As a pet owner, it's only natural to want to provide the best care possible for your furry friend. However, when it comes to nighttime routines, it can be difficult to strike a balance between meeting your dog's needs and ensuring you get the restful sleep you need to function well during the day.

If you're looking for a peaceful and uninterrupted night's rest, your dog whining at night can be frustrating and even irritating. Unfortunately, this persistent behavior can make it challenging to achieve the calm and quiet environment you need to get a good night's sleep.

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Dog Keeps Whining At Night: Causes and Solutions

There are many reasons why your dog may be whining at night. Most commonly, it’s because they’re feeling anxious or stressed about something in their environment. It could also be that they’re feeling lonely or bored and want some attention. In other cases, the whining can be caused by physical discomforts such as pain or arthritis.

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It is your job as a dog owner to figure out what is happening to ensure that your dog gets enough sleep at night.

If your dog is whining at night, it’s important to take some steps to address the underlying cause of their distress. Read on to discover some of the most common causes of nighttime whining and how you can help.

Border collie in her crate

Seeking Attention

One of the reasons your dog might whine at night is to get your attention. It could be that you have been ignoring your dog, and they can no longer take it in. Your dog could miss playing with you.

So, they will whine to get your attention. When your dog is whining for attention, the best thing to do is walk out of the room. Let the dog learn to stay quiet by not getting immediate attention.

Then, after they get quiet, reward them for that. This will teach your pup that whining will not get them what they want.

Doing this might take time and require patience, as your dog's whining might worsen. If you can't tolerate that, consider working with a behaviorist to bring about the desired change.

Fear and Anxiety

Anxious dogs will also whine a lot at night. Anxiety mostly affects young puppies after separation from their litter or mother. An old dog becoming anxious is a sign of intense fear, and you should check for its cause.

Extreme fear can result from loud noises like thunderstorms or forcing the dog indoors. You can stop this after noticing the real anxiety trigger. For example, if your dog whines and pants around in its cage at night, let it free.

If your dog is under extreme stress, talk to your vet about prescribing anxiety-relieving medications. But don't give medications for behavioral issues.

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Pain can also make your dog whine at night. Your dog could have an injury in a hidden area or joint pain. When in pain, your dog won't whine while moving around. Instead, it will be lying down to reduce the pain.

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Call the vet to check on your dog. Your vet will advise you on the best solutions after the checkup.

Digestive or Stomach Complications

Your dog's whining at night can also be an indication of stomach discomfort. This can happen after eating the wrong food. Low-quality foods can also trigger digestive discomfort or allergic reactions.

Consider changing the diet to better meals that will not upset your dog. However, if you notice your dog vomiting in the process, call your vet for advice.

Lack of Sleep

If your pup can't get enough sleep at night, it might force them to whine. Lack of sleep for a puppy used to enjoying uninterrupted sleep will make them uncomfortable and anxious. It could be that you changed their sleeping area.

Try comforting your dog to help them sleep. If you removed them from their comfortable sleeping area, consider returning them so they can have a peaceful night.


When your dog whines excessively at night when you have visitors, don’t be worried. Your dog can also whine when a new dog enters its territory. In such a situation, the dog will tuck its tail while lowering its body.

These are signs that the dog is intimidated or cautious around new people or dogs. You can stop this behavior in your dog by boosting its confidence. Remember this behavior makes your dog intimidated around strangers forcing them to avoid eye contact.

But don't give physical or verbal punishment whenever your dog whines because of appeasement. It will intimidate the dog that's already threatened, further lowering its confidence.

Mental Problems

Older dogs are likely to suffer from dementia, making them whine at night. When the dog undergoes a cognitive decline, it will cry and whine more. Your canine can also howl all night for no reason.

Dealing with such a puppy can be traumatizing as their cognitive skills are reduced, making training impossible. However, you can help manage the situation by ensuring your dog gets to sleep all night. Do this by taking them for long evening walks every day before bed.

Also, give them enough water and food at night. But remember to soothe them to sleep by playing relaxing music. Rewarding your pup whenever they stay quiet at night can also pay off.


Dogs can also greet people. However, a friendly dog can only greet your visitors by whining. Your dog can also whine at night after you arrive home to welcome you.

When your dog whines at night, whenever they greet the visitors around, try diverting their attention. Throw toys their way to keep them busy. Also, talk to them in low tones to reduce their excitement levels.

Train the dog to behave by sitting down when visitors are around. Don’t forget to engage your dog only when they are less excited or relaxed. This will help them keep cool and be less excited whenever visitors are around to get some attention.

Poor Training

Whining is a behavior your dog can stop after thorough training. So, if your dog continues to whine at night, you could have done better behavioral training. Your dog will whine at night for no reason, as you didn't teach them it's wrong.

To stop this, consider enrolling your canine in a behavioral class. Alternatively, you can hire a dog trainer to help them stop whining.

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You should keep your dog active at all times. Have exercise programs for the dog and play with them more often. Doing this will help with mental stimulation. However, if you don't engage your dog in such activities, they will get bored.

Boredom will make your dog destructive, spoiling your things in the process. Your dog will also whine more at night after remaining alone in the dark while looking for attention. You should spare about 30 minutes a day to play with your dog.

If you're too busy, allow them to play in the yard to relax their minds. Note that every breed has its unique physical capabilities and mental stimulation needs. Research about yours and help them out of boredom into happiness.

Bottom Line

Dogs, like human beings, have feelings. Your dog can express their feelings and emotions in different ways. The common one is whining. When your dog keeps whining at night, it could be an injury, boredom, or excitement.

Train the dog well so they can change their problem behaviors. Also, give them the right food and attention, and have them exercise regularly. When they’re in pain or distress, call your vet or behaviorist to assess the situation.

Visit the Off Leash blog at for more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips.

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