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Help! My Dog Won’t Stop Barking at Night

Boston terrier laying in a dog bed with head resting on side

A dog that barks late at night can quickly disturb your sleep cycle. This means that you feel tired even after waking up and it can affect all aspects of your life. According to Rover, canines adopt this habit early in their lives due to unintentional encouragement from owners. Although the underlying reasons for this behavior are usually simple, they must be addressed properly. Read on to find out what you can do if your dog won’t stop barking at night.

Why is My Dog Barking at Night?

Dogs bark for a multitude of reasons because it’s their natural way of communication. Therefore, it is critical to identify the trigger for barking to eliminate the problem permanently.

Sometimes, it becomes hard to pinpoint the exact cause, and you may have to use the elimination technique. In this method, you start eliminating the possible causes (one by one) to find the actual problem. The following are some common reasons that can make your dog bark at night.

Excess Energy

Certain dog breeds are extremely energetic and require more exercise than normal canines. If the exercise requirements of your pup are not met, excess energy can build up within his/her system. In that case, he/she will need an outlet to burn off that energy and barking offers a convenient solution. Some dogs also tend to run around in the house to make themselves content.

Separation Anxiety

Jack Russell Terrier sitting in a dog bed next to a human bed

Some dogs are independent and can handle themselves (for long spells) without their owners. However, other breeds can suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone for a long time. These canines are quite likely to bark at night if they have to sleep away from their owners. In addition to barking, anxious dogs can also develop other negative habits, like scratching furniture.

Boredom

According to Pet Safe, boredom is another major factor that can make your dog bark at night. Your dog needs something to stay busy if he/she wakes up in the middle of the night. Dog toys and puzzles are a great way to keep your pup entertained. They can also enhance your dog’s cognitive abilities.

Genetics

Some dog breeds, naturally, bark a lot more than others and you can’t do much about this instinct. These pups love barking and can get stressed out if you try to change their behavior.

Frustration

Dog laying on human bed upside down

If your puppy feels irritated or helpless, he/she will start barking out of frustration. For example, if your puppy loses a toy somewhere, he/she might get frustrated. This can be equally irritating for you if it happens in the middle of the night.

Illness

Sometimes, sick dogs also use barking to get your attention and tell you about their condition. If you can’t find any other reason for your dog barking at night, take him/her to the vet for a detailed examination. Never ignore your dog in this situation because he/she could be suffering from a serious condition.

What Can I Do If My Dog Won’t Stop Barking at Night?

Pub sleeping in human bed on back with the covers pulled up under his paws

Before you could solve the problem of your dog barking at night, it is important to identify the root cause. Once you have figured out the reason for this inappropriate habit, you can work towards a feasible solution. K9 of Mine explains some of the most effective ways to stop night barking.

Don’t Leave Your Dog Alone

If you work full-time, it’s NOT recommended to go for a dog breed that is prone to separation anxiety. Instead, the dog breeds that can be left alone will be better for you. Always plan your schedule to give your dog a lot of quality time before leaving and try not to leave your pup alone for too long. If there’s an emergency and you have to leave suddenly, hiring a babysitter for your dog is a good option.

Remove the Trigger

Certain things, such as loud sounds, can make your puppy anxious and this can result in stress barking. Some common sounds that can be stressful for a canine include cars passing by, fireworks, and slamming doors. The Spruce Pets explains that eliminating these triggers from your pup’s surroundings can make him/her feel more comfortable and calm.

If your dog is constantly barking when outside, other people and animals could well be the reason. Bring your canine friend inside to see if he/she calms down. Likewise, your pooch can also show territorial behavior (through barking) around other dogs.

Provide Your Dog with Enough Exercise

Woman walking a yellow lab on a stone sidewalk

Lack of exercise can also make your dog bark at night. The excess buildup of energy makes him/her hyperactive and he tries to bark that energy out. Therefore, you should take your dog for walks once or twice a day because a tired dog is usually calm.

Use Pheromones

Diffusers are a great way to disperse calming chemicals in the room. Although they do not fix the barking problem, diffusers relieve stress, which is a very common cause of barking. You can try using diffusers before you sleep because they can have a relaxing effect on your dog.

Take Your Dog to a Vet

If you suspect your dog is ill or in pain, immediately take him/her to the vet. It is always better to be safe than sorry because your pup can have a serious medical issue. The vet will perform a general diagnostic procedure to check for the most common problems in dogs. If he/she finds something wrong, an appropriate treatment plan can be executed.

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