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Why Does My Dog Whine and Cry in the Morning?

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Dogs whines in the morning to communicate with you. Your dog can be desperate to get outside to urinate, over-excited to see you, uncomfortable in its bed, in pain, or hungry.  

Is your dog’s crack of dawn whining driving you crazy? While it’s annoying, the good news is it can be stopped. 

How you stop a dog from whining early in the morning depends on why it does it. You have to understand why your dog is crying and whining before you can treat the problem. 

Read on to find out five of the most common reasons for a dog to whine in the morning, what you can do to stop it, how to deal with a whining puppy, and what to do if your dog is whining in its crate in the morning. 

Why Do Dogs Whine?

Dogs whine to communicate excitement, a want or need, anxiety, pain, a plea for attention, or when trying to apologize or show submission. 

Here are the main reasons why dogs whine and cry:

  • Pain.
  • Needs or wants something.
  • Excitement.
  • Anxiety.
  • It wants your attention.
  • It is apologizing or showing submission. [1] [2]

5 Reasons Why Dogs Whine and Cry in the Morning 

Dogs whine in the morning because they are desperate to go outside, in pain, feel cold or uncomfortable in bed, feel hungry or thirsty, or are over-excited to see you. Select whining triggers require medical treatment while others are fixed with a few simple changes and training. 

There are countless reasons why dogs cry, but they typically fit into one of five categories. 

Here are five common reasons for a dog to whine in the morning:

  1. Urgently needs a potty break.
  2. Pain. 
  3. Feeling cold or uncomfortable. 
  4. Excitement.
  5. Hungry and thirsty.

1. Urgently Needs a Potty Break 

How to Help a Dog That Is Crying and Vomiting 

It’s common for a dog to whine in desperation when they need to urinate or defecate. 

If this is a new behavior, consider your dog’s age. Older dogs often experience bladder weakness. 

What You Can Do

An easy remedy is to add an extra late-night toilet break into your dog’s nightly routine. 

2. Whining and Crying in Pain

Dog Pain and Injuries

Dogs whine when they’re in pain. 

Monitor your dog for signs of injury or the following signs of illness if it suddenly started whining: 

  • Fever
  • Increased time spent in bed during the day
  • Swollen belly
  • Hunched back
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If your dog isn’t injured or sick, consider degenerative joint diseases (like arthritis) or musculoskeletal conditions (like hip dysplasia). 

Dogs with joint diseases and musculoskeletal conditions struggle to get comfortable and stay comfortable at night. Laying down puts continuous pressure on affected joints causing dogs to be in pain when they wake up, resulting in crying and whining.[3] 

What You Can Do

Contact your vet for advice on how to treat an injury and illness. 

A vet can tell you how to treat a certain condition at home or if you need to bring your dog in for further treatment. 

Take your dog to a vet for a check-up if you suspect a joint disease or a musculoskeletal condition. Ask your vet about recommended dietary changes, and natural and medicinal therapies to reduce inflammation. 

This can also slow down the progression of the diseases.

Revamp your dog’s bed. Lowering a dog’s bed helps combat musculoskeletal issues. Add plenty of soft bedding too. Dogs with arthritis feel more pain in their joints when it’s cold, so consider adding a heating pad to your dog’s bed or heating the room in winter. 

3. Feeling Cold or Uncomfortable 

Dog Feeling Cold or Uncomfortable

Your dog whining can be a result of getting a poor night’s sleep in a cold and uncomfortable bed.

What You Can Do

Invest in a bigger bed if your young dog has outgrown its puppy bed. Add a warmer blanket and consider heating the room in winter, especially for puppies, small and old dogs, that all feel the cold.  

4. Excitement 

Puppy Is Whining due to Excitement

Whining can be an expression of excitement. The question is, do you want to encourage this, and are you encouraging it unknowingly? 

By responding to whining dogs with affection and attention you encourage them to continue. 

What You Can Do

Ignore your dog when it whines in excitement. You can let it out for a potty break (in case that is the reason for the whining), but don’t give your dog any attention or affection as long as it’s whining. 

Only when it comes to you calmly (without whining) can you give it your attention. Your dog will learn that overexcited whining behavior is not rewarded, while calm behavior is. 

