Has your dog been whining or whimpering lately? No dog owner wants to hear the sound of their beloved companion in distress, but the reality is that dogs do cry, and they cry for all kinds of reasons, ranging from simple irritability to serious underlying issues.
If your dog cries excessively, it may be time to consider that there’s something more important going on than your canine simply not getting their way. We’re going to examine the most common culprits behind your dog whining, and talk about what steps you can take to alleviate whatever distress they’re in. We’ll also explore the role that CBD (cannabidiol) may play in addressing your dog’s unique needs.
Do Dogs Cry?
Dogs don’t cry like humans do. They don’t break into sobs, and they don’t produce tears that stream down their faces. But, dogs do make a distinctive whimpering or whining sound that any pet owner knows is a sign that their canine is unhappy.
So, where does this sound come from? When a dog cries, they’re deliberately trying to communicate to their owner that they’re unhappy. This is a sound that they learn to produce when they’re puppies, to get their mother’s attention. They continue to use this sound when in their owner’s care, as they’ve learned that by producing the sound, they get the attention that they’re looking for.
What Might Cause My Dog’s Crying?
If your dog has been crying lately, you’re probably desperate to figure out why, and come up with a solution – especially if you’re a new dog owner who isn’t used to the sound. But, there can be countless reasons for your dog’s whining, just like how it is with humans when we cry. Here are the most common reasons for a crying dog.
Reason #1: They’re Hungry
One of the most common reasons for your dog’s whining is because they’re hungry. That’s one of the first reasons they cry as puppies, when they want their mother to feed them. This may be an appropriate response if their food is late, or they skipped a meal. If your dog always whines before their mealtime, however, it might be a behavioral habit that you’ll want to correct. Keep in mind that this behavior may be more present during puppyhood, and they may age out of it as they adjust to their new feeding routine.
Reason #2: They’re Anxious
Dogs whimper when they’re anxious, and a dog’s anxiety can be triggered by endless culprits – thunderstorms, separation from their owner, another dog intimidating them, being in a new environment – the list goes on. If your dog clearly whimpers when there’s a specific trigger, then you may have to just wait it out. Your dog is expressing their emotions, and unless you can remove the trigger from their life entirely, it’s likely that you won’t be able to break them out of this behavior.
Reason #3: They’ve Spotted Prey, or Another Animal
A dog may cry when they spot prey, especially if they can’t actually get to that prey – like seeing a rabbit out the window. This is a fairly common response to frustration, and a desire to follow their instincts. They may also make this sound if they see another animal outdoors that isn’t prey, like a cat or dog, who they want to interact with or explore.
Reason #4: They’re Sick
A dog may cry when they’re ill – after all, plenty of humans do this too – because being sick can make any mammal feel absolutely miserable. If your dog is suddenly whimpering a lot out of nowhere, you may want to consider that they have some sort of infection. Look for other signs, like a lack of interest in food, lethargy, disinterest in play, and changes in potty behavior.
Reason #5: They’re Hurt
Similarly, a dog who is suddenly whimpering excessively may be hurt in some way. Dogs whimper when they’re in pain, and they may have experienced an injury that you haven’t yet identified. If they’re showing other clear signs of being in pain, such as limping, laying down more, or showing little interest in play, then you might want to take the whimpering seriously. Even if it’s not an injury, a dog may whimper when in pain, such as if they have a condition like arthritis, or a dental problem that makes eating painful. But, at the same time, many dogs who are in chronic pain don’t cry, so don’t wait for crying to assume that your dog is in discomfort.
Reason #6: There Has Been a Recent Change
Dogs desire predictability and consistency, which means that they can struggle with changes that don’t seem like a big deal to us. Something as simple as rearranging the furniture, adjusting mealtime, or bringing someone new into our home can trigger an anxiety response that makes them feel insecure. As a result, they may whimper to convey their discomfort, and let you know that they feel unsafe.
Reason #7: They Don’t Like Their Food
A dog may whimper simply because they don’t like their food – in fact, it’s very common. Any dog owner knows that food is a massive priority in a dog’s life, and if they aren’t happy with what they’re being served at mealtime, they may whimper in front of their food bowl to communicate their dissatisfaction.
Reason #8: They’re in Conflict with Another Pet
A dog who is in some type of conflict with another pet may whimper, hoping to get your attention and remedy the situation. If you have another dog or a cat who bullies your dog, whimpering may be their way of letting you know that they’re in emotional distress, and simply want your help.
