Should I Leave Water In A Puppy Crate At Night

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Should I leave water in a puppy crate at night?

This is a common question among pet owners. The answer to this question is not black and white, as both options have pros and cons. Here we will discuss the benefits of leaving and not leaving water at night. After reading this post, you will be able to make an informed decision about what is best for your pet!

Leaving Water in Your Dog’s Crate Overnight

Dog drinking from a water bowl Canva

Whether you should leave water in your dog’s crate overnight is a decision that depends on several factors and personal preference. Here are some things to consider when deciding:

The Benefits of Leaving Water in a Dog Crate Overnight

Leaving water in a dog crate includes having hydration available if your dog needs it during the night. This can help your dog stay hydrated and avoid any health risks associated with dehydration. 

If your dog is healthy and rarely drinks a lot of water during the day, you probably don’t need to worry about leaving water in their crate overnight. However, if they aren’t healthy, have chronic illnesses, or have a lot of water intake during the day, then you might leave water in their crate overnight.

Various benefits can include:

  • Keep your dog hydrated
  • Avoid health risks associated with dehydration
  • Given certain health conditions, this can be beneficial
  • Allowing them to self-regulate with water during the day instead of ‘tanking up’

If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘tanking up,’ this is when a dog will go for a while without water and then drink, for example, half a bowl of water all at once to make up for it. This can often lead to choking, frequent urination, and/or an upset stomach.

The Risks of Leaving Water in a Dog Crate Overnight

The risks of leaving water in the dog crate include more than making a mess and waking up in a wet dog crate. If your dog is active in their sleep, they may splash water out of the bowl or topple it over. This can cause you to clean the crate more often than usual and may also make your dog uncomfortable.

If you decide to leave or not leave water, consider your dog’s age, health, and temperature conditions. You should also make sure that the water bowl is properly secured and that your dog has plenty of warm, dry bedding to keep them comfortable.

Should they have an issue with water in their crate overnight try the following solutions:

  • Try different no-splash travel water bowls or water dishes that are harder to spill, or even a lickable water bottle
  • Place the water bowl in a location where your dog is less likely to knock it over
  • Make sure you secure the water bowl so it can’t tip over
  • Limit how much water your dog has access to overnight
  • If your dog is prone to spilling water, get a waterproof or water-absorbing mat

Puppies and Water While Crated Overnight

Puppy drinking from a water bowl

Leaving water in a crate overnight for puppies can be problematic for a few reasons while teaching puppies about crate time.

  • First, puppies are often teething and may chew on the bowls with water, potentially spilling it and making a mess during that time frame.
  • Second, puppies often need to be taken outside to relieve themselves multiple times during the night on a schedule. If they’re sleeping in a crate with additional water, they may not be able to hold it in the time between breaks or until morning, causing higher chances of accidents.

Not being able to hold it yet can lead to puppies wetting their crate and sleeping in their own urine or feces, which is uncomfortable and can lead to health problems. This also teaches them, if given a chance to potty in their crate, that it’s okay to have bladder accidents in the enclosed space and that crate time is meant for everything but sleeping.

If you choose to leave water in a crate overnight for your puppy, be sure to select a sturdy water bowl that is unlikely to be chewed on and make sure they have plenty of opportunities during the day to go outside and relieve themselves.

Be prepared, if you leave fresh water with them, to get up several times and take them out until they learn to hold their bladder with a regular night schedule.

A puppy pad or water-absorbent mat may be best for those puppies who cannot hold it overnight and are still in training. While this isn’t the rule of thumb because it teaches them it’s okay, sometimes such measures are needed to prevent your puppy from sleeping in its own mess.

These are meant as a training tools and proper potty training. Not for permanent use.

Adult Dogs and Drinking Water While Crated Overnight

Once dogs reach a certain age, they learn how to hold their bladder for longer periods of time while in a crate at night. This often comes after intense potty training as puppies. If you have an adult dog that is properly trained, then leaving water in their crate overnight is usually not a problem.

Adult dogs typically sleep through the night and will not need to relieve themselves until morning. However, if your dog has any health issues affecting their bladder or kidneys, you should consult with your veterinarian about leaving fresh water in their crate overnight.

There are a few reasons you might leave water in a crate for an adult dog overnight.

  • The dog will not be as thirsty in the morning.
  • The dog may feel more comfortable in the crate if there is water available
  • The dog may drink more water if it is available overnight

There are also a few reasons you may not want to leave water in a crate for an adult dog overnight.

  • The dog may have to go potty more frequently if water is available overnight.
  • The dog may make a mess in the crate if water is available overnight
  • The dog may become dehydrated if water is not available overnight, depending on certain health conditions

How to Decide Whether to Leave Water in a Crate Overnight

So, how do you decide whether to leave water for dogs in a crate overnight?

There are a few factors to consider:

  • How often does the dog need to go potty?
  • How much water does the dog drink during the day?
  • Is the crate big enough for the dog to move around and not make a mess?
  • Is the dog comfortable in the crate?

If you decide to leave water for dogs overnight, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of making a mess:

  • Put a bowl of water in the crate that is big enough for the dog to drink from but not splash around in.
  • Place a towel or mat under the bowl of water to absorb any spills.
  • Fill the bowl with fresh water before bedtime and empty it first thing in the morning.
  • Do not put ice in the water bowl as it may melt and make a mess.


Whether to leave water in a dog crate overnight is a decision that you will need to make based on your individual circumstances. There are pros and cons to leaving water in the crate; ultimately, the decision comes down to what is best for you and your dog.

Do you have any tips for leaving water in a dog crate overnight? Share them with us in the comments!

Meet our writer

Karen is a former pet business owner with 17+ years of experience in training and taking care of pets. She currently owns three dogs (a greyhound, saluki, and golden mix) and has gone through several types of programs to further her education in the pet world.

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