Why do dogs lick themselves in the middle of the night?

We’ve heard a lot of humans talking about this topic between themselves. 

Humans discussing why dogs take bathes in the middle of the night.
Humans discussing why dogs take baths in the middle of the night.

They seem mystified, but there is a simple explanation.  In the interest of our human friends, we will share the reasons.

It’s Convenient

2:30 a.m. is the preferred time for dogs to take baths.  Convenience is the primary reason and all other reasons fall under that category.

It’s Quiet

Why do dogs lick themselves in the middle of the night article.  Photo of alarm clock.

At 2:30 a.m., we can relax and take our time, without having to listen for threatening sounds.

No interruptions

We have never once had to chase off a postal worker, delivery person or pesky cyclist at 2:30 a.m.  Maybe they are afraid of the dark! That’s another reason!

why dogs bathe in the middle of the night article - oscar playing possum
Oscar playing possum.

It’s Dark

What else are we going to do at 2:30 a.m.? We can’t watch our Dog Sitter Video or Dogtv, because the remote control buttons are too close together! 

We tried to have a barking contest with our neighbour’s dog, but we weren’t allowed!

Our food is gone.  You can only drink so much water.  Mommy and Daddy don’t like to get up in the middle of the night to let us outside. Especially if we forget to pee because we get too interested in smells.

We can’t play in the dark either, because we could bump into something and get hurt!

Image: The Far Side – Available on Amazon

It’s Sensible

Daytime cleaning is pointless because we go in and out often.  That means muddy paws. 

Then there’s the regular potty breaks and the daily walks.  Besides, humans don’t take baths mid-afternoon either!

Why dogs bathe in the middle of the night article - baths in daytime are pointless
Baths in the daytime are pointless.

Baths are Supposed to be Relaxing

Mommy always says baths are relaxing and help her to sleep, but for some unknown reason when we bathe in the middle of the night, it doesn’t help Mommy sleep.  It’s quiet in the house when we start but after 45 minutes, Mommy starts shushing us.  Shhhhhhh!


Even if we know we’re not squeaky clean yet, Shhhh makes us stop…………..and listen to hear what she‘s trying to hear.  When we dont hear anything, (approximately 1 minute later), we assume it’s safe to continue.

why dogs bathe in the middle of the night article - human can't sleep
Listening for something…

We can’t imagine what Mommy is trying to hear at 2:30 in the morning!  Maybe she thinks it’s her shift to guard the house, because Daddy isn’t going to hear anything over his snoring.

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Why Do Dogs Lick Themselves in the Middle of the Night?

2 thoughts on “Why Do Dogs Lick Themselves in the Middle of the Night?

  • 7th May 2017 at 8:23 pm

    My dogs used to believe I wanted also a bath that time of the night , so they started licking my face not missing one corner, or maybe they realised I hadn’t removed my makeup properly, they always finished around my ears , that put me back to sleep

    • 8th May 2017 at 6:45 pm

      Mommy always removes her makeup but that lotion she uses on her face……is NOT tasty! 🙂


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