There’s no doubt that life with a dog is fun and keeps pet owners on their toes. However, it’s not always fun and games, and there are a few bumps in the road that all pet owners have to face. This may include issues as small as your dog’s timid behavior to ones as significant as your dog being moody and picky.
One of the most common problems that most pet parents face is their dog crying at night. Hearing their dog crying and whining is something that no pet owner wants to live with! A worried pet owner who may be experiencing this situation may wonder – is there any solution for it? The good news is, yes, there is.
This blog post aims to explain why dog whining happens in the first place and some of the surefire ways to stop this issue from recurring. So without any further ado, let’s get started.
Why Dogs Whine at Night
Like humans, dogs also have a way to express their emotions. Just as they show their love and happiness, they also display sadness in many forms. One of these ways is through whining and crying.
Here are 8 reasons why dogs whine at night.
- Separation Anxiety
- In Pain
- Attention Seeking
- Trespasser Alert
- Disorientation & Dementia
- Feeling Cold
- A Calling Signal
Separation anxiety triggers feelings of stress and loneliness in many dogs. They begin to moan the moment you leave them alone. If your dog’s designated sleeping area is outside your room, or in the doghouse outside your home, then this separation may cause them a bit of distress.
They may behave normally as long as you’re spending time with them – playing with them, feeding them, etc. But the minute you leave them by themselves, they may start missing you and end up whining and howling.
Separation anxiety is common among newly-adopted dogs. They may not be comfortable in their new home as yet, and being on their own may make them feel abandoned. This could be a sign that they are missing their old homes or owners. They may also display signs of stress if a member of their pack leaves or a new one shows up out of the blue. If you leave your pet with the new companion at night, the chances are your dog won’t feel comfortable and will start whining.
This may come as a huge surprise, but dogs rarely whine when they suffer from chronic pain (they’ll show signs of chronic pain in other ways). But if they’re experiencing acute pain, they certainly will vocalize their pain and discomfort. This usually happens when it becomes almost unbearable for the dog to bear the pain.
To know if your dog is in terrible pain, look for signs of aggression or withdrawal, altered breathing, and changes in their eating and drinking pattern. Older pets suffering from arthritis may display physical signs of pain. They may not be able to sit or lie properly. If your dog whimpers or whines at night, this may be one reason why it’s doing so. In this case, you need to book an appointment with a vet as soon as possible.
Some dogs whine at night because they simply want their owners’ attention. They may feel ignored and left out and whine because they’re trying to get your attention.
You may observe puppies craving for attention the most as they are not trained to be left alone. So when you leave your puppy alone at night for the first time, it’s natural for them to moan and cry.
Just because you’re ready for bed doesn’t mean that your dog is, too. They may be super active and ready to play. In times like these, they may feel bored, and if you keep them in their crate for too long, they may start whining uncontrollably.
In the presence of a trespasser, a dog usually starts barking or howling. However, if a trespasser has injured your dog in some way, they will likely moan. Don’t ever ignore your dog’s whimpers. As soon as you hear them moaning, go to them to see what the issue is.
Disorientation and Dementia
This is an age-related issue, common in older dogs. If your older dog develops dementia or disorientation, they may feel stressed or lost at times. These feelings of confusion may be triggered at night when they are left by themselves. You shouldn’t let this cognitive issue go unnoticed; take your dog to a vet immediately.
During winters, dogs begin moaning at night because they’re cold. If they sleep on a bare floor or in a kennel outside, make sure that you provide them with some sort of insulated bedding. If your dog sleeps in the same room as you, make sure that the windows of your room are all closed.
The bedding should be warm and cozy so that your dog feels comfy the entire night. When using this method, ensure that your dog doesn’t get too hot. If they start to feel uncomfortably warm, they might start to chew on the stands of the bedding or blanket.
A Calling Signal
Dogs usually howl in the wild to locate their pack members and gather them all in one place. Similarly, domestic dogs may howl to signal other members in the house of their presence. This is their way of inviting you to play with them or spend time with them.
Ways to Stop Dogs from Whining at Night. Get our course here.
Once you figure out what’s keeping your dog up and whiney at night, you can easily find a solution to their problem. Here are some of the simplest ways to stop your dog from being all edgy and mournful at night.