5. Hunger and Thirst

Dog Hunger and Thirst

It’s perfectly normal for dogs to feel hungry in the morning, but they shouldn’t feel the need to whine for food. A sudden increase in hungry is understandable in a growing dog as well as an aging one. Hunger can also indicate worms or diseases like diabetes and hyperthyroidism.[4] 

What You Can Do

Speak to your vet about the type and amount of food your dog eats. A growing dog’s nutritional needs are different from an aging dog, so changing your dog’s diet over the years is inevitable. 

Create a consistent feeding routine to minimize anxiety around food. Feeding your dog at 6 AM some days of the week and then at 9 AM over the weekend can make it feel unsure about feeding time, which can cause whining and crying.  

Deworm your dog regularly. Speak to your vet if you have concerns that your dog’s sudden increased hunger could be related to an illness. Be sure to mention other changes you’ve noticed, like increased thirst, fatigue, and increased urination.

Why Is My Dog Whining in its Crate in the Morning?

Dogs whine in their crate in the morning if they are anxious about being closed in a crate, uncomfortable because the crate is too small, or if they’re hungry, thirsty, or need to pee. 

Here are common reasons for a dog whining in its crate in the morning: 

  • The dog is in pain.
  • The crate is too small. 
  • The crate enclosure makes the dog feel anxious.  

Crate-trained dogs that suddenly start whining can be in pain. Look out for signs of illness or injury and contact your vet if you are concerned. 

A young dog can outgrow its dog crate quickly. The crate is too small if your dog can’t stand up in the crate and turn around comfortably. 

Crate-training your dog helps when you need to transport your dog, but you don’t have to force your dog to sleep in a crate. If your dog is whining in its crate every morning, give your dog a comfortable bed and see if the whining stops. 

Dog in Discomfort while in its crate

Why Does My Puppy Whining in the Morning

Puppies whine because they are not used to sleeping on their own, suffer from separation anxiety, and are prone to boredom. Puppies also whine in the morning when they’re desperate to get outside. 

Your puppy is still learning how to sleep on its own, so have patience with it.

Separation anxiety is the most common reason why puppies whine.

Ease your puppy’s separation anxiety by placing a hot water bottle or heated beanbag under a  blanket. This mimics the warmth of its mother and siblings while a small ticking clock in the same room creates a rhythm similar to its mother’s heartbeat.

Some people find it helps to bring their puppy’s bed or crate into their bedroom.[5] 

Related: How to Get a Puppy to Stop Whining

How to Stop Dogs From Whining and Crying in the Morning

To stop a dog from whining and crying in the morning you need to address its physical needs first. For example, take your dog out for a late-night potty break to stop whining in desperation to go out in the morning. If whining is a habit, you can teach your dog that it’s not acceptable. 

Here are our top 5 takeaways for stopping your dog from whining in the morning: 

  1. Change their nighttime routine.
  2. Feed your dog enough, and feed it consistently.
  3. Check your dog for illness and injury.
  4. Upgrade your dog’s bed.
  5. Train your dog not to whine.

1. Change Your Dog’s Nighttime Routine

Change Your Dog’s Nighttime Routine

Add an extra late-night toilet break so your dog isn’t so desperate to urinate in the morning. 

2. The Importance of Food

Ensure you are feeding your dog enough and consistently. Deworm your dog regularly. Speak to your vet if you have any concerns about a dog that is suddenly hungrier than ever. 

3. Rule Out Illness and Injury 

Take your dog to the vet for a check-up if you suspect that an injury or illness could be linked to your dog’s increased whining. 

4. Brush Up on the Bedding

Consider ways to make your dog’s bed a more comfortable place to sleep, particularly if you have a puppy or your dog is suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia.  

5. Training

Teach your dog not to whine for attention by ignoring this behavior. Only give your dog attention and affection when it comes to your calmly.  

About Monique Warner

Monique is an avid dog lover who grew up with dogs, cats, and budgies as pets. She has worked as a pet sitter and dog walker. With her passion for dogs and pets alike, she writes articles with the intention of helping pet owners solve their biggest struggles.

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