It may seem cruel to leave a puppy without food or water during the night, but in reality you actually are helping her -- and you. Regular feeding schedules help her digestive tract, while removing water only at bedtime can help her sleep through the night.
A trained and housebroken older puppy or adult dog ideally should have water available at all times, even during the night. Just like humans, dogs sometimes become thirsty and have the basic need for a small or large drink. Once housebroken, she is able to hold her bladder until morning unless there is an emergency. Before being housebroken, however, she will have a hard time holding her bladder throughout the night.
While potty training, you should remove water approximately two to three hours before you go to bed yourself. Your pup should have access to clean, fresh water throughout the day, however, to quench her thirst and to hydrate. Removing her water dish two to three hours before bedtime gives you the opportunity to take her out and let her eliminate. During the crate-training process, she should learn and accept bedtime quickly as a time of rest and sleep. Most puppies can sleep for about 7 hours without needing to eliminate.
Putting your puppy on a feeding schedule is better for her overall health than simply leaving a full bowl of food out at all times. A younger puppy that is going through potty training and crate training should be fed two to three times per day. She also should be given only the amount specified by the dog food manufacturer. If you keep the routine the same on a daily basis, you will be able to predict when she will have her next bowel movement. Puppies -- and adult dogs -- often will eat much more than they need and, therefore, will have more bowel movements or even health issues as a side effect.
Take her outside to eliminate first thing in the morning upon waking up. When she's gone outside to eliminate, allow her to have access to fresh, clean water as soon as she comes inside. A higher-quality dog food will be easier for her to digest, thus resulting in fewer stools and a healthier body overall.
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