Trying to catch a wink of sleep with your puppy crying at night in his crate can be quite difficult. Your neighbors may just as much be bothered if the crying is really loud. Unfortunately, it is a reality that many dog owners have to contend with after the arrival of a new puppy. There is no escaping it: with a new puppy, you are unlikely to sleep for a solid hour a night over the course of a few days. But it is not all doom and gloom. This article will share with you tips on how to stop your puppy from crying at night.
- Reasons for Puppy Crying At Night
- Stress or Separation Anxiety
- Potty Needs
- Getting Your Attention
- How Long Does Puppy Crying At Night Last?
- How to Stop Your Puppy from Crying At Night
- Play with Your Puppy before Bedtime
- Set a Feeding Routine
- Take Your Puppy for a Potty Trip and Have a Schedule for the Same
- Train Your Dog to Respect Bedtime
- Ignore Your Puppy
- Set a Radio to Low Volume
- Ensure the Crate is Comfortable
- Distract Your Dog with Toys
- Invest in Adaptil Diffuser
Reasons for Puppy Crying At Night
You have probably googled, “why is my puppy crying at night?” worried sick that something is wrong with him. If you did, then you will be delighted that this behavior is more often than not nothing an indication of something serious. It is most commonly got to do with your dog’s natural emotional and physiological needs. Here are among the top possible reasons for your puppy crying at night.
Stress or Separation Anxiety
It is not uncommon for a new puppy to keep crying on the first night in the new home. This is because dogs naturally live in packs. The puppy knows instinctively that it might be exposed to dangers being separated from his mother and littermates.
Crying and whining is how a puppy tries to get the attention of his pack members so they can find him. Puppies are more likely to cry at night than during the day since this is the time they are left alone. The darkness and silence don’t make the situation any better.
Spontaneous puppy crying at night is more often than not a call-out for attention when the puppy needs to go to the bathroom. Even adult dogs may be unable to go through the night without making a trip to the toilet when they first move to a new home. Some people attribute this to the stress associated with moving to a new environment, but a change in diet can irritate the dog’s digestive system and contribute to the problem.
Another likely reason for a puppy crying at night in his crate is discomfort, especially from cold. Puppies and small dogs such as Chihuahuas get chilly relatively more easily if exposed to very low temperatures. This can happen if the temperature of the room where their crate is located fall way too low.
Getting Your Attention
Getting your attention may be the real reason you have to contend with your puppy crying all night despite having a comfortable crate. Chances are that your new canine friend has learned that whining and crying get your attention. This can happen if you reach down and cuddle him every time she cries in the middle of the night. The act serves as a positive reinforcement for the behavior.
How Long Does Puppy Crying At Night Last?
Although most puppies find it difficult to sleep through the night when they move to a new home and keep crying at night, the behavior is often short-lived.
Most puppies will get acclimatized to their new environment in just a few nights, but it may take as long as a week or more. Age plays a role in how fast the puppy gets over the problem. A puppy aged over 6 months will stop crying at night in just a night or two in most cases. As for sleeping through the night, most dogs will achieve this by the time they are 16 weeks old, says PetBarn.
With the tips outlined in the section, you will be able to teach your puppy to sleep through the night and stop nighttime crying even earlier.
How to Stop Your Puppy from Crying At Night
With a little guidance and patience, you will be able to make your puppy get comfortable as well as help him grow out of the nighttime crying. Here are a few tips to consider:
Play with Your Puppy before Bedtime
In the hours leading to bedtime, play with your puppy so that she is tired enough to have a deep sleep. This will also help to keep your puppy awake in the hours leading to bedtime.
Yes, you should not let your little fellow sleep too much in the evening. Otherwise, she might end up waking up full of energy just about when you are getting ready to sleep or in the middle of the night. For a new puppy, that can mean hours of loneliness and, of course, crying.
