Why is my dog afraid to go outside at night? Most dogs love to go outside and spend hours playing with their toys, exploring the garden, or sniffing around the front yard. However, for some pooches, the outdoors can be a scary place, especially during the night.
Some dogs are fearful of the outdoors because they have experienced a traumatic event that has left them shaken. This may be a loud noise, such as a thunderstorm or other unexpected sounds. Other reasons why your dog may be afraid to go outside at night are heightened senses, odd smells, and noises, or general fear of the unknown. Fortunately, there are ways to help your pooch overcome this fear and learn to go outside again at night.
If you want to know the answer to, why is my dog afraid to go outside at night, continue reading.
Are Dogs Afraid of Dark?
Normally dogs aren’t afraid of the dark as they have sharp night vision. However, there are some dogs that are afraid to go out at night.
A dog’s heightened sense of smell and hearing makes it seem like the world is full of dangers at night. It’s no wonder, then, that many new puppies whine and whimper the first time they are left alone at night.
Oftentimes dogs who are afraid of the dark do so because they have suffered trauma associated with it. This could be anything from a frightening road accident to the fear of fireworks or even being attacked by another dog.
They might also have vision problems which could cause them to be anxious when the lights go out.
However, if your pup is a serious case of night phobia, it’s important to seek veterinary attention.
Typically, this is not something that can be solved overnight, but with patience and the right treatment, your dog can learn how to go out at night.
Reasons Why Your Dog Is Afraid to Go Outside at Night
If your dog seems to be anxious when it comes time for you to take them outside at night, you may have an issue with your hands.
Your dog’s fear of the outdoors is likely due to the following reasons.
- Sensitivity to Sound
If your dog is sensitive to sound, it can make them anxious and fearful of going outside at night. This can include loud noises and flashing lights, so it’s important to keep them safe from these things.
Sensitivity to sound can occur for a number of reasons, including medical conditions and structural problems within the ears or brain.
A study found that dogs with chronic pain tended to be more afraid of loud noises than those without pain issues.
- Bad Experiences
If your dog has any past trauma or any bad experience, it might be afraid to go out at night. Regardless of how minor the experience is, it can stick with a dog for a long time.
This can be especially true of older dogs who may have been subject to trauma or even neglected when they were younger.
Your pet might be spooked by the traumatic incident and have an unnatural fear of going out alone at night.
For example, if your dog has been attacked by another dog or animal in the past, it might be afraid to go out again.
- Improper Socialization
Improper socialization is another reason why your dog might be afraid to go out during the night.
In order to prevent this, a dog must be properly socialized in a safe environment. This is best accomplished during puppyhood, between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks.
This includes exposing them to many different people, places, and objects so they become acclimated to the world in a positive way.
It also means allowing them to get comfortable with the different sights, sounds, and smells around them.
- New Location
Most dogs love to go outside and enjoy their time in the great outdoors. However, in some cases, dogs are afraid due to the new location. This can be a sign that something new is happening, like moving to a new house or apartment.
Be patient, allowing your dog to adjust at their own pace. Many dogs are comfortable within a few days, but some take weeks or months to feel settled in their new home.
- Pain or Illness
Pain or illness can make your dog afraid to go outside at night. This could be due to an injury or condition that requires veterinary attention, such as arthritis or an overgrown toenail.
Depending on the cause, pain can also make your dog feel lethargic or fatigued. Your veterinarian can help determine the cause of your dog’s pain and get them the medical attention they need.
Thunderstorms are a common reason dogs become afraid to go outside. This phobia is often caused by changes in barometric pressure and the loud noises associated with thunderstorms, which are known to be scary for many dogs.
The air pressure changes that accompany a storm can cause anxiety, especially in older dogs with arthritic joints.
Common Signs of Fear in Dogs
Fear is a natural response to a perceived threat. It can occur with any animal but is most common in dogs. It is best to monitor your dog closely and document unusual behaviors when he’s afraid.
Here are some common signs of fear in dogs.
Dogs are known to vocalize when they are afraid of the dark. They may whine or bark at first, but eventually, they will start to howl more loudly and for longer periods of time.
Symptoms of a dog being scared of the dark include restlessness, pacing, and jumping on furniture. They may also start to whine or bark, especially when they are trying to sleep.
The destructive behavior of a dog who is scared of the dark may be caused by anxiety. It could be a response to a trauma that was experienced at night and associated with the dark in the dog’s mind.
- Refusing To Go Outside
A dog that refuses to go outside is a good indication that they are anxious or worried about something. It could be something that they have experienced previously, or it could be a medical issue that needs to be ruled out by your vet.
If your dog is shivering regularly or seems out of character, it is a good idea to seek veterinary advice. It can be due to cold or fear. When dogs are afraid, they often shiver.
Whining can be an indicator that your dog is anxious. It may be a high-pitched whine, or it may sound more like a cry. It can also involve other physical reactions, such as trembling, panting, pacing back and forth, and being clingy to you.
- Running In The Opposite Direction
When a dog runs in the opposite direction, it’s usually a sign that they’re afraid. This can happen when they are anxious about a loud noise or something that could scare them, such as fireworks or a skateboarder.
Tips to Use If Dog Afraid to Go Outside at Night
If you’re worried about your dog’s anxiety, there are many things you can do to help them. Here are some tips to help your dog go outside at night.
- Use a bright LED dog collar
- Take your dog out for walks during the day
- Socialize your dog
- Start with short walk sessions together
- Take them out during dusk
Conclusion on Why Is My Dog Afraid To Go Outside At Night
When it comes to a dog being scared of the dark, there are many reasons. Some of them can be attributed to a medical issue or a past trauma, while others are more behavioral in nature.
The first step in overcoming your dog’s fear is to identify what triggers it. This could be anything from the sound of your neighbor’s dog barking to construction work or the sound of rain pounding on the roof.
If you have a strong idea of what it is that’s scaring your dog, then it’s easier to start addressing it with desensitization and counter-conditioning.
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