Why Is My Dog Freaking Out at Night?

If your dog has been being scared, at night, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get it to stop.

Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it. This would be more likely if it is scared when it eats certain foods or if it has started doing it since a change in its diet.

This would be more likely if it has started being scared, at night, suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of having an injury. Causes could include an owner moving away, being mistreated or another pet dying. But, you can help by giving your dog positive attention in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it.

If your dog is a puppy then it could be the case that it is going through a more fearful stage and it is likely that it will stop in a few weeks. If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as injury, illness or something causing it to be fearful. Avoid encouraging it As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has learned to act that way due to rewarding the behavior.

Things you could do would include, letting it pee just before you go to bed, giving it sufficient exercise during the day and not making it have to wait too long between meals. If it is healthy, but it has been being scared excessively for more than a few weeks, it would also help to get help from a dog behaviorist. If you crate train your dog in the right way it will give it a space where it can feel safe.

This will give your dog a space where it will be able to feel secure at night without you being around.

If your dog is suddenly becoming scared during nighttime, it can be a cause of great concern. For young puppies, being restless at night can be considered normal, since they are getting used to new routines and environments. However, for older dogs, it can be caused by an underlying medical condition that needs to be checked out.

These reasons can either stem from dementia, general anxiety, or an underlying medical condition that causes pain and discomfort. Puppies and younger dogs can experience night restlessness due to changes in their environment or routine.

If your puppy is suddenly put in a new dog bed or a different room for bedtime, its expected that they will show restless behavior. If your dog, either young or old, shows anxiety or fearful behavior after the sun has set, it can be because of poor eyesight . Dementia in dogs can cause disturbances in their sleep pattern, anxiety, disorientation, and other behavioral changes that can be mistaken with signs of aging.

A dog that is suddenly scared or restless at night needs to be treated before the behavior snowballs into a lifetime fear or phobia. Aside from that, a dog not getting enough sleep or one that has trouble falling asleep at night can cause other issues like lethargy and behavioral changes. The lack of stimuli can help them fall asleep much faster and decrease the chances of them waking up in the middle of the night.

If you move houses or change their rooms, nighttime fear or anxiety can be lessened with a familiar bed or crate. If your dogs nighttime fear or anxiety does not go away with behavior modification or re-training, we recommend that you look into medication options with your vet.

Does your pup experience nighttime restlessness? As you may already know, this can cause loss of sleep not only for your furry friend, but for you and others in your home as well.

If your dog scratches and howls at your bedroom door at night, he probably just wants to be close to you to feel safe and secure (and in some cases, protect you as well). If this isnt an option for you, you can distance train your pup by allowing him to sleep in a dog bed by your side

On the other hand, you might actually be the one disturbing your dogs sleep, causing him to be uneasy and act up. Bothering you in the night for food or a bathroom break every once in a while is normal, and puppies especially are likely to do this due to their increased hunger, smaller bladders, and lack of training. Try letting him out or walking him to go to the bathroom right before bed, instead of hours beforehand, or give him larger portions of food and water at mealtimes.

Plus, your pup might just be too cold or too hot and needs the temperature adjusted or access to a warmer blanket. Just like were advised to exercise regularly to improve our sleep habits, the same is true for pets. In case your pup is rowdy at night, try going for longer walks with him during the day and doing more playful activities.

If your pup is normally a great sleeper and suddenly starts freaking out at night, it could be a symptom of a physical problem. In fact, your dog is more likely to notice something like joint pain or soreness in his body only when its time to settle down and rest. If you live somewhere with frequent rain or severe weather, this could be whats keeping your dog up at night.

A white noise machine not only blocks out the sounds that can potentially disturb dogs (such as neighbors, cars, etc.

Different dog breeds are known to have their own unique personalities, and researchers point out that these traits come from their specific DNA patterns[10]. That raises the question, then, as to whether certain breeds are more likely to experience anxiety.

Why your dog is scared at night

Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.

Separation anxiety

The cause might also be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it starts showing signs of being anxious when you are leaving to go to bed, at night, and if it does not become scared when it can sleep where you sleep.

An issue with its diet

It could be the case that the cause is that there is an issue with its diet. It could be that it is eating things it should not be, it is eating too much or not enough. This would be more likely if it is scared when it eats certain foods or if it has started doing it since a change in its diet.

Noises

The cause might also be that it hears noises at night. This would be more likely if it tends to get scared on nights that are particularly noisy such as when it is windy or raining.

