How Dog behavior changes at night

Dogs can be a loyal and joyous companion, but sometimes their behavior can change drastically at night. Many pet owners have experienced curious behaviors from their canine friends when the sun goes down and when the lights are dimmed. It’s important to understand why dogs may act differently in the evening, as this can help pet owners address any issues that may arise. From increased levels of energy to increased fear, there is a variety of reasons why your dog’s behavior changes at night. Dogs are intelligent mammals that are known for their loyalty and companionship. While they may be active during the day, many of us wonder what happens to our furry friends when darkness falls. Do they sleep like we do? Do they become more alert? In this article, we will explore how dog behavior changes at night and discuss the various factors that can influence it.

Senses Heightened:

Dogs have long been known for their heightened senses which allow them to detect smells and sounds that humans are unable to. Recent studies have now revealed that dogs sense may be even more powerful than previously thought. It has been found that a dog’s sense of smell is ten thousand times more powerful than a human’s, allowing them to detect scents from great distances. Not only can they pick up on food odors , but also the scent of other animals, people and even emotions such as fear or happiness. In addition, their hearing is far greater than ours; dogs can hear frequencies up to four times higher than those audible by humans. This impressive range allows them to pick up on high-pitched sounds made by small creatures such as mice and birds.

Activity Increase:

  Dogs are highly active and curious creatures, often more so during the night. Pet owners may be startled to find their canine companion out and about in the middle of the night, yet there is a scientific explanation for this behavior. Research has shown that dogs become increasingly active at night due to a combination of instinctual behaviors and environmental factors. Canines have evolved over time to take advantage of nighttime hours, when humans are most likely asleep and less capable of interfering with their activities. Dogs will use this nighttime window for exploration, exercise, hunting, scavenging for food, or even playing with other animals in nearby yards or fields. Dogs also have naturally heightened senses which allow them to detect prey easily at night; enhanced hearing and smell make it easier for them to find food sources outside the home after dark.

Anxiety and Fear Causes: 

Anxiety and fear in dogs can be sparked by many different things, and it is important for pet owners to recognize the signs of distress in their animals. Dogs are naturally nocturnal creatures, so anxiety during nighttime hours is not uncommon. However, if a dog’s fear or anxiety is causing them to become distressed or aggressive during these periods, it needs to be addressed quickly. While some breeds may have a tendency towards anxiety or fear due to their genetics, environmental factors such as loud noises, unfamiliar people or animals entering the home and changes in routine can also trigger anxious behavior at night. Pet owners should look out for signs that their pup is feeling scared including cowering, trembling or shaking, excessive barking and growling or hiding away from visitors.

Sleep Patterns Change:

Dogs may be known as man’s best friend, but how much do we really know about their sleep patterns? It is important to understand when and why our canine companions sleep differently during the night. Dogs require anywhere from 12-14 hours of sleep each day, but this amount can vary depending on the breed and age of your pup. While dogs tend to rest more during daylight hours, they also have distinct nighttime behaviors that are worth noting. During the evening, dogs often become more alert and active due to their heightened sense of smell and hearing both of which allow them to detect potential dangers in their environment. Additionally, some breeds may even become vocal late at night due to an increase in energy or out of a desire for attention from their humans.

Nighttime Scratching & Howling Solutions for Dogs

Dogs are wonderful, loyal companions – and they’re always up for a good time. Unfortunately, if your pup is scratching and howling at night, it can be disruptive to your rest. But there are ways to get your canine companion to stop their nighttime commotion. The first step in finding solutions for nighttime scratching and howling is understanding why dogs do this in the first place. If you can identify the root causes of their behavior, you’ll have a better chance at finding an effective remedy. Common reasons for these behaviors include separation anxiety due to being alone; boredom or lack of exercise; environmental changes like a new home; or physical needs such as fleas or other skin irritations that cause itching and discomfort.

How a senior dog’s nighttime anxiety affects quality of life

My new client was eager to talk about acupuncture for his senior dog, who was experiencing anxiety at night. As he shared what he and his wife were going through, I heard a mix of desperation and exhaustion in his voice. He was at the end of his rope, unsure where to turn for help.

His wife, who was the dog’s primary caretaker, was on the verge of a “nervous breakdown.” Those were his very words. Like many women, she was a light sleeper. She was also deeply devoted to their beloved dog and determined to provide him the best care at any price. Every night she awoke to their dog’s panting and pacing. The doting dog mom would get out of bed and do her best to settle her dog down by taking him outside, offering him water, turning on a fan, and moving to another room in the home — usually to no avail. Night after night the pair would go through their ritual until the exhausted dog and mom finally collapsed together in the early morning hours. Sadly, this is not a rare, isolated case. Senior dogs experiencing anxiety at night is all too common. Just like my new client and his wife, the problem can have a profound negative impact on everyone’s quality of life.

Understanding What Makes Dogs Tick After Dark

Dogs are a beloved part of many households and they often bring joy and companionship. But what do dogs get up to when the lights go out? Understanding what makes dogs tick after dark can help you ensure that your pup is happy, healthy and content throughout the night.A dog’s behavior at night will vary according to their breed and individual personality traits, but overall most dogs tend to be calmer in the evening hours. Many hounds will seek out their favorite spot for snoozing, or take advantage of an extra-long tummy rub from their favorite human companion before settling in for some much needed rest. Depending on their energy levels, size, age and health status some dogs may even sleep through the entire night without interruption while others might prefer to stretch their legs during late-night bathroom breaks or go exploring around the backyard under cover of darkness.

