If your dog keeps waking up during the night you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you eleven common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.

It is actually possible that there is a combination of causes at play. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.

Why your dog wakes up during the night

Below are eleven common reasons why dogs wake up during the night and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours does it.

It needs to pee

The reason why your dog wakes up during the night could also be that it needs to pee. This would be more likely to be the cause if it wants to go outside straight away to pee, if it is a puppy or if it is elderly.

In this case, it would be important to continue letting it out to pee quickly. It would also help to let it out to pee just before bedtime. If it is a puppy, it would help to have some patience since it is likely that it is not yet able to fully control its bladder but it should gradually need to pee less and less at night. If it is an adult, it would be best to take it to a vet for a checkup since it could be due to medical issues.

Hunger

It could be the case that it has been waking up during the night because it is hungry. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since a change in its diet, when it eats certain foods or if you have recently started feeding it at different times.

It would help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet, that it has not been eating things that it shouldn’t be and that you it does not have to wait too long to get fed.

Noises

It might be the case that it hears noises that it does not like at night. This would be more likely if it only wakes on certain nights or if it only does it when it is in a certain room.

Diet

The cause might be that there is an issue with its diet. It might be being fed too late, too much or it might be eating things that it shouldn’t be causing it to wake up during the night. This would be more likely if it has been waking up during the night since a change in its diet and if it does it more when it eats certain foods.

A change in its routine

Dogs generally like having a routine and it can cause them to behave abnormally when their routine is disrupted. If it has started waking up during the night since changes in things such as the time that you go to sleep, the time you wake up, when you let it out to pee in the evenings or when you feed it in the evenings, it could be the case that a change in its daily routine is what has been causing it.

In this case, you could try waiting for it to get used to the change in its routine or you could try gradually easing it in to the new routine. For example, if you want to go to bed earlier and to wake up earlier, you could try gradually going to bed earlier each evening. Alternatively, you could just do it straight away until it gets accustomed to the new pattern.

Encouraging the behavior

It could also be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it things it wants when it wakes during the night. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, when it wakes up at night, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not wake up during the night and to avoid rewarding it when it does wake up at night unless it is because it needs to pee.

Illness, injury or medical conditions

It could be the case that illness, injury or medical conditions are causing it to be in discomfort at night. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing discomfort during the day. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

A problem with its sleeping environment

It might also be the case that it has been struggling to fall asleep due to a problem with the room it sleeps in. It could be the case that it is too bright, too hot, too cramped or too noisy. This would be more likely if it has started waking up during the night since having to sleep in a different room.

Separation anxiety

The cause could also be that it has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and the prospect of being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if it starts showing signs of becoming anxious when you are about to leave it at night.

In this case, it might be worth following the tips given in this book on Amazon about dealing with dog separation anxiety.

Age

As dogs become old their joints will often become painful for them. The reason why it has been waking up during the night could be due to being in discomfort. This would be more likely if your dog is old and if it has been showing signs of being in discomfort during the day and at night. In this case, it would help to consult with your vet about it.

Excess energy

It might also be the case that a lack of exercise during the day has been causing it to have a lot of energy at night. This would be more likely if it tends to sleep better when it has gotten exercise during the day. It would help to make sure that your dog has been getting the recommended amount of exercise for its breed.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider about your dog waking up during the night.

What else happened when it first started doing it

If it did not always wake up during the night, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.

If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as becoming ill, injured, getting less exercise, a change in the room it sleeps in or a change in its diet.

What is different when it does not wake up during the night

If it does not wake up during the night on every night, it would also help to consider what is different on the nights that it sleeps normally.

For example, if it does not wake during the night when it can sleep with you, it might be because of separation anxiety. Whereas, if it doesn’t wake up during the night when it can sleep in a certain room, it could be the case that the room it normally sleeps in is not ideal for it to sleep in.

What to do about your dog waking up during the night

Below are some things you can do about your dog waking up during the night.

Ensure its diet is right

It might be the case that there is an issue with its diet that has been causing it to struggle to fall asleep. It would help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet and that it has not been eating things that it should not be.

Ensure its sleeping environment is right

It would also help to ensure that the room it sleeps in allows it to fall asleep easily. It should be cool, not too bright, there should be space for it to lay down and not too loud.

Avoid encouraging it

As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to avoid giving it attention when it does it unless necessary and to get professional help from a vet or dog behaviorist if it persists.

Let it out to pee

It might be the case that your dog has been waking up during the night because it needs to pee.

The best option for you here is to try to give it water a bit earlier in the evenings and to let it pee just before going to bed. This way hopefully it won’t need to pee as much at night. It would also be an option to let it pee quickly in the mornings and then to quickly go back to bed. If it is not a puppy, it would be advised to take it to a vet for a checkup.

Crate training

If your dog is a puppy, while your puppy is still young, you might want to consider doing crate training. This can help your puppy to feel more secure at night.

Get help

If it seems like it might be waking up at night due to illness, injury or a medical cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.