We all hate accidents happening at home, which mostly happens with puppies as they can’t control their bladder that much yet. With this in mind, you might be thinking: should you wake up your puppy to pee at night?
This article will help you address puppy issues when it comes to managing accidents in the middle of the night. After all, raising puppies also come with the challenge of managing their urinary habits.
How long can a puppy hold it overnight?
Puppies will hold their bladder depending on their age. At 3 months old, puppies will likely last 3 hours; so as a general rule of thumb, the number of hours they’re able to hold their pee is also their puppy age in months.
With that said, expect your puppy to hold their bladder all night long by the time they reach 4 months old or more. You’ll have to experiment with trial and error, as well as observation, to see how long they’re able to not make accidents at home.
How often do puppies pee?
Puppies will have to pee every 2 to 3 hours if they are around 2 months old. Therefore, you may need to get up in the middle of the night to take your puppies out to the “bathroom” to avoid soiling your carpets.
In any case, you may need to observe your puppy for a couple of nights. Not all puppies grow the same so you should watch for signs (mentioned below) that indicate your puppy needs to go.
Signs your puppy needs to pee at night
So, what are the telltale signs that your puppy needs to go? Look for the following actions that are most likely telling you that they need a restroom right away (which translates to going outside to pee):
1. Circling constantly
If you spot your puppy circling a lot than usual, it’s a common sign that they need to go. This is a non-verbal way of saying that they feel restless and that their bladder is full. Circling is one of the easiest ways to tell if your puppy needs to pee.
2. Scratching or putting their paws to the door
This is yet another simple way of telling if your pup needs to go outside to do their business. It is characterized by trying to open the door with its paws – usually by scratching or knocking it. The dog is likely saying “I want to go outside to pee” to their owner.
If you hear your puppy whine a lot, it is a sign that they want to go outside to pee. Be alert to your puppy’s constant whining. However, if they already peed and they’re still whining, there’s probably something else that they want.
4. Going to an area they last peed in
Puppies instinctively know where to pee if they accidentally soiled one spot in the house. To keep this from happening, make sure to always take them outside. If it isn’t avoidable, have a washcloth ready near their living quarters so that they will always pee there instead of your couch.
5. Sniffing their rear
This is a direct way of saying “my bladder can’t take it anymore” to their owners. If you find them sniffing their rear more often, it’s a sign that they need to go outside.
6. Your puppy acts restless
If you feel that your puppy is more tense than usual, it’s probably time to take them out for peeing outside. Take note of cues such as circling and feeling uneasy.
This is also a clue that they might want to pee right away so take them outside as soon as possible.
At What Age Can Puppies Sleep Through the Night?
Puppies will sleep through the night without peeing at 4 months old or 16 weeks. This depends on their upbringing, as well as their training and the like. Each puppy is different so you still need to observe your puppy avoid accidents at night.
What if my puppy has an accident?
Accidents will happen, one way or another. It is not avoidable but you can do something. Here’s what to do if your puppy has an accident in the house:
1. Immediately run to your puppy and pick them up. Don’t spare a minute or second and rush to your puppy if you catch them peeing (or worse).
2. Tell them that what they did is wrong, but not in a violent way. Oftentimes, people who are new to pet keeping yell at their puppies when they pee or poop in the house – especially on an expensive carpet. No matter what you do, be gentle in disciplining your puppy to avoid causing trauma to them.
3. Pick up your puppy and take them to their potty area. After that, all you need to do is to take them to their usual potty area to do their business.
4. Clean up the mess, if any. Accidents are part of keeping a pet so you have to take responsibility. If, for some reason, you don’t have a strong stomach to clean urine or poop, get someone else in the house to clean it up for you.
How to potty train your puppy with pee pads
To potty train your puppy using pee pads, here’s what you need to do:
1. Get them used to the potty pad. Take them there if you suspect that they haven’t peed in an hour or so. You can also estimate depending on their age if you think they need to pee.
2. Bring them back if they don’t pee. Don’t let your puppy play around with the potty pads because they will not associate it with urinating.
3. Return your puppy after a few minutes and try again. The idea here is to associate that place with peeing so that your puppy will always go there when they need to pee.
Prepping Your Puppy for Bed
Puppies will go through the night without peeing for up to 3 hours depending on their age. Before you take your puppy to bed, make sure you:
- Let them play for a while to help them sleep better
- Establish their hygiene routines (bathing, brushing teeth, grooming)
- Cuddling or doing a calm activity (e.g. watching TV or reading a good book)
- Play soothing music and/or ensure little to no background noise
- Let your puppy sleep in a dog crate beside your bed
- Be ready for potty breaks in the middle of the night
- Give them toys and/or treats as a reward for good behavior