Reason #9: A Possible Underlying Health Condition
Some dogs may whimper due to an underlying health condition that’s causing them pain or discomfort. If you haven’t taken your dog to the vet for a checkup recently, you may have missed a developing health concern that could result in whimpering, along with any other host of symptoms.
Reason #10: Aging
Dogs do have a tendency to whimper more as they get older, and the crying may become excessive the older they get. This can be caused by general discomfort that affects their bodies, along with a lack of mobility that prevents them from playing as much as they used to. It can also be due to cognitive decline, which can cause confusion and emotional changes, which results in crying.
Reason #11: Not Getting What They Want
Sometimes, dogs whimper because they’re not getting what they want in that moment, and it’s not serious, but just whining. If they aren’t able to, say, play with their favorite toy, or get their treat when they want it, they may cry in order to get you to give them what they want.
Reason #12: It’s a Habit
Sometimes, crying is a habit. Dogs learn that crying gets them attention, and so they cry consistently in order to get the attention that they crave. In this case, it may be a behavioral issue that needs to be addressed, either by you or a professional. In general, a dog who cries out of habit may benefit from not receiving the attention they’re looking for, to teach them to stop, and to only cry when something is actually wrong.
Reason #13: Just Bored at Night
It’s not uncommon for a dog to cry at night, simply because they’re bored and lonely, now that their owners have gone to bed. In many cases, this behavior is common when they’re puppies, and as they start to adjust to their owners schedule, the behavior ceases over time.
Reason #14: They Want to Go Outside
A dog may cry because they need to go outside, to eliminate. If your dog is sitting by the door while they’re crying, that’s a good sign that you need to let them out.
Should I Take My Dog to the Vet if They’re Crying?
Like we mentioned, crying is a common form of expression that your dog will do from time to time. If your dog cries in response to clear triggers, or cries only occasionally when they are seemingly bored, lonely, or not getting their way, then it’s likely that you don’t need to worry.
But, if your dog has been crying a lot more than usual, if their crying sounds different from how it normally sounds, or if your dog’s crying is accompanied by other changes in their behavior or clear health symptoms, then it’s time to consider taking them to the veterinarian. Changes like these can indicate that something is really wrong, which may need to be addressed quickly.
When you take your dog to the veterinarian, they’ll likely ask the following questions:
- How long has your dog been crying for?
- Does your dog cry more under specific circumstances, like when interacting with other pets, at night, or before feeding time?
- Has the sound or volume of your dog’s crying changed?
- Has your dog recently been injured, or experienced a health concern?
- Does your dog exhibit symptoms of anxiety or pain?
- What is your dog’s daily routine?
- Have any changes recently occurred in your dog’s environment or routine?
- What medications is your dog taking?
- Has your dog experienced any major medical issues in the past?
Your veterinarian will likely run some tests to see if there are any underlying illnesses or injuries contributing to the crying. They may also recommend that you make certain changes around the house, or concerning their routine or diet, if they suspect that there’s an underlying cause related to their day-to-day life. Because a dog’s crying can have so many causes, it will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
What Can I Do at Home to Ease My Dog’s Crying?
If your dog’s crying is problematic, and there’s no major health concern causing it, there are some things you can do to help with the behavior and generally make them feel more comfortable.
Tip #1: Make Sure They Receive Appropriate Attention and Affection
If your dog is crying excessively, it may be that they need a little more attention and/or physical affection from their owner. In general, dogs require a lot of attention and affection in order to feel secure and loved. But, at the same time, you have to be careful about rewarding them for crying every time they aren’t getting their way. If your dog is crying despite their basic needs being met, this could be a behavioral issue that needs a more corrective approach.
Tip #2: Make a Safe Space for Them
Make sure that your dog has a safe space in your home where they can hide when they feel anxious or threatened, even if no real threats exist. Dogs have a strong instinct to hide in enclosed areas when they’re feeling insecure, and if they lack that type of escape, they may be more prone to exhibiting unwanted behavior like whining, aggression, and pacing. A comfortable bed in a quiet area, preferably with some type of cover, can be ideal.
Tip #3: Keep Them on a Solid Routine
Dogs can generally feel insecure if their daily routine isn’t consistent, and this can lead to anxious behavior, including crying. Make a point to feed them, walk them, and take them out at generally the same time each day so that their day-to-day can remain as predictable as possible.
Tip #4: Identify Anything That’s Causing Them Distress
Of course, if you believe there’s a specific cause for their crying, try to figure out what it is, and see if you can make some type of change. For instance, if they struggle with separation anxiety, try to find ways to give them extra attention and play when you are home.
