About the Author: Emma loves to have dogs as her pets and with so much knowledge about dogs, she started MyPetDoggie.com to share it with other dog lovers and parents. She is a Pet Specialist and Pet Behavior Analyst, who studied at the University of South Dakota.
Bringing a new puppy into your home will liven up your life and fill you with happiness and some difficult times. The problem with puppies is that they tend to cry at night a lot. This raises the question Should I leave my puppy to call at night? Well, the simple answer is no.
Many underlying issues might be causing this problem, and for the better mental health of not only your puppy but also yours, you need to make sure that you find a way to soothe the puppy. This does not mean that you coddle them and constantly keep them in your bed.
Training your puppy to feel relaxed in the environment and getting used to it is very important. It is also very important to train your puppies to be comfortable in their crates and your home. There can also be many underlying issues that you may not even have considered. Let’s jump in and find out what might be causing the problem.
Should I Leave My Puppy To Cry At Night?
The way to tackle this issue is to be gradual with the approach. It can cause various mental health issues and a relatively negative association with the owner. Similar to babies, puppies also go through the transition of being separated from the litter, their mother, and a completely new environment. This can cause your puppies to feel lonely, anxious, and distressed. All of these emotions can cause them to bark or yelp at night.
Other reasons are more obvious such as using the toilet, hunger, thirst, and simply the need to be soothed or comforted. To ensure that you understand all these needs, you also need to understand their emotional makeup and find a way to stop them from being too needy. Crying puppies can also cause you a lot of stress and the desire to soothe them. The problem with that is that once you go and soothe them during the night you are associating the nighttime barking with the instant response from the owner.
This means they will see this as a way to get attention. And whenever you leave them alone at night they will bark through the night until they get your attention. Trust me it happened to my friend.
Why Do Puppies Cry At Night?
Having a puppy can be joyful but it can also be challenging. Naturally, when you bring a puppy into your home, they are surrounded by their owners all day long, playing, walking, eating, running, and using the toilet as needed with minimal assistance from the owner. However when the night falls the dynamic changes. The owners need to sleep and so do the puppies.
However, puppies are used to sleeping surrounded by their litter and their mom. When plucked from those comforts. The puppies are naturally more inclined to seek out these feelings from owners. To understand the crying behavior of a puppy at night we have listed down some reasons. These might help you understand why your puppies cry at night and hopefully answer Should I leave my puppy to cry at night? Let’s jump in.
New environment adjustment time:
New environments are hard to adjust for everyone from humans to animals. Puppies especially take in the environment very quickly and absorb a lot of the information they receive. Hence during the day, you may not see them crying a lot as there is a lot of attention being given to them, along with a lot of activity around the space.
This is why when nighttime comes and the owners are off to bed, leaving the puppy alone they become agitated. This can lead to them crying as they miss the feeling of being near their litter and mother. Hence the comfort of their mother and litter is missing hence they require that attention from you.
Puppies do experience a lot of separation anxiety. Many social studies have been done to prove that when a puppy is removed from the litter or separated from its mother, it is susceptible to much anxiety and stress. This is why when you bring a puppy home, the first few days or weeks it will miss its family.
Which will lead to crying all night to gain attention from the owner and the love that they crave. So you have a big job ahead of you when you bring a puppy home. From making sure the environment is just right for them but also ensuring you shower the puppy with enough love that its need is fulfilled.
Dogs and puppies when they need something will cry out to their caregivers in hopes that they will respond. From a wild to a domestic environment that instinct remains the same. As it is a behavior that they know will capture the attention of the caregiver, which can be the owner or the mother.
So when your puppy needs to pee, is scared, hungry, or even thirsty they will call out to the owners. Your job in those initial weeks will be to ensure that all their needs are being met.
Call of Nature:
Yes, you heard it right. Puppies have a small tummy, small bladder, and small bowels. If they eat before bedtime and even if they use the toilet they will still need to use the toilet again. It’s not that they are trying to bother the owner. This is just how it is.
Puppies are used to requiring the use of the bathroom multiple times at night. And for that reason, they will cry and try to gain your attention or else you will have to clean up the mess that was made in case you didn’t help them.
Transitioning from a litter to a solitary environment can be very jarring for the new puppies. They are used to sleeping in a huddle of their litter. But in a domestic environment, they are put into a crate to sleep alone. This can be very upsetting and a completely new experience for them.
Hence they whine and cry a lot during the night, not just because they are feeling lonely but also because they don’t understand the new environment and the loneliness that comes with it.
To truly understand a puppy it is important to understand that the transitioning process needs to be very slow and easy to understand for the puppies.
Is It Normal For Puppies To Cry At Night?
A puppy joining the family can stir up emotions not only in the owner’s family but also in the puppy. From the comfort of its litter and its mother’s emotional support, now it has lost all of that and is in strange surroundings. In the morning when everyone is around and engaging with the puppy, that time is spent much more quickly and happily as all the needs of the puppy are being met.