Other reasons for senior dog anxiety at night

Here are other common conditions in senior dogs that can contribute to restlessness and anxiety at night. Basic diagnostic tests would point to these conditions:

  • Low thyroid
  • Diabetes 
  • Hypertension in dogs
  • Cushing’s diseases in dogs
  • Urinary tract infection in dogs

Unleash the Power of a Rested Pet: Sleeping Habits for Pups

Having an energetic, healthy pup is something we all want for our furry friends. But it’s not as simple as providing a nutritious diet and plenty of exercise, sleep habits also play an important role in keeping them feeling their best. A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that dogs typically need between 12-14 hours of sleep per day, depending on age and breed. Adequate rest allows your pup to recharge and stay energized throughout the day while they explore the world around them. A good sleeping habit can also help maintain proper weight, boost immunity, improve behavior issues and promote overall physical health. To ensure your four-legged friend is getting enough shut eye each night start with a consistent bed time routine that includes petting or reading a book before lights out.

Unravelling Sleepless Nights: Dog Behavior

Do you constantly find yourself awoken by your dog’s barking during the night? Does it seem like your pup just won’t calm down no matter what? If so, it may be time to take a closer look at your pooch’s behavior. A major cause of sleepless nights with dogs is anxiety and fear. Dogs can become anxious due to numerous triggers such as loud noises, unfamiliar people or animals entering their space, changes in routine, or even boredom. It is important to identify the underlying anxiety causing these behaviors and address them accordingly. This could include introducing calming therapies such as aromatherapy, providing interactive toys for playtime in order to curb boredom, or establishing a consistent daily routine that the dog can feel safe within.

How do you treat a senior dog who has anxiety at night?

Once you know the “why” behind your dog’s nighttime anxiety, it’s time to talk about how to calm a dog with anxiety at night. Remember, a diagnosis can be tricky. Don’t give up if you don’t have a definitive answer on your first vet visit. It may take several visits, treatment methods, and lots of detailed observations on your end to unravel the full story.

Here are a few treatment options that you and your veterinarian may discuss:

1. Speak with your veterinarian about changes to your dog’s diet.

Because it is an easy change that can pay big dividends, many veterinarians will recommend switching to a brain-boosting prescription diet. Although I’m typically the one recommending a custom-formulated, home-cooked diet over a prescription diet, in this case, I stand in the corner of prescription diets.

2. Increase exercise and mental stimulation during the day.

Some dogs are restless at night because they are bored or have a lot of extra energy. So, another simple recommendation is to increase your dog’s exercise regimen and mental stimulation during the day. Make an extra lap around the neighborhood, but also think brain teasers and puzzles for dogs. A simple online search will yield hundreds of ideas and products designed to challenge your dog’s mental acumen.

3. Stick to a routine or schedule (especially at night).

Sometimes senior dogs exhibit anxiety when their schedule is disturbed. Just like senior people, keeping a healthy, consistent nighttime routine can be helpful. If your senior dog has suddenly developed odd anxiety-related behavior at night, start by looking for “triggers.” Have there been any recent changes? Also, make sure your dog has convenient access to their preferred resting place and a super comfortable bed. I’m a big fan of oversized memory foam beds for creaky old joints.

4. Consider pheromones to reduce your dog’s anxiety.

Pheromones are natural chemicals that are released by dogs (and other animals/people). They are used to help animals communicate with one another and can trigger different chemical reactions in the brain.

Recently, pheromones have become very popular with behavioral veterinarians, because they are a natural and easy way to help dogs with anxiety. Not only can pheromones reduce anxiety, but they can also lower fear, distress, separation anxiety, urgency/panic, and other negative emotions.

There are many reasons that I love recommending pheromones to clients, including:

  • They are natural and have no known side effects
  • Humans can’t smell dog pheromones—only dogs can.
  • They are easy to use in conjunction with other treatments
  • There are options available that don’t require administering every day

Spotting Changes: Dog Night Habits

Dogs are our loyal and lovable companions, and it’s important to pay attention to any changes in their behavior. Spotting changes in your pup’s night habits can provide valuable insights into their overall health and wellbeing. A big change in your dog’s sleep cycle or activities during the night can indicate a health problem, such as anxiety or illness. It’s important to be aware of any signs that may suggest something is wrong with your canine companion. Common indicators include excessive barking, pacing, restlessness, and other disruptive behaviors. Your vet should be able to answer any questions you may have about what might be causing these changes. It’s also essential to look out for problems associated with aging dogs too – they may start waking up more often at night due to joint pain or trouble sleeping.


In conclusion , it’s important to remember that dogs are active during the night, even if they’re not as vocal or energetic. They may be more inclined to roam around, bark or whine, and investigate unfamiliar sounds. If you notice your dog’s nighttime activity changing, it could indicate a health issue or something else that needs further investigation. To ensure your pup is safe and healthy, it’s essential to stay informed about their behavior at all times of the day and night.

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