Newborn puppies are used to sleeping in a pile with their littermates, and the comfort provided by the presence of their mother.
That’s why when you first bring a puppy home although it’s an exciting time for you, it’s definitely not for a puppy, especially at night.
It can be overwhelming to deal with a crying puppy at night and there are various opinions on the matter, so it’s totally normal for you to be wondering should I leave my puppy to cry at night or do I have to do something about it?
This is the main question we’ll be answering along with other related matters such as how to deal with a crying puppy at night, whether you should ignore it, and if using a crate is your best option.
Should I leave my puppy to cry at night?
It is not recommended to leave your puppy cry at night, especially if you’re not sure what’s the reason behind the crying, it could be illness or fear, and ignoring it will only make it worst, if not result in more serious conditions such as anxieties and a sense of abandonment that will be harder to deal with later on.
The younger the puppy the crueler it is to just leave him to cry without comforting him, especially at night.
Young puppies are used to being with someone their entire life so it’s up to you now to fill the gap left when they were taken from their mother and siblings by providing companionship and comfort until they reach emotional maturity.
For young puppies crying and barking is their only way of communicating, so crying at night is a signal of distress to let you know something is not alright.
Many times it could just be the need to have you around but at times it can be something else like the need to go for a potty break, fear, or even sickness.
Young puppies can’t hold their bladder for too long anyway and will cry at night to let you know, if you do ignore it you’ll have a hard time potty training.
Should I ignore my puppy crying at night?
Many dog owners and trainers suggest that if you ignore your puppy when crying at night he’ll just calm down, this is essentially based on the idea that some puppies will cry for no reason just to get your attention.
This is generally the case for older dogs, while some will try and test your boundaries and see if they can get your attention by crying but it’s not always the case.
While some puppies will just stop after a while, but you can never be sure why the puppy is crying in the first place and this could turn into more serious situations.
Ignoring a sick or scared puppy at night is not a good idea and it could result in anxieties and even aggression.
Even if your dog is just asking for attention and crying for no reason you should not ignore it for at least not more than a couple of minutes.
There are ways to deal with puppies that cry for attention, you can simply act serious check if they need something then leave again without interaction or playfulness, if you keep the serious attitude your puppy will get the idea and stop crying for no reason.
Why do puppies cry at night?
There are multiple reasons why puppies would cry at night and you need to establish communication with your puppy to be able to tell what he’s trying to tell you.
Just like babies puppies communicate by crying and it’s up to you to figure out what they need, and you simply follow the process of elimination.
So let us go through the most obvious reasons why puppies cry at night, this will help you process it faster and more efficiently.
The puppy is hungry
It is normal for puppies to cry when feeling hungry, and due to their constant growth especially in the first few weeks their appetite may increase and the regular meals wouldn’t be enough.
The crying is usually in the time after or leading to meals when they get the most hungry and want to let you know about it.
You need to adapt your puppy’s meals according to his growth which is pretty fast especially for larger breeds in the first few weeks.
You want to keep an eye on you’re puppy’s body condition, if they’re getting chubby there is no need to increase the amount served in each meal even if the puppy is crying for more.
The puppy is fearful
Young puppies tend to get scared easily especially at night, any sudden noise or unusual activity could make them fearful.
Puppies are still exploring their new environment and at night they can easily get afraid especially if left alone.
Your presence gives the puppy the needed comfort and reassurance, that’s why it’s not a good idea to leave your puppy cry at night.
Leaving a scared puppy to cry alone at night could worsen the situation and make him clingy or anxious and it’s way more difficult to deal with than it is to just get up and calm your puppy a couple of times at night.
Fear is usually easy to detect in puppies as it is associated with other symptoms like shaking, whimpering, and cowering in corners and under furniture.
The puppy needs a potty break
It is a lot easier to take your puppy for a potty break just before his bedtime this way you can be sure it’s not what he needs if he starts crying right after.
But young puppies do need to wake up for a potty break at least once a night since they have small bladders and can’t go through the night without a break.
Most puppies can make it through the night without a potty break around the age of 3 to 4 months, depending on the size of the breed, larger breeds tend to have larger bladders and can hold it for longer.
It’s also a good idea to stop giving your puppy water at least a couple of hours before his bedtime, this will help limit the number of breaks he needs at night.
If your puppy does need a potty break he’ll start crying at night and that’s why you need to have his bed close in the first few months to be able to hear him and avoid potty accidents.
The crying for a potty break tends to be continuous and intense, which will help you detect what he needs, and the potty break should always be the first thing you suspect when a puppy is crying at night.
The puppy is ill
Sickness could be the reason why your puppy is crying at night, although a sick puppy will also cry and whine throughout the day.
The crying is often associated with other signs when the puppy is sick, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting…
Excessive biting and scratching are also good indications of infection and parasites, when you notice any of these signs you want to check with your vet.