Other animals outside

The reason why it does it might be that there are other animals in the backyard and your dog can see or hear them. This would be more likely if you have seen or heard other animals at night or if there are signs of them being in the backyard at night.

Injury or illness

It could be the case that an injury has been causing it to behave differently and to feel vulnerable. This would be more likely if it has started being scared, at night, suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of having an injury. If it does seem like injury could be the cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Depression

The cause might be that something has been causing it to be depressed. Causes could include an owner moving away, being mistreated or another pet dying.In this case, it might improve over the course of a few weeks. But, you can help by giving your dog positive attention in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. If it does not improve after a few weeks then it would help to get the help of a vet or a dog behaviorist.

Age

Sometimes, puppies will go through a more fearful stage. If your dog is a puppy then it could be the case that it is going through a more fearful stage and it is likely that it will stop in a few weeks.

Things to consider

Below are some of things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What is different when it does it

It would also help to consider what is different when it does not do it. For example, if it does not do it when it can sleep with you, it would be more likely that it does it due to having some separation anxiety.

Ensure 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 ensure that it is getting the correct diet for its breed and age. You can look here for some tips on what to feed it.

Avoid encouraging it

As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has learned to act that way due to rewarding the behavior. Instead, try to reward it when it does not act scared, to redirect its attention when it is about to act that way and to train it to come to you when you want it to.

Limit reasons why it might be anxious

It would also help to limit reasons why it might be anxious at night. Things you could do would include, letting it pee just before you go to bed, giving it sufficient exercise during the day and not making it have to wait too long between meals.

Get help

If it has been showing signs of injury or illness, the best option would be to take it to a vet. If it is healthy, but it has been being scared excessively for more than a few weeks, it would also help to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to see what you should do in order to get your dog to stop doing it.

Crate training

Crate training is where you teach your dog to learn to be comfortable inside of a crate designed for dogs.If you crate train your dog in the right way it will give it a space where it can feel safe. This will give your dog a space where it will be able to feel secure at night without you being around.

Young age

Puppies and younger dogs can experience night restlessness due to changes in their environment or routine. This is largely due to separation issues, especially for dogs who have gotten used to sleeping in their owners’ beds or with their mother.If your puppy is suddenly put in a new dog bed or a different room for bedtime, it’s expected that they will show restless behavior. Don’t worry though, nighttime restlessness due to this reason often goes away on its own. That is

Poor eyesight

Your dog cannot become ‘scared of the dark’ for no reason. If your dog, either young or old, shows anxiety or fearful behavior after the sun has set, it can be because ofWhen a dog cannot see clearly in low light, he will most likely be on high alert for stimuli that would otherwise be familiar to him in the daytime. A visit to the vet can rule out this possibility using an ophthalmoscope or neurologic examination.

Stress

Stress can cause nighttime anxiety in dogs. In turn, stress can be caused by loud noises, a stimuli-rich environment, or a big change at home. Your dog can experience stress-induced anxiety when you move houses, have new children at the house, or introduce new pets.These situations can cause them to have trouble falling asleep. If you notice that your dog keeps pacing or changing positions, he may be too anxious to fall asleep. If and when he does fall asleep, it can be a restless sleep that can affect his energy levels the next day.

Dementia

As a dog gets older, they become prone to age-related health issues such as dementia. This is called canine cognitive dysfunction and is an incurable disease, just like in humans.

Other medical conditions

Often for older dogs, night restlessness can be caused by an underlying medical condition which can be painful. With that being said, it’s important to consult with a vet to find out if your dog is suffering from an undiagnosed illness.

Consult with a veterinarian

Fear, anxiety, or restlessness at night can be caused by a serious health condition. If your dog’s nighttime problem does not resolve itself through behavioral modification or adjustment, consult with a vet to diagnose a possible health problem.

Create a more comfortable environment

Make sure your dog’s sleeping area is as quiet and as dark as it can be. The lack of stimuli can help them fall asleep much faster and decrease the chances of them waking up in the middle of the night. A comfortable bed is also important for your pup.

Train them in their first year

As much as possible, do not let your dog sleep on your = bed with you unless you plan on letting them do so for the rest of their life. Dogs are creatures of habit, so if you let them get used to a particular routine, expect that they will freak out if you suddenly change it.In their first year, train your dog to sleep in their own particular spot. Provide them with a nice bed or crate-train them during bedtime. A bedtime routine can become something that is very familiar to them. If you move houses or change their rooms, nighttime fear or anxiety can be lessened with a familiar bed or crate.

