Crying Puppy: What It Means and How to Deal With It

New puppy parents may be at a loss as to why their puppy is crying or how to stop it. Keep reading to find the answer!

Puppies are the cutest thing in the world! Bringing home a new puppy is such a wonderful experience. Until they start whining and crying and simply won’t stop!

It can be both heartbreaking and annoying. After days of this behavior, everyone in your house ends up tired and stressed out, and no one wants that.

New puppy parents may be at a loss as to why their puppy is crying or how to stop it. In order to stop unwanted behavior, it’s very important to first understand why your puppy is even doing it.

Why Is My Puppy Crying?

If you recently added a new puppy to your family, you are probably still figuring out how they communicate their needs with you. Sometimes this is from crying, sometimes whining, sometimes barking.

Whatever the case may be, figuring out what your dog is trying to get across to you could be difficult at first, but it’s an important part of forming that forever bond.

Crying is a huge part of canine communication and is one of the first things your pup learns to do. 

Puppies crying because they’re just trying to let you know that they have a need, and they’ll keep crying until you meet that need, just as a human baby would. It’s one of their primary ways to express their opinions and wishes.

With that said, we will go over the top 5 reasons why your puppy is crying in their crate, plus ways to get him to settle down and stop crying.

1. Attention

A Puppy Crying for Attention

Have you noticed that your new puppy doesn’t want to leave your side? Even for a second. This is because dogs are social animals and are used to having company.

As you know, your puppy seeks affection and connection to their new family members. Therefore, they might be crying because they want you to pay attention to them.

Dogs, and especially puppies, are social and want nothing more than to be with their pack. So, it’s not too surprising that they would try to get your attention when they feel isolated.

During the day your puppy was happy to have all your attention. He didn’t mind that his canine family was not there.  But now that it is nighttime he is starting to miss the comforts of his prior home and family.

Your puppy is afraid he’s been abandoned. He’s basically crying out for you to rescue him.

During a puppy’s first months they really don’t like to be left alone for long. Even popping into the next room in the early weeks can leave them anxiously wondering where you’ve gone.

2. Stress

Stressed Puppy

Dogs are creatures of habit, and when things change, their behavior changes as well.

Perhaps the most common reason that puppies cry is that they are missing the warmth and physical contact from their mothers and littermates that they are genetically programmed to expect. Remember, for a pack animal like a dog, separation can be stressful.

There is a good chance that this is the first time in his young life that he needs to sleep alone or in a crate. If this is the case, do not, under any circumstances, crate him away in a room all by himself. Puppies can feel vulnerable at night if they are left on their own.

Remember, his den was the safest place in the world, and now it’s gone. Now, your puppy has a nice big, soft bed all to himself – but it’s quiet, it doesn’t smell the same and he is probably a bit confused and stressed.

3. Hunger

A Hungry Puppy

Young puppies naturally make whimpering or crying sounds to show their desire for food. Think of it as their way of saying “I’m hungry!

So if you’re clueless as to why your pup is yelping, see if giving him a little more food will do the trick. He might have just been hungry all along. However, make sure you follow your food brand guidelines.

  • A puppy that is six to 12 weeks of age should be fed four times a day.
  • A puppy that is three to six months of age should be fed three times a day.
  • Fresh drinking water should be available at all times.

Place your puppy on a routine feeding schedule so they know when to expect their meals.

4. Toilet

Peeing Puppy

Puppies may also cry if they want to go to the toilet. It will be stressful for your puppy if they have to go to the toilet in their crate. This is because dogs are very clean animals and don’t like to go to the toilet where they are sleeping.

Therefore, always make sure you’re letting your puppy out to go to the toilet as often as he needs to.

Your puppy can only hold its bladder for a wee while. In addition, it takes only a few hours for a meal to pass through their digestive system. So make sure the very last thing you do at night is to take them outside for a toilet break.

Wait a couple of minutes to let your puppy sniff around and do its business. To avoid crying that is caused by needing to use the bathroom, place your puppy on a routine potty schedule.

5. Pain or Discomfort

A Puppy Crying in Pain

It’s important to note that while whining is normal and to be expected, especially with a puppy, always be on watch for other signs and symptoms that something could be wrong.

Crying could be an indication that your dog is in some kind of physical distress. When in doubt, make an appointment with your veterinarian’s office.

How to Get a Puppy to Stop Crying

Above all, it’s important to understand that while it sounds like the end of the world, the crying sounds more dramatic than it is.

Some people find that if they leave a puppy to cry it out, they do eventually stop. This may well be the case, but it won’t necessarily be in the best interests of your puppy. What’s best for your puppy is for them to know that you are close by.

You also don’t have to lose sleep over your puppy whining in his crate at night. First, you need to make sure you’ve taken care of his needs before bedtime.

As you know, puppies have a lot of energy. Take your dog on a long walk and play with him before bed, so it burns off that energy. In other words, make sure your puppy gets enough mental and physical activity.

Next, make sure your puppy does all his business outside as close to bedtime as possible.

If you’ve done all you can to satisfy your pup’s basic needs, consider putting him to bed with a chewable treat or toy. This will distract your puppy and hopefully wear him out until he nods off.

Happily Sleeping Puppy

In addition, when you first get your puppy, you may find it helpful to let them sleep in your bedroom. However, if you don’t want your puppy to sleep in your bedroom, just set up a bed for yourself in the room where your puppy sleeps.

This will only be a temporary move, just until your puppy is settled and sleeping comfortably at night.


Crying is the earliest form of communication that your puppy learns, and you should always respond when there is a genuine reason for the crying. It’s a valuable clue to help you figure out what he’s trying to tell you. So listen and respond. 

If you’re experiencing puppy crying, the key is to have patience, understand his needs and shower him with love. This initial period of your puppy crying will soon pass once they are settled and feeling more secure in their new home.