If your dog (or puppy) has been crying at night, either while awake or while sleeping, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why dogs cry at night and how you can get your dog to stop crying at night.
So, why does my dog cry at night? Possible reasons why your dog cries at night are separation anxiety, injury, illness, fear, a problem with the room it sleeps in, hearing noises, an issue with its diet and needing to pee.
There are actually many reasons why your dog might be crying or whimpering at night and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a lot of things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your dog cries at night
There are a variety of reasons why your dog may be whining at night. Below are a number of common causes of dogs crying at night and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.
The cause might be that your dog has separation anxiety. This is where your dog does not like being left alone and it gets anxious when it is left alone. This would be more likely if it sleeps in a different room than you. It would also be more likely if it starts getting anxious when you would normally leave home or when you are going to bed. Dogs are pack animals and were bred to work alongside us. So, it is not uncommon for them to become anxious when they are not with us.
To improve your dog’s behavior, would help to give your dog a safe space or safe place that it can go to at night so that it feels safer. This may be through crate training or by creating an area around the home that your dog can go to and feel safe. It would also help to use positive reinforcement training to reward your dog whenever it is not anxious when you are not in the same area as it.
It might help to follow the tips given in this book on Amazon which is about how to deal with dog separation anxiety.
Injury or illness
Another possible cause is that it has gotten an injury or illness or that your dog has some kind of other health problem. This would be more likely if it has started crying at night suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill, injured or having a physical pain such as vomiting, limping, or not wanting to move. It could also be due to bloating, digestive issues or other health issues. Alternatively, it might be due to things such as joint pain, especially if you have an older dog. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Also, if your dog has been doing it persistently, it might be the case that your dog has chronic pain which would be more likely if you notice your dog behaving unusually during the daytime as well.
A problem with the room it sleeps in
It could also be the case that there is a problem with the room it has been sleeping in. It might be too hot, too bright, too noisy or there might not be enough space for it to lay down.
It might be the case that your dog hears loud noises that it does not like at night. This would be more likely if it only cries on certain nights or if it only does it when it is in a certain room.
It could also be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It might be the case that it has been eating too late at night, it has been eating too much, not enough, it has not been getting the right nutrients in its diet or it might be eating things it shouldn’t be.
It would help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet, that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing and it might help to feed it earlier in the evenings.
A lack of exercise
Dogs are generally meant to get daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise, it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be the case that yours has a lot of extra energy at night. A bored dog will often behave in undesirable ways and so it is important to take measures to ensure that your dog is properly exercised.
This would be more likely if it tends to cry on nights when it has not gotten any exercise in the day. It would help to make sure that it has been getting the right amount of exercise for its age and breed.
Encouraging the behavior
It could also be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it rewards when it behaves that way. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it cries at night, it will encourage it to do it more.
Instead, it would help to reward it in the mornings when it does not cry at night, to avoid giving it attention when it cries at night unless necessary and to follow the other tips below.
Needing to pee
Another possible cause is that it needs to pee. This would be more likely if it is a puppy and if it tends to cry more when it does not get to pee in the evenings.
As dogs get older their joints become painful and it might be causing it to cry at night. 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.
Other animals in the yard
The reason your dog screams at night might also be that there are other animals in the backyard and your dog can see or hear them. This would be more likely if you have seen or heard other animals at night or if there are signs of them being in the backyard at night.
A new space
If your dog used to sleep somewhere such as a family room but recently was made to start sleeping in a new place, it would be likely that your dog has not yet become comfortable in the new space. It might help to consider an alternative place for your dog to sleep such as the living room.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about it crying at night.
When it first started doing it
If your dog has not always cried at night, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly, it would make it more likely to be due to things such as a change in its diet, a change in its sleeping environment, illness, injury or another change in its lifestyle.
Additionally, it would help to consider the timing of when your dog cries at night. If your dog does it more when you are about to go to bed, it would be more likely to be due to separation anxiety, but it could also be due to things such as needing to pee. Whereas, if your dog tends to whine in the middle of the night, it would be more likely to be due to things such as needing to pee or pain.
If it always cries at night
It would also help to consider if there are some nights when it does not cry and what is different on those nights.
For example, if it does not cry on nights when it does not eat a certain food, it could be the case that there is an issue with what it has been eating.
Other behavioral issues
It would help to consider your dog’s behavior since it might be the a symptom of other behavioral issues. If your dog has been behaving usually in other ways, it would help to consider if there are any triggers that seem to cause the behavior. Otherwise, it would help to consider consulting with a dog behaviorist.
How to stop my dog crying at night?
Below are some things you can do about your dog crying at night.
Ensure it’s getting the right diet
As mentioned above, it could be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It would help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet, that no one has been feeding it without you knowing, that it has not got access to things it shouldn’t be eating and to feed it earlier in the evening.
Take it to a vet
If you can’t figure out why your dog has been whimpering at night, it has been crying a lot, or it seems like it might be due to injury or illness, the best option would be to schedule a vet visit. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out medical causes.
Ensure its sleeping environment is appropriate
It would also help to make sure that the room it sleeps in is cool, not too bright, not too loud and that there is room for it to sleep comfortably.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it does it because it is trying to get extra attention or rewards from you. It would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it cries at night so that it learns that crying doesn’t get it extra attention. That is unless it seems to be crying for a different reason such as to go outside to pee.
