Help! Dog Having Accidents Only at Night (Why?)

It’s bad enough when your dog has accidents, but when it happens at night, it’s even more of a problem. After all, you need your sleep. You don’t want to constantly get out of bed to clean up messes. 

If you’re here, you must be puzzled because your dog is having accidents only at night.

dog having accidents only at night
Help! Dog Having Accidents Only At Night (Why?)

Many dogs have had this issue, so here you will learn what causes it and what you can do to deal with it. 

Potential Reasons Why Your Dog Is Having Accidents Only at Night

There are several possible reasons your dog has nighttime accidents, but none of them is his fault. You are responsible for finding out what is going on with your dog and finding a solution. 

Take a look at the list of reasons for unwanted indoor pottying in dogs at night. You should recognize one or more of these causes in your dog. Once you’ve figured out the root of the issue, you will know how to deal with it. 

Incomplete Potty Training 

If your puppy or dog hasn’t had adequate potty training, that is probably the explanation for its accidents at night. Good potty training is essential if your dog can hold his bladder and bowels when necessary. 

Pitbull trains by owner
Pitbull trains patiently

During potty training, you also teach your dog that you will always give him the opportunity to potty and that he just has to wait. This will stop him from panicking and having an accident. 

When your dog sees that you’re asleep, he might panic about not being able to get outside on his own if he needs to go to the bathroom. The way to deal with this is to make sure he knows he will be able to access his correct pottying spot as soon as the morning arrives. 

At least until you’re sure your dog’s potty training is complete, consider having his bed in your bedroom. If he sleeps near you, you will be more likely to wake up if he does. 

Drinking Too Late Before Bed

A common cause of accidents at night is your dog drinking water too soon before going to bed. But, of course, eating too late may also lead to even messier accidents. 

Siberian Husky drinks water
Siberian Husky drinks in a transparent water bowl.

You should pick up your dog’s water and food bowls two hours before going to sleep. This will go a long way in preventing your dog from having to potty in the middle of the night. Also, ensure your dog gets enough water during the day so he won’t get thirsty.

Lack of Chances to Potty Before Bed

You should take your dog outside to potty at least once before bedtime. If you haven’t been doing this, it could be the reason your dog has been having accidents. 

Goldendoodle puppy lying on the carpet
The Goldendoodle puppy lying on the carpet.

As well as giving your dog plenty of chances to empty his bladder and bowels before bed, you should ensure you don’t sleep in too late in the morning. Always remember how long your dog has to go without pottying at night. 

You Don’t Know Your Dog’s Body Language 

You should know your dog’s body language and the signals he sends when he needs to potty. Observe your dog before bed and give him an extra chance to relieve himself if he needs to. 

Goldendoodle puppy looks curious
A puppy looks curious and walks closely to the owner.

Your Dog Has a Medical Problem 

If your dog has a medical problem, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), this may make him more likely to have an accident at night. 

dog sits after pee
The dog sits right after peeing on the carpet.

Other medical problems may lead to accidents, too. Talk to your veterinarian and have your canine companion examined if you think there is a medical cause behind his nighttime accidents. 

Here are some medical problems in dogs that may lead to accidents at night: 

  • Kidney disease 
  • Diabetes
  • Bladder or kidney stones
  • Cushing’s disease 
  • UTI (urinary tract infection)
  • Urinary incontinence

As with other medical problems, these are more likely to occur in older dogs, but if you think your puppy has a medical issue, you should talk to your vet. Urinary incontinence is most often seen in elderly dogs. 

How to Better Potty Train Your Dog? 

Dog potty training requires a solid routine. That way, your dog will know the schedule and not feel anxious. He will know when he will have a chance to relieve himself. 

Chihuahua and artificial grass
Chihuahua walks over artificial grass after potty.

Especially during potty training, you should bring your dog outside a minimum of every couple of hours. You should also bring them outside to potty first thing in the morning after you wake up and after every time they eat or drink

It’s essential to establish a specific spot for pottying outside. Your dog will know that spot when you lead them to it. You should also talk to your dog as he is pottying, repeatedly using the word potty.

Give him praise when he relieves himself. 

You should give your dog rewards during potty training as positive reinforcement. 

What Is Crate Training? 

Some dog owners have success crate training their dogs as puppies. Remember that whatever crate you use must be comfortable and spacious enough that the dog can turn around, lie down, and stand up. 

Beagle inside the crate looks away
Beagle inside the crate looks away from his owner.

If you don’t want to put your puppy in a crate for the night, you can put him in a specific area of the house and keep him in there using baby gates. This way, if your dog potties during the middle of the night, at least it will be in one area.

Some dog owners like keeping their puppies in a large bathroom during the night so that if they pee or poop, it’s easier to clean up than it would be on the carpet. 

Even if you do this kind of training, you still must bring your dog outside to his potty spot as soon as you wake up in the morning. You must also bring him outside every couple of hours during the day.

What To Do When Your Dog Has an Accident?

You must be patient with your dog. He hasn’t pottied just to annoy you, and he will be just as upset about his accident as you are. You should never show anger to your dog or try to make him ashamed.

A Goldendoodle puppy that is well-trained can be a great companion!
A Goldendoodle puppy looks up

This will upset him and make him even more anxious about potty training. 

It’s always possible that a medical condition is behind your dog’s accidents, so keep that in mind. 

You should also remember that it is up to us to patiently train our dogs to use the potty outside in the appropriate places. Show your dog that you love him, and just keep showing him how to potty the right way. He will eventually learn. 

Also, review your schedule and ensure that you’re giving your dog enough bathroom opportunities during the day and about an hour before you go to bed at night. You should also ensure that he is not drinking any water or eating for a couple of hours before you plan to turn in for the night

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen here, there are several potential reasons why you’re having a problem with your dog having accidents only at night. Luckily, once you figure out the root cause, you’ll know how to proceed to resolve the issue.