A crate is a secure home for dogs and most dogs and puppies go to sleep there at night. Dogs are naturally coded not to pee where they go to sleep and a crate is a place where they sleep. So they are not supposed to soil it. If your puppy relieves himself in his crate all day, that’s a different problem. But if the puppy is peeing in the crate at night only, that’s not something to do with the crate. It is more about the nighttime and the routine.
If it happened only for one time, that should not be a problem too.
Why Your Puppy Is Peeing In The Crate At Night?
Here are the possible causes, why your puppy might be peeing in the crate at night only.
1- Possible medical conditions
Your puppy might be suffering. You need to rule out any medical condition that might be the culprit. Especially if he was not doing this thing in the past.
You must be thinking that why he is not doing this in the daytime then?
- He might be suffering but the condition might not be severe.
- It is possible that he is hiding from you in the day to do the deed and you didn’t catch it.
- He is getting enough potty breaks in the daytime.
2- He is not able to control his bladder overnight
It is usually said that puppies should be able to control their bladder overnight by the age of 4-6 months old.
But for your puppy, this may not be the case, especially if he belongs to a small/tiny breed.
So, if you are expecting him to control it overnight, you might be wrong. Start giving him at least 1 potty break at night.
3- Potty breaks are not enough
You are waking him up to go potty at night?
Yes? .. Great job!
But these breaks might not be enough for him.
If you are waking him up after every 3 hours, it is possible that he needs a break every 2 hours or so.
4- He might not be sleeping properly
Puppies sleep for at least 10-12 hours at night with some breaks during this time.
But your puppy might not be able to sleep properly.
One possible reason is stress or anxiety. Yes! It affects the quality of their sleep.
Stress and anxiety may also cause potty training regression in puppies.
If your dog or puppy is not able to sleep properly at night, he stays awake for some time and might need more frequent potty breaks, which are not available for him.
So you see!
5- He might be teething (so not sleeping properly)
Teething starts anywhere around 2 weeks of age and the whole process could take 4-6 months to finish.
Not always, but sometimes teething might affect the sleep of puppies and they wake up more often at night.
Because of staying awake, they might need to go for urination and they don’t get a chance.
Is that the case?
6- You were not consistent with the schedule
Puppies need a fixed schedule of eating and drinking if you really want them to develop good potty habits.
In our complete guide to potty training a puppy, we mentioned that you should remove his water bowel 2-3 hours before bedtime (after making sure that he had enough water during the day) and give him a potty break right before they go to sleep.
If you are not consistent with your pattern, he won’t be consistent with his pattern.
7- He smells pee in the crate
If he had an accident in the crate at some point, but you didn’t catch it and didn’t clean it properly, he might be smelling pee there.
According to the usual dog nature, puppies and dogs pee where they smell pee.
If by chance, he woke up at night and wanted to go, he thought that “ohh! I can smell the pee here, maybe this is the right place.” and he goes!
8- The crate might be bigger for him
The crate is used as a “den” for the dogs. They don’t soil the place where they go to sleep.
A good crate should be large enough for a dog or puppy to sit, stand and turn only.
If his crate will be big, he will choose one corner to pee in and one corner to sleep in.
In the daytime, you were there to guide him, but at night he woke up, he needed to go.
You were not there watching him so he found a corner where he doesn’t sleep, he went there. Bad!
He found it easy, he made it a habit.
What to do if your puppy pees in the crate at night?
Have you found out the reason, here are a few things you can do to stop him to do so.
1- Visit a vet
If everything has been fine, but all of a sudden your canine started to pee in the crate at night.
It’s best to take him to a veterinarian doctor and rule out any medical conditon that can be a culprit.
2- Set a pet camera and see him
You can set a pet camera in front of his crate. The camera should be recording.
If later in the morning, you found a mess in his crate, check with the recording and see at what time he wakes up and does this. (fast forward the recording)
It will help you to check, how many times and why he wakes up. If he waits for you or just goes.
Check out this security camera set that is a must-have for every household.
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3- Take his crate into your room
If setting up a camera is not a thing for you. The next option is to take his crate near to the place where you sleep. But you will have to be attentive and get up immediately when he wakes up to go pee.
4- Remove his water bowl 2 hours before bed
If you are not doing this, you are making a huge mistake.
You must remove his water bowl, at least 2 hours before bed. Just make sure that he has had enough water during the day.
Puppies usually need one ounce of water per pound of their body weight.
Take him to the potty spot right before bedtime.
5- Give him scheduled potty breaks even at night
Puppies can hold their bladder for about one hour for every month of their age. It means a 2 months old puppy should be able to hold it for 2 hours. Unless he is a tiny breed.
Set alarms on your mobile and give him regular potty breaks at night, according to his requirement.
He should be able to control his bladder overnight at around 4-6 months of age. You will know it.
6- Clean the bedding of the crate properly with an enzymatic cleaner
If your puppy has had an accident inside the crate, make sure to clean the mess immediately and properly to remove all the odor.
You must use an enzymatic cleaner to do this.
7- If it is teething
If your puppy’s sleep is disturbed due to teething, you must refer to his vet to check if there’s anything that you can do to help him sleep better during the night.
Be patient with him.
8- Check for any stains or odor with a UV flashlight
Every now and then, you should check your puppy’s crate and its bedding for any previous mess or odor.
You can use a UV flashlight to find out.
Why your puppy is peeing in the crate at night? If the problem is only with the nighttime, then this is not about the crate, it’s about the nighttime routine or something. He might not be able to control his bladder overnight, he might not be getting enough potty breaks, his sleep time can be disrupted, or you are not cleaning the mess properly or maybe he is suffering from some medical condition. You can stop him to do so by setting up a camera and see what he does at night. First, find out the cause and then solve it.