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Should I Let My Dog Drink Water at Night?

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Should I Let My Dog Drink Water at Night?

Surprisingly, the recommendations for giving your dog water at night are a bit complicated. Firstly, it is important for dogs to drink enough water. Luckily, this is quite easy for most dogs to accomplish when provided with fresh water. Unlike some other pets, dogs are very good at responding to their thirst cues and drinking as much as they need. You can usually follow your dog’s cues when it comes to ensuring they’ve drunk enough water. 

However, water can complicate potty training with puppies. If a puppy drinks water at night, it can cause them to need to go out within a few hours. If you’re asleep, you likely won’t take them out. Obviously, this can cause all sorts of issues. Therefore, some people recommend not giving your dog water at night, as it will prevent their bladder from becoming full.

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Do Dogs Need Water at Night?

We did some digging on this issue and didn’t find any scientific evidence to support either method. Dogs do need water, so it typically isn’t recommended to restrict their intake. This can cause dehydration and all sorts of issues along with that. At the same time, puppies may need to be taken out very late at night if they are drinking water. 

If you’re potty training, this can be a problem. They may not be able to wake you up – or may simply not know that they should wake you up. This can lead to accidents in the house, which can interfere with potty training. 

Either way, we do think it is important to rule out any possible health problems that may be causing your dog to urinate at night before taking the water away. 

For instance, UTIs are a very common reason for dogs to suddenly start urinating around the house. However, UTIs are made worse by dehydration, so it would absolutely not fix your problem in this situation. Instead, removing the water would likely just make it worse. 

If your dog suddenly starts urinating in the house at night, we do recommend taking them to the vet. Most dogs don’t randomly start urinating unless there is an underlying condition, such as a UTI or separation anxiety. 

However, puppies are a different story since many of them are not potty trained to begin with. They can still develop these issues, which may cause them to urinate. But they can also urinate indoors at night simply because they haven’t learned not to yet. Puppies also have smaller bladders, so they may need to be let outside in the middle of the night, even if you take the water bowl away. 

In some cases, reducing your dog’s water intake at night may be useful during potty training. However, you may want to try some other methods before jumping to this option.

the dog drinking a water on the blue background

How to Prevent Your Dog from Having Accidents at Night

  1. Check for Medical Problems

As we’ve stated, most inappropriate urination is caused by medical issues. In fact, if your dog suddenly starts having accidents in the house, it is very likely that they have a UTI. We recommend taking your dog to the vet if this happens. Dehydration often makes UTIs worse, so taking the water bowl away will probably just make the issue worse. 

Of course, puppies are a little different because they haven’t learned to urinate in the house yet. They will often have accidents due to their smaller bladder without any underlying health problem. However, it is also true that UTIs can affect puppies and interfere with potty training. If your puppy suddenly starts to take steps backward, it could very well be that they are having some sort of health problem. 

  1. Avoid Salty Treats

Salty treats should be avoided, as they will make your dog want to drink more water. As you might imagine, this can cause some problems when you’re trying to prevent them from needing to go out at night. Many puppies are in the middle of training, which usually means that they will be eating a lot of treats. 

Be sure to choose low-sodium treats to prevent the dog from drinking too much water. 

  1. Take Your Dog Our RIGHT Before Bed

Plan on taking your dog outside right before bed – even if you just took them out 30-minutes before. One of the last things you do before going to bed should be taking the dog out. If you read a book for a bit in bed before actually going to sleep, get back up and take the puppy outside. 

This is probably one of the easiest things you can do to prevent accidental urination at night. Even if your dog isn’t drinking too much water at night, they may still have an accident in the house if you don’t take them outside promptly. 

  1. Go Outside MORE Than You Need To

Puppies have very small bladders. How often you need to take your dog outside varies. Sometimes, you may have to take them outside as much as every hour. Smaller dogs typically require more outside visits since their bladders are smaller. However, even dogs of bigger breeds will likely need to be taken outside more than you think.

You may need to get up and take your dog outside in the middle of the night. They may simply be unable to hold it that long. 

  1. Confine Them to a Smaller Space

Often, dogs will be less likely to urinate inside if they are confined to a smaller area. When you can’t directly supervise your puppy, you should keep them in a crate (you can buy a water bowl specifically made for dog crates). This includes at night when you’re sleeping. At the very least, you should confine them to your room or another small sleeping space. 

  1. Provide a meal and exercise well before bed

You should not be taking your dog on a walk or providing a meal right before bed. This may prevent your dog from winding down at night, which can cause them to stay up far past the time they’re supposed to be asleep. If the puppy doesn’t go to sleep, then they may have an accident after bedtime.

close up of dog drinking a water

Why Does My Dog Drink a Lot of Water at Night?

Your dog may drink a lot of water at night for a variety of reasons. If they suddenly seem very thirsty at night, you may want to consider the possibility of an underlying health problem. There are a few conditions that can cause excessive thirst—these including infections, kidney disease, cancer, Cushing’s disease, and liver disease.

(You should be especially cautious if your dog is a senior dog already, and shows other symptoms such as losing weight.)

Some of these may not cause any other apparent symptoms. Your dog may simply be very thirsty until the disease progresses. Sometimes, medications can cause excess thirst as well. If your dog is on any medications, check the side effects.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it is largely up to you whether or not you give your dog water at night. For adults that are potty-trained, we absolutely recommend giving them water at night. There should be no reason that they can’t hold their bladder overnight. If they suddenly start having accidents, it is probably caused by an underlying disease. 

However, puppies are a bit more complicated. They can’t always hold their bladder overnight when water is available. However, we do recommend trying some other methods to help them make it overnight before you decide to take away the water bowl. Most of these methods are better than removing the water bowl, as water is important to prevent dehydration.

Author: Kristin

Author: Kristin

Kristin was born in Tennessee and currently lives there with her husband and children. She is passionate about educating pet parents and helping them make the best possible decisions for their pets. She currently owns one dog, two cats, a lizard, and a variety of fish.

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