Why Do Dogs Cry? 3 Tips to Stop Your Puppy Crying at Night
One of the first questions that pops into most new owners’ minds: Why do dogs cry?
Especially a puppy whining at night.
You would’ve wondered it too at some point or other, frustrated by the constant whining from the crate while you’re trying to get some sleep.
But here’s the thing:
A dog crying at night isn’t an uncommon occurrence.
And understanding why is the first step towards finding the answer to the question of how to train your puppy not to cry at night.
Why Do Dogs Cry at Night?
There could be a variety of reasons why your puppy is whining at night.
Usually, it’s mostly simple needs like needing a bathroom break or hunger.
But with new puppies or dogs you’ve just brought home after adoption, the problem may be deeper.
Think about it.
If you were a kid who had to leave his family to move into a strange new place with strange new people – a place you can’t quite call home yet – how would you react initially?
A crying puppy in such a situation isn’t all too hard to understand, is it?
So how to make a puppy stop crying at night?
As you can imagine, the answer would change depending on the reason. So let’s take a look at the most likely ones:
1. Physical Discomfort
Is your puppy hungry? Is it too warm or cold? When did you last take her for a bathroom break?
2. Lack of Exercise or Play
Been skipping out on walks or playtime?
3. Separation Anxiety
New puppies and dogs need some time adjusting to their new homes and family. Whining and crying is their instinctive way of seeking help and protection.
4. Other Needs
Is he missing his regular toy? Did you forget to pet him since you came home?
If his crying sounds distressed and/or he’s really persistent, he might be sick or injured. Have your vet check him out to be safe.
Yes. Some little rascals like to complain when they’re bored.
Tips on How to Stop Your Puppy from Crying
Now that you more or less know the answer to the question “Why do dogs cry?” you should be better able to choose the right solution for your own pup.
Let’s look at a few simple tips on how to stop a puppy from crying at night so you both can get a decent night’s rest:
1. Be Consistent Each Night So Your Puppy isn’t Missing Anything
Consistency is good. Especially with dogs.
Consistency, routine, familiarity – these are comforting and help your puppy feel safe and content.
What do we mean by consistency and routine?
Everyday things like your puppy’s regular sleeping spot, the toy he likes to sleep with, his rug, and scheduled potty breaks.
These may not seem all that important on the face of it.
But guess what? Why do dogs cry?
Miss or neglect one or more, and you can count on a bit of whining, if not a straight-up tantrum.
Tuck your puppy up as you always do every night. And if you aren’t doing that, start a set routine.
For instance, if you don’t like your puppy sleeping with you every time, simply don’t allow it at first.
Not until he’s firmly in the habit of sleeping in his crate or other regular spots.
Then you may allow the occasional cuddly sleep – and he most likely won’t complain if he’s not allowed in bed tomorrow too.
2. Don’t Give-In too Easily – You’ll Only Prove You’re Easy
Sure, it’s hard.
Ignoring that heart-breaking whine can be really, really painful. Especially as a new owner.
But you have to do it if you really want a peaceful night’s sleep.
Once you’re quite, quite sure (run a mental checklist) that your puppy:
- lacks nothing after tucking in – whether it’s food, water, exercise, a timely potty break or any other regular thing
- is definitely not hurting or sick
- is quite comfortable in bed
…that whining and crying is pretty much out of boredom or in a quest to seek attention.
We know what you’ll say next:
“But my puppy cries all night!!”
“A bit of whining in the day is fine, but how long will my puppy cry at night??”
A puppy would rarely cry all night. Usually, unless there’s a good reason, your puppy will tire itself out within 15-30 minutes.
If your puppy is crying for hours on end, something may well be the matter.
Make sure he doesn’t need more potty breaks – puppies will definitely need more than one through the night.
And remember you’re best off consulting your vet whenever in doubt.
3. Things to Keep in Mind with New Puppies
Dog whining and crying are most common when you bring a new one into your home.
Like we said earlier, it’s natural. Especially with puppies.
Leaving your own pack for a new home can be really stressful for the initial few days.
So it’s up to you to make your new puppy relax and get comfortable as quickly as possible.
And you can do it in the following ways:
- Getting him set in his routines quickly
- Letting him find his own regular sleeping spot and setting it up there if it’s doable
- Include multiple potty breaks through the night
- Take precautions like using newspapers – or better, puppy pads – in a corner of his crate. No one can sleep in a soiled bed!
- Try to tire him out by night with lots of play and engaging activity
So…do dogs cry at night? Yeah. But as you’ve just read, there’s plenty you can do about it.
We hope you found these tips useful to get your new puppy to sleep better at night. If you have some of your own that you found worked well, do let us know in the comments section below!
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I’ve rehomed a 3 year old bulldog from a family member- I walk him for at least an hour each evening before bed between 7&9 and he tired and sleeps til 1.30/2am then cries at the bottom of the stairs for ages which means I go downstairs and end up on the sofa. He can’t be hungry as there’s food available at all times, I let him out incase he needs the toilet and sometimes he goes but sometimes he doesn’t. I think he has separation anxiety. We have an older dog and I try and put her with him to see if that helps but it doesn’t really although they do get on. It’s as if it has to be me with him and now after 6 weeks it’s starting to take its toll on my marriage and my health as I rarely get more than 3 hours sleep a night!
What can I do to help him, is there a “rescue remedy” for dogs that might help him stay settled for longer? I use it myself sometimes but don’t want to essentially dose him up just to sleep! I say goodnight to him when I go up and close the stair gate behind me but he then just stands rattling the gate and crying, eventually barking. Do you think getting a crate and making it comfy and dark would help? I don’t have a lot of money to spend on trying so many different costly methods but I’m willing to try as much as I can so we can both have a good nights sleep. Please help!