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Potty training your puppy is a lot of work. Keeping an eye on him all the time to check for signs he needs to go, cleaning up after the inevitable accidents…It could be a full-time job!
When it comes to potty training your puppy, you really need to consider the reality of a nightime pee-break. After all, your little guy or girl still has a small bladder even when he’s sleeping.
But should you wake your puppy up to pee at night? What does the nighttime potty-training process really look like?
And, most importantly, when do you get to stop and catch up on all that lost sleep?
Let’s talk about all these burning questions.
Should I Wake My Puppy Up to Pee at Night?
Alright, so let’s dive right in: should you wake your puppy up to pee at night?
Well, that depends on a few different factors.
It Depends on His Age
The younger your puppy is, the more likely you’re going to need to wake him up during the night to go outside.
Your puppy is still learning how to hold his little bladder. As he gets older, he’ll be able to hold it for longer, but if your puppy is still quite young then don’t expect him to hold it for long.
As a general rule, you can expect your puppy to hold his bladder for a number of hours equal to his age in months plus one. So an 8-week old puppy could hold his bladder for about 3 hours maximum.
Once your puppy reaches about 4 months old, he should be able to hold his bladder through the night. But until then, you’ll need to provide nighttime bathroom break opportunities.
The important thing to remember is that you should be the one waking your puppy up, not the other way around. If you allow your puppy to be the one to wake you up, that teaches him that he gets to set the rules.
Instead, make sure to set alarms during the night at regular intervals. When you take your puppy out, do it very calmly and quietly. Make sure not to rile him up, and once he’s all done put him right back into his crate for bedtime!
Adjust the Intervals If He Had Accidents
It’s normal for your puppy to have accidents. While you’re working on potty training, it’s really important to be patient—with both your puppy and yourself.
Accidents are especially likely to happen at night. Since you’re sleeping, it’s harder to catch your puppy’s signs that he needs to go, especially if he isn’t the sort to cry and ask to be let out.
If your puppy is having frequent accidents during the night, then you’ll probably need to take him out more often. You may also want to check out these 11 tips to stop a puppy from peeing in the crate.
Should I Use Puppy Pee Pads at Night?
Using pee pads is a great way to train your puppy if going outside isn’t always feasible.
My general advice is to only use pee pads if there’s no other solution. Whenever possible, take him outside, also during the night.
If you’re thinking about training using pee pads, then just be aware this could make training your dog to outside more complicated. Your puppy might start thinking that anything in the house can be a pee pad, and then he should be eliminating inside rather than outside.
If you’re planning on transitioning to peeing outside and getting rid of pee pads, then make sure to switch gradually. Move the pee pad closer to the door every day, until you eventually get your puppy outside.
At What Age Can Puppies Sleep Through the Night?
The answer to this question is different for every puppy. If only there were a universal answer!
Most puppies are able to sleep all the way through the night by the time they reach about 4 months old. But some puppies may require a little extra time. On the other hand, some puppies can sleep through the night even sooner than this.
Here are some related articles:
- Can a 10-week old puppy sleep through the night?
- How much does an 8-week old puppy sleep?
- Help! My puppy won’t sleep at night
How to Help a Puppy Sleep Through the Night
Whether or not you should be waking your puppy up to pee at night depends on a lot of factors. His age is the most important one. If your puppy is under 4 months old, then expect to set alarms to get your puppy outside to do his business.
But if he’s on the older side and still struggling to sleep through the night, here are some tips that can help.
Crate Train Him
Many owners avoid crate training because they consider it to be cruel. But crate training is actually a really useful way to help potty train your puppy!
It all comes down to how you use the crate. You should focus on making his crate a positive, comfortable space where he wants to go.
Crate training your puppy will also help you avoid accidents. Dogs don’t like to do their business where they sleep. Keeping him in his crate at night will help him go longer without accidents.
If you’re thinking about crate training your puppy, here are a few related articles:
- How to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps
- What’s a good crate training schedule for a puppy?
- When to stop crate training a puppy
- My puppy is throwing a tantrum in the crate – help!
Don’t Give Him Any Water at Night
It’s important to make sure that your puppy has access to clean water throughout the day. Proper hydration will keep your puppy happy and healthy.
But giving your puppy water too late at night just provides him the opportunity to fill up his bladder. This means, of course, that you’ll end up having to take him outside to do his business more frequently.
It’s best practice to take away your puppy’s water bowl about an hour or so before you go to bed. You’ll most likely find that both of you have a much easier time sleeping through the night when you do this!
Let Him Go Potty Right Before Bed
Even if you take your puppy’s water bowl away about an hour before bed, that doesn’t mean your work is done!
To help your puppy sleep comfortably throughout the night, make sure you’re taking him out right before you settle down for bed. His body is probably still processing food and water at this point.
Giving him this last chance to relieve himself before you go to sleep will help him sleep more easily through the night.
Should I Wake My Dog to Pee in the Morning?
Puppies tend to be early risers. They’re a lot like little kids that way. While they need a lot of sleep during the 24-hour cycle, they’re also pretty likely to wake up early.
But if your puppy prefers sleeping in, then you may be wondering if you should be waking your puppy up to go outside first thing in the morning.
Again, it largely depends on your puppy’s age! If you’re puppy is only a few weeks old and still adjusting to his new routine, then it will definitely be beneficial to wake him up in the morning to go outside.
But if your puppy is four months or older, then you can definitely let him sleep in a little longer.
It really comes down to what your own preferred schedule looks like. And as long as you’re waking your puppy up and not the other way around, then he’ll learn not to disturb you at night and how to control his bladder.
Speaking of schedule, I’ve created a free puppy schedule planner that will help you create the perfect daily routine for you and your puppy:
Should I Wake My Puppy to Pee During the Day?
Puppies need a lot of sleep—maybe more than you think.
During this stage of life, puppies are doing a whole lot of growing. Both their brains and bodies are working hard to develop properly.
All of that growing is tough work! Plus, much of that development takes place while your puppy is sleeping.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your puppy is getting enough sleep.
So how much does an 8-week old puppy sleep, for example? The answer is about 18 to 20 hours every day.
Now when it comes to potty training, you may be wondering if you should wake your puppy up from his naptimes to take him outside. After all, you’re waking him up at night to go potty!
But during the day, it’s really best to leave your puppy be. It’s important to be mindful about waking your puppy up at night. This is because you’re sleeping too, which means you need to work harder to be diligent.
But during the day, let your puppy wake up on his own. And as soon as he does, bring the little guy outside to do his business!
Puppies can be a lot of work, especially when it comes to potty training. Until your puppy reaches about 4 months old, you should account for the fact that you’re going to have to take him for nighttime bathroom breaks.
Over time, your puppy will be able to hold his bladder for longer. With your help, he’ll be able to sleep peacefully through the night, and both of you will get some well-deserved rest!