Sick puppies will cry and whine at night for no apparent reason so if you’ve gone through all the possible reasons why your puppy is crying and nothing pops up you want to see a vet.
It is important to mention that young puppies are more vulnerable than adults, so the “wait and see” approach is generally not a good idea if you suspect sickness, and continuous crying is one of the signs.
The puppy is lonely
Dogs are social pets, they need to interact and puppies are especially needy so they get lonely very easily, and they’ll let you know the only way they can, by crying even at night.
It is best for the first few weeks to have the puppy sleeping in your bedroom to provide reassurance and be able to hear him if he wakes up.
Puppies do get bored easily and need mental as well as physical exercise and they’ll cry if they go to sleep with pent-up energy.
Making sure the puppy is getting the exercise and play sessions he needs is important before it’s time to sleep to avoid boredom.
Puppies do spend most of their time asleep, but when they wake up they are energetic and need to take the energy down by playing and exercising.
Provide toys and schedule play sessions and walks during the day to bring the energy levels down when it’s time to sleep to avoid boredom and loneliness.
The puppy is seeking affection
Crying for attention is fairly common in puppies, they’ll do it to get attention and affection from their mother, and at this point, you’re the mother.
At a very young age, this behavior is normal, but it should not be reinforced, or else the puppy will keep doing it even when grown.
No one likes a dog whining or crying in the background for no reason just seeking attention, so how can you get the puppy to stop crying for attention without ignoring him?
As we’ve explained it’s not a good idea to ignore the puppy, so you have to react but before you interact with your puppy make sure he stops first.
You can talk to your pet to get his attention so he stops crying then you can reward good and calm behavior by verbal praise, petting, or a treat.
Dogs can be conditioned into anything especially at a young age and that’s why it’s important to reinforce good behavior early on.
There is no need to scold your puppy as it will only confuse him and he’ll respond in more crying.
Is it normal for a puppy to cry at night?
It’s totally normal for puppies to cry at night especially in the first few weeks of their life, it’s the only way they know of communicating and they’re not emotionally grown yet.
As we’ve just explained there are multiple reasons for puppies to cry at night and they’ll continue to cry until they’re mature enough to handle the situation themselves.
What’s not normal tough is for the puppy to cry all night for no reason, this can happen with some puppies that want attention and have been given what they want after they cried.
Puppies are intelligent, if you don’t get them to calm down before giving them the attention they seek they’ll associate it with crying and make life hard for you.
Every time your puppy cries at night you should check it out and calm him down but you don’t want to make a big deal of it.
Keep the attention to the minimum no petting no praise if it’s a potty break then keep it about the potty break if he’s scared, calm him down then go back to sleep, and so on.
How long do puppies cry at night?
Every puppy is different, but it generally takes about two to three weeks for them to stop or at least cry significantly less at night.
Some puppies will cry all night while others only when they need something, it depends entirely on how you deal with it.
Experienced dog owners who are used to these situations could get their puppies to only stop when in need after a couple of nights.
Don’t panic if your puppy won’t stop crying night after night, there is no exact science behind this, it’s similar to babies, everyone is different, some are calm while others are loquacious.
How long should I leave a puppy to cry at night?
You don’t want to ignore your puppy while crying at night but it’s not the fire alarm either, so you want to respond but not too quickly.
This might sound confusing, but you have to find the just middle, if you rush to your puppy every time he starts crying he’ll never stop, but if you ignore him he’ll get frustrated and might end up with anxieties or worst.
What you want to do is to respond first by only talking to your puppy, if it’s the attention he’s seeking then he’ll just calm down when he hears your voice, you don’t need to go there and give him a rub, and a treat for that.
If the crying persists then you have to check it out to make sure nothing is wrong but again nighttime is not playtime.
If your dog is scared, calm him down give him something with your scent on it and leave once he’s calm, if it’s a potty break then take him for his break then go straight back to bed.
Should you let a puppy cry it out?
Letting the puppy cry it out is not recommended and definitely not a good idea, it might work in some cases and for some dogs but not all puppies are faking it for attention.
In fact, puppies that won’t stop crying after a couple of minutes will not cry it out anyway and will just do the same until they get tired or fell asleep which is not good for them.
This usually works with grown dogs that are emotionally mature, a young puppy will not go well it didn’t work I might as well stop, it doesn’t work like this.
Letting the puppy cry and ignoring him will cause a lot of difficulties later on with training, and you’ll have a hard time getting that trust bond you need.
Being there for your puppy when he cries at night will help you build a trust relationship that will make training easier.
What do you do when your puppy cries at night?
When your puppy cries at night you don’t have to pick him up or immediately interact with him, sometimes all your puppy needs is the comfort of your presence, so start with talking to him.
If the puppy is scared or getting lonely he’ll respond to your voice and calm down just knowing you’re there for him.
