What to Do if Your Puppy Whines at Night

It's normal for puppies to whine during the first days with their new family, as they face an unfamiliar environment in which all those they knew (mother and siblings) have disappeared. Therefore, it's the duty of the owners to help them adapt and overcome the fear they face every night.
What to Do if Your Puppy Whines at Night

Last update: 13 March, 2022

If your puppy whines at night, be patient and try to find a solution that works for both the animal and the rest of the family. First and foremost, you must understand the reasons for the animal’s crying: it’s afraid. It’s a newcomer to your home, separated from its mother and siblings, and in an unfamiliar place surrounded by strangers.

Most likely, the puppy will cry alone for the first few nights, until it adapts to the new situation. This can take between 3 and 7 days. If the crying lasts for longer, it’ll be necessary to correct some of your attitudes towards the animal.

What to do when a puppy whines at night

A puppy.

As regards what to do at night with a newly arrived puppy, there are very opposing positions. some say the puppy should sleep alone from the very beginning in the place assigned to it in the house. And that, no matter how much they cry, we shouldn’t go to comfort them.

Because, if we give in, we’ll be raising an animal that’s too dependent on us, who may develop disorders such as separation anxiety in the future.

Others say exactly the opposite – that if we leave the puppy alone crying at night, it’ll surely become a fearful adult scared of loneliness.

In between, the options are many and with different things to factor in. And, as each person and each dog is different, the solutions to this issue can give several different answers.

Options to prevent your puppy whining at night

Let’s suppose you choose to leave the dog alone at night and ignore their crying, even if it breaks your heart. In theory, anything is possible. However, people can’t function if they don’t get any sleep for a week or more. In the morning you have to go to work, take the children to school, do paperwork, or take care of the house. That’s why ignoring the situation isn’t always the best option.

To solve this conflict without letting the dog into our room, they need to start to associate their bed with something positive. This is achieved by doing several comforting activities near their bed, such as playing, eating, or cuddling them. Each of these will make them feel calm, so, as time goes by, the simple fact of being near their resting place will remind them of this feeling.

In the opposite case, if you choose to take the puppy to your bedroom, then the crying will most likely stop immediately. But keep in mind that it’ll be very difficult to get it out of there. Many people have no objection to sleeping with their pets, either sharing a bed or just a room. Still, the decision is yours.

Apart from these two extremes, there are other intermediate options. For example, to have the puppy sleep next to your bed the first few nights, but as they adapt to their new home, move their bed to the place you want them to always sleep in.

You can also use some tricks – whose effectiveness will depend on the characteristics of each animal – such as the use of artificial pheromones that will remind them of the ones their mother used to secrete to calm them down.

The bed should look appealing

It may sound very obvious, but the condition of the bed is a key factor in order for the puppy to feel comfortable and less likely to cry. To that end, the area where it’s placed should be quiet and the right temperature. It should also be cushioned and soft enough to make them want to sleep.

It’s normal to put toys in the area they’re going to sleep in. However, during the first few days, it’s better to keep it clear of so many accessories. Remember that they’re in the process of adapting to a new environment, and so adding more objects to the area will make it more difficult for them.

Other tips to keep your puppy from crying

A puppy sleeping.

When the puppy arrives at your home, they’ll become the center of attention of the whole family. During the day, they’re constantly looked after, but, if they’re left alone in the dark at night, then they’ll feel abandoned and will start to cry.

That’s why it’s important for them to learn to be left alone sometimes in the space assigned to them, during the day. This way, the nighttime experience won’t be so traumatic. It’s also essential that you:

  • Give them clear signals. Don’t drive them crazy with contradictory attitudes and commands.
  • Don’t punish them when they cry at night. That’s always the worst option.
  • Play with them for a while before bedtime. If they’re tired, they’re sure to sleep more and cry less.
  • Make sure that they “do their business” before going to sleep. This will reduce the chances of them waking up with the urge to pee or poop and start crying again.
  • Add an item of your own to their bed. Puppies seek the presence of the person – or animal – with whom they feel most secure. As time goes on, you will become that figure for them, so having a piece of your bedding will help them feel calm and able to fall asleep.

Most importantly, if a puppy whines at night, take steps to alleviate their distress.

Don’t hesitate to ask a trusted veterinarian for advice. But don’t just take one opinion. Consult other professionals. You’ll surely find the best solution to prevent your pet from crying at night.

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