If your dog goes out a lot at night, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you five common reasons why dogs do it and what you can do to get it to stop.

So, why does my dog go out so much at night? Possible reasons why your dog goes out so much at night are needing to pee, bladder issues caused by a disease, hearing noises outside, an issue with the room it sleeps in, or separation anxiety.

It is actually possible that there is a combination of causes at play. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.

Reasons why your dog goes out so much at night

Below are five common causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Disease

It might be the case that there is a disease that has been causing it to have bladder issues and to need to pee at night. This would be more likely if your dog has started peeing a lot during the day as well. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet. 

Hearing noises

The cause could also be that it hears noises at night and it wants to see what the noises are being caused by. This would be more likely if it tends to do it when you can hear noises yourself and if it is common for other animals to go into your yard.

An issue with its diet

The cause might be that there is an issue with its diet. It might be being fed too late, too much or it might be eating things that it shouldn’t be causing it to wake up during the night. This would be more likely if it has been walking around at night since a change in its diet and if it walks around more when it eats certain foods.

An issue with the room it sleeps in

It might also be the case that it has been struggling to fall asleep due to a problem with the room it sleeps in. It could be the case that it is too bright, too hot, too cramped or too noisy. This would be more likely if it has started walking around, during the night, since having to sleep in a different room.

Separation anxiety

The cause could also be that it has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and the prospect of being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if it starts showing signs of becoming anxious when you are about to leave it at night and if it does not go outside when it is allowed to sleep with you. 

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main cause. 

What else happened when it first started doing it

If your dog did not always do it, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior gets rewarded, separation anxiety, illness or a disease.

What is different when your dog goes outside at night

If it does not always go out at night, it would help to consider what is different when it does not do it. For example, if it does not do it when it can sleep where you sleep, it could be the case that it does it due to separation anxiety. 

The body language it shows

It would also help to consider the body language it shows when it goes out at night. If it shows positive body language signs such as having its tongue out, wagging its tail or being relaxed, it would be more likely that it is doing it more due to something such as excitement or hearing other animals. Whereas, if it shows signs of anxiety, such as pacing or crying, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to something causing it to be anxious.

How often it does it

It would also help to consider how often your dog does it. If it is doing it constantly, it would be more likely to be due to something more serious causing it to be anxious or fearful or because it has a disease-causing it to need to pee constantly or not to be able to sleep.

If it does do it constantly, it would be best to get professional help.

Whereas, if it does it once or twice, it would be more likely to be that it is doing it due to things such as an issue with its sleeping environment, an issue with its diet or not getting a chance to pee before bedtime.

What to do about your dog going outside a lot at night

Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it. 

Get help

If your dog has been doing it excessively, it has been behaving abnormally in other ways or it has been showing signs of injury, illness or disease, it would be best to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored to your particular dog. 

Ensure it is getting the right diet

As mentioned above, it might be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It would help to ensure that it has been eating the correct foods, that it has been getting the right amount of calories and that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing.

Let it out to pee before bed

It would also help to give it a chance to pee just before going to bed so that it is less likely to need to pee at night.

Ensure that the room it sleeps in is appropriate

It would also help to ensure that the room it sleeps in allows it to fall asleep easily. The room should be not too bright, cool, quiet and there should be space for it to lay down easily. 

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.