Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
Puppies are just like babies in that they need to learn how to control their bladders and bowels, and that means you’ll have to teach them.
When you first bring your puppy home, it’s best to keep him on a schedule.
That way, he gets used to going outside for bathroom breaks at the same time every day and will be more likely to hold it when he’s not at home.
The challenge is when it comes to nighttime: Should you put puppy pads (pee pads) in its crate at night?
No, you should not place pee pads in a puppy’s crate at night. By doing so, you are letting it know that it is ok to pee in its crate. It can also become a choking hazard for puppies who are not taught not to do so.
In this post, let’s look at this subject a bit more in detail and find out what you can do instead.
- Potty Training for Your Puppy: What's Best?
- Where Should Your Dog Sleep at Night?
- Potty During the Night
- Should You Use Puppy Pads for Potty Training?
- Is It Okay to Leave Your Dog in a Crate Overnight?
- In Conclusion: Should I Put Puppy Pad in Crate at Night?
Potty Training for Your Puppy: What’s Best?
In the early days of a puppy’s life, it only knows playing, eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, and sleeping (oftentimes experiencing puppy sleep regression though).
Starting them too young will not get you the desired results, so it is best to only start training them when they reach around 12 weeks of age.
At this time, they have also become better at holding their pee and this makes training much more easier and effective.
Most experts will recommend outdoor potty training, but it is also important to know that it is not instinctive for dogs to pee outside.
This might come as a surprise to you, but dogs only don’t pee where they sleep.
That is the only caveat.
Some dog owners will not be able to potty train their dogs outside due to many reasons, including not being vaccinated, being too young or too old, and lack of outdoor space amongst others.
Whichever scenario you find yourself in, you need to designate a spot for relieving itself as part of the training.
A crate where it sleeps at night is not the answer.
Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog Cough After Dental Cleaning [Solutions]
Where Should Your Dog Sleep at Night?
For puppies, it is best to let them sleep in a crate at night, and this should be placed in your bedroom.
Being alone for hours on end would do it more harm than good, and keeping Fido in a crate can prevent unwanted trouble such as biting furniture or chewing on things it shouldn’t be putting in its mouth.
This also means that he or she knows that you are nearby and can smell you. Placing a piece of your clothing in the crate will also help greatly in soothing it and making it feel safe.
Try to start this habit right from the day you bring it home so that they know that is the right place for them to sleep.
Doggy says, consider reading this too: Boston Terrier Peeing in the House? [Problem Solved]
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Potty During the Night
When you first have your puppy, you need to put in extra time and effort to care for it, and that includes bringing them out to pee even in the middle of the night.
As a general rule of thumb, a puppy can hold its pee for the equivalent of its age. So a 2 month old puppy can likely hold it in for 2 hours.
For very small dogs, the duration will be shorter.
Here are some tips for when you are outside:
- Designate a peeing spot (its personal toilet)
- Do not play with it but rather just observe for a few minutes (3 to 4 minutes).
- Use simple commands such as “wee wee” or “pee pee” without getting too excited. A high pitched voice might signify to it that it is playtime
- If it does pee, give it praise for a job well done using a calm voice
- This will be what you use with your dog well into their adult life, a command that can be incredibly useful
- Bring your dog inside if there isn’t a pee or poop and pay them as little attention as you can
- Don’t speak, look at, or pet them as you lead (or carry) them in
- Never, ever punish!
As your dog grows older and can hold its pee better, the duration between potty breaks will be longer until it can eventually go on its own.
At this time, you can simply keep the crate unlocked so that it can go about its business on its own.
Doggy says, consider reading this too: What if My Dog Ate A Toilet Paper Roll?
Doggy says, you might want to read this too: Can you move a dog crate from room to room?
How often do 8-week-old puppies pee at night?
Generally speaking, an 8-week (2 months) old puppy should be able to hold its pee for about 2 hours.
Smaller dogs will likely need to go sooner, so do take that into consideration when you schedule potty breaks at night.
Should you put pee pads in a puppy’s crate?
No, you should not.
Creating a routine and schedule for potty training is the best way to train your dog to relieve itself.
A crate is where a dog rests and finds solace, and it will not want to do its business in there.
Should I leave water in puppy crate at night?
You do not need to leave water in your puppy’s crate at night.
As long as you have provided it with sufficient water during the day, it will not need it during its sleep time.
If anything, excess water during this period will cause it to pee more often and increase the chances of accidental peeing.
Learn about this: When do puppies start eating food and drinking water?
Should You Use Puppy Pads for Potty Training?
The thing about potty training is that you do not want to confuse your dog, which will lead to a longer period of time to become successful.
What do you hope to achieve with potty training?
- For it to go relieve itself in the backyard?
- Wait for you to bring it out for a walk?
- Indoor potty?
Determining this first will help you to decide the method you should use to train your dog.
Puppy pads are useful for indoor training and possibly a temporary solution, but do know that it will prolong the amount of time it takes to potty train them successfully for the outside.
A puppy pad is also useful for the first couple of months when a puppy cannot hold its bladder.
But once it reaches 12 weeks and above, I would recommend removing it and starting your preferred potty training method.
Do you know if you should put two dog crates side by side?
Is It Okay to Leave Your Dog in a Crate Overnight?
Yes, you can leave your dog in the crate overnight but do not do so during the day. This is also dependant on the amount of time you spend with it during the day.
All dogs need to be able to move freely, socialize, and play some games.
Without such bonding, it is very likely for a dog to develop mental illnesses and engage in undesirable behavior such as biting, begging for food, jumping all over the furniture, and more.
Doggy says, consider reading this too: How to Transition Your Puppy From the Litter Box to the Outside?
In Conclusion: Should I Put Puppy Pad in Crate at Night?
Using a puppy pad in the crate is not necessary and can cause unwanted problems such as choking and giving your dog the wrong idea that it can pee in it.
Investing your time in a proper potty training program will put all your worries at ease, and the bottom line is to have lots of patience for your new puppy!
You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.