If you’re a new puppy owner, you’ll understand the challenge of your puppy crying at night. It’s a common occurrence and can be disconcerting, especially for the puppy’s wellbeing and your sleep schedule. However, with both patience and positive reinforcement, one can successfully navigate this predicament. In this article, we will discuss nine easy, pragmatic, and feasible tips to stop your puppy from crying at night.
“Puppies, much like infants, require comfort and reassurance, especially during the night when they can feel the most scared and vulnerable. Proper guidance and a calm demeanor can substantially reduce instances of nightly distress.”
The following steps aren’t merely suggested strategies but have been widely recognized and utilized as effective measures by professional dog trainers and experienced pet owners. Let’s look at these tips one by one and transform those night-time whimpers into peaceful sleep sessions.
Why do puppies cry at night?
When puppies cry at night, it is typically for reasons such as discomfort, fear, or hunger. They have been separated from their mother and siblings, and this sudden isolation can be a significant stressor. This situation is comparable to a human infant crying due to the sudden absence of parents. Puppies are not born with the knowledge that human companions can also provide care; hence, they may feel abandoned.
Puppy needs and fears
Like babies, puppies have basic needs and fears, which are primarily responsible for their nighttime crying. They need food, warmth, companionship, and relief from discomfort. Likewise, they fear being alone, as they are accustomed to the close-knit environment of their litter.
- Physical needs: Young puppies need several small meals a day. If they are still hungry at night, this might lead to crying. In addition, discomfort from a full bladder or bowel can also cause distress.
- Emotional needs: Puppies require affection, care, and attention. The sudden disappearance of their siblings and mother creates a void in their social lives, resulting in emotional distress.
- Fears: Young puppies feel vulnerable when left alone, particularly at night when it is dark and quiet. This can exaggerate their feelings of loneliness and insecurity.
Understanding the cues
Understanding your puppy’s cues is crucial to deciphering the root cause of their nighttime crying. Listen carefully to the type of cry. A sharp, urgent cry could indicate pain or discomfort, while a continuous whimper might signal loneliness or fear. It is the caregiver’s responsibility to interpret these signals and provide appropriate comfort and care.
How to stop puppy crying at night
Now that we have understood why puppies cry at night, let’s take a look at several effective strategies to alleviate this behavior.
Establish a Routine
With puppies, consistency is key. As litterature neophytes, they have likely followed a routine that has been ingrained in them since birth. By establishing a familiar regiment, puppy owners can provide a sense of security for their pets. This includes regulating feeding times, walking schedules, play sessions, and – critically – bedtime. Over time, the puppy will adapt to this structure, thereby minimizing the chances of nighttime crying.
Prioritize Crate Training
Crate training is viewed as an effective method in reducing puppy cries at night. The aim is to create a haven where the puppy feels safe and comfortable. It should not be deployed as a form of punishment or isolation. Ideally, the crate should be placed in a quiet location yet within the vicinity of the owner’s bedroom. This proximity can help the puppy feel less alone and in turn, curb its bouts of crying.
Limit Food and Water Intake Before Bedtime
Feeding a puppy shortly before bedtime can increase the need for overnight bathroom trips. This can interrupt the pup’s sleep and cause nocturnal whining. Therefore, it is recommended to feed the puppy at least three hours before bedtime and restrict water intake one hour prior to sleep. This would give the puppy enough time to digest the food and empty its bladder.
Provide Adequate Exercise
A puppy with plenty of exercise during the day is more likely to sleep soundly through the night. Incorporating a play session in the evening routine can help wear the puppy out and prepare it for a night of rest. However, it is important not to overstimulate the pup right before bedtime as this can have the opposite effect and hinder sleep.
Implement Comfort Measures
It is important to note that puppies are still acclimating to their new environment. They might miss the warmth and companionship of their littermates, causing them to cry at night. To combat this, consider incorporating comfort measures such as providing a warm blanket or a ticking clock that mimics the heartbeat of its mother. Such gestures add comfort and can assist in soothing the pup, reducing the frequency of nighttime crying.
Provide Mental Stimulation
A mentally tired puppy is a good puppy. Include interactive toys and puzzles in the pup’s daily schedule, which can cater to their mental stimulation. This will not only keep them entertained but also help them sleep better at night.
Consider a Bedtime Snack
A small bedtime snack could be enough to satiate your pup’s hunger and prevent midnight howls caused by an empty stomach. Opt for something small and healthy that won’t disrupt their regular feeding schedule.
Check for Medical Issues
Lastly, persistent crying at night can sometimes be an indication of a medical issue. It can be anything from a urinary tract infection to gastrointestinal upset. If your puppy’s cries don’t seem to cease despite your countless efforts, it might be time to consult with a vet to rule out any underlying health problems.
Remember, patience and consistency are critical when trying to stop a puppy from crying at night. With love, care, and dedication, you can surely help your puppy in adjusting to its new family and ultimately enjoy peaceful nights.