Updated at: 24-12-2021 - By: petexpert

Being kept up at night by a dog’s whining tends to elicit different types of reactions from owners. Some get irritated, some get frustrated, but most, if not all, become concerned.


For novice dog owners, questions like “why is my dog whining at night?” are common, especially when there are many reasons for this phenomenon. However, unlike most people assume, dogs whining at night is more than just dogs throwing a random tantrum. To know the answers to these questions, keep on reading.

What is Dog Whining?

Before you can understand why dogs whine at night, you must first understand what dog whining is. Dog whining is a dog’s distinct attempt to communicate with its owner. This could be about an unmet need or something that makes them restless. It is a repetitive, high-pitched nasal sound that they release with their mouths closed.

Sick or injured dogs will exaggerate this sound to a yelp or whimper, but dogs who are simply trying to convey something will do it just loud and persistently enough to catch your attention as though they are trying to speak with you but in a foreign language.

Before you can deal with them, you have to understand what they need entirely. You might be asking, “why does my dog whine at night?”. While most dogs whine at the silliest things, there are several other reasons why they do that. Here are some of them:


This behavior refers to dogs who whine excessively in the presence of other people or new dogs. Apart from that, this form of whining is often accompanied by submissive postures like a tucked tail and a lowered body.  This may mean that your dog feels intimidated or cautious around an unknown visitor or furry friend.

2. Greeting

In contrast to appeasement behavior, another reason why a dog whines is when it serves as a greeting. Some friendly dogs who get too excited when visitors arrive tend to whine in glee. Moreover, this is often observed when owners come home after being away for hours.

3. Attention

If you’re wondering, “why does my dog keep whining at night?”, then he’s probably begging for your attention. nThe two previous cases often happen during the daytime, so if your question is about persistent whining, specifically during nighttime, this may be the reason. At night, some dogs constantly whine to gain their owners’ attention. This may even happen during meals or when they want to play or get a treat.

4. Discomfort

For puppy owners, one of the most common questions they ask is “why is my puppy whining at night”. This is particularly true with newly adopted puppies, as whining is another way for them to express their feelings of stress and anxiety, and some even do this involuntarily. This form of whining is often caused by a sudden change in environment or discomfort, among other reasons. Most cases like this are temporary and will eventually cease when your dog becomes more familiar with its new surroundings. You’ll be glad to know that once your puppy settles in, you won’t have to wonder why my puppy is whining all night anymore.


If none of what’s previously mentioned is the cause for your dog’s excessive and persistent whining, then it could be a symptom of a more severe problem. Some of these potential issues include separation anxiety, injury, or other medical conditions that may need a more thorough evaluation. Moreover, most of the time, this will occur with dogs of older age or those with existing medical conditions.

How to Deal with Dog Whining?

If you’re sure that your dog’s whining does not need any veterinary intervention, the next question would be what to do specifically during these situations.

One thing you need to know is that dog whining is a learned behavior. Therefore, as long as you tolerate it, it will never stop. If you want to fix this behavior, you first need to identify which of the causes mentioned above is the reason why your dog is crying at night. Then, you may use the following tips to stop your dog from whining, based on what kind of whining they do.

Illness or injury

One reason could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly, it has been showing signs of illness or injury during the day and if it has been behaving differently in other ways such as by being fatigued. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

An issue with its diet

It could also be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It might be the case that it has been eating too late at night, it has been eating too much, not enough, it has not been getting the right nutrients in its diet or it might be eating things it shouldn’t be.


It would help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet, that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing and it might help to feed it earlier in the evenings.

Get Help if Your Dog Whines at Night for No Reason

There are always other potential reasons why your dog might whine during the night. If you feel like this list hasn’t helped much, then it’s time to call your vet. There may be a medical problem you’re unaware of, or you may need some additional assistance dealing with behavioral issues instead.

If your dog is an adult and has just started whining a lot more than she used to, be sure to schedule a vet visit for the near future just to rule out potential health problems. There’s a chance she’s in pain, so take the time to find out for sure whether or not this is true of your dog before moving on to other possibilities.


Overall, dogs are still man’s best friend, despite the inability to communicate directly. However, they are gifted with other ways to express what they want, including body movements and whining. Therefore, it is up to us to meet them halfway.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to dogs alone. In fact, many animal behaviors can be difficult to understand unless we take time to learn them, such as dogs peeing a lot or excessive cat meowing, a phenomenon that’s similar to dog whining.

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