There are several explanations for why my dog is crying at night, and luckily, most of them are harmless. Even if the situation is unlikely to be life-threatening, it’s important to identify what’s behind this shift in your dog’s behaviour so you can assist in resolving it.
In this post, we’ll discuss six explanations why your dog might seem to be crying at night for no apparent cause. Utilize this list to assist you in narrowing down the possible cause of your dog’s dilemma and determining what to do next.
Common Reasons Why Is My Dog Crying At Night
Pain or Other Medical Complications
When a dog is in distress, he or she will cry. If your dog whines more often while lying down, she might be suffering from joint discomfort or some issue related to her location. Additionally, she might have difficulty breathing while asleep or a variety of other issues that contribute to her moaning.
Due to their health problems, dogs that are advanced in age or have chronic illnesses can complain more at night than other dogs. Whether your dog falls under one of these categories—or if you have a suspicion that she might be in pain when lying down—take her to the veterinarian immediately.
While nighttime moaning can have many more innocent reasons, there is still a risk it is occurring because your dog is in pain or ill. As a result, you can totally rule out this idea with your veterinarian before diagnosing the cause of the moaning.
Constipation and Other Digestive Problems
Occasionally, pets get overweight or have disturbed stomachs due to consuming food that does not appeal to them, which could explain why the dog whines at night for no apparent purpose. This problem can be caused by feeding your dog low-quality food or a diet filled with intolerable or allergenic ingredients.
Dogs who consume very quickly can cause bloating and become very ill with other digestive problems.
If you believe your dog’s stomach is in pain, consider switching to a higher-quality diet. Maintain a diet composed of basic, natural ingredients that she can digest easily.
Additionally, you may like to feed her a rather boring diet for a few days, consisting primarily of cooked rice and boiled chicken. If the crying subsides over this period, you can reasonably believe the problem is related to her food.
This could be an issue that your doctor will assist you with, so make an appointment if you believe your pet is experiencing abdominal pressure or intestinal problems.
Dogs need a great deal of stimulation, and they often need significantly more activity than many house dogs do. If you do not exercise your dog for at least 30 minutes daily, she is likely to get frustrated with her routine.
When your dog becomes lonely and the rest of the family has gone to bed, she may begin barking at night for no apparent reason. She is most definitely after love or someone to play with her, or she might simply want to be allowed out into the yard to run around—at any moment!
Numerous pets have separation anxiety. Whether your dog begins barking immediately after you leave or just whines when she cannot sleep in the bed or space with you, she might be suffering from separation anxiety. Your veterinarian may make recommendations about behaviour therapy and can even provide drugs to aid in the process.
Some forms of fear may also be to blame for your dog’s nighttime barking. For instance, if your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, she is likely to bark and could even hide or get violent at certain times.
Without the correct behavioural care, dogs who can practise whining at night during their lives can continue to do so as they age. A lack of preparation may be the sole reason your dog continues to whine incessantly at night.
You may need to enrol your dog in an obedience programme so that the two of you can work together on this topic. You may even discuss employing a dog trainer to concentrate exclusively on the barking issue and resolve it one-on-one. In either case, further preparation might be the answer.
Is a Puppy!
Finally, your dog might be crying during the night for no apparent reason other than the fact that she is a baby! Puppies cry significantly more than adult dogs, which is perfectly common. They whine to express their longing for their mothers and littermates, and they whine about gaining your affection.
Although it can be difficult to silence a crying puppy, and you may feel bad for doing so, it is important to remain calm when she whines. This will provide her with constructive reinforcement by leading her to believe she will get praise for crying, ensuring that the dilemma will never end. Other than that, neglect her until she is still and then reward her with a treat for good behavior.
Aging and Nighttime Crying
As dogs age, various physical and cognitive changes occur that can affect their behavior, including their sleep patterns. It’s not uncommon for older dogs to start crying at night, and there could be several reasons behind this behavior.
One of the primary factors can be a decline in their cognitive function, a condition known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) or ‘doggy dementia.’ This decline can lead to confusion and disorientation, making your dog feel anxious, especially during the quieter nighttime hours. They might not recognize familiar surroundings or get confused about their normal routines, which can lead to crying.
Another contributing factor could be physical discomfort. Aging dogs often suffer from health issues like arthritis, dental disease, or internal ailments, causing pain or discomfort. These physical discomforts might become more noticeable during the night, when your dog has fewer distractions, and can result in nighttime crying.
Hearing and vision loss, common in older dogs, can also make them more anxious. Their inability to see or hear as well can make the world a scarier place, and this fear and confusion can manifest as crying at night.
Changes in their sleep-wake cycle can also lead to nighttime crying. Older dogs may sleep more during the day, which can disrupt their sleep at night. Or they may develop a condition known as sundowner syndrome, where their agitation and confusion increase during the evening hours.
If your aging dog starts crying at night, it’s important to first rule out any medical issues. A visit to the vet can help determine if your dog is in pain or if there’s a cognitive decline.
Seek Assistance if The Dog Whines Incessantly at Night
There are still additional possible explanations for why the dog whines at night. If you feel like this list has been insufficiently helpful, it’s time to contact your veterinarian. There may be an underlying medical condition you are unaware of, or you may need extra help for behavioural problems.
If your dog is an adult and has just been whining more than normal, make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any serious health issues. There is a possibility that she is in distress, but take the time to determine for certain whether or not this is the case for your dog before considering any possibilities.
Tips to Soothe Your Crying Dog at Night
When your dog is crying at night, it can be both concerning and disruptive. However, there are several strategies you can use to soothe your dog and help them feel more secure.
- Establish a Routine: Dogs thrive on routine. Establishing a consistent schedule for meals, walks, playtime, and bedtime can provide a sense of security and reduce anxiety.
- Evening Exercise: A good walk or play session in the evening can help tire your dog out and promote better sleep at night.
- Comforting Environment: Make sure your dog’s sleeping area is comfortable, quiet, and safe. Consider adding a favorite toy or blanket that carries your scent for additional comfort.
- Night Light: If vision loss is an issue, leaving a soft light on can help your dog navigate and feel more secure in their surroundings at night.
- White Noise: Some dogs find the sound of a fan, a white noise machine, or soft music comforting, and it can mask other sounds that might be causing anxiety.
- Address Any Medical Issues: Pain, discomfort, or conditions such as urinary tract infections can cause crying. Regular vet check-ups can help catch and address these issues early.
- Consider Professional Help: If your dog’s nighttime crying continues without any clear cause, consider seeking help from a professional dog behaviorist. They can provide further insight into your dog’s behavior and offer tailored strategies to help manage the issue.
Remember, it’s crucial to approach your dog’s nighttime crying with patience and empathy. They’re not trying to disrupt your sleep intentionally; they’re communicating their discomfort or distress the only way they know how. Your understanding and proactive steps to address the problem can make a world of difference in ensuring peaceful nights for both you and your furry friend.
Understanding why your dog is crying at night can often feel like a complex puzzle. It’s a behavior that can stem from various factors, be it physical discomfort, emotional distress, or changes due to aging. However, with careful observation, a regular routine, and the right comforting measures, it’s entirely possible to soothe your dog’s nocturnal cries and ensure restful sleep for both of you.
Keep in mind that some cases may require professional intervention, so never hesitate to consult with a vet or dog behaviorist if your dog’s nighttime crying persists. In the end, understanding and empathy go a long way in ensuring your canine companion’s happiness and well-being. Remember, your dog relies on you to decipher their needs and provide comfort, especially when the sun goes down and the world becomes a little scarier for them.