Houston Vet Hospital

Why Dogs Bark

Barking is a dogs way of communicating with you. They also communicate in other ways, such as whimpering, and in ways that don't involve noise. Dogs communicate with people even nonverbally, such as brushing up against your side or giving you a "look." Most dog owners begin to understand their dogs after having them only a short time and can pick up on even their must subtle attempts at communication.

Dog Barking at Night

If your dog is barking at night and this is causing you, your neighbors, or your family problems, it is important to understand why your dog is barking. There are many reasons your dog could be barking at night. They may be hungry, there may be another animal outside, they want to play, and they may even just be lonely or bored. The barking may be something you want stopped, but you'll have to know why the dog is barking to cure the problem.

Possible Causes

  • Your Dog Needs to Use the Restroom - If your dog isn't being let out of the home to use the restroom before you go to bed at night, they may need to wake you up in the middle of the night. This is their way of saying, "Either wake up and let me go outside or I'm going to go on your floor." If your dog is an indoor dog and they bark at night, be sure you're taking them outside to use the restroom before you retire for the night.
  • Your Dog Wants to Play - On the other hand, if your dog is an outdoor dog, this would not be the reason they are barking. In fact, outdoor dogs usually bark at night because they see another animal. Just as dogs bark to communicate with humans, they also bark to communicate with other animals. They may be saying, "Hey, look at me, I'm an animal too!" Or they may be threatening the other animal with their presence.

Stop the Barking

If you believe your dog is barking at night because it is lonely or bored or wants to play, then your problem may actually be simple to fix. Start playing with your dog in the evening before going to bed. Playtime doesn't have to be right before you go to sleep, but some playtime in the evening should get your dog sufficiently tired. You want them to be tired enough to sleep through the night, not be full of evergy.

Where to Get Help for Excessive Dog Barking

If you can't solve your dog's barking "problem," take them to the Houston veterinarian clinic and talk to your vet about it. They should be able to help you narrow down the possible causes and provide adequate advice on how to solve the problem. If nothing else works, your Houston veterinarian clinic may even refer you to a dog trainer.

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