The Mystery of the Midnight Howls: Why Do Dogs Cry at Night?

It’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma of why do dogs cry at night. Do they have nightmares? Are they feeling lonely and sad?

Or are they trying to communicate something to us humans who, unfortunately, can’t understand their language?

Whatever the reason may be for our furry friends shedding tears during the night, it’s clear that we need to pay attention and try to figure out what our beloved pet is trying to tell us.

Let’s explore together the reasons behind those mysterious cries!

Why do dogs cry at night?

Dogs crying at night can be a worrying and unsettling thing for pet owners.

It’s important to understand why dogs cry at night so that you can take the necessary steps to help your pet and make sure they are happy and content.

There could be a variety of reasons why a dog might be crying at night. Some of the most common causes are outlined below:

1. Separation Anxiety

If your pup has been left alone in an unfamiliar environment or if they have recently been separated from their family members, they may start to feel anxious and become vocal as a result.

This is because dogs rely heavily on social interaction with humans and other animals to remain mentally stimulated. When they suddenly find themselves without this stimulation, they may become distressed and start to cry.

2. Fear or Stress

Sometimes dogs can become scared or stressed due to loud noises such as fireworks, thunderstorms, or other environmental factors.

When this happens, they may start to bark excessively and cry out of fear or anxiety in an effort to alert their owners that something is wrong.

3. Illness

If your dog has recently been diagnosed with a medical condition such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, or any other debilitating disease, they may experience pain and discomfort at night which could cause them to cry out of distress.

4. Boredom

Dogs require daily physical and mental stimulation in order to stay fit, healthy, and happy and when this isn’t met they can become bored.

If your pup is not getting enough activity or stimulation during the day, it may start to bark and howl out of boredom at night.

5. Reacting to Noises

If there are unfamiliar noises outside such as cars driving past or people talking, dogs may become curious and start to bark in order to investigate.

This could be a sign that your pup is feeling protective over its home and territory.

6. Attention Seeking

Some dogs may cry out for attention from their owners as an attention-seeking tactic when they feel lonely or neglected.

7. Territorial Aggression

Dogs that have a strong territorial instinct may bark at strangers and other animals that enter their space, even if it’s just outside the house.

This could be a sign of aggression and should be addressed with proper training and positive reinforcement.

If you’re worried about your pup’s crying at night, it’s best to seek advice from a qualified veterinarian or canine behaviorist who can help you identify the cause of their distress and provide advice on how to address the problem.

What to do when dogs cry at night?

When dogs cry at night it can be incredibly frustrating and disruptive, especially if you are trying to get a good night’s sleep!

Luckily, there are some simple steps that you can take to help reduce the amount of barking and crying your pooch does in the evening.

Here are five tips for dealing with nighttime noise from your pup:

1. Exercise during the day:

One of the best ways to prevent excess energy buildup and nighttime whining is to exercise your dog during the day.

If possible, take them for a long walk or play an energetic game of fetch so they will have already expended plenty of energy by nightfall. This should help keep their vocal outbursts to a minimum.

2. Give them something to do:

Provide your dog with toys, treats, or other objects they can play with while they are alone in the evening.

This will give them something to occupy their time and keep them distracted from barking or howling.

3. Ignore it:

It may be hard, but if you can ignore your pup’s nighttime outbursts, chances are they’ll eventually stop.

Your dog is likely seeking attention when they cry at night so try not to reward this behavior by acknowledging it.

4. Seek professional help:

If your pup’s nighttime crying persists despite your best efforts, consider taking them to a professional dog trainer for help.

They can work with you directly to determine the root cause of the problem and come up with a tailored plan of action to address it.

5. Try a calming remedy:

If your dog is particularly anxious or excited during the night, try giving them some type of calming remedy such as an herbal supplement or scented oil.

This should help soothe their nerves and make them more likely to sleep peacefully through the night without disruption.


While nighttime barking can be an annoying problem for owners and neighbors alike, understanding the underlying cause of your pup’s distress is key to solving the issue.

Whether it’s pain from a medical condition, boredom, territorial aggression or simply attention-seeking behavior, there are steps you can take to help reduce or stop their nighttime crying.

So if your pup is keeping you up all night long, consider trying one of these five tips today!

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