If you just started to potty train your puppy, you might be wondering: Should I wake up my puppy to pee at night? And will I risk him making a mess if I don’t? Know that you aren’t alone with this question. Many owners of young puppies are wondering the same.
While letting your puppy get the rest he needs is important, you still have to consider that puppies have very small bladders and that they sometimes have to pee even when sleeping. But, there are a few tricks that could help with this daunting task.
So is it really necessary to wake up your puppy in the middle of the night and risk him getting less sleep — just so he can do his business?
Well, the answer depends on a few factors.
Should I wake up my puppy at night?
The younger your puppy is the more likely it may be that you will have to wake him up during the night to pee. A few month old puppy sleep schedule is a bit different from the one of an adult dog.
Very young puppies don’t know how to hold their little bladder. The older they get the more experience will they have in holding their bladder for a longer period of time.
A general rule of thumb says that you can expect your puppy to hold his bladder for a number of hours that is equal to his age in months plus one. So a 3 months old puppy can hold his bladder for 4 hours.
Once your dog is about five months old or on the older side he should be able to hold his bladder. But until then you should find a way to provide a nighttime bathroom break for him.
Always remember that you should be the one waking up your puppy, and not the other way around. If you do allow your puppy to wake you up, you will teach him that he is the one who sets the rules. You and your family members also deserve a good night sleep.
Adjust the intervals in your night time routine
First thing first: If your puppy tends to have accidents during the night, know that it’s normal. Be patient with both your dog and yourself. This is especially common straight outs of potty training. Your pup is just getting used to doing his business outside. He still doesn’t understand why it’s so bad to pee all over your white carpet.
Since you are sleeping during the night it’s harder to catch your puppy showing signs that he has to pee. You can’t see him walking around the door or sniffing the floor. And he won’t know what to do other than pee in your home. Like we already said, you’ll need a lot of patience and understanding towards your puppy. Remember that he’s still a good boy or girl, even with an occasional accident.
If your dog has frequent accidents during the night, a good idea would be to set an alarm every couple of hours to wake up and take him outside. That’s a great way for beginners, but it definitely isn’t a sustainable one. But you can start slow and every following night setting your next alarm further away from the previous one.
At what age can my puppy sleep through the night?
This will be different for every puppy. Most puppies are able to sleep through the night at 4-5 months of age. However, some puppies will require extra time. Additionally, some puppies will be able to do it sooner.
Give your puppy time and don’t stress him and yourself out if he still has to wake up during the night to pee. He will eventually get there by time.
Owners of little puppies should be full of understanding that potty training is a lot of work. For some it could even be the hardest dog training part. It could take weeks, or even months to see any improvement. Every dog enthusiast should be prepared for that.
Many owners avoid crate training because they think it’s 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. But the one problem with crate training is that a lot of people don’t know how to do it right.
Make sure you get bigger crates than you thing your little guy may need. That way he won’t feel claustrophobic and his night time routine won’t bring him anxiety. You have to put much attention into his sleeping area being as comfortable as possible. That way he will also be able to sleep longer and won’t pee in the middle of the night.
Should I wake up my puppy to pee at night — Ask a dog trainer!
Our tip would be to discuss it with a dog trainer first. If you have any questions about the best way to train your dog, who could help you more than a dog trainer? Good news: If you aren’t able to speak to one face to face in real life, you can always find dog trainer services online. That way you can talk to a licensed dog trainer without having to leave your home.
Don’t give your dog water right before going to sleep
You have to take this advice with a grant of salt. Hydration is incredibly important for everyone, but especially puppies. That’s why your dog should always have fresh water available during the day.
However, you know from personal experience that if you drink water right before going to sleep — you will have to wake up to pee. The same goes for dogs too. Especially puppies with small bladders.
Make sure that your dog gets enough hydration during the day, and take away his water bowl half an hour to an hour before going to sleep. Wake up early to give your dog water and take him then to pee.
Let him do his business before bed (Should I wake up my puppy to pee at night)
Another tip is to take your puppy outside to pee right before going to bed. That way you are giving him his last chance to relieve himself before going to sleep. Even though you will probably still have to wake up during the night to take him outside, that’s a great way to sleep in just a little bit longer.
Depending on when your set bedtime is, and how long you sleep, that could even be enough for your dog. But you’ll have to take him outside first thing in the morning, of course.
Are puppy pee pads a good idea?
No. Puppy pee pads are in no way a good idea. Owners of young puppies should stay away from them altogether. Even though they might seem like the easiest way out — they aren’t. You might be thinking — Well, babies wear diapers too! But trust us, that isn’t in any way the same. Here’s why puppy pee pads are a lousy idea in a nutshell. While they may appear to be a practical answer, they will simply sabotage your potty-training attempts.
- They will train your dog to pee inside your home.
- Pee pads are not suitable for long-term use.
- They aren’t hygienic.
- The majority of dogs never get used to them and prefer to shred them instead of peeing on them.
- They’re not cheap.
So save the environment, save yourself some money and skip them altogether. The best practice always will be to potty train your dog the right way. Without any shortcuts.
If you still have some unanswered question about training your puppy, read some of our other articles: