Skip to Content

Help! My Senior Dog is Barking for No Reason

Dog agressivly barking at the camera

Dogs can grow very quickly and these physical changes are often accompanied with behavioral variations. Although these changes are inevitable, they can be nonetheless unpleasant and upsetting because our canine companions can’t express their emotions. Therefore, it is up to us to be mindful of any behavioral changes they exhibit and excessive barking is not different. Read on to know why your senior dog is barking for no reason and learn what you can do about it.

Why is My Senior Dog Barking for No Reason?

Have you noticed your senior dog barking more than usual recently? Don’t be alarmed because this is a regular occurrence in older dogs. Here are a few reasons why they bark more frequently.

Canine Perplexity

Beagle laying in grass with head thrown back, barking

Your dog may get perplexed or show signals that they don’t understand what’s going on. It doesn’t matter if they’re barking at nothing or for aid; it’s not a concerning symptom. However, if you believe your elderly dog’s barking is becoming a problem, you should consult your veterinarian. They will be able to prescribe medications or offer advice on how to help.

Elderliness of Brain

Even if older dogs don’t show evidence of severe canine cognitive disorder, their brain will experience changes. It changes the way in which it processes information and copes with its surroundings, resulting in increased barking.


diaper being put on an irish setter

Dogs have difficulty managing when and where they go to the toilet when they are tiny puppies and again when they are older. They may wake you up in the middle of the night or have an accident because they can’t hold it. If this occurs, always remember that they didn’t do it on purpose. Therefore, you should never punish them because it will worsen the situation.

Difficulties with Perception

Older dogs may have eyesight or hearing impairments, that might make them frustrated or fearful. They may believe they see or hear something when there is nothing there at all. Senior dogs are also unable to control their temperature as effectively as younger dogs. Hence, they may start barking to express the frustration of being too hot or too cold.

Behavioral Problem

German shepherd biting someones hand

Increased barking is one of the most striking characteristics of elderly dogs. Stress causes more vocalization in older dogs, such as whining, howling, and barking. That might be due to separation anxiety, but it could also be your elderly dog’s method of attracting your attention. It can, however, be a symptom of cognitive impairment.

Joint Pain

Pain in elderly dogs is a regular occurrence and is caused by normal wear and tear of their joints. These pups become weak and don’t have the same zeal and energy as they age. They use barking to express the discomfort so that we could give them some relief.

What to Do if My Senior Dog is Barking for No Reason?

Long haired dog barking

You’ll be able to address the excessive barking once you thoroughly grasp what’s causing it. It’s important to be empathetic with aging dogs because they require understanding, attention, and care. Consider all of the happy years you’ve spent with your dog and all of the joy he’s brought you. Therefore, a little bit of love and care is not too much to expect in the old age.

It’s always best to start with a comprehensive medical evaluation of your pet. This will help to address any medical problem that is contributing to barking habits, such as discomfort, anxiety, or loss of eyesight or hearing. The following are some steps that you can take if your senior dog is barking for no reason.

Make a Safe Space

When dogs are in a confined space, it makes them feel safer. For example, they may re-acquaint themselves with their crate. or you can confine them to a few rooms by using a baby gate. It will also make things easier for the owner because you know where they are at all times.

Give Them Something from Your Collection

Girl with her back pointed at the camera looking into a closet

When dogs smell your fragrance, they feel protected. Therefore, putting one of your t-shirts or blankets in their area can be quite helpful to keep them calm. They’ll be able to sense your aroma even if you’re not around, which will keep them relaxed. It will also decrease the chances of unnecessary barking.

Know that barking is quite frequent, and it will become more so as a dog gets older. Keep in mind that they’re probably doing it because they need aid, not because they’re attempting to be malevolent. Maintain a calm demeanor and treat your older dog with gentleness.

Follow a Schedule

Dogs a creature of routine and become more touchy about it as they grow old. For this reason, you should always try to stick to a routine with your older dog. It allows them to anticipate what’s going to happen next. Too many changes in a dog’s schedule can cause anxiety in your dog. This will cause your senior dog to bark and you won’t find any specific reason for it.

Give Them Time

Hourglass on a black background

You may also assist your dog to solve the barking problem interacting with them. Let them sit beside you and talk to them while petting them. This will allow them to feel the vibrations of your voice and see your mouth move even if they have hearing issues. In addition to this, you can also use hand gestures to communicate effectively with an aged dog.

Ensure a Nutritious Diet

Senior dogs have specific dietary needs and you must take care of their nutritional requirements. For instance, they may need some extra fatty acids in their diet to keep their skin and coat healthy. You can increase the number of necessary fatty acids in the dog’s diet (Omega-3 and Omega-6), but caution is needed. It should be a gradual process because fatty acids might induce diarrhea if consumed too rapidly.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.