Normally this isn't an issue since dogs do their business while going on walks. Recently however, my dog seem to need to do her business more often than I take her on walks.

My normal schedule is to take her on a walk first thing in the morning before I head to work around 6:30-7am. Then I feed her and leave for work. Then I walk her again when I get home from work around 5:30pm and then feed her afterward again.

Recently my dog has been whining and waking me up around midnight to take her out. The closest grassy area that she normally does her business is about 2 blocks away and its quite bothersome to get waken up in the middle of the night to walk two blocks away and back.

Have there been cases in the past where people have trained dogs to use a litterbox like cats? Is there any sort of detrimental effects from encouraging such behavior?

  • 1
    Wondering if the sudden night-time potty urges are health related and will go away in their own time. Is anything pink, any trouble urinating, any sudden changes, any diet changes? Consider if a vet visit would be helpful for your situation.
    – rlb.usa
    Aug 18 '15 at 21:39
  • 1
    Consider that you feed your dog, then expect it to just hold it for up to 11 hours (from about 6:30 in the morning to about 5:30 in the afternoon). Have you considered getting someone to take your dog out at least once in the middle of the day, or arranging for doggy daycare? I'm assuming here that you are not in a situation where you can arrange a secure outside run where the dog can be during the day.
    – user
    Aug 21 '15 at 19:07
  • @MichaelKjörling Canine digestive system takes about 9 hours to process food so it didnt seem worth it to have someone come take her out 1 hours before i get home. (After the walk and accounting eating time, she finishes eating about 7:30-8:00am)
    – Jay
    Aug 21 '15 at 19:36

You can train a dog to use a litter tray, search doggie litter tray on Amazon and you will find several - easier than them trying to jump up on an actual toilet, however they do have their own problems.

If you don't have access to a garden and a hose it can be difficult to keep them clean. Also unless your dog is very very well trained it's not 100% fool proof. Our puppy used one from the start because we live in a flat, however often would not use it if it was a) too smelly b) too clean, and sometimes would squat over it but not quite on it!! If your dog is male and cocks his leg then they are even less useful because it will merely go up the wall anyway.

Another consideration is to change the feeding time and encourage your dog to go before bedtime, but you've probably tried that already. If you refuse to take it out in the middle of the night it will soon learn to go earlier!


There have been dogs trained to use absorbant pads, usually as puppies.. But dogs don't bury their waste (non-dominant cats do, and in our houses we're the dominant members of the clowder), and dog waste is considerably more odorous than cat waste to begin with.

Sorry, but this remains an area where cats are better housepets.

On the other hand, dogs won't shed on the tops of your bookcases.

  • 1
    no, the dogs will just eat the books :)
    – Keltari
    Aug 18 '15 at 20:10
  • Also look into a doggie door, or a doggie door sliding glass track insert. Also, walking two blocks to go potty is pretty ridiculous. Look into training your dog to go potty on command, it's not an instantaneous process, but it beats standing in the rain at night half-dressed. That way you can just walk to the nearest tree and have them go there.
    – rlb.usa
    Aug 18 '15 at 21:39
  • @rlb.usa no the problem is i live in the city in a neighborhood where the closest patch of dirt/grass is 2 blocks away.
    – Jay
    Aug 18 '15 at 22:52
  • Doesn't have to be dirt/grass. You may not remember the signs once seen in every city, "Curb Your Dog".... Personally I wouldn't even try to keep a dog in a city environment, but while I like most animals I admit to a feline bias.
    – keshlam
    Aug 18 '15 at 22:58

A quick search of for dog using toilet found several hits, maybe a better question is how do I train my dog to use the toilet? As Kashlam says in his answer, a litter box is not a viable solution for a dog, pads are often used.

But if you going to go to the effort of training, train your dog to use the toilet (and flush).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.