Why is my dog barking at night?
Dog barking at night is a serious concern to his owner, though a dog is not expected to be totally quiet every day and all the time. Barking is a common and normal feature in dogs but it can give dog owners sleepless nights and disturb the neighbors if it becomes chronic and not checked. For dogs, barking is a way of communicating. For example, to alert people when they sense any danger.
A dog barks for a lot of reasons. He may barks if he feels threatened, nervous, excited, hungry, and thirsty or he wants to draw the attention of his owner. Normal barking is when the dog barks in response to something and it should not last for a long period. However, it becomes worrisome when your dog barks at night excessively and keeps you awake.
Every dog owner loves a calm but excited dog not a dog turning himself into a problem in the neighborhood. Your dog barking at night may be caused by a behavioral issue or a physical condition. If your dog suddenly starts barking at night, there may be some underlying causes responsible for it.
However, it should be noted that whether your dog barks during the day or at night, he is trying to communicate or send a signal. In this article, we will discuss factors that could be responsible for your dog barking at night and what you can do to stop him from disturbing the neighborhood every night.
The following reasons may be the cause for your dog barking at night:
Boredom or Loneliness
When left alone for a very long time without doing anything, dogs also get bored as human beings do. If your dog does not have enough physical and mental stimuli that he needs during the day or he has been sleeping all day, he can bark at night to get out of boredom and release all the energy.
Fear or anxiety
Dogs are not immune to fear and scary situations, they also get scared and bark to express their fears, especially at night. Hearing strange sounds may cause the dog to feel anxious and start barking. The sound of thunderstorms and fireworks may frighten them. Dogs are social animals and also need companionship, so it is not unusual if they become anxious when left alone. If your dog is barking, pacing and behaving destructively at the windows or the entryways at the same time, it can be signs of separation anxiety
Pain and illness
An unhealthy dog may be an unhappy dog. Also, pains and illness bring discomfort. Your dog can bark continuously at night if he is injured or sick. If your dog is in any form of discomfort, he may feel the pain more at night which can cause him to moan and bark. Your dog may also become frustrated because of the discomfort and pains he is going through, he may bark at night profusely to let out his frustration.
Noises are more prominent at night compared to during the day and dogs’ sense of hearing is more superior to that of humans. They hear sounds that we may not hear. If you stay in a noisy environment or your dog is sensitive to noise, he can bark when he hears any sound. Outside noises like police sirens, car sounds, other dogs or people coming near their territories can also trigger him to start barking or if he senses some movements around the house. Especially when he is in a new environment.
This cause is related to the previous. While the night is the time to rest, nocturnal animals are more active during that period. Movements and sounds made by animals like raccoons, mice, bats, badgers, skunks, foxes and cats can alert your dog. Though these animals may not be around your house, your dog is sensitive enough to sense and hear their sound which may cause him to start barking.
Dog Urinary Tract Infection
Your dog may urinate more often if he is suffering from a urinary tract infection. He may start barking if he needs to go outside and relieve himself. He may also have symptoms such as whimpering when urinating, blood in urine, licking his genital area more often, etc.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (Sign of Aging)
Your dog barking at night could be because he is getting old. Older dogs may suffer from canine dementia which causes confusion, disorientation, altered sleep patterns and night barking.
How to stop a dog to bark at night
Getting to know why your dog barks excessively at night is crucial to know the right treatment to use to curb his barking at night. You may have to take time to study what causes your dog to bark.
Here are some suggestions what to do when your dog barks at night.
Contact your veterinarian or a professional
While you can handle some causes of night barking by your dog, there are cases where it is necessary you consult a veterinarian to examine the health of your dog and know what the problem is. The doctor may physically examine and run some diagnostic tests on him. For example, if you suspect your dog has doggy Alzheimer, you may need to call your vet doctor to prescribe the right medication.
You may want to schedule a regular check-up for your dog which may be monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or yearly.
In case of a behavioral problem: do not respond to your dog’s barking
The number one key to stop your dog from barking might be to not respond to his barking if it is a behavioral problem, no matter how long he barks. That is, you don’t need to go to your dog when he is barking nor look at him. You also don’t need to bring him out of his confined space. If your dog is comforted by you going to him every time he barks, he might believe that barking will get him anything he wants. If he is ignored he might eventually stop though it may take time.
Take your dog out for exercise during the day
If your dog barks out of boredom, you can take your dog out for a walk more often, and/or take longer walks and engage him in exercise during the day. You may also organize a ‘dog walker’ to walk your dog during the day when you are at work. You can use interactive toys to keep him busy when you are not around. When your dog is fully engaged during the day, he will possibly spend the night resting.
Try preventing outside animal noises
You can try using natural wildlife repellents or motion sensor lights to ward off or discourage unwanted night visitors around your house.
Professional online or offline training courses
Ans last but not least: there are lots of good trainers that can help with behavioral problems like continuously barking at night. You may be surprised how well your dog can be trained.
>> Very affordable online dog training course
>> Read about dog obedience