Introduce a Crate to Your Dog. See crate prices on Amazon
This is helpful when your dog feels lonely and insecure at night. They may feel sad and abandoned if you leave them alone downstairs. In times like these, familiarize your dog with a crate. Make sure it’s nice and welcoming. Place warm bedding and decorate it with fun toys, so they don’t feel like you’re leaving them on their own.
Here’s how you can introduce crate training to your furry companion:
Set Up a Crate First
First and foremost, it is important for you to set up a nice crate in your home or in your backyard (whatever suits your living situation). Do this in front of your dog so that they are aware of what you are doing. Dogs are curious creatures, so if they see what’s going on, they’ll want to get in on the action.
Bring Your Dog Near the Crate
The next step is to introduce the crate to your dog. Bring them close to it and talk to them in a happy tone. Encourage them to go inside the crate. You can do this by placing small treats at the far end of the crate. If they refuse to go inside the crate, don’t force them. Give your dog some time and then try again a few days later.
Continue to Place Treats in the Crate
You should continue placing treats in the crate until your dog readily goes into the crate to retrieve the food. Now, start feeding your dog in the crate. Once they finish their food, unlock the crate. Make sure to keep their crate for only a short amount of time in the beginning stages.
Let them Stay in the Crate for Longer Periods
As your dog becomes fully familiar with the crate and is comfortable with eating its meals inside the crate, increase their crate time. Give them treats in the crate, sit with them for 5 to 10 minutes, and then leave them for a short amount of time. Do this a couple of times a day to increase the time that your dog remains in the crate each day.
Use a Crate Your Dog When You Leave the House
When you step out of the house for a few moments (to run errands or meet a friend), put your dog in a crate. This will prepare them to stay in a crate alone at night.
Crate at Night
Put your dog in a crate just as you do at any other time of the day. Order them to go inside it and then close the door behind them. Make sure to place a nice treat in the crate and put the crate near your bedroom or in a hallway. This will make sure that your dog feels comfortable, knowing that you’re right there if it needs you.
Play Calm and Soothing Music
We can’t deny the soothing power of soft music. If you thought that calming music is only good for humans, think again. Just as relaxing tunes help calm your nerves, they have the same effect on your precious pet, too. This is a great way to relax dogs that suffer from stress and anxiety of any form, especially if they frequently experience separation anxiety.
Play some classical music or landscape music for your dog. Playing the piano is also a great way to help relax your dog. They will feel at ease instantly and won’t panic at night. This stress-relieving technique also helps you bond with your dog since it’s an activity that both of you are engaging in.
Help Them Relax with Familiar Smells
As mentioned above, dogs often crave attention at night, especially if they’re not ready to go to sleep. As such, they may want you to be up and about and be with them. You can ignore this if it happens once or twice, but if it happens more frequently, you may want to look for a way to put an end to this behavior.
What you can do is put something that smells of you in their bedding; this can be your old t-shirt or jumper. This will offer your dog enough comfort to get through the night peacefully.
Ignore Your Dog’s Crying
For most dogs, crying at night is the easiest way to get their owners’ attention. When they see that their owners come running at the sound of their crying, they make it a habit to whine to alert their owners. The quickest way to break this habit is by ignoring them for a while.
However, this is easier said than done. It’s difficult for a pet owner to ignore the cries of their pet, and you may feel guilty for a few days; you may not be able to ignore them as much as you want.
If your dog is perfectly healthy and has been properly fed, watered, and has been out on its walk, then it’s possible that it’s making noises just to get your attention. The best thing you can do is ignore your dog by not talking to it or playing with it.
Ensure that Your Dog Is Tired
Forcing your dog to sleep when it’s active and energetic is a bad idea. They may stay in their crate happily, but after a while, they will start moaning. They won’t let you sleep peacefully, so it’s better to check that your dog is worn-out before you put them to bed. You can make them exercise for an hour or two to utilize their excess energy. Take them out for a walk or play some energetic indoor games, such as fetch games.
Make Sure Your Dog is Pain-Free
Most dogs suffer from physical pain, which they only realize once they lie down. If you know that your dog is physically ill and that’s what’s making them moan at night, take your pet to the vet right away!
Often times, excessive whining can be dealt with training, daily exercise, and mental stimulation. But if this behavior persists, you may want to consult a vet, or better – a trainer or a behaviorist. Also, try the techniques that we’ve discussed in this blog to ensure that your dog stays quiet at night, and you enjoy a calm, peaceful sleep.