Why Does My Dog Only Eats At Night? [ANSWERED]

You may be a little concerned about your dog only eating at night.

Dogs are creatures of habit. If your dog is used to being fed only at night, it’s only going to eat at night. That’s just what it has been taught to do. 

So, your dog could be only eating at night just because of its habit.

dog only eats at night
Why Does My Dog Only Eats At Night?

Related Reading: What Happens If A Dog Eats A Cork? [FIND OUT]

Is it OK if my dog only eats once a day?

Dogs should eat at least two meals daily, about 12 hours apart. If more than 12 hours elapse between meals, their stomach can become hyper-acidic, causing nausea.

Many dogs only eat once a day, even though they are more comfortable eating twice a day. In the wild, a dog might have to go multiple days without food before a successful hunt or a successful scavenge.

A puppy will ideally eat three times a day so schedule a feeding around noon. Get a dog sitter to help if needed.

Why won’t my dog eat in the morning but eat at night?

The most common reason why dogs won’t eat their food in the morning but eat at night is that your fur buddy is accustomed to having full access to its food throughout the day. You are not limiting its opportunity to eat at the scheduled time for food.

What to rule out

The first step you should take as a pet owner is to rule out any medical issue that can be an underlying reason your dog may not be eating. 

If your dog suddenly stops eating in the morning without any changes in its routine, you should take your dog to the vet for a check-up. This will ensure that your dog isn’t just feeling under the weather.

Feeding routine

Once you have ruled out any medical problems that could have been the underlying cause the next thing to look at is the feeding routine you have for your dog!

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you just pour your dog’s food into the feeding bowl and simply leave it on the ground all-day 
  • Do you just allow your dog the opportunity to eat when you place the food down for a few minutes?

There are main feeding routines most pet owners fall into free feeding and a structured schedule here we’ll look at both.

  • Free Feeding: Free feeding is usually the feeding routine most new dog owners fall into which is simply filling your dog’s bowl and allowing your pooch to have full access to his food throughout the day. Your dog can eat a little bit of its food throughout the day as it has full access to its food all day. Doing this is often the main reason why your dog won’t eat his food at night. With free feeding, your dog can also gain extra weight.
  • Structured Feeding Schedule: The structured feeding schedule is when you have a set time scheduled to feed your dog. On that scheduled feeding time you fill your fur buddy’s bowl as usual. However, this time you only allow your dog to eat for a certain amount of time. If your dog chooses not to eat, simply pick up the food bowl and your dog doesn’t eat until the next scheduled time.

Unlike mature dogs that eat once or twice a day, most puppies need to eat puppy food three times a day. Stick to a routine and give them regular potty breaks.

Is it bad for dogs to eat right before bed?

It is not recommended to feed a dog right before bed. Most dogs are fed on a schedule and require ample time to digest before relieving themselves. Feeding late at night will disrupt their sleep and will often require midnight bathroom trips.

Your dog gets its energy from the food it eats. Avoid feeding it directly before bedtime, because the food will digest and energize it hours later. 

dog eating at night

What time should a dog’s last meal be?

Feeding your fur buddy does not have to be mysterious. A feeding routine helps your pet cope when there are changes in the household. It also makes a necessary food change easier. Feed your dog two to three hours before bed if it’s a high-quality, filler-free food.

The important thing is to use a measured portion for the day. Remember that inconsistent eating times often mean inconsistent potty times.

By establishing the routine from the very beginning, you’ll be on your way to a happy, well-adjusted dog. It’s worth putting in the time and effort right now so that undesirable habits and behaviors won’t stand a chance.

dog only eats at night
Dog only eats at night

Final thoughts

Feeding time can be an important bonding time. Creating a routine and regular feeding times builds fun into everyday activities.

If your dog doesn’t eat in the morning, don’t be alarmed. Just stick to the structured feeding schedule and soon enough you will start to notice that when it’s feeding time, your pup will be excited to eat.

Getting your dog to eat in the morning shouldn’t be too hard. Consistency is key to everything you do in training! The sooner you create a schedule, the sooner your dog will adjust to its new home.

Next time you’re wondering “Why does my dog only eat at night” ask yourself what feeding routine is your dog on.

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.