My Dog Started Crying and Whining at Night, What Should I Do?
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Dogs communicate with us in many ways, one of them is by whining or crying. This behaviour usually indicates that something is wrong. However, what does it mean when a dog cries and whines at night? And, what can you do to help?
In this AnimalWised article we're going to go through the different reasons why a puppy or an adult dog may start crying or whining and night and what you should do.
Why dogs whine or cry
Whining and crying are part of a dog's communication. It's completely normal and important that they whine because it allows us to understand what they're trying to communicate. Here are the most common reasons why a dog will cry or whine:
- Medical issue: they're crying because they're in pain and need veterinary help as soon as possible.
- Wants your attention: they're calling for you to show you something, because they want to go out on their walk or because they want to spend more time with you.
- Is asking for your help: they may need to go outside to relieve themselves, they're hungry or they need more water.
- Separation anxiety: when left alone for too long dogs will develop separation anxiety and may begin having destructive behaviour.
- They're lonely: some dogs will also whine or cry to see if anyone is in the house as they feel lonely. This is also a symptom of separation anxiety.
- They're excited: dogs will also whine or cry when you arrive home from work or school as they are excited and happy to see you again.
Watch our video below to learn more about why dogs cry and whine to communicate certain things.
Why your puppy is crying all night
It's normal for a puppy to cry or whine at night. This is because they're used to another home where they sleep with their mother and siblings. Now they're in a new place alone and with strangers. It's understandable for them to be a bit shy and scared the first night. With that being said, here are the most common reasons why puppies whine or cry at night:
They're lonely and scared
The first and most common reason that your dog is lonely and scared. The first couple of days in a new home with new people and away from their family can be a big challenge for a puppy. They may cry at night calling for their family, for you or simply because they're feeling sad.
They're hungry or thirsty
Another reason your puppy may be whining or crying all night is because they're hungry or thirsty. A puppy's diet is a little different to an adult dog so you want to make sure they're eating enough calories and the right nutritious foods so they can grow up healthily.
They're in pain
Lastly, your puppy can be crying because they're in pain due to a medical issue. If they are also exhibiting other symptoms of a sick dog you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Remember that puppies can be more vulnerable to certain illnesses and may not be able to cope with the symptoms for long.
How to make your puppy stop crying at night
Now that we've explained the most common reasons why your puppy could be whining and crying all night, let's take a look at what you can do to help. Here are our easy tips to make sure your puppy is feeling better and can relax all night:
- Rule out any medical issues by taking them to the veterinarian for a check-up.
- Make sure they're eating enough throughout the day.
- Put their bed inside of your room, at least for the first few weeks.
- Make sure your room is puppy-friendly and easy to sleep in.
To best prepare a puppy for their first couple of nights in their new home, we recommend you read our article about preparing your home for your puppy's first night. In that article we go through details on what you can do so your puppy has an easier transition from their family to their new home.
Why your adult dog is crying all night
Adult dogs won't generally whine or cry at night as they're used to you and your home. However, there are other reasons why an adult dog may begin crying or whining at night. Let's take a look at the most common reasons why adult dogs cry or whine at night:
They're calling for your attention
The first reason why they may whine or cry is to call you. They can call you for many reasons, maybe there is noise in the yard and they are warning you, or perhaps they're hungry or need to go outside to relieve themselves. We shouldn't ignore their calls as something could be wrong, but we do need to get to the bottom of the issue so it won't happen again in the future.
If your dog has recently gone through a sudden change in their life, such as the death of a loved one or moving into a different home, they may be suffering from depression. If this is the case there are a number of things you can do to help them such as letting them sleep inside your room so they don't feel lonely at night. Learn more in our article about depression in dogs.
They're experiencing separation anxiety
Similar to depression, your dog may also be experiencing from separation anxiety. This occurs when your dog is used to being around you at all times, then, when they're left alone they begin to feel anxious and develop destructive behaviour. Certain breeds, those that need more company, are prone to this.
They're in physical pain
Lastly, your dog may be crying due to physical pain they are experiencing from an underlying illness. If they're also experiencing other symptoms, you'll need to take them to the veterinarian to be properly diagnosed and treated.
How to make your adult dog stop crying at night
Now that we've determined the main reasons why an adult dog cries at night, let's go through what you can do to help them. Here are our tips:
- First thing you should do is take them to the veterinarian to rule out any medical concerns.
- Make sure all windows are closed with the curtains down and all doors are locked before going to bed.
- Make their sleeping area cosy and warm so they can relax all night.
- If necessary, allow them to sleep in your room so they don't feel lonely at night. You can also give them a blanket with your smell as it will make them feel closer to you.
- Make sure your dog has an overall healthy lifestyle, including a high quality diet, sufficient exercise and plenty of attention!
We hope these tips will help you find the reason why your dog is crying and whining at night, as well as what you can do to help. However, if you've tried these tips and their behaviour continues, you can work with a canine behaviour specialist to get to the bottom of the issue.
You may also be interested in our article about why your dog may be barking at night.
If you want to read similar articles to My Dog Started Crying and Whining at Night, What Should I Do?, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.