A non-stop barking and howling dog is one of the things that can easily pit neighbors against one another. A survey that took place in New Zealand included 2,000 participants, and ⅔ of them answered that they would be very bothered by a dog howling and barking at night. New York Times even had an entire article dedicated to the topic, concluding that night howling and barking are considered one of the top forms of suburban noise pollution.
So, what to do if your dog barks and howls at night? But before we get into that, we need to understand first why do dogs bark at night?
Why dogs bark at night?
There can be several reasons why a dog barks at night. Sometimes it is fairly easy to determine the cause for the continuous barking at night. Other times we need to dig a bit deeper to determine the cause.
For example, if you got a new puppy coming into your home, the transition can sometimes be stressful for the little fella and hence the barking and howling. No matter how welcoming you’ve made its new home, know that the puppy was with its mom and siblings, where it felt comfortable and warm. Nothing can substitute that level of well-being, especially when it comes to young pups.
Another major reason why dogs bark is loneliness. That’s when the owner spends long hours at work, and the dog is left alone on its own at home. A dog left home alone over long periods can also get bored and bark to keep itself entertained.
Other things that can make the dog bark at night include outside noises, diet issues, a problem with the sleeping environment, age, hunger, needs to go to the toilet, etc.
Things to consider
The age of the dog
As we’ve mentioned earlier, young pups need time to adjust when they come into a new home. If it is a senior dog, consider that it might be suffering from age-related illnesses such as doggie dementia or canine cognitive dysfunction.
If it is a senior dog, consulting with a vet is a must. On the other side, if it is a young puppy, lots of love and some time to get acquainted with the new home should do.
When did it start barking?
Perhaps something changed in your neighborhood that caused the barking. For example, the barking started after a change of diet. Possibly you’ve changed its sleeping arrangement, illness, or any lifestyle change. All that can be related to the barking.
What’s different during the nights when it doesn’t bark?
If the dog doesn’t bark at certain nights, consider what’s different from the nights it barks. Perhaps it is a food thing or something else. Turn yourself into a detective of a sort and try to figure out the difference.
If the dog doesn’t get enough exercise, then it can be prone to barking at night. Regular walks and letting your dog run freely in the nearby dog park is the most straightforward fix. That way, your canine friend will be too tired for any night-time activities.
All in All
Ensure that your dog has a comfortable sleeping arrangement, proper diet, regular exercises, enough toys to keep itself distracted, and most important of all, affection.
At the end of the day, if you can’t determine the cause for the barking on your own, you can always visit a vet or a dog trainer for a consultation.