What Time To Take The Dog Out At Night? (A Brief Effective Guide)

Potty training can be a long and challenging process, especially if you are a first-time puppy parent. One particularly puzzling question is whether there is an ideal time for the last potty break before sleep.  

So, what time to take the dog out at night? It depends on when your pup goes to bed. To prevent mistakes, it is advisable to take your dog for a potty just before sleep time. Then take it out as soon as it wakes up in the morning. Also, keep in mind that some pups need more frequent breaks, and you might need to get up during the night.  

In this article, we will talk about the puppy training process – the concept, possible obstacles and solutions, and some tips for making it more manageable.  

The Potty-Training Process In A Nutshell 

Potty training is a long and effort-requiring process. Although the concept is the same, there are slight differences between potty training during the day and potty training at night. Before we start talking about the specific details of the night-time-related issues of potty training, we should briefly describe the overall process.  

The potty training includes several steps and starts with crate training and the use of tons of pee pads. Over time, as the dog gets used to the crate, it is possible to proceed with actual potty training.  

It should be noted that some dogs learn to potty outside much faster than others. In fact, several dog breeds are listed as notorious for their lack of understanding of the potty-training process.  

Expect issues and a long and mistakes-filled potty training if your dog belongs to one of the following dog breeds

· American Foxhound 

· Pekingese  

· Beagle 

· Bichon Frise 

· Cocker Spaniel 

· Dachshund  

· English Bulldog  

· Yorkshire terrier.  

How Long Can A Dog Hold Its Bladder Overnight? 

There is no simple and straightforward answer to this question. How long a dog can refrain from peeing depends on various factors. Here is a description of the most important ones.  

Factor number 1: The dog’s age 

The number one factor determining the dog’s ability to hold pee is its age. Obviously, young puppies and seniors can hold it for less than adult dogs. While an adult dog can hold it for an average of eight hours (can vary between six and ten), puppies and senior dogs need potty breaks between one and hour hours apart.  

Puppies have particularly small bladders which are physically incapable of holding it for too long. Plus, puppies are not completely in control of their bladder muscle, and once they get control, they need time to understand how the process works. To determine how long a puppy can hold its pee, just convert its age into hours. For example, 1-month old pups can hold it for one hour, 2-months old pups for two, 3-months old pups for three, etc.  

Senior dogs, on the other hand, need frequent potty breaks because of two reasons. First, as they age, the muscles controlling the bladder become weaker, and as much as the dog tries to hold, it cannot restrain from leaking urine. Second, older dogs often suffer from canine dementia, causing them to pee without being aware of what they are doing. The general rule of thumb is that senior dogs need a peeing break every three to four hours.  

Factor number 2: The dog’s size 

The dog’s size is another factor worth considering. In general, larger dogs need to pee less frequently than small dogs. This is because larger dogs have bigger bladders. However, they also produce more urine.  

The rule of the thumb is that a dog produces between 10 and 20 ml of urine per one pound of body weight per day. In more descriptive terms, a teacup Chihuahua produces around half a cup of pee while a Labrador Retriever produces five cups of urine per day.  

Keep in mind that this is just a general rule. Depending on the exact circumstances and health profile, it is possible for a small dog to refrain from peeing for a lot longer than a large breed dog.  

Factor number 3: Overall health status  

The peeing needs and ability to hold it vary greatly among healthy dogs and dogs with medical issues. Some dogs suffer from conditions that lead to increased or decreased need to pee. 

Other dogs may receive medication causing urination changes as a side effect. Here is a short description of several health conditions that affect the dog’s need to urinate and ability to hold it.  

Urinary tract infections 

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in dogs are a common issue, especially among older and spayed females. The risk for developing this type of infection is also greater in dogs with diabetes. UTIs can be caused by various culprits and require immediate veterinary attention as they tend to progress.  

A dog with a urinary tract infection needs to pee more frequently than normal, but the peeing is often painful and accompanied by crying and whining. Plus, the produced pee is often tainted with blood or pinkish in color.  

Urinary stones 

Urinary stones is an umbrella term used to describe various types of stones that can be found in the ureters, kidneys, bladder, and urethra. In dogs, these stones are most commonly found in the bladder.  

Bladder stones can get up to three to four inches in size and are composed of different minerals. The most frequently reported bladder stones in dogs are struvite stones (found in Schnauzers and Miniature Poodles) and urate stones (found in Dalmatians and Bulldogs).  

Urinary incontinence 

Urinary incontinence can develop on its own or as a side effect of certain medications and procedures. For example, spayed female dogs are more likely to develop urinary incontinence as they grow older.  

A dog with urinary incontinence is not capable of holding its pee, or better said, it is not even aware when the urine leaking starts or occurs. Therefore, before accusing a potty-trained dog of making mistakes, it is critical to ensure there are no urinary incontinence issues.  