Set a Feeding Routine
The Raising Spot website suggests removing any food and water that remains after 6 or 7 pm to ensure that your little friend’s stomach is running on empty during sleep time. This will save you a few rounds to the bathroom, not to mention reduce the risk of nighttime accidents in the crate or kennel.
Take Your Puppy for a Potty Trip and Have a Schedule for the Same
Is your puppy crying at night after hours of calm and silence? He or she could be having an urge to go potty. You should not ignore these spontaneous crying lest – even if it is not yet the scheduled time to go for a potty trip. If you do, your puppy might end up going potty in the crate.
But that is not the worst part either: that single instance of crate soiling could set a trajectory for habitual crate soiling.
Puppies generally have small bladders and are not able to hold for long. They pass urine as much as 12 times a day. A general guideline to use when creating your puppy’s schedule for going out is adding one to every month of age. A two-month puppy will in this regards be able to hold on for 3 hours before going for a toilet break. A three-month-old puppy will be able to wait 4 hours before going for a trip outside.
From these guidelines, if a two-month-old puppy goes to bed at 10 p.m., wake him up for a toilet break at 1 am, then again at 4 a.m.
Equally important part of your puppy’s nighttime schedule is to take him the puppy to his soiling area just before bedtime and waiting for him to go. When he does, pat him in the back to reinforce the habit.
Train Your Dog to Respect Bedtime
Closely related to the previous point when trying to stop your puppy from crying at night is paying attention to the cues you pass when taking your puppy outside for a toilet trip. Although you might be tempted to talk to your dog and coo him during the trip, don’t. The puppy might get positively reinforced and keep crying throughout the night just to wake you up.
Don’t even turn on the lights on. Pick the puppy out of his crate, carry him to the potty area, allow him a couple minutes to do his business, and then take him back to the crate with no fuss. This will teach your puppy that nighttime is not playtime.
Ignore Your Puppy
If you have already taken your puppy to the toilet yet she keeps crying throughout the night, just ignore him. If your puppy gets your attention every time he whines, he will know that all he has to do to have you there is a whine. And trust you me, he will. Probably the whole night. And you will hardly sleep.
As harsh as it may sounds, ignore your puppy and she will soon learn that crying at night in the crate will get him nowhere. If need be, get yourself some earplugs.
Set a Radio to Low Volume
The sound of radio (or ticking clock) often helps in preventing and stopping puppy crying at night. It makes the dog feel that it is not alone. Just make sure that you set it to a low, soothing volume lest it becomes counterproductive.
Ensure the Crate is Comfortable
First of all, you will want to make sure that the temperature of the room in which the crate is situated is not too low for your puppy comfort. Have some warm bedding in there. If your little friend is not used to a crate, you will want to tether him close to your bed and provide him with an old blanket or bedsheet to keep him warm.
When you are concerned about your new puppy crying at night in his crate, you may be tempted to sleep with him in your bed. DON’T. It will be very difficult to dismiss your new puppy or adult dog him from your bed later on.
Distract Your Dog with Toys
Chewing toys goes a long way in helping a dog that keeps crying at night in his crate. Consider having some of your puppy’s favorite chewing toys in the nighttime crate.
You can also teach your new puppy to love the chew toys. One trick is to stop feeding your puppy from his bowl and instead load his food into a feeder chew toy. Awesome Kong is on such a toy. Once stuffed with the food, feed your puppy from it right inside the crate. That way, your dog will get used to chewing there.
At night, you can then drop a dog-safe chew toy to distract him through the sleepless hours of the night that would have probably gone into crying.
Invest in Adaptil Diffuser
This is a unique product that is designed to prevent and stop puppy crying by giving off pheromone, a chemical given off by nursing moms. In so doing, it makes the puppy feel safe and relaxed enough to sleep soundly through the night.
- Canine Journal: How to Stop Your Puppy from Crying in its Crate
- Cesarsway.com: How to get a Good Night’s Sleep for You and Your Dog
- TheHouseBreakingBible.com: Surviving the Night with Your New Puppy
- RaisingSpot.com: First Night Home with Puppy