When buying a puppy, it’s best to be prepared: They’re going to cry. Quite a bit. At least in the beginning!
While your heart will synch tight at the sound, and you’ll be sure the creature is making a dramatic exit from the world of the living, this is actually nothing to be worried about.
Your puppy is just trying to notify you about their needs in the only way they can; by making noises that will trigger you into checking up on them.
There are many reasons why puppies feel the need to cry out for help, and different ways of approaching the problems they are facing.
In this article, we will discuss all the causes and your best solutions, so the crying can cease and playtime can resume (or sleep time, because, wow, is that annoying at night).
Your first step in dealing with a crying puppy should be to ask yourself, “Why is my puppy crying?” before providing a solution for their needs.
Before considering other problems, always check if your puppy is showing signs of poor health, especially when they are acting out of character.
Why Do Puppies Cry
Crying At Night
Night crying is most common during the first week of your puppy’s new life in your home.
Keep in mind that you’re dealing with a young creature that has been separated from its family and is in an unknown environment.
While you might know there is nothing to fear, for a young animal, the only thing that counts is: it’s dark, they’re alone, and a parent should be with them.
Night cries can be handled by letting the puppy sleep in their basket but allowing them to remain in your room for the first few nights.
Puppies don’t need to actually see you, but they need to know you’re there. After a few days up, to two weeks after, you can move the basket to a different room.
Be prepared for some whining in the first night or two, since they don’t love being on their own. After a while, they will quiet down and learn to sleep through the night.
Crying During the Day
Crying during the day is more about problem solving. One reason could be that they need to relieve themselves.
Dogs keep their sleeping space clean and will relieve themselves elsewhere if given the chance. If it’s been a while since their last toilet break, give your puppy a chance to do so.
The next urgent need is food. Puppies need food and drink frequently, and are used to being able to drink their fill with their mom.
Now they don’t have a constant supply of food anymore, and they are asking their caretakers, you, to show them where they can find more.
If possible sickness or injuries, sleep, bathroom breaks, and food have been ruled out, then their cry requires a different solution.
They may be craving social support and emotional bonding, which is key in raising a friendly and well-adjusted dog.
Young puppies need to know you are present and will prefer to be in the same room as you, but while they need reassurance that you are present, they don’t need to be coddled all the time.
Placing their basket in the living room (or wherever you spend the most time) usually suffices, and providing them with open access to the entire family will give the puppy plenty of chances to get socialized.
If you are coming home after a day of school or work, be sure to give your puppy a minute of your undivided attention.
They’ve been waiting for you the entire day and need a chance to share how much they’ve missed you.
Avoiding the ‘Want’ Puppy Cry
While really young puppies only whine if they have a need, older puppies can also develop their ‘want’ cry.
For example, they need food but also want a treat, or they need social affirmation from you but they want to be on your lap.
As your puppy gets older, it’s important to estimate how much of a need and how much of a want they’re trying to communicate.
Ignore too many wants and your dog will learn you can’t be trusted with their care. Give in to too many wants and your dog will become spoiled and unruly.
It may be confusing to determine the difference, but remember that they’re trying to tell you as best as they can.
Raising your voice or punishing your puppy will damage their trust in you. It’s important to keep a clear head and accept that, for the first few months, you will need to invest a lot of time in their well-being.
In short, puppies cry to make you attentive to the needs they can’t handle alone.
By being considerate of your dog and keeping in mind the four basic checkpoints – health, food, hygiene, and social needs – it becomes easier to anticipate your puppies’ desires.
As they grow older and more self-sufficient, the cries will eventually disappear, leaving you with a happy adult dog.