However, when night falls, the puppy who is used to sleeping huddled up with its litter is left alone to sleep in the crate. So that’s why naturally puppies cry at night to get the attention of the owner.
It is very normal for the puppies to cry at night as they try to gain attention and find a way for their owners to pet them and comfort them. On the contrary, sometimes the reason puppies cry is because of nature’s calls, hunger, thirst, and companionship. All these can cause the puppy to cry in need. Some cases have seen the puppies crying purely because they are scared or need some cuddling and love.
This can be hard considering it’s the middle of the night however, training your puppies at this age and time is going to cause them to become more independent. I am not saying don’t help them at all and leave them to cry all night but it’s also important to help them in a way that can train them towards good habits for the future.
What Can I Do To Help My Puppy At Night?
It is hard for any pet owner to hear the crying of their puppy through the night. This begs the question Should I leave my puppy to cry at night? No, the answer is you try to make them comfortable and you find solutions that will keep them happy.
Hence we have made a list of things you can do to make them super comfortable.
Make it comfortable:
Make sure that your puppy has a cozy and comfortable sleeping space and doesn’t feel insecure at night. The cozier the place will be, the more likely your puppy is to sleep through the night without any issues.
Choose the right bedding:
Make sure to buy soft and comfortable bedding for your puppy. There are some features that your dog bedding needs to have such as, it needs to be washable, scratch and chew proof. Buying chew-proof bedding will ensure that even if the puppy chews on it. It doesn’t rip apart and the inside material can not be ingested.
Crate is a better option:
For the first few weeks it’s important that your puppy feels comfortable so buy a crate. Since crates can be made into a den kind of space you can still fill it up with plushies and soft beddings to keep your puppy comfortable.
The closer the better:
In the initial weeks, you may want to keep the crate close to your bed. This will prevent them from feeling anxious and lonely. Feeling your presence around them is all they need while they are that young.
Scents that they have gotten used to can be placed inside the crate. For instance, a shirt that you wear a lot can be put inside the crate to help calm those nerves and make them less lonely.
Follow a routine:
Puppies love routines and follow them meticulously. So creating a routine that your puppy can thrive on is excellent.
Schedule your days:
Plan out your day with some playtime activities and exercises incorporated in it. And then when the night time rolls around follow a nighttime or bedtime routine and then stick to that. Make sure you do this every day. This will set your dog’s sleeping cycle and when it’s time for bed they will be ready to snooze away.
Mild playtime before bed will ensure that your puppies get some mild exercise before they are off to bed. Make sure to not include very heavy or high-stimulation exercises that might over-stimulate them and make them energized.
Before bed potty time:
Make sure you take your puppy out for one last bathroom break. This will help reduce the need to take bathroom breaks during the night.
Create the ambiance:
Just like humans puppies also rely on cues like dim lights and a serene environment. The best way to do this is to dim lights, keep the activities to a minimum, and settle down. This will signal to the puppy that it’s time to rest.
Make sure that there are no unnecessary disruptions in the night to wake the puppy up at night. Be very careful of any extra sounds or noises that can potentially disturb their sleep.
Less water intake:
Ensure you decrease your puppy’s water intake before going to bed. Once they’ve used the toilet remove the water bowls and start winding them down.
Recognize attention-seeking behavior:
Puppies know how to get the attention of their owners so they whine and cry at night. You will have to refrain from rushing to them because they will very quickly learn this behavior. As soon as they begin to associate crying with urgent care from the caregiver, they will begin to repeat this behavior again and again.
Gradually create space:
Initially, for a couple of weeks, the pup may have to sleep in your room. However, gradually and very slowly you can start moving them out. You will be able to do this as the pup becomes more aware of the surroundings and becomes aware that this is where it belongs.
Cater to toilet needs:
Make sure you hear the noise and respond to help them go to the bathroom. Help them in relieving themselves and once done bring them back inside with a few cuddles and soft gestures to put them back to bed.
Do puppies get sad when left alone?
Yes, puppies do get sad and lonely, which can lead to stress. However, with some training, this behavior can be altered.
Do puppies care if you cry?
Yes, puppies become very concerned and will most likely offer support and cuddle you to offer comfort.
Will my dog stop crying if I ignore him?
Ignoring crying behavior is never a good idea, try to comfort them calmly and don’t let them intensify the crying toward potential extinction bursts. Get professional training if this behavior persists.
How long does it take to teach a puppy to be alone?
Every puppy is different and the time they may need to adapt is different as well. Hence start with short periods and then slowly increase the time frame.
How do you calm a lonely puppy?
Provide them with comfort and soothe them a bit, however, be vary of coddling too much. Toys and cozy spaces are great relievers of such emotions.
Be careful and mindful of your puppy’s needs. As they are very new to the environment and the surroundings it is natural for them to be a bit jumpy. Especially at night when everyone is off to bed and the puppy is left alone or on their own.
So being mindful of their needs is very important. And the answer to the question should I leave my puppy to cry at night? No, but practice some restraint and ensure that you train them while being comforting and understanding of their needs.