Additionally, you can give your dog positive reinforcement training and reward your dog whenever it behaves the way that you want it to at night.
However, it is important to recognize that your dog may not be getting its emotional needs met at night and it may be the case that your dog actually needs a bit more attention at night so that it can feel safer. Again, it would help to consider the routine that your particular dog goes through when considering the best approach.
Let it out to pee
It would also help to make sure that your dog gets a chance to pee right before bedtime. If you have a puppy, it would also be necessary for you to give your puppy at least one potty break during the night since young puppies cannot make it through the night without peeing (more on this below).
Of course, if your adult dog is not making it through the night without peeing, this would be a sign of health or behavioral issues since adult dogs should be able to make it through the night. In this case, it would be best to start with a consultation with your local veterinarian.
Consider crate training
Crate training is where you teach your dog to learn to be comfortable inside of a crate designed for dogs.
If you crate train your dog in the right way it will give it a space where it can feel safe. This will give your dog a space where it will be able to feel secure at night without you being around.
Establish a routine with your dog
It would also help to try to establish a routine that your dog can get used to at night. Dogs like to have consistency and predictability which can be done by keeping a regular schedule with your dog. By regularly allowing your dog out to pee at a similar time each night, turning the lights out at a similar time, and getting your dog to go to bed at a similar time, it can help to curb behavioral issues.
Ensure your dog can sleep in a quiet environment
Just as it is difficult for us to get a good night’s sleep when it is loud, it is also the same with dogs. It would help to make sure that the night time environment that your dog sleeps in is one where there is not a lot of noise or light. Otherwise, it will make it difficult for your dog to sleep and can result in a lack of sleep for your dog.
Why does my dog cry at night in his crate?
If your dog cries when it cannot leave the crate, it would be likely that your dog is crying because it wants to be able to get out of the crate.
If your dog is able to freely enter and exit the crate, the cause could be separation anxiety if it does not sleep in the same room as you. It would help to get your dog comfortable with being in the crate by giving your dog positive associations with the crate and by doing things such as putting your dog’s favorite toy in the crate.. You can do this by doing things such as rewarding your dog, with a treat, whenever it is being well behaved in the crate. For the time being, it may be best to leave the crate door open whenever possible so that your dog does not feel trapped inside the crate.
Why does my dog cry at night while sleeping?
If your dog cries while it is actually sleeping, the cause would be likely to be that your dog is actually dreaming. This would be more likely to be the case if your dog seems to be in deep rapid eye movement (REM) sleep since this is when dogs actually dream. If the behavior persists, it would be important to take it up with your veterinarian.
If your dog cries while it is awake, it could be due to any of the reasons mentioned above.
Why does my dog cry at night sometimes?
If your dog only cries at night sometimes, it would help to consider what is different when it does cry. Possible causes could be that it hears noises, it is hungry, it needs to pee, it wants to sleep with you or that there is another pet around it does not like.
Why does my puppy cry at night?
The most likely reason why your puppy cries at night is that your puppy needs to pee. This would be more likely if your puppy also tends to pee at around the same time as it starts crying. To prevent this, it is necessary to give your puppy toilet breaks during the night since most puppies are unable to make it through the night without peeing since their bladder is not yet developed enough.
It would also help to try using puppy pads to help deal with any messes that are made while your puppy sleeps. Of course, young pups will require more frequent potty breaks at night compared to if you have an old puppy which can survive longer periods without a toilet break.
In this time, it is very important to start giving your puppy potty training such as by making sure to reward your puppy whenever it pees outside.
If your puppy does not sleep in the same room as you, it would also be likely that the cause of your puppy crying is that your puppy has some separation anxiety and does not want to be left alone. To deal with this, puppy owners, will usually create a space in their bedroom for the puppy to sleep so that they can feel safer. This is especially the case in the puppy’s early weeks with you and usually persists during the puppy’s first year.
Another reason why puppies whine at night is that they are fearful of something. This would be more likely if your puppy has been doing it in specific situations such as when there is a loud noise.
Also, if it is your puppy/s first night or first week with you, it would be much more likely that your new puppy cries at night as the result of being in a new home that your puppy does not yet know is safe. In addition, the puppy is without its mother or siblings which makes it even more difficult in the early stages when with their new family.
Why is my old dog crying at night?
If your old dog cries at night, it would be likely to be due to things such as needing to pee due to a weaker bladder, or pain due to things such as joint problems or hip dysplasia. It would help to consider how else your old dog has been behaving during the day.
In this case, it would likely be best to consult with a veterinarian as well as to invest in things such as pee pads for your dog if they can no longer make it through the night without peeing.
Why does my dog cry for no reason at night?
It is unlikely that your dog is actually crying for no reason at night. It is likely that there are triggers that is causing the behavior such as when you turn off the lights or when there is a certain noise. It would help to consider the things mentioned above. However, it would be particularly likely that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded or that your dog is doing it due to separation anxiety.
Why is my dog suddenly crying at night?
If your dog has suddenly started crying at night, it would help to consider what else changed when the behavior first started. However, it would be particularly likely to be due to things such as pain, injury, illness, having to sleep in a new location or some other change to its nighttime routine.
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