Dogs cry at night for a variety of reasons, some of which might signal serious emotional or physical problems. In addition to keeping you and your family awake, a crying dog can stress your neighbors and other pets. Learning why dogs cry at night will help you take steps to solve the problem.
Find out why she's crying
The first step in solving the issue of a dog crying at night is to determine the cause. If you have a puppy, the problem might be as simple as your dog's anxiety with its new, unfamiliar surroundings, explains animal behavior website Perfect Paws. In this case, make sure your puppy follows the same pre-bedtime routine each night. Make sure the dog's bed is in the same place each night and that she has the same bedding and toys in the bed.
Loneliness is another issue with crying dogs, especially if you and or your family spend most of the day with your pet. If you have recently adopted a dog, she might be stressed because she misses her previous caregiver, other pets she bonded with at the shelter or her change of surroundings, including her bed.
If the dog is sleeping in a crate or carrier for the first time, consider letting it sleep outside of the confinement during the evenings, training her with daytime naps in the crate while you're nearby.
Your vet might have other information for you, such as nutrition, exercise or health problems associated with the breed, even if the problem is only that your dog whines before going to sleep.
Tire your dog out
If your dog isn't getting much exercise, she might have trouble sleeping because she hasn't been able to work off excess energy. If you aren't able to play with your pet in a way that lets her run, jump and burn lots of calories, consider hiring a pet sitter or asking a neighbor to take your dog out to play. A good workout will catch up with your dog later and help her get to sleep sooner and achieve a deeper, more restful state, according to Sleep.org.
Don’t encourage crying
If each time your dog starts crying you come over to comfort her, your pet will realize that crying gets her love and attention. If your pet has just started crying, you might want to check out if there is a hazard or other problem you can quickly fix, such as a new smell, a loud clock or a fan or vent blowing on the dog. If you determine the dog is stressed, look for other ways to solve the problem after letting the dog alone for a few nights to see if the dog acclimates to its surroundings and the problem ends.
Call Your Vet If It Persists
Your dog might be crying at night because she has joint pain and lying down for a prolonged period hurts the pet, according to Caring Hearts Animal Hospital. If you aren't feeding your dog correctly, she might experience bloating or other discomfort, especially if you feed your dog later in the evening, closer to bedtime. After you've tried to determine the cause and remedy the situation, call your vet if the dog keeps crying at night.