Can You Take Water & Food From a Puppy at Night?

He'll need to go outside shortly after sticking his nose in the bowl.
He'll need to go outside shortly after sticking his nose in the bowl. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

While Chance is still learning about bladder and bowel control and that urge to “go,” you’ll need to get him on a regular feeding and watering schedule. Pups usually have to relieve themselves shortly after chowing down. So if you let your puppy eat and drink all night long, you’ll have no idea when he has to go potty, since you won’t know when he last ate or drank. Pick up his bowls at night so he can have an accident-free slumber and you can have the peace of mind of waking up to no surprises.

Scheduling Feedings

Puppies typically need to eat about three to four times per day, reports The Humane Society of the United States. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your particular brand of puppy food, then divide it by the number of servings you plan to feed in a day. For example, if the bag of kibble suggests feeding your four-legged buddy 1.5 cups of food daily, give him three one-half cup servings of food throughout the day. However, you won’t want to feed him for 2.5 hours before bedtime just to ensure he has plenty of time to clear out his bowels.

When to Water

Generally dogs need one-half to 1 ounce of water for each pound of body weight daily, explains the VCA Hospitals website. Ideally, your four-legged companion needs access to fresh water at all times, although as you are training him you will want to put it away at night when he should be sleeping. The food rule also applies to water, pick it up 2.5 hours before bedtime -- if you aren't aware of any health conditions with your puppy such as kidney issues. Take Chance out roughly 20 to 30 minutes after his last sip and then at least one more time before you put him to bed. That way he fully empties his bladder outside, rather than on your rug.

The Potty Consideration

Chance will let you know when it’s time. You’ll see him circling around in front of the door, sniffing the ground or standing and staring at the door. These little cues let you know that he has to “go.” Put him on his leash and take him out to the area of the yard where you want him to go potty. He’ll start to familiarize himself with the toilet area and continue to go over to that corner every time he needs to relieve himself as he gets older.

Special Tips

It’s possible for Chance to have an accident here and there, no matter how diligent you are about picking up his food and water bowls at night. During those inopportune times when it happens, just clean it up and move on, rather than scolding him. If you yell at Chance, all he understands is that something made you mad, but he has no idea what. He doesn’t remember leaving his business on your carpet an hour ago, he just had to go. If he continues to piddle frequently, you’ll need to get him outside more frequently, possibly even once or twice during the nighttime hours until he’s housebroken.

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