Until it becomes a problem, you might not have given much thought to how to stop your puppy whining at night. Yet if it does develop into a problem, you will think of nothing else.
That sleep will undoubtedly be more sound, knowing your pup is having a great night too. So what can you do to make things better for you and your puppy? Consider the next steps. It’s ‘troubleshooting’ to get to the bottom of the matter and nip any whining in the bud.
1. Enough exercise and activity can stop a puppy from whining at night
One of the best strategies you can use for a pup’s sound sleep is making them play enough during the day. A puppy that gets no exercise will have difficulty sleeping as its playful nature has been suppressed.
That means deliberately tiring them out with play, so they let out the excess energy. Your pup will most probably go to bed early after a tiring day and will also likely sleep through the entire night.
You can play with your pup by running about, getting them to chase you, and engaging in play fighting. A walk after meals at night and allowing them sufficient time with their toys are also good options.
Most pups are just building up their endurance, and exercise, which they need, will most likely get the job done. You’ll have not only a healthy and thriving puppy but also one that gets sleepy shortly after dark. If this didn’t stop your puppy whining at night, consider the next point.
2. Give your pup sufficient food and drink
Going to bed without having had enough to eat during the day likely doesn’t appeal to you. You can bet your pup will not fancy the idea very much too. Sometimes your puppy will whine simply because they are starving and didn’t have enough to eat and drink during the day.
Ensure that your young one is well fed and has had enough to drink, all while lacing in treats occasionally. A full belly will undoubtedly rule out any hunger-related whining since your pup will be contented.
3. A comfortable puppy will likely stop whining at night
The very thought of seeing its crate should be an excellent reason for your pup to become excited. Your puppy should only have positive associations with the crate, so they want to live and sleep in it.
You need to follow the proper crate training procedure for your puppy to get acquainted with the idea. If you see no progress, you need to be a little patient, knowing it will get better sooner than later.
Once your pup sees the crate as a haven and sanctuary to which they can retreat – that’s progress. You will notice the noise significantly dying down and your puppy hiding out in the crate and sleeping peacefully.
It’s best to also keep the noise down around your house to counter whining. Pups can get very excited simply because you have loud late nights that they don’t want to miss out on.
4. Make your pup as warm and comfortable as possible
Save for a poo-laden crate, one of the significant causes of puppy whining at night goes down to coldness. Puppies are used to huddling together and curling into a ball that provides them with much-needed warmth and comfort.
When a puppy is torn from its parents and litter, it is bound to experience a lot of separation anxiety. Worse is if its designated sleeping place is not cozy and warm. As the night gets cold, your pup will no doubt whine in longing for the warmth and coziness of old.
You will notice that once your pup’s crate and bed are warm at night, the whining will almost always die down. Be sure to balance it out in the warm summer nights by creating a cooler bed on which your pup can count. Laying a t-shirt onto its bed usually does the trick. If it doesn’t, leave it some access to a board or floor from its vantage bed point.
5. Employ soothing sounds and smells
Since your pup’s separation anxiety is real, soothing and lulling them back to sleep is definitely okay. Sometimes it’s just that your puppy is missing you and will whine as a call to you once it gets dark.
Playing to the pup’s strong sense of smell can be of great help, so it doesn’t feel like you are miles away. Place your T-shirt on its pillow or in its crate. Your pup will likely stop whining in this case.
There are plenty of sounds out there that can help your pup by reminding them of their litter and mom. Youtube is a great place to start.
6. Check for any signs of pain from your puppy
Since dogs enjoy sniffing and occasionally tasting anything they come across, it’s easy for them to eat something potentially dangerous. It’s possible for a puppy to start whining as the substances start reacting and suddenly cause pain or discomfort.
Sometimes this pain may have started earlier during the day, yet your puppy only realizes once it lies down. It’s also possible for the discomfort or pain to begin deep into the night and, with it, the whining.
If you know your pup is well taken care of but is suddenly whining endlessly, try to soothe them. If the whining doesn’t subside, your puppy may be in pain, and you need to act fast. The pup’s sensitivity may render you unable to diagnose any condition effectively, so it’s best to rush to a vet.
Ensuring your pup is okay when you’ve taken all other measures is not being paranoid. At the end of the day, just ruling out the possibility goes a long way. It’s always better for your pup to be safe than for you to be sorry.
7. Ignore if you have all the basics covered
Positive reinforcement is one thing you want to steer clear of in your quest to calm your puppy. Any behavior you reinforce positively will manifest again, whether you like it or not.
You don’t want it to be negative since it will only register as effective in your pup’s mind. Once it registers, it will finally manifest as a behavioral pattern, a bad one at that. Even though you wish to assure your pup that it’s safe in your absence, do not become unnecessarily soft.
That means desisting from soothing whining when you know you have done everything right, and your pup isn’t unwell. If you rush in to save the day at every turn, be sure that your puppy is taking notes. Anything you say or do will be used against you.
Stay your attention and go back to sleep as fast as you can. Your pup will learn to do the same too if it realizes that its attention-drawing antics don’t work.