Facts about the animal kingdom

Why Is My Dog Whining - Causes

Ameera Mills
By Ameera Mills. Updated: November 5, 2018
Why Is My Dog Whining - Causes

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It’s very disconcerting for a dog owner when their dog cries or whines. Whether they are adults or puppies, it can cause worry for any dog owner. When a dog cries or whines, it usually means that they are trying to communicate with us. If your dog is whining all of a sudden it may be because it is sick, scared or needs something.

This is why it is important that if your dog cries, you find out the reason. Once you know the reason for your dog crying, you can discover the cause and handle it accordingly. Is your dog crying at night? Are you wondering why your dog keeps whining? For more, keep reading here at AnimalWised to find out why your dog is whining.

You may also be interested in: Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason?


  1. Why is my dog crying?
  2. Why is my puppy crying?
  3. Why is my dog whining?
  4. Why do old dogs cry?
  5. My dog is crying- what to do?

Why is my dog crying?

There are caregivers that ignore or choose to punish their dogs when they cry. But one must remember that sounds like crying; howls, barks or moans, are part of a dog’s language. Dogs use these sounds in the absence of words, trying their best to express their needs to their humans.

Therefore, if your dog is crying, pay attention to this. In addition, if you punish or scold your dog for crying, you can worsen the situation, resulting in them crying or whining more. In addition, punishing a dog when they are trying to express something can result in increased stress and anxiety in the animal. For more, take a look at our article on; 15 Signs Your Dog Is Stressed.

Why is my puppy crying?

It is very normal that when a puppy moves to a new home that it will cry as soon as it is left alone. Bare in mind that puppies have just left the company of their mothers, brothers and sisters. Therefore, these puppies are used to company. Is you puppy crying? Especially when left alone? In this case, one can gather it is because the puppy is lonely. Initially, there was a theory that used to say when puppies cry they must be left to learn how to be alone. Recently however, this theory has been questioned.

If your puppy whining at night or crying when left alone, we recommend recognizing this need for affection and providing it (but not too much). This affection needs to be controlled, so that your puppy doesn’t suffer from reinforced crying.

If your puppy cries at night, let it sleep with you until it becomes accustomed to its new home. Whatever you do, if your puppy whines, do not scold it. Make sure that your puppy has a safe space where it can be left alone, allowing it to feel comfortable and secure. Some studies show that you can leave a puppy alone for up to 60 minutes before symptoms of stress appear, longer than one hour is too much. Therefore, start by leaving your puppy alone for short amounts of time, allowing it to become accustomed to being alone. If your puppy has gone spent some time alone and hasn’t cried, you can reward it with affection, or opt for clicker training.

Why Is My Dog Whining - Causes - Why is my puppy crying?

Why is my dog whining?

Generally, the problem of a crying puppy can be solved with socialization and time. However, an adult dog crying is not as normal. Take a look at the below reasons which may be causing a dog to whine;

  • Fear: A dog can be frightened for different reasons. The reasons that may be triggering a dog to cry may include; noise or a situation of anxiety, such as being left alone at home for too long. A stressed dog can cause damage, becoming aggressive or destructive . In addition, if you have to leave your dog for long amount of times, make sure that it is occupied. There are several toys which can help keep a dog both psychologically and physically busy; including a Kong toy.
  • Necessity: A dog may be crying or whining because they need sometime. Maybe your dog is whining because it has run out of food or needs to pee. Once you offer your dog solutions to these problems, you will find that they stop crying. If you notice that your dog is crying a lot because they need to pee more, it may be a sign of pathology. Increased urination in dogs may be a sign of; urine infection or kidney problems. In this case, we recommend consulting a veterinarian, who will be able to diagnose the situation appropriately. For more, take a look at our article on; Urinary Incontinence In Dogs.
  • Pain: A sick dog or a dog that is in pain will whine, howl or cry. This is especially in the case that the painful area is touched or receives pressure. For example, if your dog cries when you touch its ear, this may be a sign of ear infection. If you believe your dog is in pain, we suggest going to your veterinarian as soon as possible. If your dog is whining suddenly, this pain hypothesis becomes more plausible.
  • Emotion: If your dog cries or whines when it meets new people or sees you, it can be a sign of over excitement. Dogs, like humans, express themselves through movement and sound. This is why when a dog is very excited they might whine, it is a way of channeling this emotion.
  • Loneliness: Like a puppy, if your dog is crying when left alone, it is because they feel lonely or sad. For more on how to deal with a sad dog, take a look at our article on; Why Do Dogs Cry When Left Alone.

Why do old dogs cry?

In addition to the causes that we have already mentioned, there are some additional reasons which need to be taken into consideration when an old dog cries. As a dog that gets older, it can suffer from a series of changes; mainly caused by mental and physical aging processes.

Adult dogs cry at night, for example, because their sleeping patterns alter. They often begin to spend more time sleeping during the day, and then, as a result, struggle to sleep at night. Dogs are habitual animals, and if their daily patterns change, they can become stressed.

Is your old dog crying? Pathological problems may be the reasons why. For example, problems of osteoarthritis and the pain included, can cause an older dog to cry. In addition, older dogs tend to become more disorientation, causing discomfort and fear: making them cry. In this case, we recommend consulting your veterinarian. For more on aging dogs, take a look at our article: Signs of Old Age In Dogs.

My dog is crying- what to do?

Now that we have explained why your dog is whining, we want to discuss how to stop a dog crying. First, we recommend always consulting a veterinarian, making sure that your dog is not suffering from a pathology. If your dog is not crying from pain,take a look at these options of what you can do to stop your dog from crying;

  • If you adopt a puppy, it should be at least 8-10 weeks old. This is because a puppy needs to experience family socialization with its mother, brothers and sisters; in order to develop properly. This will also help a puppy adapt easier to their new home.
  • Is your dog scared? A dog suffering from phobias must be desensitized by a professional, as well as with the case of separation anxiety in dogs. In this case, we recommend; daily exercise, educational toys and sufficient company for dogs suffering from anxiety and fear.
  • Always make sure that your dog has enough water and food when left alone.
  • If the dog cries out of nervousness and over-excitement, especially when greeting; diminish this behavior by avoiding caressing it at that moment. This act will teach a dog that crying will not result in caresses.
  • If your dog won’t stop crying, we recommend seeing a specialist or canine ethologist. A professional trained in canine behavior modification or a canine educator may aid in stopping a dog from whining, crying or howling.
Why Is My Dog Whining - Causes - My dog is crying- what to do?

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