Owning a French Bulldog certainly comes with its challenges, particularly during the puppy stages. You can expect to be cleaning pee and poop up and having a constant eye on what they are up to. But the same can also apply with adult Frenchies who might keep peeing in the house, or even urinating far too much than would be considered normal.
Why does my French Bulldog keep peeing in the house? Some French Bulldogs will continue to pee in the house up to 8 months old. Adult Frenchies who are still peeing everywhere could do so due to stress, routine changes, an underlying health issue or have frequent urination due to medication they are on.
In this guide I am going to explain why French Bulldogs continue to pee in your home, even after puppyhood. It also contains details on how long you can expect a Frenchie to hold their bladder, and what to expect with puppies in the potty-training phase.
My French Bulldog is peeing everywhere
It personally took us 8 months before Claude would stop peeing everywhere. This included peeing in his crate, on our carpets, and even on our bed even after we thought he was completely house-trained.
Sometimes it will still happen… but thankfully for us it’s now very rare for him to pee in the house. He can hold his bladder for hours and will go through the night with no problems.
But if you have a Frenchie puppy who is still peeing in your house and you haven’t quite reached 12 months of age yet, don’t worry. You can read my guide to house training your puppy on the link below.
Handy Hint: Want to know how to stop your puppy peeing in your house? The first steps will be to potty train him. You can read my step by step guide to potty training.
The bottom line is; puppies do pee more than adult dogs so expect to have a lot of accidents everywhere in your house during the younger months.
My adult French Bulldog is peeing in the house
However, some French Bulldogs will continue to pee in the house as adults. There will also be some cases where it starts suddenly, completely out of nowhere, taking you by surprise.
Vets say that there are some common issues why dogs start peeing suddenly including:
Reasons you might be able to control
1. Changes to the dog’s pack and family
Research has found that dogs can start urinating frequently in the house if a person leaves the home. That can be for reasons as diverse as a child moving out, a separation in a marriage, or a death in the family.
I know of one Frenchie owner whose dog started peeing everywhere when her older dog passed away. Whilst Frenchies are better in pairs, when once dies, it can cause a lot of problems for the surviving dog.
Frenchies are social animals who want to be part of the pack so when something changes in that pack, behavioural problems can start.
2. Changes in the home environment or routine
Even the simplest of changes in a home environment can lead to a change in the frequency and place that your Frenchie urinates. The most common reason is a house move. All this uncertainty and fear can result in peeing indoors.
But it can also happen when you redecorate. One Frenchie owner I spoke to had a problem with her dog peeing in the kitchen after a refurbishment.
French Bulldogs, like any dogs, are creatures of habit. A change to their routine can also mean they start to change their toilet habits.
Over time this should stop, but the French Bulldog will need time to adapt and be made comfortable in the new surroundings.
3. Excessive peeing due to stress, excitement and submission
Many dogs will pee a little bit when they are excited. This little bit of leakage is nothing to be overly concerned about, and in most cases will subside as the puppy reaches adulthood.
However, some older Frenchies will also have this. It’s called submissive urination (see WebMD.com). Dogs will submissively urinate to show you that they are not a threat.
4. Peeing due to the dog’s diet
Some dog foods can also cause your Frenchie to pee a lot. For example, canned dog food can have up to 75% moisture content. Compare that to dry kibble which is typically between 6 and 10% water content.
If you feed your dog canned food, then he will be taking on more water than normal. And what goes in, must come out, meaning your Frenchie could be getting caught short indoors and having to relieve his bladder quickly.
Other dog foods can have high salt content. A dog who consumes more salt than they should will by default, drink more… and the more he drinks, the more he might pee inside the house.
5. Taking on too much water
It could be as simple as your French Bulldog is drinking too much water. The rule of thumb for Frenchies is that they should drink one ounce of water for every pound of body weight daily.
The average male French Bulldog weighs 28 pounds so many Frenchies can drink up to 28 ounces of water a day.
Of course, there are other factors at play which will determine how much they drink including the climate (for example in hot weather), whether they eat dry food, salty food, exercise levels, and health.
Handy Hint: If your Frenchie is drinking too much water it could mean they are no longer able to hold their bladder for longer than the typical 8 to 10-hour limit.
6. Peeing due to separation anxiety
Frenchies need a lot of attention and cannot be left alone for long periods of time. If they are left home alone, separation anxiety can result in frequent urination inside of your home.
Research has been done to find out how frequently dogs will urinate when owners are absent and the types and frequency of reactions to thunderstorms, fireworks, and other noises. You can access that study on the AVMA Journals website.
