If your dog has been whining a lot, at night, 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 about them.

So, why does my dog whine at night? Possible reasons why your dog whines at night are illness or injury, an issue with its diet, fearfulness, separation anxiety, an issue with the room it sleeps in, needing to pee or that it gets rewards for whining at night.

Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the most likely cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.

Why your dog whines at night

Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been whining at night and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Illness or injury

One reason could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly, it has been showing signs of illness or injury during the day and if it has been behaving differently in other ways such as by being fatigued. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

An issue with its diet

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.

Fearfulness

The cause could also be that there has been something causing it to be fearful at night. This would be more likely if it tends to whine more on certain nights such as when it is raining or very windy outside.

Boredom

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.

This would be more likely if it tends to whine 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.

Separation anxiety

The cause might be that it has separation anxiety. This is where it 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.

An issue 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. This would be more likely if it has started whining at night since a change in the layout of the room it sleeps in.

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 whines at night, it will encourage it to do it more.

Instead, it would help to reward it in the mornings when it does not whine at night, to avoid giving it attention when it whines at night unless necessary and to follow the other tips below.

It hears animals outside

The reason why it does it might 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.

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 whine more when it does not get to pee in the evenings.

Age

As dogs get older their joints become painful and it might be causing it to whine 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.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been whining at night.

What else happened when your dog first started to whine at night

If your dog has not always whined 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.

What is different when it does it

It would also help to consider if there are some nights when it does not whine and what is different on those nights.

For example, if it does not whine 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.

What to do about your dog whining at night

Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.

Ensure that it is 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.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards when it whines at night. It would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it whines at night so that it learns that whining doesn’t get it extra attention. That is unless it seems to be whining for a different reason such as to go outside to pee.

Get help from a vet

If you can’t figure out why it has been doing it, it has been whining a lot, or it seems like it might be due to injury or illness, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out medical causes.

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.

Let it pee

If it does not currently get the chance to pee just before bedtime, it would help to make sure that it does since it might be whining due to needing to pee.

Ensure it is getting the right amount of exercise

As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has been doing it due to a lack of exercise. If it is not ill or injured, it would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the recommended amount of exercise for its age and breed.

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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.