Why has my dog started toileting at night?
(Q) I have a three-year-old Border Collie. She has suddenly started toileting during the night. There is no sign of a stomach upset and there hasn’t been a change in food or exercise. I have tried coming down an hour earlier in the morning but it has been too late. I have been making sure she toilets at bedtime. She was spayed after her first season and we’ve never had a problem before.
(A) Behaviourist Claire Arrowsmith says: First, you must take your dog to the vet for a check since this is an unusual change in a toilet trained dog.
There are many reasons as to why she may be waking and then toileting, including noises and events from outside that disturb her sleep or even a growing anxiety about noises (sometimes triggered by rainstorms or fireworks). Some investigation is needed.
Ensuring that your dog is emptying properly at night is important. This may involve an extra walk in the evenings.
You may have to set your alarm to come down in the night to let her out. This way you can hopefully prevent accidents (and any associated learning) and then gradually push the time forwards towards the morning.