Should I Wake My Puppy Up To Pee At Night? – Potty Training At Night

When you’re raising a new puppy, there are a lot of questions that tend to come to mind. How often should I feed my puppy? Should I wake my puppy up to pee at night? In the case of the latter question, finding an answer is especially important if you want to have a successful potty-training experience. Disrupting your puppy’s bedtime doesn’t seem nice, but nobody wants nighttime accidents.

When you’re in the process of house training your puppy, it’s generally recommended to wake them up during the night to let them go potty. This is essential because a young puppy has a small bladder that is not fully developed, so they do not have the bladder control that adult dogs do. You should wake your puppy up at least once per night to pee until they’re old and trained enough to hold it in overnight.

How Often Should Puppies Be Woken Up for a Pee Break?

how often should puppies be woken up for a pee break

The frequency you should wake your puppies up for a potty break depends on their age. As a rule of thumb, you can expect puppies to be able to hold in their pee for one hour for every month old they are — but when they aren’t actively drinking and eating throughout the night, the frequency is slightly lower. Taking your puppy out as much as they need is essential since nighttime accidents can negatively impact your potty training progress.

For an extremely young puppy, you should plan to take them outside for a bathroom break around four times per night. If you notice that they still seem to be having accidents despite going potty during the breaks, you should increase the frequency of nighttime potty breaks. If they aren’t using all of the breaks and aren’t having accidents, you can gradually reduce the frequency.

Using the previous rule of thumb, it’s safe to assume that your three-month-old puppy should only need to go potty three times per night at most — but in many cases, they need significantly fewer nighttime potty breaks at this age. Likewise, once your puppy begins to grow close to 8 months old, they should start having success at sleeping through the night, as long as you take them on a potty trip right before bed. 

How Old Does a Puppy Need To Be Before They Can Sleep Through the Night?

The age at which a puppy can sleep through the night depends on their level of toilet training, the size of the puppy, and how grown their body is. A puppy who has responded well to potty training will likely be able to last longer overnight than one who is completely untrained. Likewise, a larger puppy will have a much easier time holding it in than a small puppy. 

Lastly, if your puppy is growing fast for their breed, you may find that their better-developed urinary system allows them to sleep longer through the night. You can generally assume that your puppy will need to grow around eight months old to sleep throughout the night without any accidents, but many puppies can accomplish this sooner with good training.

How To Train a Puppy That Won’t Go Potty During the Night and Has Accidents

how to train a puppy that won't go potty during the night

One common issue encountered by people potty training dogs is that their puppy will refuse to go potty through the night but then have an accident when they’re brought back inside. You should ensure the nighttime potty routine is as familiar to your puppy as possible. Generally, it’s best to start by carrying them outside so that they aren’t woken up too much to go back to sleep. Once you’re out, you should bring your puppy to where they usually go potty and wait as long as it takes to relieve themselves. 

Ideally, you should ensure that the potty area is reasonably well-lit but has no distractions since puppies are prone to forgetting why they’re outside and wasting their potty breaks. You should bring your puppy out for the same amount of time they’re taken out during the day until they go potty, and increase the time if they have an accident once you go back inside. You should also consider teaching your puppy the “go potty” command since it communicates exactly what you expect by taking them outside and helps you directly incentivize good behavior. 

Tips To Reduce the Chance of Puppy Accidents During the Night

It can be extremely frustrating if your puppy keeps having accidents despite your best efforts at bedtime potty training. However, there are ways to reduce the probability of accidents and help your dog successfully potty train.

One of the most important things to do when potty training a young puppy is to reduce their water intake directly before bed. If your puppy is drinking and immediately going to bed, they’ll only have a few hours before going to the bathroom again. And with their poorly developed urinary tract and impulse control, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to hold it in.

The Bottom Line: Should You Let Your Puppy Sleep or Wake Them Up to Pee?

While it may be tempting for puppy owners to let their young puppy (and themselves!) sleep through bedtime, you will be thankful you woke them up to go potty in the long run. You should follow a strict potty training schedule when taking your puppy for nighttime potty breaks. If you randomly wake your puppy up and take them outside, they won’t be able to establish an internal clock that lets them know when they need to go. You’ll find training your dog to wait overnight to go potty to be much simpler and more manageable by giving them consistently timed potty breaks and gradually making them less frequent. 

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