Should I Wake My Puppy up to Pee at Night

Puppies, like children, learn to control their bladders over a period of time. Generally speaking, a puppy can hold its pee for as many hours as its age in months, plus one. So a 3-month-old puppy can hold its pee for a maximum of 4 hours. This duration can be lesser if they are excited and playing, and more if they are asleep.

While taking your new puppy outdoors every few hours is feasible during the day, you may be wondering how best to keep up the house training at night.

While you may have to wake your puppy up at night in the first few weeks to pee, there are a number of other things you can do to make the process of nighttime potty training easier.

Pre Bedtime Routine

An effective and regular bedtime routine can reduce the number of nighttime wakings required. The last meal of the day should be timed at least 2.5 or 3 hours before bedtime. After the meal, allow the puppy a drink of water before removing its water bowl.

Take your puppy out for a last bathroom break right before you go to bed and then settle it into bed for the night.

Setting Your Alarm

A puppy is usually just under 3 months old when a dog owner brings it home. At this time, the puppy is likely to be able to hold its pee for a maximum of 4 hours at a time. Set your alarm for 4 hours after its last bathroom break.

If the puppy has not yet peed when your alarm does go off, wake up the sleeping puppy gently and take it outside right away. A very young puppy can even be picked up and carried out to prevent it from peeing on the floor on its way out.

If your puppy has already peed when your alarm rings, still take it out to its bathroom spot as planned. However, set the alarm for a 3-hour window the next night.

All Business

When you wake up your sleeping puppy to pee outdoors, you don’t want it to get over-excited and start playing. This can disrupt sleep training. Keep the lights and chatter at a minimum. Simply walk it out and focus on the task at hand. After it has peed, bring it straight back to its bed or crate and turn off the lights.


Before you head outdoors, putting your puppy on a leash is a good idea. The last thing you want is for your dog to shoot off behind a squirrel or raccoon in the nighttime darkness. Having a designated bathroom spot for the puppy helps it understand the purpose of the visit. Wait till it starts doing its business and use a consistent command like ‘Go potty’ just as it starts peeing. This will help build the pup‘s association between the command and the action.


Praising the dog when it does pee outside can make housetraining a lot more effective. Dogs are natural people pleasers and once they figure what makes you happy, they are likely to try to repeat the same behavior.

You may not want to go over-the-top with your nighttime praise, lest the young puppy think it is playtime. Take it right back to its puppy pad or puppy crate and give it a gentle petting before turning in for the rest of the night.

Puppy Pad

For some dog owners, going outdoors in the middle of the night is not feasible. You may be in an apartment or your age or health may prevent you from taking your dog out for a potty break. In such cases, a puppy pad can be immensely useful.

A puppy pad is a store-bought pee pad that the pup can use for its business. Place your little guy on it when you wake the sleeping puppy and use the usual command for it to go pee.


While you work on the dog‘s nighttime potty training, remember that there may be accidents. A young puppy is just like a child and will learn with your help. If your pooch does end up peeing inside the house on some nights, you would want to clean the area with commercial pet stain cleaners. These cleaners are designed to eliminate the scent of the dog‘s pee, thus preventing the new pup from going to pee at the same spot again.

Crate Training

Some puppy owners prefer using a dog crate as part of their toilet training. A dog is unlikely to pee in its own sleeping area and so will try harder to hold its pee if it is confined to its crate at night.

The puppy‘s crate should not be so small that it can’t turn around or sleep comfortably in it, but neither should it be so big that the pup can pee in one corner and then settle back to sleep in another part of the crate. Keeping a chew toy and dog bed inside the crate helps make the new pup feel more at home within.

It helps to keep the puppy crate or bed in the same room you sleep in so that you are able to hear the puppy cry or whimper at night. As your pooch gets better with its nighttime potty training, it may try to indicate that it needs a bathroom break.

Consult a Vet

If your new puppy is not being able to eliminate the middle-of-the-night potty trip after months of regular house training, you may want to consult a vet. A urinary tract infection or other health issues could prevent your little pooch from holding its pee long enough to go through the night.

While an adult dog tends to sleep well through the night without needing a potty break, with age a dog‘s ability to hold its pee can reduce. If your senior dog has started peeing inside the house at night, you may find it useful to allow it a bathroom break too.

Final Words

Should I wake my puppy up to pee at night?” The short answer is yes when your new puppy is very young, but the midnight housetraining can be eliminated with persistence.

The most effective way to ensure house training success with a new pup is to be consistent. Use the same door and arrive at the same bathroom spot every night. Issue the same command that you use in the daytime.

While it could take a few weeks after its arrival for the puppy to sleep through the night, persistence from your end can help it settle into a regular sleep schedule sooner.