Why Does My Dog Only Eat at Night?

Your dog doesn’t eat much during the day? Although they might eat a few bites, they don’t eat all of the food at once. They eat most of their food at night. This seems to be normal behavior for dogs. If you take a look at their behavior, it is not unusual.

But they seem active and healthy. This is causing you to worry that you are unable to follow the healthy diet recommendations of professionals. What effect will this behavior have on my dog’s long-term health? What is the reason my dog only eats at night? What can I do to stop my dog from eating at night?

Your dog only eats at night because

  1. This dog behavior has been going on for too long.
  2. Your dog has access to his food at any time.
  3. Your dog is used to this behavior for a long time.

Let’s take a look at each one in detail and then discuss how we can improve them.

This dog behavior has been going on for too long

You haven’t taken on the responsibility to feed your dog according to a schedule and your dog has been doing it for years. People who provide free food for their dogs are more likely to notice this.

The dog parent simply puts food in the dog’s bowl whenever they feel like it, and then leaves it there. It doesn’t matter if the dog eats the food or not. They will just pile food into the bowl when they feel like it is full.

The dog will eat the food whenever they want and leave it when they don’t. Dog parents may believe they are feeding their dogs, but in fact, they are just letting their dogs decide when to eat. The dog can choose to eat only at night.

Your dog has access to his food at any time


Your dog might be eating at night because they don’t have food access. Dogs are great at testing boundaries. They will check once in a while if they are allowed to follow you into restricted areas. Dogs are notoriously greedy and will go to great lengths to get what they want.

Your dog is accustomed to eating at night

Dogs are creatures that have a habit of doing things in a certain order. This helps them keep track of their time and has some control over what happens, even though it may seem like an illusion. If your dog is only eating at night, it is likely that this is due to the reasons we have mentioned.

All animals, including dogs, operate on a biological clock at a molecular level called the Circadian rhythm. This 24-hour cycle is a set of events that tries to affect the behavior of living things throughout the day.

It includes sleep, waking up, movement, eating, and sleeping. This clock works in a normal fashion. Exposure to light is when you can engage in physical activities such as moving around and eating. The time to sleep, rest, and get into bed is generally when you are exposed to darkness.

Even though it may not seem like normal behavior, your dog will use his or her mental faculties to decide whether eating at night is a good idea. This depends on how they feel about the security, calmness, and safety that they have been given.

You can convince your dog that night eating is safer and better for them and they will continue to follow the new habit. This is especially true when the two reasons for eating previously mentioned are at play in the dog’s life.

All of the above reasons could explain why your dog may be only eating at night. Is it wrong to feed your dog at night or allow them to eat at night? Although there are no studies to prove that this is bad, it is not a bad thing.

Dog parents, dog trainers, behaviorists, and vets have all observed that there are more downsides to this approach than the perceived benefit. There is no need to worry about your dog eating as they will always be able to eat when they want. Below are some of the more serious disadvantages.

Dogs who eat at night are more likely to become obese.

Dogs that only eat at night are more likely to become obese than those who eat during the day. We tried to explain why dogs eat at night, as we did earlier. The biological clock, also known as the Circadian rhythm (or clock), was mentioned.

This clock has dogs eating during the day and sleeping at night. This cycle is disrupted if your dog eats only at night. This disrupts their digestive process and leads to food not being properly digested. Later, this can lead to obesity.

It is difficult to housebreak dogs that eat at night

Dogs who eat only at night are known for causing havoc in the home, especially indoors. It is mostly due to their digestive system cycle. It takes between ten and twelve hours for their digestive system cycle to complete and all waste products to be removed from their system.

In this example, a dog who eats at night would defecate between ten and twelve hours after eating. If you read our article, “Why does my dog watch me poop?” you will see that security is a very important aspect of a dog’s defecating routine. Your house is the best place to go if they are not housebroken or have no housebreaking schedule. This is obviously not something you want in your home.

Unless you create a housebreaking plan around this timeframe that allows you to allow your dog to eat only at night, then your dog will continue living in a messy home for quite some time.

Dogs who eat at night are more likely to have health problems

It is obvious, from obesity to stomach issues and more. Dogs can suffer from poor digestion and stomach problems, including heart disease, stomach bloating, and poor musculoskeletal development.

Dogs who eat at night tend to be tired and lethargic throughout the day

Dogs who eat at night tend to be tired during the day. If you look at their Circadian rhythm or clock, eating at night can be likened to trying to reverse their biological clock. This will lead to a disruption in their normal functioning, leaving them tired and weak during the day.

Dogs who eat at night have excess energy that they must burn at night

Your dog’s body stores energy when it eats late at night. You and your dog will likely engage in play, obedience training, and exercise if they eat during the day. It would be a great way to burn off a lot of their energy. This scenario could be applied to the night.

If they eat at night, their energy would not allow them to go to sleep. They might even become more active than they should. This can cause problems, especially if you’re trying to sleep. Both of you would feel exhausted by the end of the night and not be able to tackle the next day.

We can now see the downsides of your dog sleeping at night. You might find yourself in a position where your dog is a creature of the night. You should make an effort to ensure that your dog’s biological clock is in sync with your own so you can both manage the challenges of the night eating and still enjoy your time together.

Here are some things to do if your dog is not eating at night:

Stop giving them food during rampant hours

It is important to address the first reason “You have allowed this behavior to persist for long” and regain control over your dog’s food schedule. It is best to feed your dog two times per day. Some dogs may prefer eating one time per day.

How do you begin? You can begin by choosing the time that you would like to spend with your dog. You can do it twice daily if you prefer to do it at eight and seven each morning. You should make sure your dog has food at all times. If your dog refuses to eat the food, it will be for an hour.

This will help your dog understand that their food is only available for a certain time. If they miss it, they would have the option to wait until the next opportunity. This will help your dog to adjust its biological clock.

Remove food access

It is possible that your dog is eating food that is not appropriate for him or her. They should be able to avoid such food and they must only eat the food you give them. You should conduct a thorough inspection of your family to ensure that they are not allowed to eat foods you don’t approve.

Start to ration their food

It is important to consult your vet to determine the right amount of food for your dog. If you feed your dog two times a day, the recommended amount of food is one cup. You will then need to feed your dog half a cup for each time. Although it may seem harsh, you’re trying to ensure your dog doesn’t overfeed. This will help reduce obesity and other health problems.

Make the transition gradual

You must be able to spend the time with your dog. You might have to hire someone or pay someone to help. It works like this. If your dog is eating at midnight, it’s possible to make the food available 30 minutes later.

Although your dog may not notice the difference, after four to five days you can change the time to an hour later. This is gradually done until your dog starts eating in the morning. This method takes patience and persistence to slowly change your dog’s habits.

Your dog should be kept on a leash at all times. This is to ensure that they are not able to wander off on their own or find food. Dogs may resist the leash by barking or trying to escape the leash. The barking can be ignored, but if they don’t respond to you, they will adjust to the new behavior. You can attract your dog to you by using treats or another dog obedience training method.


We’ve explored all the reasons your dog only eats at night and what you can do about it. It is important that you change your dog’s eating habits. It’s possible to continue doing it but you should be aware of what is happening with your dog. What are you going to do? You have the ball in your court!