Why Does My Dog Cry At Night?
There are many reasons your dog may cry at night including loneliness, anxiety, pain, and alerting you to noises he hears outside. Since there are so many possible reasons for the crying, it can be difficult to pinpoint the reason without looking at context and then working to eliminate each potential cause. The good news is that, more often than not, it's no cause for alarm when your dog cries at night.
Ruling Out A Medical Issue
Anytime there is any notable change in your dog's behavior, a visit to the vet is warranted. Since dogs can't tell you when they feel sick, you have to rely on other cues to know when something is wrong.
If your dog has typically been pretty settled at bedtime but suddenly has started crying at night, it's a good idea to schedule a vet visit to rule out a medical issue. Also note that some dogs begin crying at night as they age even in the absence of a medical problem.
Dealing With A Crying Dog
Once the vet gives your dog a clean bill of health, you'll have to decide how to deal with the crying. It sounds unkind, but don't run to comfort the dog every time he cries or he'll quickly learn that crying in the middle of the night equals attention.
Instead, keep these tips in mind:
- Puppies in a new home will cry. It's to be expected. Once they settle in and realize they are safe, it will stop on its own.
- It's possible that the crying stems from a lack of exercise. Try giving your dog an extra walk or two during the day.
- Limit food and water as it gets close to bedtime.
- Try playing soft music or the television to calm your pet.
- If the crying only occurs when you're out of the room, it's possible your dog has separation anxiety. Make note of any other behavior that seems off, and mention this to your vet.
- While you may have the urge to run to your pet anytime he cries at night, doing so only sets you up for the crying to continue indefinitely. Instead, try the tips above. If none work, talk to an animal behaviorist for advice tailored to your pet.
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