Just like hooman babies, our fur babies tend to cry a lot at night in the first few days after taking them home. Adjusting to a new environment and handling separation from their mother and litter is a big challenge for your new pup, particularly at night time when they’re used to the comfort of their fur mum.
As difficult as this process can be for both you and your pup, it’s a completely normal and temporary adjustment period that can be sped along with a few helpful tips and tricks which we will discuss today in this Puppy Crying at Night Help Guide.
Why is My Puppy Crying at Night?
Puppies crying at night is totally normal, particularly in the first few days following adoption. Your new pup will cry or whine when they’re upset, frightened or in need of help. In the wild puppies are never left alone, they’re always with their mother and litter and feel safe when they can see, feel or smell them.
Naturally, if your pup finds themselves all on their lonesome, for example after waking up at night in their new home, this can be super stressful and unnerving for them making them cry.
It's important to be wary of this, particularly in the first few days after taking them home as this is usually when you will experience most of your puppy crying at night the most.
How to Survive the First Night with Your Pup
The first night with your fur baby is undeniably the most difficult. They’re commonly the most stressed, so be prepared for a night of restless sleep. Don’t try to get everything right on the first night. Although we wouldn’t recommend your dog to sleep in your room every night as this can lead to separation issues down the track, the first night is your hall pass!
As tempting as it is to have your pooch baby in bed with you to snuggle all night you wouldn’t want to roll onto them accidentally. Instead, set up a comfy bed on the ground next to you so your pooch can smell you and feel comforted that you’re close by if they need you.
Top Tips on Helping Your Crying Puppy After the First Night
So, you’ve survived night one with your puppy. You’re looking a bit dishevelled and in need of a strong cup of coffee in the morning, but you’ve made it.
So now you may be wondering, how do I continue to help my puppy crying at night in the first few days after adoption?
Here are our top 5 tips and tricks on how to reduce your puppy’s night crying so you can both get your full 8 hours.
1. Create a Bed-Time Routine
Dogs love routines, and instilling a bedtime routine for them early on is important and can help reduce your puppy crying at night.
After they’ve munched down their gut-friendly puppy food for dinner, play with them one last time before bed to help tire them out. Then take them outside for a number one or two. Using the same word each night just before they do their business is a great way to instil some early training – something like “go for a wee” or "busy girls/boys" usually works for us!
Then, once they’re ready for bed, set them down into their crate as they wind down and fall asleep. If you need some guidance on crate training, check out our Crate Training Guide for further info.
2. Build Them a “Den”
Like their wolf cousins, in the wild, dogs are den animals so building them a den at home can help comfort them. Making their bed or crate warm and cosy with blankets and soft toys can help make them feel safe and lead to a longer more restful sleep for both you and your pup.
Keeping a blanket or rag from their previous home can help them feel at ease. Equally adding a t-shirt of yours with your scent on it is another great way to help comfort your puppy at night.
3. Sleep Closer to Them
As we said earlier, we wouldn’t recommend making a habit of letting your pooch sleep in your room every night as this can lead to separation anxiety and other problems down the track. If you were going to spend every waking minute with your furry friend this might be okay, but most likely you go to work, go on holiday or even play tennis without your dog (I’m sure your pooch is very jealous of you playing with that tennis ball without them though!)
However…in the first few days of taking your puppy home, you may want to sleep in the living room with your fur baby to comfort them, even if it’s just for an hour or so until they nod off to sleep. After a couple of days, try to wean this out of them so you can get back to your comfy bed – your neck and back will thank you!
4. Don’t Make a Fuss When Checking In on Them
If your puppy is crying at night, first check if they need the toilet by taking them outside and using your command word. Most likely puppy crying at night is if they’re scared or their little bladders are full so make sure to check if they need to whizz.
Then take them back to their crate and gently settle them back to bed. Try not to fuss over them too much or give them too many cuddles, just enough to comfort them. This will allow them to get back to sleep quicker.
5. Leave Them a Toy or Dog Calming Treat
Finally, leaving your pup their favourite (safe) chew toy can help soothe them off to doggy dreamland. As well as adjusting to a new environment, your puppy is likely also teething, so giving them something to chew on can relax them into slumber.
Using a dog calming treat like our Nibbles Dog Calming Treats is also another easy way to help calm your pooch before bed and reduce puppy crying at night. Ours are packed with naturally calming chamomile, valerian and turkey, which can help reduce puppy anxiety and help settle them into their new home.