Why Would A Dog Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night To Pee?

Dogs are complex. Caring for a dog is even more complex. Every breed is different as well as every individual dog is different. 

A dog’s toilet habits also differ from other dogs, but you’ll notice every dog follows some rules of thumb. 

Do dogs need a toilet break at night? Do they wake up in the middle of the night to pee? Let’s discuss this. 

Do dogs wake up in the middle of the night to pee?

Dogs usually don’t wake up to pee in the middle of the night. These puppies do, but once your dog is fully potty trained, or you can say he is over 1 year old and has a mature bladder, he won’t wake up at night to use the restroom. 

However, there are some exceptions. We’ll have a look at them in the next section.

Why is your dog waking up in the middle of the night to pee? And How To Stop Him From Doing So?

So, why would your dog wake up? Here are the reasons and the solutions, of course:

1- Too much water before bed:

How much water does your dog drink before bed, and at what time does he drink? I always say that your dog should be on a schedule if you really want your dog to be well-behaved and easy to take care of. 

Remove your doggy’s water bowl 1-2 hours before bed so he can have a toilet break before bed and doesn’t wake up at night to go again and again. 

Also, the amount of the last water at night should be limited. He should not be drinking more than he needs. 

2- No toilet break before bed:

Do you take him to the toilet before bed? If not, that’s a big mistake. 

If your dog doesn’t get to pee before bed, he will surely wake up at night to go. 

Just like a schedule, your dog should also have a routine. 

Look! Routine is different than schedule. A schedule is about the time your dog will do certain activities, while the routine is the pattern. Whatever your schedule is, your dog should go to the toilet before he goes to sleep. 

3- The dog doesn’t empty the bladder: 

Well, if you say that he doesn’t drink water before bed and he goes to the toilet before bed, then the next thing you can consider is that some dogs don’t empty their bladder completely. 

The problem is more prevalent in male dogs. 

Dogs use urine for urine marking, and it is their natural instinct. Some dogs (especially those who are not neutered) do not completely empty their bladder. Instead, they want to keep some liquid in their bladder to use for urine marking. 

It sounds stupid to humans, but remember that a dog’s brain processes differently. 

I have a full article on how to get a male dog to pee all at once. If your dog is not completely emptying his bladder and you want him to pee all at once without keeping some urine in the bladder, read this. 

4- Small breed dog:

“Dogs sleep through the night without peeing”. This phrase may not be true for small-breed dogs. 

Small dogs have small bladders. They will not retain a lot of urine at a time. Their body will process a little differently from that of a large breed dog. (regarding the amount of water they will drink and the number of toilet breaks). 

Small dogs drink water more frequently and need more toilet breaks as well, including a few breaks at night. 

You cannot do anything about it because this is their natural requirement. 

What you can do is, train your dog to use the toilet at night without any help. His potty spot should be fixed for day and night, and do not let him use the toilet anywhere except for that particular spot. Ensure that his way to that spot is open at night so he can go on his own.

If you have properly potty trained your dog, he will most likely recognize his spot and will do the business only there without any problem. 

Here’s how to potty train your puppy or dog at night.

5- Too old dog:

What’s the age of your dog? As dogs grow older, their muscles start to become weak. On average, they will be called “old” at around 10 years old. Small dogs will become old later than large dogs. 

So, old dogs with weak muscles will have weak bladders as well. They will, obviously, need more toilet breaks, including the breaks at night.

You must visit the vet to get your dog evaluated. The doctor will prescribe supplementation, diet, and exercise to keep your dog healthy.

You can also switch the dog to pee on the pads. Here’s more information about pee pads for old dogs. 

6- The dog is not sleepy at night:

Another question to ask yourself is, how is your dog’s sleep quality? Does he sleep deeply at night? 

If your dog is sleeping later in the evening or is getting too long naps, he might not be very sleepy at night and may wake up again and again. 

Just like humans, they will go to the toilet if they are awake. 

So, cut on evening sleep time and long naps so your dog can go to sleep peacefully at night. Also, ensure he is getting enough exercise in the daytime as it will make him tired, and he will be asleep throughout the night. 

7- Medical condition:

Other than all of the above, medical conditions like UTI, diabetes, and kidney disease will also cause the dog to wake up several times a night to go to the toilet. 

If your dog is suffering, he will also have other symptoms of unwellness (other than waking up in the middle of the night to pee), such as pain during peeing, lethargy, or sickness. 

Consider visiting the vet if you are concerned about your dog’s health.  


A dog would wake up in the middle of the night to pee because of the water he would drink before bed or not having a toilet break right before going to sleep. Other possibilities are being a small breed dog or an aged dog. It is best to put your dog on a schedule and make him empty his bladder completely. Visit the vet if you think your dog has a health problem.

Read more:

When do puppies sleep through the night without peeing?

How to potty train a puppy at night?

What to do if you hate picking up dog poop?