If your puppy needs a potty break and you’ll know based on when he’s had his last meal and the last break, just take him out to eliminate then go back to bed no need for any sort of activity.
If your puppy seems lethargic, has diarrhea, or is vomiting then you need to take him to the vet and he won’t stop crying because he’s ill.
A hungry puppy will also cry at night, you need to make sure he’s had enough food and to adapt his meals to his growth, and in this case, just feed him then go back to sleep.
If it’s attention your puppy seeks then you need to show him that the night is not a good time for it and keep the interaction to the minimum, calm him down just by talking and be firm about it.
What does it mean when a dog cries at night?
When a puppy cries at night it’s either pain, hunger, anxiety, nature’s call, or just loneliness, no matter what’s the cause, ignoring it is not a good idea.
A puppy crying at night is communicating with you and expects a response, the absence of that response can cause trust issues and make training hard.
The younger the puppy the less emotionally stable he is and the needier he is, and it’s up to you to help grow out of this phase into a stable, mature, and confident dog.
The better job you do at handling the crying at night phase the quicker your puppy matures and the less dependent he’ll be.
How do you calm a crying puppy?
There are multiple ways you can calm a crying puppy and it’s up to you to choose the appropriate one for every situation.
- Talking to the puppy is a good way of communicating and reassuring the puppy that you’re there for him without the need to physically touch him.
- Verbal praise and a good rub could be all the puppy needs for reassurance, and it’s better to do it after the puppy is calm to reinforce good behavior.
- Giving treats could also work but it should be used with moderation not overfeed the puppy nor make him greedy and dependent on treats for a response.
- Picking up the puppy and walking around is also an option but should be your last, this is good for fearful puppies that need physical Warmth and reassurance.
- Using calm music is also a good idea, the puppy doesn’t feel lonely and it’s also good for calming him down.
No matter the way you choose to calm your crying puppy, make sure you don’t respond too quickly and start with the least physical one before moving up according to the situation, this way you can avoid having your dog crying for no reason just to get your attention.
Why is my dog crying at night all of a sudden?
A puppy that is suddenly crying at night is probably scared, most sudden changes in dogs’ behavior are usually associated with trauma.
Something must’ve happened at night to make your dog uncomfortable or scared, and you need to reassure your puppy before he becomes anxious.
The best way to deal with sudden crying at night is to change your puppy’s sleeping spot and making it closer to yours, at least until your dog is calm and sleeping through the night without crying.
Unusual activities and disturbances could also trigger the sudden crying at night in dogs, make sure nothing in the surroundings is bothering him such as other animals or sounds…
How do I settle my puppy at night?
The best way to settle your puppy at night is for him to go to sleep needing absolutely nothing thinking only about sleep and preparing for another great day.
To settle a puppy at night you need to :
- Make sure he’s had enough activities, exercise, and game time.
- The puppy should be fed properly and according to his actual state of growth.
- The puppy should be allowed to go for his potty break just before bedtime.
- Stop giving the puppy water at least two hours before bedtime.
- Make sure the puppy’s bed or crate is comfortable and well placed in the house.
- The puppy is somewhere you can hear him if he cries at night.
- Have something with your scent on it close to him to cuddle and be reassured.
- Have some quality time before he goes to bed to end the day on a good note.
- The puppy should not have plenty of energy left when he goes to bed.
Puppy crying the first night
The first night home for a puppy is always special and difficult, it’s a sudden change in his environment and everything is new and scary.
is it normal for a puppy to cry the first night?
As you’d expect most puppies do cry the first night and it’s normal considering the big change in their life.
The puppy is taken from his mother and siblings into a new home where everything is new, so his first reaction would be to cry especially at night.
There is nothing you can do to stop a puppy from crying the first night, but if you comfort the puppy during the day it might help a little.
What to do if a puppy cries the first night?
The best thing you can do is to interact with your puppy during the day and gain his trust and reassure him that this new environment is not as bad and scary as he thinks.
At night when the puppy is crying, you can pick him up and reassure him with your presence, and calm him down.
Having the puppy’s bed close to yours also helps, since he can feel your presence and you’re able to comfort him as soon as he cries.
Puppy crying the first night in the crate
If you choose to crate train your puppy the first night you can be sure it’s going to be a long night, especially if the puppy is too young.
You can do a good job preparing the puppy for the crate but still, he’s going to cry at night because it’s totally new to him and he’s used to sleeping in a pile with his siblings.
However, it is always a good idea to start crate training as soon as the puppy is home, the puppy is going to cry the first few nights so you might as well crate train him.
Puppy still crying at night after multiple weeks
It is not normal for a puppy to still be crying at night multiple weeks after he’s home, and there is something definitely wrong.
Either you’re not doing a good job gaining the trust of the puppy, he’s scared of something, or sick.
You need to consult with a vet if you think the puppy is ill, there will be usually other symptoms such as lethargy loss of appetite, and constant crying day and night.