to pee as often as puppies, but they need to do it more often than younger adults.

You should take your adult dog out to urinate at least four times each day. Keep in mind that smaller breeds have to pee more frequently than larger ones. This is simply because their bladder isn’t as big.

Reasons for Urinary Retention in Dogs

There are a number of potential causes of your dog’s urinary retention that you should explore. This could be a sign of a serious condition that requires immediate treatment.

1. There is an Obstruction

One of the possible explanations for your dog’s urinary retention is that there is some sort of obstruction. This could be anything from a blood clot to bladder stones. If something is obstructing your dog’s urethra, they probably won’t be able to urinate properly. It can also cause severe pain when urinating.

Sometimes minerals build up in a dog’s urinary tract, which makes it impossible for them to urinate. While this is not uncommon, it can seriously affect your dog’s overall health. Your veterinarian can run tests to see if there is anything obstructing your dog’s urethra.

2. Urinary Tract Infection

 There is also a possibility that your dog has a urinary tract infection. While some dogs with this type of infection urinate frequently, others barley pee at all. It can cause your dog a lot of discomforts, so it is important that you get it taken care of immediately. 

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This is another condition that can produce blood in urine, so that is something you should look out for. Your dog may also drink a lot more water than usual.

3. Stress

Sometimes extreme stress inhibits a dog’s ability to urinate normally. It is possible that your dog hasn’t urinated in 24 hours because it is very nervous or anxious. This is particularly common when other much larger dogs are around.

If you have recently brought home any new dogs, they might have problems be nervous to urinate around them. Being suddenly put into a new environment can also cause this particular problem. When you move into a new house with your dog, it might take some time for it to adjust to its surroundings.

You can try playing with your dog and spending more time with it on a daily basis to reduce stress. If you think that other dogs are the problem, you should keep them inside while your dog goes out to urinate. This will likely make them feel more comfortable and at ease.

4. Dehydration

Dehydration can also cause a dog to not urinate for an extended period of time. You need to make a point of keeping your dog’s water bowl clean so they don’t develop this issue. All you have to do is just clean it out with some warm water and soap every couple of days.

Some of the other signs that your dog may be dehydrated include:

  • dry nose
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargic behavior

Severe dehydration can be incredibly serious for both dogs and humans. Giving your dog clean water on a daily basis will help with preventing this. If your dog is dehydrated, just try cleaning their bowl and giving them some freshwater. There is a good chance that it will encourage them to drink and therefore urinate.

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5. Tumors

A tumor on your dog’s bladder or in their urethra is another possible cause of their urinary retention. If you have noticed your dog urinating less and less frequently over the past weeks or months, this could be the reason.

While some of these tumors are completely harmless, they can also be cancerous. Even benign tumors can cause serious problems with your dog’s health, so you will need to know if this is the case. Tumors that form in these locations in a dog tend to result in bloody urine. If you notice any blood in your dog’s urine, you’ll need to get them to the vet right away.

Negative Effects of Urinary Retention

It is possible for your dog to suffer some very serious negative health consequences from not urinating for 24 hours or longer. Some of these effects include a urinary tract infection, urinary stones, and a damaged bladder. This is why it is so important that you determine the cause of the urinary detention and get your dog treatment quickly.


  • Puppies typically need to urinate and/or defecate every couple of hours.
  • Fully matured adult dogs can hold their urine for around eight hours.
  • The average dog needs to be let out to pee four or five times each day.
  • It is possible that there is something obstructing your dog’s urethra, such as bladder stones or even a blood clot.
  • A tumor on your dog’s bladder could be responsible for its urinary retention.
  • A urinary tract infection can cause a dog to urinate less frequently than usual.
  • If you notice any blood in your dog’s urine, you should get them to the vet right away. This could be a sign of cancer.
  • Extreme stress can lead to urinary retention as well, and there are many possible causes.
  • If your dog is dehydrated, it may not urinate for long periods of time. Make sure to keep their water bowl clean so they will drink from it regularly.
Written by:

Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Handler, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".