My Dog Keeps Wanting To Go Outside At Night

My Dog Keeps Wanting To Go Outside At Night?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

A dog going outside at night is caused by five reasons: predator-a fox or coyote, upset stomach/ diarrhea, urinary tract infection, spoilt, and temperature.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “My Dog Keeps Wanting To Go Outside At Night?“.

The following story is about a dog that is so spoiled that I have to barricade large parts of my kitchen before I go to bed every night.

My Dog Keeps Wanting To Go Outside At Night

Honestly its a complete faff and total nonsense and I’m the one responsible.

Does it seem like every night I have to make the kitchen into the scene of some bizarre burglary?

The reason is that my dog keeps asking to go outside at night. 

This article explains six possible reasons why your dog goes outside a lot as well as a few ways to stop this behavior.

Prior to any of that I want to talk about the great ways dogs communicate. If a dog wants to go outside it needs our help. 

How does your dog let you know that they want to go out?

There are many ways in which dogs communicate with us.

One of our previous dogs was extremely vocal when she wanted something and wouldnot think twice about waking us up at 6.30 in the morning to tell us that she wanted breakfast.

While her daughter is still with us she is quieter but her way of getting our attention in the middle of the night is to scratch at the door until I come down and let her out.

When your dog wants to go out at night how does he communicate this?

Five reasons why your dog wants to go outside at night

1. Predator- fox or coyote

The dog is naturally very protective of his territory and his family. 

Nighttime while we are all asleep is particularly dangerous. 

My home is situated on the outskirts of a city with nothing but a 10-acre field next door.

There is nothing better than having such a large open space so close by and surrounded by so much wildlife.

Thus foxes and badgers are frequently found in the field and in our back gardens.

This drives my dogs crazy as you can imagine.

A dogs ancient DNA is activated by the smell and sound of a predator. 

Particularly my youngest Sylvie who sleeps with her head out of the cat flap because she has a bit of an obsessive personality. 

2. Upset stomach/ diarrhea

Additionally your dog might want to go outside at night if they have a touch of diarrhea. 

All of us have been here.

Our dogs’ normally bulletproof stomachs occasionally let them down.

When you walk your dog in the evening and the poop is more liquid than solid you kind of know it.

It is therefore unlikely that they will make it through the night without an “accident.”

If you live as I do this can lead to a bit of back and forth between my wife and me as we silently blame one another for these problems!

The good news is that most dogs’ upset stomachs last less than 24 hours so your beauty sleep will only be interrupted momentarily. 

3. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

The situation is very similar to what we discussed above except that wee is involved not poop. 

Occasionally our dogs eat the wrong thing or get a stomach bug which can lead to a urinary tract infection.

When you have a dog with a UTI he can not control when he needs to urinate which could cause you to have a disturbed night.  

My golden retriever who is 13 years old and I were in this situation a few months ago.

A few weeks ago she began running to the door every hour or so and if I did not make it in time she wet the bed. 

The nature of dogs is that they are clean animals so they wouldnot intentionally mess up their own home.

With a heavy heart I brought her to the vet in the morning. 

I did not think it was an infection at 14 I thought it was age-related incontinence and the beginning of her end.

There is however a happy ending to this story because it was a UTI and after some medication it cleared up.

4. Spoilt

Dogs may feel they have a right to go outside whenever they want which is the fourth reason they may keep going out at night.

In the end we can blame it on the misbehaving dogs that never seem to listen to us but realistically behavior like this usually comes from us from their parents and from their owners.

I am speaking from personal experience since I own one of these dogs.

My dog has been lavished with so much love and attention that she thinks that she can do whatever she wants including wake me up at 4 am. 

What makes her think that this is acceptable?

(At this hour) I had already gone to her several times before. 

Sylvie sleeps downstairs in the kitchen where she is locked out.

Her behavior will continue for more than an hour as she scratches the door to get my attention.

Therefore I am to blame!

5. Temperature

The second reason your dog might want to keep going outside is that its too hot inside.

The only time this will happen is in the summer but some places get so hot in the summer that even the nighttime temperatures will be uncomfortably warm for dogs.

It will be cooler outside so they will want to be outside. 

6. Fear 

A dog might also want to go outside at night because they do not want to stay inside because they are scared.

There are many reasons why a dog may be scared. 

There is a high level of sensitivity in dogs to noise.

 There could be a dispute between two people in the house or the row could be next door. 

Besides fireworks smoke alarms are other noises likely to scare a dog.

Some dogs are petrified of smoke alarms as I know from bitter experience.

A dogs panic can cause him to act incredibly irrationally as a result of such noises.

How to stop your dog from wanting to go outside at night

Taking a look back at the six reasons I have given above there are some situations where you would find it hard to stop your dog from repeatedly asking to go outside.

It is natural that a dog with diarrhea or a dog with a UTI would want to go outside.

There are however some situations where you can prevent your dog from bolting into the darkness.

Take the example of a dog who wants to go outside to chase a predator.

Since I let my dog out every hour of the day so she can chase predators she wants the right to do so whenever she wants.

There are two ways that I can resolve this issue. 

My first and best option is to ignore the behavior which means I do not come down to her in the middle of the night.

No matter how much or how long she scratches at the door I do not come downstairs.

She eventually gives up scratching at the door because she does not get what she wants which is for me to come downstairs. 

The only problem is that it happens during the night and keeps my wife awake.

It is therefore impossible to ignore it.

Now I have to eliminate the trigger which is my second tactic.

In the case of a dog that chases a predator I must get rid of the predator!

I cannot do this without erecting a six-foot fence around my house. 

You can also shoot them on sight if you stay up all night.

I have come up with a solution that is complex enough and consists of three parts.

The first part is blocking access to the cat flap so that Sylvie can not stick her head out of it.

The second part is to block access to the patio doors. Sylvie likes to lie down next to the patio doors and listen out for intruders.

Thirdly I block access to the kitchen door so that she cannot get our attention by scratching it. 

That was simple wasnot it?

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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