Kidney problems 

The kidneys are delicate organs and prone to various diseases and conditions. A dog with kidney inflammation, depending on the type, can either produce too much or urine or not produce enough of it.  

In the first case, the dog will need to relieve itself often, and in large amounts, and in the second case, the dog will not feel the need to pee, and when it does, the amount of urine will be minimal.  

Bladder tumors 

There are two types of tumors – benign and malignant. Depending on their type and exact location within the bladder, they can make the dog pee more or less frequently than normal.  

For example, if the tumor obstructs the opening from the bladder to the urethra, the dog will pee less frequently. On the other hand, if the tumor puts too much pressure on the bladder, it will make the dog need frequent potty breaks despite the fact that the bladder is not completely full.  

When Should I Take My Dog Out At Night? 

Generally speaking, a fully potty-trained dog does not need to go out for potty breaks during the night. However, there are exceptions to these rules. Here is a shortlist of the situations in which you will have to set an alarm and plan night-time potty breaks: 

· Your dog belongs to the breeds that are tough to train and forgetful about their potting manners (listed above) 

· Your dog is diagnosed with a condition that is making it pee more frequently or is receiving treatment with increased urination as a side effect  

· Your dog is aging and entering its senior years, meaning it will need more frequent potty breaks to prevent accidents in the house.  

How Many Times A Night Should I Take My Dog Out? 

Once again, the answer to this question depends on the many factors discussed above. If you have a healthy adult dog, it is perfectly safe to spend the entire night without practicing a potty break.  

On the other hand, if dealing with a sick dog, a puppy, or a senior, you should adjust the night-time peeing schedule based on its unique needs and abilities.  

Should I Use Puppy Pads At Night? 

The use of puppy pads during the potty-training phase is controversial. On the one hand, they are convenient – prevent messes and ensure easy cleaning. However, on the other hand, having a puppy pad might be an encouragement for some pups to relieve themselves.  

This is because most dogs refuse to soil where they eat and sleep but will pee on a puppy pad. Keep in mind that not all dogs are so aware of their peeing habits and hygiene. In fact, some dogs may even pee in their water bowls.  

In a nutshell, there is no strict rule on whether to use puppy pads or not and if using for how long. Every dog is different, and every housebreaking process is different. Find the approach that fits both you and your dog best.  

My Dog Won’t Pee Outside At Night

Taking your dog out to pee in the middle of the night can be annoying. However, it is even more annoying if your dog refuses to relieve itself despite the fact it asked to be taken out. There are two possible reasons for this scenario.  

Reason number 1: Your dog is afraid of the dark 

This is more common than you might think. Some dogs, especially if raised and living indoors, can be afraid of the dark and the unknown sounds occurring in the night. A dog afraid of darkness would refuse to leave the doorstep and, if dragged or carried outside, return home running and scared.  

Reason number 2: Your dog dislikes the peeing spot.  

Even dogs have certain criteria when choosing a toilet area. For example, during the day, you usually take your dog peeing in the park or in a distant location. At night, chances are you are taking it in front of the house or in the backyard. In such cases, your dog might find the place inappropriate and refuse to pee.  

Summing Up: Dogs Aand Potty Break Habits 

For some pet owners, the potty-training process is hard and challenging and, for others, effortless and short. It all depends on the dog’s unique personality and needs and the training methods.  

However, all owners agree that preventing accidents during the night is trickier than avoiding pee puddles inside the house during the day. Taking your pup out to relieve itself just before going to bed is a good way of decreasing its peeing urges while sleeping.  


Can dogs hold it for ten hours? 

Depending on the breed and bladder size, it is possible for some dogs to hold it and refrain from peeing for ten hours. However, it is not a good idea to leave your dog without a potty break for so long. In fact, experts suggest it would be cruel to make your dog hold it for so long.  

Should I take my dog out before bed? 

Yes, taking your dog out just before bed is a good idea not just for peeing purposes but also to let it steam off some excess energy and ensure a good night’s sleep. During the potty-training phase, it is important to practice frequent potty breaks, and the last break before bed is critical for preventing mistakes.  

How often does a dog need to pee? 

In ideal circumstances, a dog should be allowed to pee between three and five times per day or, in other terms, at least once every eight hours. In fact, if an adult dog requires to go out more frequently than this, the peeing urge should be seen as a red flag, and veterinary consultation is warranted.  

Should I wake my dog up to pee?  

Different dogs have different peeing needs, but in general, there is no need to wake your dog up during the night. However, if accidents do occur or your dog wakes you up, then it is advisable to make a night peeing schedule.  

What happens if my dog doesn’t pee for 24 hours?  

A dog that refuses or cannot pee is an objective reason to call the vet and request an immediate appointment. The accumulation of urine within the bladder poses a dual risk – the build-up chemicals can have toxic effects, and the pressure from the urine can make the bladder burst.  

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