Help! Why Is My Dog Going Crazy at Night?

In our experience, if you see a dog going crazy at night, becoming restless at night, he is probably dealing with one of these problems:


Why Is My Dog Going Crazy at Night?

I love my dog. What the owner doesn’t?

When something’s bothering my dog, it affects me, not just because he acts up, but because I care about him.

Some of the most disturbing times are when I hear him barking, whining, scratching, or pacing restlessly all night long.

I ask myself, why is my dog going crazy at night? And what can I do to put him at ease, for his good and my own?

I’m so close to my dog, and we’re so accustomed to each other, that I sometimes forget he can’t actually tell me what’s on his mind.

Most of the time, I know what he’s thinking, so he probably thinks I can read his mind.

Therefore, it’s sobering to realize there are still things he can’t tell me, and I think that makes him feel less secure.

I’ve dealt with plenty of restless dogs, and the main cause always seems to be one of several things.

Of course, there are exceptions, and there may be occasions when a dog needs special care, but 9 times out of 10, addressing these issues will help a restless dog get some peace of mind.

Here are the problems that make him go crazy at night that I’ve identified:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Separation anxiety
  • Something he hears or smells
  • Parasites
  • Pain


Lack of Exercise

Let’s face it: few of us still take our dogs out for hunting sprees. Our lives have changed drastically since we began living with dogs.

All things considered, that’s probably for the best, and today’s pet dogs have a much longer average lifespan than their wild ancestors.

However, the sedentary life dogs now share with us doesn’t always meet all their needs.

Sometimes, more walking and playing during the day helps my dog rest at night.


Separation Anxiety

The downside of my dog’s devotion is his emotional dependence on me.

By now, he’s learned that I’m not going to abandon him, but he has experienced separation anxiety over the years.

For me, going out to the store is a minor errand. For him, it could mean anything, as he doesn’t know whether I’ll be gone for 20 minutes or 12 hours.

And though I’m with him at night, he knows I leave in the morning.

Why is my dog going crazy at night? He might just be thinking about the next day.


Something He Hears or Smells

Everyone knows that dogs can hear and smell things we can’t. Once again, if they could only tell us what they sense, then we could get right to the heart of the matter.

Most of the time, when my dog hears or smells something suspicious, he wants to show me. If I get out of bed and follow, he’ll try to lead me towards whatever it is.

The sources of those mystery sounds and scents can also be very concerning, like a gas leak or pests in the house, both of which would make a dog pretty desperate to communicate.



Some of the most well-known parasites that afflict dogs are fleas, and they do indeed make it near impossible for them to sleep.

Fleas’ favorite place to chill is right in the dog’s bed. The upside of dealing with fleas is that plenty of solutions exist, and a cream to get rid of them is not overly costly.

Without intervention, though, they would drive our dogs crazy endlessly.

Another type of parasite that can drive a dog up the wall is worms.

There are different types of worms, and some are more dangerous than others, but they can all cause discomfort to our four-legged friends.

The vet can also handle those, but until your dog convinces you something’s wrong, the worms aren’t going anywhere.

Why is my dog going restless at night? Well, who wouldn’t?



This is one of the most serious causes of canine restlessness. On rare occasions, when my dog is going crazy at night, it’s actually because he is suffering.

He has no way of telling me this, or even of knowing what’s causing it, but he knows when he hurts.

If nothing else explains its restlessness, your dog could be in real pain.


In Any Case…

One thing I always keep in mind, no matter how much ruckus my dog makes at night, is that it’s not his fault and that he needs my support.

Whatever the cause is, I never punish him or make him feel guilty for his nighttime unrest.

So why is my dog going crazy at night? It could be a lot of things, but it’s not the end of the world.

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