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Crate Training: Should You Leave Water in Crate at Night?

By Aviram K.
Published in Training & Behavior
February 9, 2022
4 min read
Crate Training: Should You Leave Water in Crate at Night?
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.
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Establishing that dogs should be sleeping in the crate is the easy part - determining what to leave in the crate overnight can be a bit tricky.

It’s a fairly frequent occurrence that we humans get thirsty in the middle of the night, lean over to the nightstand, and take a sip of some nice cold water.

But do our dogs need to do the same? Should you be leaving water inside of their crate during bedtime?

You should not leave water overnight for a healthy dog because of the risk of wet bedding, accidents, and discomfort. If your dog suffers from a medical condition, leave a small amount of water in the crate. Also, ensure your dog is adequately hydrated during the daytime so they can sleep through the night without the need for water.

In this article, I’m going to discuss the intricacies of whether or not you should leave water in your dog’s crate overnight and give you some tips for keeping your dog hydrated in the crate.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents
01
Do Dogs Need Water in the Crate at Night?
02
Keeping Your Dog Hydrated in the Crate

Do Dogs Need Water in the Crate at Night?

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We care for our dogs with our own needs and feelings in mind, as that is the best way we relate to our animal companions.

As such, when crate training, leaving water in the crate at night sounds like a logical choice based on what we do. However, what we think is right may not be so.

Healthy Dogs

Healthy dogs do not actually need water left in their crate at night, so long as they have access to water during the daytime. So it’s actually discouraged to leave water in the crate at night!

The reasons you should not be inclined to leave water in the crate overnight include:

  • Your dog could accidentally spill the water and make their bedding wet. Forcing your dog to sleep in wet bedding is not only uncomfortable for your pup but can brew a variety of skin infections and irritation. Yeast infections in dogs often occur because their sensitive underside is kept wet for some time.
  • If you are potty training a puppy, leaving water in at night can encourage accidents in the crate.
  • You do not want your puppy to form an association of water and food with their crate. The association they should have with the crate is sleeping and resting!
  • The crate may be smaller, and the water bowl takes up a big chunk of the space. This can make the crate very uncomfortable for your dog to dwell in.

Dogs with Medical Conditions

The above pertains to healthy dogs. However, some dogs with medical conditions are exceptions to the rule and may need water in their crate at night!

Illnesses such as Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, kidney disease, and diabetes make your pup thirsty more frequently than a healthy dog, so access to water at all times becomes a must-have.

That being said, overnight, you should leave some water but not too much as you also don’t want your pup to over-drink.

Keeping Your Dog Hydrated in the Crate

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Keeping your dog hydrated helps you not need to leave water in the crate at night. There are several ways of ensuring that your dog remains well-hydrated before bedtime!

Know the Signs of Dehydration

First and foremost, educating yourself on the signs of dehydration can help make sure your dog drinks enough water. The general rule is that a dog should drink an ounce per pound that they weigh.

If your dog is not drinking enough water, you will notice this in their change of behavior and appearance. Excessive panting, lethargy, drooling, wobbling, vomiting, dry nose, sunken eyes, and sticky saliva are all signs of dehydration in dogs. Be attentive to your dog’s behavior and appearance!

Drinking Schedule

Having a drinking schedule for your dog is a great idea to ensure they are properly hydrated! Most dogs tend to get thirsty around the time they are eating, after a play session, or after a walk.

Make sure to encourage your pup to drink water around the times associated with being thirsty. This also helps you ensure that your dog’s water intake is proper for their size, as drinking too much can be as much a problem as drinking too little.

Access to Water During the Daytime

Proper access to water during the daytime is the true key to success.

Your dog should have water bowls full and near the area where they tend to drink. Ensure the bowls are washed daily, and that water is clean and free from dust, dirt, or debris.

If you live in a place with hard water from the tap, consider a filter system or giving your dog water from bottles. The rule is, if you wouldn’t drink that water, your dog probably shouldn’t either!

Using the Right Water Bowl or Dispenser

If you leave your dog in their crate for more than four hours during the daytime or have a dog with a medical condition that requires water at night, you need to find the right water bowl or dispenser.

This is because you have to ensure that your dog won’t tip the water over and wet their crate area.

If you have a wire crate, look into the bowls that clip to the crate door. These help you keep the bowl on the floor of the crate where your dog could tip it over or get their bedding into it. A good option is this Crate Dog Bowl.

If you have a furniture crate or one where you can’t clip anything to the door, a spill-proof water bowl is an excellent idea!

This bowl is designed to not let any water come out even if tipped upside down. A popular choice is the Ray Allen BB1-NEU Buddy Bowl.

If you can teach your dog to use this, the best (most sanitary) idea is the water bottle for dog crates. This prevents dust, dirt, and debris from entering the water and keeps it fresh for much longer.

The design also prevents spillage and the risk of the crate getting wet. However, some dogs may be uncertain about using the nozzle, so patience and training may be required.

A great choice is the Lixit Top Fill NO-Drip Water Bottle.


Tags
Crate TrainingDog Training
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