How to Toilet Train Your Puppy at Night: A Step-by-Step Guide

Puppy Toilet Training At Night

Potty training your new puppy with a nighttime routine is extremely important, although it can be one of the hardest parts of training your dog. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide on how to toilet train your puppy at night, so you can use these simple tips to avoid sleepless nights and uncontrollable mess! 

Setting a Nighttime Routine for Your Puppy

Establish a regular bedtime and wake up time 

A routine can be a powerful tool when training your puppy, teaching them when they can use the toilet and when they should be asleep. Start by creating a schedule with your dog and try to maintain consistent times for when you both go to sleep and when you wake up, teaching your puppy when it’s the right time for them to use the bathroom. 

Use the ‘last call’ system before bed 

Before going to bed at night, give your puppy a “last call” and allow them one last chance to use the toilet before you go to sleep. After your puppy has done their business and begins to calm down, place them where they sleep, either in their crate or in their bed. It’s a great way of teaching your puppy that it’s time to calm down and go to sleep and also reduces the chance of them making a mess on your furniture during the night.

Take them out during the night, but only for the first few months 

It’s important to understand that young puppies will need to use the toilet at least once during the night. So, for the initial few weeks, make sure you set an alarm during the night to let your puppy use the bathroom (usually around 6 hours after their last potty break). If your puppy doesn’t have an accident during those hours for a few weeks, start to increase the time between their last toilet break before bed and you taking them out at night. Delaying their potty break by 15 minutes every night will teach them to wait a little longer to do their business, eventually turning it into a morning routine.

Once your puppy is three or four months old, they will most likely be able to go the full night (7 to 8 hours) without a toilet break.

Get them up and out each morning 

First thing in the morning, take your dog outside so they can once again do their business. Doing this as soon as they wake every day helps set a consistent routine and teaches your puppy to expect the toilet in the morning.

How to Avoid Accidents in the Middle of the Night

Taking your puppy outside to do their business in the middle of the night is crucial when your puppy is at a very young age and there are bound to be a few accidents in the process. That being said, it may not always be feasible to take your dog out at crazy hours of the night and certainly isn’t a long term solution.

That’s when using a real grass dog toilet like Piddle Patch can really come in handy. It’s a great way to avoid accidents in the middle of the night and is also a fantastic way of training your puppy to do their business when they’re outside the house.

Controlling Your Puppy’s Diet

Controlling when your puppy eats and drinks can help reduce the chances of your dog needing the toilet in the middle of the night. Try to avoid feeding your puppy for at least 2 hours before their bedtime, allowing most of their food to be digested prior to their final potty break before bedtime. 

6 More Tips to Potty Train Your Puppy at Night

Over time, following the above guidance can work wonders for you and your puppy. However, we know it’s not always so straight-forward and sometimes a little extra help can be really useful when trying to potty train your dog or puppy. 

If you’ve followed all of the usual advice and guidance and are still struggling to toilet train your puppy, give the following tips and tricks a go and see how you get on: 

  1. If your puppy keeps having accidents at night, give them more frequent toilet breaks. It’s very important that a puppy never feels forced to do their business where they sleep. If they are not taken to the toilet regularly enough, they are much more likely to have an accident during the night and may even pick up a few bad habits in the process. Setting more regular alarms to take them out more frequently during the night can work wonders, especially during those first few weeks while they start to develop a routine.
  1. Prepare for accidents before they happen. Sometimes, simple changes like moving your puppy’s bed closer to the door can make a huge difference in the case of an emergency. 
  1. Make sure your puppy is ready for sleep. A good amount of exercise during the day should have your puppy feeling exhausted by bedtime, making them much more likely to sleep for longer stretches, resulting in less need for the toilet.
  1. Avoid playing with your puppy just before their bedtime. Getting them excited before you put them to bed will make them much less likely to sleep. Instead, focus on calming your puppy down in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  1. Wake your puppy before they wake you. This reduces the chance of them whining and scratching during the night and places you in control of when they can and can’t use the bathroom.
  1. Have fun! While potty training your new puppy, remember that it’s a journey where there will be some accidents and sleepless nights. This is all a completely normal part of having a puppy! So when it gets tough, just remind yourself that it won’t be forever and that with perseverance, your pup will be a potty pro in no time.