Like human newborns, puppies communicate many of their needs by crying.
Puppies learn to communicate through actions such as wagging their tails, cuddling next to you, or making eye contact because they cannot talk.
When they cry or vocalise their grief, they may feel as distressed as you are. Often you can make an enlightened guess depending on when the crying happens.
Puppies are bliss, but what do you do if you've met their usual basic needs but they continue crying and whimpering?
Let's resolve the possible reasons as to why this is an occurrence.
Why do puppies whine?
Whimpering and crying or vocalizing their needs, especially in the early day, are the main ways a puppy will try to communicate with their new owner.
Dogs are trainable, playful, and highly social. Probably the reason why dogs have a unique bond with humans. However, their communication isn't quite the same.
It is important to try and learn the way a dog may communicate with their owner in an attempt to know the possible reasons, which may include:
- Sickness: The common cause of a puppy's crying is an illness, and whining could indicate that they are physically distressed. Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, no appetite, or increased breathing rate are signs that the puppy is unwell.
In addition, if they are licking or biting excessively and scratching a particular area, the puppy might fight an allergy, infection, parasites, or other skin problems.
Crying is normal and expected of puppies, but be watchful of other signs, like a usually warm and cuddly puppy becoming antisocial or not wanting to be touched. They could be injured or have joint pain because of arthritis.
Make an appointment with a veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms. They will thoroughly examine and determine if the dog is whining because he's not feeling well.
- Loneliness: Puppies are social and can be needier when separated from their moms and siblings. Try keeping them close to you as much as possible by putting their crates in high-traffic areas in your home. Alternatively, you can tie the puppy to your waist using a leash when you are busy around the house. In most cases, puppies want to feel your presence and be part of the action.
- Fear: The puppy's behaviour may range from playful and daring to withdrawal and fear. A puppy panting, pacing, or trembling while crying suggests they are likely fearful or anxious about something. It could be a new guest or resident in the house, or they are worried because someone is missing.
To help the puppy, watch their body language. Your dog has ears back or tails down if they seem to relieve the pup from the situation as soon as possible.
If your dog is whining before you leave the house, it could result from separation anxiety. You can treat your dog's separation anxiety by using various desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques.
- Hunger: Puppies experience an increase or decrease in appetite as part of normal biological changes. If your dog wants something from you, like a walk, food, or a toy, it may whine to tell you. Take note of when your puppy cries. If they usually cry during the time before meals, this could mean that they're hungry.
Talk to your vet about ways of switching your puppy's diet if they are not eating enough. If your pup's body looks thin, consider giving them more food, but if they are chubby, then they should be at this age, reduce it a little bit. Feeding from your hand increases enticement or offers smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
- Boredom: This may be because the puppy has a significant amount of suppressed energy and is looking for a way to get it out. Sometimes dogs whine just because no one is paying attention to them and want someone to play with or something to occupy them. Offering exercise and playtime as a part of the puppy's routine helps them exhaust their high energy and have mental stimulation at different times throughout the day.
Playing fetch, building a puppy obstacle course in the backyard, or trying a hide and seek game where the puppy has to search around the house to find its food are great ways to keep a bored dog entertained.
- Attention Seeking: Puppies seek affection and connection with their new family members. This may occur if you've been away from them all day, if you're doing something that doesn't involve them, such as being on the phone or focusing on important tasks.
Dog owners should try acknowledging their pups when they walk through the door and paying attention when with the puppy. This can be enough to help calm them down. However, a puppy who cries and demands attention when its needs have already been met should be ignored and given attention after they are calm.
Is it normal for a puppy to cry a lot?
Puppies whining in their crates is normal behaviour, but it can be difficult to determine the cause.
New puppy owners make habitual mistakes by giving their puppies attention or taking them out of the crate when they start crying. This type of attention only encourages the behaviour. Ignoring the puppy is the best thing to do.
A common time that puppies cry is overnight, which is the most challenging aspect of puppyhood. Puppies cry at night for several reasons, but persistent cries can lead to frustration and tiredness.
The most frequent reason is that they are lonely and need comfort. Puppies newly separated from their mothers miss the warmth and security she and their littermates provided.
During the night, please do not ignore your puppy crying as it's likely to worsen their anxiety and lead to behaviour problems.
If the reason for the puppy crying at night is known, like pooping or peeing, it should be taken outside just before bedtime, so it doesn't happen again. Alternatively, feeding them early dinner in the evening can work.
Never shout or get angry with a crying puppy, although this habit may push you to yell at them.
Yelling may worsen things and reinforce the behaviour one is hoping to stop. You can walk away from the situation after ensuring the puppy is safe in their crates.
When you can't figure out why your puppy is crying, please consult your veterinarian, as they are a great source of advice.
Where should a puppy sleep?
A puppy needs plenty of sleep for about 18-20 hours a day, including 14-16 hours night time sleep and 2-6 hours of daytime naps to grow and develop (for about 3 months).
Sleeping helps puppies develop their bones, muscles, and central nervous system and boost their immune system.
The first night at home with a new puppy can be tricky; therefore, it's important to draft a routine immediately to let them know that nighttime does not equal playtime.
Below are a few tips to help welcome a puppy into its new home while establishing boundaries:
- Make the puppy sleep in a crate near your bed for a few weeks to avoid them developing separation anxiety and feel comforted
- Place an old shirt recently worn in the puppy's crate for them to become familiar with your scent
- Try not to bring the puppy to bed with you, as they will develop an undesirable habit
- Establish a good sleeping schedule for your dog and put them before you.
- Start the puppy on potty training immediately as they may need a toilet break during the night to prevent accidents and other behaviours from forming.
If you have a puppy and it's not taking daytime naps or is sleeping more than 20 hours a day, you might want to take it to a vet for a check-up to examine any underlying factors for their lethargy.
How do I get my new puppy to stop crying?
Because of their social nature, Puppies like to be around their owners as loneliness first troubles them after separation from their mom and littermates.
During the first days in your home, try giving the puppy plenty of attention while giving them the option to walk away. Puppies sometimes want company, but sometimes they prefer to be alone.
Give your puppy space when she wants space and company when she wants the company to make them feel safe and loved in her new home.
Get them used to being brushed and touched, give him toys to play with, and the option to walk away. Gradually, teach them to be comfortable alone even when it's not their choice.
Here are some remedies to help your pup sleep at night:
- Pick the right-size crate with enough space to help them stay comfortable
- Ensuring the puppy is comfortable with the crate helps with anxiety and reduces whining
- Use dog treats to reward your puppy when he is quiet and calm in his crate.
- Keep the puppy's crate in an area where the family spends a lot of time
- Make sure to provide plenty of potty breaks.
- Give your puppy plenty of exercise to wear them out
- Limit the amount of food and water the puppy gets before bed
- Play soft music to help calm and comfort the puppy
Being patient with your puppy is important because moving into a new home is scary, and they are just adjusting.
Whining can be cute, but if it goes on for long periods or becomes a regular habit, it can get annoying, necessitating background checks on puppies to help figure out why they might be crying.
For the numerous reasons why your puppy might begin crying, it is essential to pin out the exact cause so you can help them ditch the behaviour.
The light at the end of the tunnel for puppy owners is that as the pups grow, their crying subsides as they become more confident and independent.