If your dog keeps barking at night, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you eleven common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
It is actually possible that there is a combination of causes at play. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Why your dog barks at night
Below are eleven common reasons why dogs bark at night and what would make them more likely to be the main reason why yours does it.
Dogs are generally meant to get daily exercise. When dogs do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might a part of the reason why yours has been barking at night. This would be more likely if it tends to bark more on nights that it has not gotten any exercise. It would help to make sure that your dog has been getting the right amount of exercise for its age and breed.
Another possible reason why it barks at night is that it is hungry. It might be the case that it has not been eating enough or it might be having to wait for too long between meals. If it currently is only getting fed in the mornings, it might help to feed it less in the mornings but to feed it in the evenings as well instead.
A problem with its diet
It could also be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It might be the case that it is not eating enough, it’s eating things that it shouldn’t be or it might not be getting the nutrients it needs in its diet. It would help to make sure that you have been giving it an appropriate diet and that it has not been eating things that it shouldn’t be.
It might be the case that something has been causing it to be in pain at night. This would be more likely if it has been showing other signs of being in pain such as limping and if it has started doing it suddenly. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Encouraging the behavior
It could also be the case that you have encouraged it to bark at night by giving it things it wants when it does it. If it does not seem to bark for any particular reason such as needing to pee, but you give it attention when it starts barking, it will likely bark more in order to get more attention.
Instead, it would help to give it attention in the mornings when it does not bark, and to avoid giving it attention at night when it starts barking unless necessary.
The cause might be that it has separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and it gets anxious when it is left alone. This would be more likely if it sleeps in a different room than you or if it has started barking since not being able to sleep with you. It would also be more likely if it starts getting anxious when you would normally leave home or when you are going to bed.
It might be the case that it hears noises that it does not like at night. This would be more likely if it only barks on certain nights or if it only does it when it is in a certain room.
A problem with its sleeping environment
The cause could also be that there is an issue with the room that it has to sleep in. It might be too hot, too loud, too bright, too noisy or there might not be enough space for it to lay down comfortably.
It needs to pee
Another possible cause is that it needs to pee. This would be more likely if it is a puppy and if it tends to bark more when it does not get to pee in the evenings.
A change in its routine at night
Dogs generally like having a set routine that they can follow. If your dog has started barking since changing its routine at night, it might be the case that it has been barking due to confusion about what is going on.
For example, it might be struggling to adapt to the new routine if you have started going to bed sooner or if you have started getting it to sleep somewhere else.
In this case, it would likely help to wait for it to get accustomed to the new routine and to avoid rewarding it when it barks unless it seems to be due to something such as needing to pee.
As dogs get older their joints become painful and it might be causing it to bark at night. This would be more likely if your dog is old and if it has been showing signs of being in discomfort during the day and at night. In this case, it would help to consult with your vet about it.
How to stop your dog from barking at night
Below are some things you can do to get your dog to stop barking at night.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it does it because it is trying to get extra attention or rewards from you. It would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it barks at night so that it learns that barking doesn’t get it extra attention. That is unless it seems to be barking for a different reason such as to go outside to pee, an issue with the room it sleeps in or because of an injury.
Give it exercise
If your dog is healthy, it would also help to make sure that it is able to get the daily recommended amount of exercise for its breed. It might also help to get it to wear itself out more by doing things such as playing fetch.
Ensure that it is getting the right diet
As mentioned above, it could be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It would help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet, that no one has been feeding it without you knowing, that it has not got access to things it shouldn’t be eating and to feed it earlier in the evening.