Tip #5: Consider Training
Dogs who cry as part of a behavioral issue may benefit from training. An experienced dog trainer knows how to break certain unhealthy or troublesome habits, and generally teach them to feel more comfortable in their environment.
Tip #6: Consider a Dog Behaviorist
If your dog’s crying isn’t caused by anything urgent, and it’s a serious issue in your household, you can consider finding a dog behaviorist, who can observe your dog and come up with a plan to address and change their behavior.
What Can CBD Do for My Dog’s Crying?
If your dog is crying excessively, and you’ve already seen a veterinarian, you might want to consider incorporating cannabidiol (CBD) into their daily routine. Cannabidiol is the cannabinoid found in the hemp plant that’s not intoxicating, and thus, is completely nontoxic to all mammals. CBD works with your dog’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to establish homeostasis, by sending the cannabinoid to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body that regulate important processes including pain threshold, inflammation, mood, stress response, cognitive functions, neurological function, and more.
By now, numerous studies have been done on the effects that CBD can have on canines, specifically. In the last few years, more studies have been performed as CBD has become a more popular option for dogs. As of now, we’ve found that CBD may be able to address inflammation in canines, particularly in dogs with osteoarthritis, to alleviate both pain and mobility problems. The same study found that dogs generally tolerate the cannabinoid fine, without any health concerns.
CBD has also been studied for its effects on dogs who have anxiety. One study found that dogs who were given cannabidiol displayed lower reactivity to fireworks, a common anxiety trigger in canines.
Overall, CBD works with your dog’s entire body to regulate functions that affect how they feel and function each day. What this means is that providing your dog with a daily serving of cannabidiol can help them generally feel their very best, all while helping them with their mood to potentially alleviate emotional causes for excessive crying.
How Can I Use CBD to Help My Dog?
If you’re interested in giving CBD to your dog, it’s extremely important that you find a product that’s made for canines, or pets in general. Some ingredients used in CBD products for humans are toxic to dogs, like flavoring ingredients and essential oils. Besides that, a CBD product made for a dog is formulated with the needs of a canine, and can be more appealing to your dog through the use of flavoring, etc.
We do recommend giving your dog CBD daily, as the cannabinoid works in the endocannabinoid system in a cumulative manner – in other words, allowing the body to build up a level of CBD can make it more effective, in a long-term way.
When it comes to administering CBD, we recommend choosing either a CBD oil or a CBD treat, both of which are oral products that allow the cannabinoid to get into your dog’s system. As for dosing, follow the directions on the product’s label, which will tell you the appropriate amount to give to your dog daily according to their weight.
Where Can I Buy My Dog CBD Products?
Essentially, you shouldn’t just go anywhere to buy your dog CBD. First off, we want to emphasize again that CBD products that you give your dog should be made for pets, not humans. Secondly, most places locally that carry CBD, like gas stations and vape shops, are not good sources for hemp products, as the standards for quality are generally quite low. Plus, with low product turnover rate, products may be well on their way to expiring by the time they get into your hands.
Instead, we suggest that you opt for a trusted online retailer that has tons of positive reviews, and even offers third-party lab reports on their website, which show that the product was tested for quality, purity, safety, and potency. These lab reports come directly from the testing facility, which means that the information is objective and factual.
Are CBD Products Completely Safe?
CBD products are generally well-tolerated by canines, as we said earlier. There’s always a small chance of side effects, which are considered mild and temporary, but may indicate that you need to lessen the dose.
These side effects include:
- Digestive discomfort
- Appetite changes
Also, if your dog is on any medications, talk to your vet before giving them CBD. Cannabidiol may interact with enzymes that break down certain medications, causing these medications to instead build up in the bloodstream. While no interactions have been studied yet, it’s best to be safe rather than sorry.
Chill Paws CBD Product Can Be Great for Helping Your Dog!
If your dog is crying excessively, and your veterinarian has examined them for any possible underlying issues, we encourage you to again, explore cannabidiol’s properties, in order to see if they can improve your dog’s behavior.Chill Paws carries CBD products that canines and their owners alike approve of. Our CBD treats and oils are easy to administer, made with all-natural ingredients, third-party-tested, and effective thanks to their purity and potency levels. Plus, Chill Paws products are gentle, nontoxic, and nonintoxicating, making them easy to work into your dog’s daily routine. Not only that, but our products come in flavors that no dog can resist.