Do not reward inappropriate behavior

Sometimes, you will be tempted to toss your dog a treat when they won’t stop barking in the middle of the night. However, it’s important that you do not do this! Rewarding their barking or whining can develop into a habitual behavior which you doInstead, try to comfort your dog with familiar commands such as ‘stay’ or ‘sit’. This can help them ease their anxiety and perhaps distract them from the fear-inducing stimuli. Either that, or you can leave a toy with them. Some dogs can sleep better with a familiar object that is near.SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy helps your dog get through their behavioral issues by relieving their anxiety and providing them with utmost comfort with the heat pack and real-feel pulsing heartbeat

1. Separation Anxiety

Truth is, many dogs suffer from separation anxiety and become agitated when forcibly separated from their owners.If your dog scratches and howls at your bedroom door at night, he probably just wants to be close to you to feel safe and secure (and in some cases, protect you as well).Some pet owners allow their dogs to sleep in the bed or bedroom with them. If this isn’t an option for you, you can distance train your pup by allowing him to sleep in a dog bed by your sideThen, gradually move it farther away from you night after night until he’s comfortable enough being separated from you.

2. Lack of Safe Space

On the other hand, you might actually be the one disturbing your dog’s sleep, causing him to be uneasy and act up. While dogs love being with their owners, it’s also best if they have a place to call their own.If you kick in your sleep, have an erratic sleep schedule, or do any other behaviors that disturb your dog in the night, having his own space is more important than ever.Here, too, you’ll need to get him a dog bed, and set him up with his own blanket and some toys. Let that be his safe retreat for when you’re restless.

3. Routine Change

Dogs thrive on routine, and if their routine is disrupted, even by something as seemingly small as moved furniture, it can throw them off.Keeping your dog on a strict schedule for feedings, walks, and more can help keep him feel secure and calm, and make bedtime just a part of his normal routine instead of something to be feared.

4. Unfulfilled Needs

This calls back to the importance of structure. Your dog may be fidgety at night because he’s hungry, thirsty, or needs a potty break.Bothering you in the night for food or a bathroom break every once in a while is normal, and puppies especially are likely to do this due to their increased hunger, smaller bladders, and lack of training.If it’s a continuous problem, you need to adjust your dog’s routine.Try letting him out or walking him to go to the bathroom right before bed, instead of hours beforehand, or give him larger portions of food and water at mealtimes.Plus, your pup might just be too cold or too hot and needs the temperature adjusted or access to a warmer blanket.Change a few things to see what works, and then stick to it.

5. Excessive Energy

Another basic need for dogs, along with food and water, is exercise. If your dog is restless, it could be because he doesn’t get enough activity and movement during the day.Just like we’re advised to exercise regularly to improve our sleep habits, the same is true for pets.In case your pup is rowdy at night, try going for longer walks with him during the day and doing more playful activities. It will be good for both of you and should help you sleep better.

6. Natural Aging

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that sleep habits in dogs change as they get older. This mainly depends on your dog’s age, breed, activity level, and health.Puppies sleep a lot more than adult dogs, for example (sometimes even up to 20 hours a day), while older canines may experience changes in sleep patterns as they age.This is especially true if they’re suffering from any illness associated with old age.

7. Illness or Pain

If your pup is normally a great sleeper and suddenly starts freaking out at night, it could be a symptom of a physical problem.In fact, your dog is more likely to notice something like joint pain or soreness in his body only when it’s time to settle down and rest.So, when he just can’t get comfortable, it’s time to see a vet and determine what could be causing it. If your pup whimpers and whines like he’s in pain, then definitely see a vet right away.

8. Weather Changes

Dogs are more sensitive to changes in the weather than humans.Some believe that they can even feel electromagnetic changes in the air when it storms, and that rain can cause them actual physical discomfort due to the static electricity in the air.If you live somewhere with frequent rain or severe weather, this could be what’s keeping your dog up at night.

9. Fear of Noises

Talking about superpowers, dogs also have extremely good hearing, and they may be hearing things in the night that you can’t.In that case, do your best to soundproof the area where your dog sleeps, or place a fan or white noise machine near him to drown out the disturbing noises.A white noise machine not only blocks out the sounds that can potentially disturb dogs (such as neighbors, cars, etc.), but it can also soothe them to sleep.