dog won’t pee on road trip


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If your lovely won't pee on a whole trip, don’t worry - You are not the only one! 

But, before you get mad, consider that your pup is not intentionally trying to ruin the greater road trip joy. 

Most dogs won’t pee on a road trip because they feel confused, alienated, tired, shy, or have health problems. You can resolve this problem in many ways, but first, we need to go through every reason why your dog won’t pee on a road trip. 

Why Won’t Dogs Pee on Road Trips?

There could be several explanations for this. The truth is, nobody wants to see their pup like this, struggling the whole time. The entire trip becomes a mess if your pup is not in a good mood. 

So, let’s discuss why your dog acts like this, one by one.

It Feels Confused

If this is the first time your dog comes on a road trip with you, then one of the reasons why it won’t pee may be confusion. Even though some dogs may enjoy being on a car ride, others often feel very confused. 

This could happen on road trips because of the new weather, background, and atmosphere. As a result, it will refuse to pee. 

It Feels Alienated


Every human has a comfort zone, and so have dogs. Many dogs will hold on until they find a familiar area. It is a normal thing, so you don’t need to worry. 

Some pups will not pee until they return home so they can do their business in private. Unfortunately, there may be nothing we can do to change it. Still, you can make your dog feel more comfortable during the road trip and see if that will help somehow.


It Feels Fatigued 

Road trips can be tiring, especially if your dog is new to traveling. After all, we all get tired after a long ride! 

Dogs do not tolerate long rides as people do; they get exhausted very quickly. Especially if they feel hunger or thirst, they become very lazy suddenly. It is highly likely they will refuse to pee at a time like that.

It Has Some Physical or Mental Issues

Before taking your cute pup on a road trip, you should consider its physical and mental health. If the dog is not 100% healthy, it may not be a good idea to take it on a trip.   

Especially if your dog has experienced some problems with its bladder, it certainly won’t potty on road trips. Mental health issues are also critical. If your dog suffers from depression, stress, or anxiety, there is a chance it won’t pee on potty breaks.  

We recommend taking your dog to the vet before dragging him across the country with you.

It Feels Ashamed or Afraid 

Unless you own a Shih Tzu, your dog would probably face some potty shyness.

Before going on a trip, it may be good to look at how your dog behaves when you take it to the dog park and start interacting with other dogs. For example, does it feel shy and afterward refuse to pee? Then it is obvious that your dog often feels ashamed.

Also, many dogs are afraid of big vehicles such as trucks, trains, etc. As a result, they won’t pee on road trips. 

It Has A Leash Problem

Is your dog on a leash during a road trip? If you answer this with a “yes,” then the thing is, when dogs are on a leash, they prefer not to pee or poop. 

They like to do their business in private, and if you take your dog off-leash during road trips, it will be more eager to potty. 

Usually in this case, training them to get used to the leash, as well as commands can help with this issue somewhat.

How to Get Your Dog to Pee on A Road Trip?


You can do several things to get your dog to pee without ruining your trip.

Give it More Water 

It is simple. We need to pee more when drinking more water. So, if you want to get your dog to pee, give it plenty of water. 

If your dog does not drink water, try giving coconut water, fruit juice, nut milk, or kefir. After that, you will not have a potty problem anymore. 

Potty Commands 

A well-trained dog should listen to commands, especially when it comes to potty training. If your dog obeys, using a command is a great trick to get it under control. 

Since many dog owners do potty training when the dog is still young, this should be an easy thing to do.

Teach it to Use Various Surfaces

Aside from potty training, it would help if you taught your dog that it is okay to pee on many different surfaces. 

Teach your pup to pee on grass, gravel, wood chips, sand, leaves, and other surfaces. If you do this when the dog is still young, you will not have a problem taking it on trips with you. 

Be Prepared and Plan Rest Areas

When going on a road trip, you need to be prepared. Pack a few extra things in a roaming bag, such as paper towels and wipes, stain remover, and an odor-removing product. 

Whether you stay at a hotel or sleep in your car, a roaming bag makes your trip easier.

Another thing you should carefully plan is making a few pit stops so your puppy can go potty. If a long time passes by and you can’t find any, the pet policies remain open till midnight.  



When you are at home, everything is more accessible. Just take a walk in the park, let your dog wander, and it will realize that it is time for a pee. You can say the magic word and let your dog sniff for bathroom options. 

But when you are on a road trip, there will be cases when your dog doesn’t pee. Hopefully, with this article, we have helped you learn why your dog is acting out and the possible solutions to any potty problem.  

about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.

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