Dogs can be very peculiar creatures and many owners find their pets hungry for late-night snacks even though they have been properly fed already, why do they do this?
Dog Wants To Eat In Middle Of Night?
Eating at night can become quite a bad habit for dogs just like it is for people. Finding a way to curb this behaviour will lead to an ultimately happier and healthier dog.
Why Does My Dog Get Hungry In The Middle Of The Night?
Dogs are diurnal animals, this means that their natural sleep cycle is to be awake during the day and asleep during the night.
This means that if your dogs are getting hungry and whining for food during the night, their circadian rhythm or sleep schedule is off.
You should be able to curb this behaviour and help prevent weight gain by helping them to fix their sleep schedule.
How Bad Is It For A Dog To Feel Hungry In The Middle Of The Night?
It isn’t necessarily that bad for a dog to be feeling hungry in the middle of the night, it doesn’t point to any signs of disease or illness unless their appetite has increased overall.
That being said there are a few reasons why it isn’t the best thing ever, the biggest of which being the lowered metabolism.
Because dogs are diurnal creatures, their metabolism is at its highest during the day and at its lowest during the night.
If your dog is constantly getting food in the middle of the night it could lead to quite substantial weight gain because the food is not being used as efficiently.
Another reason why you might want to try and help them not be hungry during the night is that it can be rather annoying if they are waking you up frequently for food.
Is It Bad To Feed A Dog At Midnight?
It definitely would not be the best idea to feed them late on a regular basis as it will train them to want food late in the night instead of when they should be eating.
Accidentally having to feed them, once or twice at night time shouldn’t be harmful to your dog though, just make sure they are sleeping properly at night.
How To Stop My Dog Getting Hungry At Night?
To make sure your dog isn’t getting hungry at night you have to make sure their sleep schedule is good and they are sleeping consistently throughout the night.
To help your dog fix their sleeping patterns you first have to figure out why they were off in the first place.
Reasons why your dog may not be sleeping through the night:
- They are not tired enough yet – Dogs tend to have a lot more energy than the average adult which means that sometimes they don’t end up getting all of that energy out during the day, leaving them restless at night.
- They feel lonely – Just like us, dogs can end up feeling upset that they don’t get what they deem to be enough attention or don’t see their favorite people enough and this can literally keep them up at night.
- They need to go to the bathroom – This is pretty self-explanatory, it’s hard to go to sleep if you feel like you are going to pee yourself.
- They have hidden pain – It is pretty easy to tell when a dog has a sore paw or a pain in their leg because they show physical symptoms of it, but there are a lot of pains that can go unnoticed. Pain could absolutely be what is keeping your pet up during the night.
- Their sleeping area is uncomfortable – This may seem a little strange for animals that quite literally sleep on the floor but after you get used to luxury it can be hard to go back. If their bed is uncomfortable it may be keeping them from getting into a deep sleep and staying asleep all night.
So you have worked out why your dog isn’t sleeping well enough, but how do you fix these issues?
- Not tired enough yet – Play with them! The best way to tire a dog out is to make them work both physically and mentally so puzzles, scavenger hunts and even plain old walks are great for getting your pup tired out by the time night rolls around.
- Feeling lonely – If you are struggling to find time to spend with your pet you should try to incorporate them into your downtime. If you are watching a movie get all cosied up with them, if you’re reading a book or scrolling on your phone throw a toy around with them every once in a while.
- Needing to go to the bathroom – The easiest fix of all, just be sure to always bring your dog out for sufficient time right before you both go to bed.
- Hidden pain – If none of the other options seems to explain why your dog may not be sleeping, this is the most likely option. The best thing to do in that case is to bring them to the vet and explain all your issues.
- Their sleeping area is uncomfortable – The best option is to buy them a new more comfortable bed, but that may not always be an option. If the budget for new things for your dog is low but they need a better sleeping area, try padding out their current bed with old blankets and towels.
Is It Bad For Dogs To Sleep Soon After Eating?
It is actually very good for dogs to rest after consuming a lot of food as it helps prevent digestive issues like gastric bloat or torsion.
However, if you notice your dog becoming excessively fatigued after eating that may be a sign that something is wrong.
It could point to chronically low blood sugar levels, this can be helped with a change of diet including fewer carbs, always talk with your vet before making any major alterations though.
It can also be bad to feed right before they go to bed for the night because it can cause weight gain.
