View Full Version : Recently wanting to go out in the middle of the night

2nd February 2009, 07:39 PM
Has anyone ever had the experience of their dog who has been sleeping through the night suddenly ask to go out in the middle of the night to poop? I mean a regular solid bowel movement, not diahrrea.

Meenah is a little over a year now. Other than a few times when she has had diahrrea, she has never asked to go out in the middle of the night. But recently, she's been wanting to go out anytime between midnight and 4am, and has had a solid poop each time. In the past two weeks, she has done this three times and her poops were normal, not runny.

Her schedule since she was a puppy has been: Get up at 6:30am and go outside for poo and pee. Breakfast at 7:30 am and poops sometime after that, usually in an hour or so. Walk around noon time, during which she sometimes poops. Dinner around 5:30 pm, sometimes followed by a poop in an hour or so. I take her water bowl away at 8pm. She does go outside a few other times to pee and have a sniff around. Goes out for a final pee around 9:30/10pm and goes right into her crate for bed. No sound from her all night.

The only thing different is the food. She was on California Natural dry and canned but was never enthusiastic about eating it so I decided to try Merricks dry with California Natural canned to see if she'd like that better. Since she didn't seem to like that much either, my husband bought Iams at the grocery store (I know I know) and she's been eating that lately with California Natural canned or rice and chicken mixed in. Is it possible that the Iams is disrupting her cycle? She is still pooping in the AM but sometimes not. Her other regular poops have been intermittent as well since she's been on this food.

Or do you think this might be some behavioral thing? I don't want to ignore her and then end up with a poopy crate and dog in the morning!

I ordered Natural Balance dry and canned from petco and have heard very good things about that. I know that's what Meenah's breeder uses for her dogs. I'm hoping she'll do better on that.

I know switching dog foods often can have a bad effect. But I have done it gradually and other than an episode of diahrrea with Merrick's canned food, which I immediately stopped giving her, she's been fine.


2nd February 2009, 10:48 PM
I would say the new food has probably disrupted her routine if she has been settled before.

If she has a good walk in the evening she should be able to potty and settle down for the night. I always leave my 8 month old puppy out around 10.30 p.m. and he sleeps through until 7 a.m. goes potty and then has another sleep until around 9 a.m. when I rise.

My cavaliers used to wake me up in the early hours years ago and I used to get up at 4 a.m. to let them out. When I spoke to the vet about it he said they were "attention seeking". I told the vet that they would potty at that time and the vet said "a dog can produce a stool at will at any time".

The strategy I used was to let the dogs sleep upstairs and they were quiet all night long then, so it seems it was attention seeking, but there have been times when they did get tummy upsets and really needed to go.

I think that you just get to know your dogs as the years go by. If your girl is in a crate, is it possible to have her with you in the bedroom in her crate?
Cavvies love to be near you at night and seem much more settled for it.

4th February 2009, 04:06 PM
We've had two quiet nights since I posted my question! Both nights, Meenah pooped sometime between dinner and bedtime so I think that helped. The Natural Balance I ordered is on its way, and I hope it will work out better for her.

Your idea of letting her sleep in our room is interesting and tempting, but I think that right now it would be more of a disruption for her. Our kids are young and still visit us in the middle of the night a couple times a week. Also, I get up once or twice every night to go to the bathroom (things are never the same after having three kids!). I think Meenah would get woken up and will want out for sure.

When I have taken her out in the middle of the night, I'm all business so that she doesn't associate it with fun and games. I really hope it isn't behavioral!

4th February 2009, 04:51 PM
Glad to hear that she has settled down. I guess if the children were coming in at night, she might want to start playing or not be too happy at being disturbed.

Dogs need even more sleep than humans.

It is good to keep things very low key if you do need to let her out at night. No need for words, just get her settled back to her bed.

As she has settled nicely now I would think she would be fine.