If your dog has been seemingly crying for no reason, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog cry for no reason? Possible reasons why your dog cries for no apparent reason are wanting attention, exercise or to be fed, injury, anxiety, fear or you might have inadvertently encouraged the behavior.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make them more likely. Once you have a better idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier to figure out what you should do about it.
Why your dog cries for no reason
Below are a number of reasons why your dog might have been doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it might be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if you tend to give it more attention when it does it and if it tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention.
In this case, it would help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. But, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it cries for no reason and to try to recognize when it is likely to start doing it and to redirect its focus.
It wants exercise
If your dog is a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise daily then the cause could be that it is understimulated. If it is a breed that is meant to get a lot of daily exercise and it is healthy then it would help to make sure that it is able to get the right amount.
It wants food
The reason why it does it might be that it is hungry. This would be more likely if it tends to do it at around the same time that you normally feed it or if it does it when it has not been able to eat for a long time.
Injury or illness
It could also be the case that it has been doing it due to getting an injury or illness. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being injured or ill such as by vomiting or limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
It wants to be let outside
The cause could also be that it wants you to let it outside. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it is stood next to the door and if it stops crying when you open the door.
It might also be the case that it has been doing it due to something causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if shows signs of being afraid, when it does it, by doing things such as hiding or making itself appear smaller and if it tends to do it more at certain times such as when there are noises outside.
The cause could also be that something has been causing it to become anxious. One reason why it might be anxious is that it might have some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more at around the same time that you normally leave it and if it shows other signs of being anxious by doing things such as pacing.
Inadvertently encouraging the behavior
It might also be the case that you have encouraged the behavior. If you tend to give it things such as extra treats, attention or toys, when it cries for no apparent reason, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved, to avoid rewarding it when it is not and to deal with any other possible reasons why it might be crying.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started crying for no reason
If it did not always cry for no reason, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start. If it started doing it suddenly, it would make it more likely to be due to things such as injury, getting fed or walked at different times or boredom.
What is different when it does it
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to do it at. For example, if it tends to do it at around the same time that you tend to leave home, it would be more likely that it does it due to separation anxiety.
What to do about your dog crying for no reason
Below are some things you can do in order to encourage your dog to stop crying for no reason.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards when it cries. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want, to avoid rewarding the crying and to deal with any other possible causes.
Give it a daily routine to get used to
It might be the case that a change in its daily routine has been contributing to the behavior. Dogs tend to like having a set schedule that they can get used to. So, it would help to try to feed and exercise your dog at around the same time daily so that it knows what to expect.
Ensure that it is not injured
If it has started doing it suddenly, it has been showing other signs of being injured or you are not sure why your dog has been doing it, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out the possibility of it being due to injury or illness.
Limit possible reasons why it might be anxious
It would also help to try to reduce reasons why it might get anxious by doing things such as exercising it, feeding it and letting it pee before leaving it for a long time.
Ensure that it is getting the right diet
It might be the case that its diet has been contributing to the behavior which would be more likely if it has been doing it more since a change in its diet or if it does it more when it eats certain foods. It would help to make sure that it has been eating the right foods, the right amount of calories and that no one else has been feeding it without telling you.
Make sure that it is getting enough exercise
If it is healthy, it would also help to ensure that it has been getting the right amount of exercise for its age and breed since it might have been doing it due to being understimulated.
If it has been doing it excessively and it is not due to an injury, consider getting help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see what has been causing the behavior and what you can do to get your dog to stop doing it.
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