I also shot a video explaining more on Frenchie separation anxiety and a supporting web guide explaining what you can do to help with it.
Health reasons you can’t control
1. Low oestrogen levels
Older French Bulldogs may not be able to hold their pee if they have low oestrogen levels. This results in hormone incontinence where indoor peeing becomes more problematic.
It is particular common with dogs who have been spayed and neutered as their low oestrogen levels lead to a loss of muscle tone in the bladder areas.
2. Age related diseases
Kidney disease and cognitive dysfunction syndrome can affect older French Bulldogs causing them to either lose control of their bladders, urinating more than usual, and becoming incontinent.
3. Other health problems
I found a large list of other potential health problems that can make a French Bulldog urinate more frequently including:
- Adrenal and thyroid dysfunction
- Bladder crystals and stones
- Bladder disease
- Canine cystitis
- Cushing’s disease
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Kidney infection
- Spinal cord injury
- Urinary tract inflammation
If you have any concerns about how long your French Bulldog can hold his bladder and how this is resulting in indoor urination, please consult with a vet immediately.
4. Side effects of medication
It could even be that the medicine your Frenchie is on is leading to indoor peeing. Some canine medicines will cause your dog to want to pee more, often with them not making it outdoors in time.
The Canine Health Foundation say this about steroids and antibiotics and increased peeing:
“Commonly prescribed medications such as prednisone (a form of cortisone) and furosemide (a diuretic or “water pill”) typically cause increased thirst.” (view source).
Questions to ask yourself
Whilst I would always advise a trip to the vets with any concerns you have over your French Bulldog’s health, there are some questions you should ask yourself first.
The answers you get back can either explain why your French Bulldog is peeing in your house or be invaluable information to pass to your vet.
- When did your Frenchie start peeing in the house?
- What changes to routine or environment have happened?
- How many times has your French Bulldog peed in the house?
- Does your Frenchie pee in the house when you are away?
- Does your Frenchie pee in the house at night-time?
- Does your Frenchie pee in his crate or bed?
- Does your Frenchie pee himself when he gets excited?
- Does your Frenchie pee in the same place in the house?
- Has your Frenchie been put on any medication recently?
French bulldog frequent urination
This can something a little bit different but will still be caused by the reasons I explained above. To understand frequent urination in French Bulldogs we first need to ascertain what frequent means exactly.
How much pee is too much?
I recently read a Facebook post where someone said, “my French Bulldog pees all the time” and many owners chimed in with their own advice. However, not one of them actually addressed what is a normal amount of peeing for a Frenchie and how much is too much.
I wanted to offer some of my own advice here based on what I’ve read in veterinary journals.
The truth is, it will vary from dog to dog but as a general rule of thumb, a French Bulldog that pees every 4 to 8 hours is perfectly normal.
The majority of older dogs will also be able to hold their bladder overnight. Claude will often sleep on our own bed with us, and that can mean he’s holding his bladder for sometimes as long as 10 hours before his next pee.
In summary, how often a French Bulldog pees and whether you define this as frequent urination will relate to their age, health, weight, sex, and diet. For example, Frenchie puppies might pee every hour during the house-training phase.
Our own French Bulldog is happy and healthy and now 3 years old. I would estimate that during the day he will pee anywhere between 4 to 6 times. If it’s anything more than that, I would be concerned enough to take him to the vet for a check-up.
How long can a French Bulldog hold their bladder?
An adult French Bulldog can hold their bladder for between 8 and 10 hours. French Bulldog puppies should only really hold their bladder for 4 hours maximum, and don’t be shocked if they pee everywhere in your house more frequently.
If you are having problems with bladder control and training, read this guide to potty training which offers a step by step guide on what to do.
What happens if a dog holds it too long?
If your French Bulldog holds their pee in their bladder for too long and cannot get outside to relieve themselves, it can lead to health problems.
Full bladders that haven’t been relieved for long periods can get infected. Urinary tract infections are a result of bacteria building up in the urine. This can also result in bladder stones forming.
Dogs that are made to hold their bladder for long periods of time on a regular basis can also become incontinent.
Frenchie puppies will pee everywhere in the house, so don’t be too alarmed if this continues to around the 8-month mark.
However, if you notice a sudden change in your adult French Bulldog’s peeing habits, then it’s always a solid reason to investigate more.
Vets can perform a manual examination of your dog and even some diagnostic testing to get to the root of the issue.
Handy Hint: You might also be interested in the most common health issues Frenchies can develop. It lists 31 health concerns to be aware of.