Do Puppies Get Hungry In The Middle Of The Night [Should I Feed Them]?
A 4-6 week old puppy shouldn’t go for more than 4-6 hours without being fed except for when they go to sleep at night.
Puppies should be sleeping through the night and therefore shouldn’t be getting hungry, in any case, they shouldn’ät be fed until morning as it would mess with their sleep cycle.
Do Puppies Eat Overnight?
The only time that puppies need to eat overnight is when they are still feeding off of their mother’s milk.
Can I Feed My Puppy At 6 Am?
I would recommend getting them used to what their usual breakfast time will be early on, even as puppies or else it will be a very hard habit to break.
If you are willing to wake up at 5:30 am for the rest of their lives to serve them breakfast then that is completely fine.
How Long After My Dog Wakes Up Should I Feed Him?
Dogs should have about 30 minutes from when they are first woken up in the morning until they are given their first meal of the day.
You shouldn’t walk them in this time though, just let them adjust to being awake slowly, strenuous activity on an empty belly is no fun.
Should Dogs Eat More In The Morning Or Evening?
Just like humans, dogs need to be fed throughout the day in order to keep their energy up and not be hungry.
This makes a lot of people think that they should be feeding their dogs more in the morning and less at night because they are more active during the day than at night but this isn’t the case.
Feeding your dog only a small amount of food at night will mean that they will wake up really hungry and probably overeat.
Just feed your dog the same size meal for breakfast and dinner, if you don’t know what amount of food is good for a dog your dog’s size your vet will be happy to help.
Dog Won’t Eat Breakfast But Eats Dinner?
All dogs are different and some don’t like to eat in the morning, even if this is the case though you have to make sure they are getting food throughout the day.
Try offering a light lunch during mid-day and then something more substantial at dinnertime.
If your dog has very little appetite it may just be how they are but it could be a sign of something more serious, a trip to the vet wouldn’t hurt because this could easily be the case.
What Are Some Healthy Late Night Snacks For Dogs?
While eating a full meal right before they go to bed is not the best thing for your dog, a healthy treat to tuck them in with will do no harm.
Healthy treats you can give to your dog before bedtime:
- Red peppers
- Plain natural yoghurt (no added sweetener, natural or artificial)
Should I Give My Dog A Treat Before Bed?
If your dog has trouble settling down for the night putting them to bed with a treat can be a great way to convince them that bedtime isn’t the worst thing in the world.
If it isn’t necessary though, there is no reason to give them a treat before bed as that is just extra food sitting in their stomach.
This is really just up to personal preference but no harm should come to your dog for a light snack before bed.
My Dog Waits All Day To Eat?
If your dog has never been very food motivated and only wants one meal a day that is perfectly fine for them as long as they get enough in that one meal.
If a reduced appetite is not usual for your dog though, it could be a sign that something is wrong with them. If your dog has a drop in appetite be sure to take them to your vet
Loss of appetite could be a sign of liver disease, kidney failure, a tumour or a blockage in the gut.
Older Dog Only Eating Once A Day?
It is normal for a dog’s metabolism to slow down as they reach old age as they are not able to be as active as they once were due to soreness and stiffness in the joints.
This means that they need a little less food and often won’t even eat all of the food that they are given.
While fairly normal in old age it can be a sign that your dog is nearly the end of their life so unfortunately, you may have to start preparing yourself emotionally for their passing.
If you feel that their loss of appetite could be due to illness be sure to bring them to the vet.
Dog Only Eats At Night?
If your dog is only eating very late in the day or at nighttime, you could be giving them too much food to the point that they only feel the need to eat so late.
Try cutting back their feed and offering foo in the morning again after a few days.
How Late In To The Night Can My Dog Or Puppy Eat?
The time itself is less important than your dog’s sleep schedule. You want to be giving your dog their last meal at least an hour before they usually go to sleep for the night.
This is to give them time to digest the food a bit as well as to let them go to the bathroom before bed and not be waking up in the middle of the night for that reason.
So if your dog usually goes to bed with you around 10 pm you just want to make sure they have been fed by 9 pm and you should be good to go.
Why Does My Dog Overeat At Night?
If your dog feels the need to overeat later on in the day it is most likely that they are not being fed enough in the morning.
A sudden increase in appetite could also be a sign of illness though so if your dog hasn’t always been very food orientated it would be best to take them to the vet.