What Are Dogs Afraid Of At Night?

Dogs can be afraid of many things at night, but what are they most afraid of? From loud noises to strange shadows, there are a variety of things that can cause fear in our canine companions. In this article, “What are Dogs Afraid of at Night?”, we will explore the common fears that dogs experience during the night and how to help them cope with their anxieties.

Common Causes of Fear in Dogs

Dogs are naturally fearful of the unknown and can become anxious when faced with unfamiliar situations. At night, this fear can be heightened due to the darkness and lack of familiar sights and sounds. Common causes of fear in dogs at night include loud noises, unfamiliar surroundings, and changes in the environment.

Loud Noises

Loud noises such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or other loud sounds can cause a dog to become fearful. The sound waves may be too intense for their sensitive ears, causing them to become startled or scared. To help reduce their fear during these times, it is important to provide a safe space for them to retreat to such as a crate or bed. Additionally, providing calming music or white noise can help drown out the loud noises and provide comfort for your pup.

Unfamiliar Surroundings

Dogs may also become fearful when placed in an unfamiliar environment such as a new home or when traveling away from home. This fear is often caused by the lack of familiarity with their new surroundings which can cause anxiety and stress. To help reduce this fear, it is important to provide your pup with plenty of time to explore their new environment and get used to it before expecting them to feel comfortable in it.

Changes in the Environment

Finally, changes in the environment such as sudden movements or bright lights can also cause fear in dogs at night. It is important to keep your pup’s environment consistent by avoiding sudden movements or bright lights that could startle them. Additionally, providing them with a safe space such as a crate or bed can help reduce their anxiety during these times.

Signs of Fear in Dogs

Dogs are naturally fearful of the unknown, and this can be especially true at night. It is important to recognize signs of fear in dogs so that you can help them feel safe and secure. Some common signs of fear in dogs include:

Aggressive Behavior

Aggressive behavior is a sign that your dog is feeling scared or threatened. This could include growling, snapping, or lunging at other animals or people.

Cowering or Hiding

If your dog is cowering or hiding, it could be a sign that they are feeling scared. They may hide behind furniture or under the bed when they feel scared.

Excessive Barking or Whining

Excessive barking or whining can be a sign that your dog is feeling scared. They may bark at shadows, noises, or other animals that they don’t recognize.

Pacing or Panting

Pacing and panting are also signs of fear in dogs. Your dog may pace around the room if they feel scared and their panting may become more rapid than usual.

It’s important to remember that all dogs are different and some may show more subtle signs of fear than others. If you notice any signs of fear in your dog at night, it’s important to provide them with reassurance and comfort so that they feel safe and secure.

How to Help a Dog Who is Afraid at Night

Dogs can be afraid of many things at night, such as loud noises, shadows, and unfamiliar surroundings. If your dog is scared at night, there are some steps you can take to help them feel more secure.

Create a Safe Space for the Dog

Creating a safe space for your dog can help them feel more secure. Consider providing them with a crate or bed in a quiet area of the house. Make sure that the area is free from any loud noises or other distractions that may cause them anxiety. Additionally, provide your dog with plenty of blankets and toys to make their space comfortable and inviting.

Provide Comfort and Reassurance

When your dog is scared at night, it’s important to provide comfort and reassurance. Speak softly to your pet and offer gentle strokes or cuddles if they seem receptive. You can also try playing soothing music or giving treats as rewards for calm behavior.

Desensitize the Dog to Noises and Surroundings

If your dog is scared by loud noises or unfamiliar surroundings, you can gradually desensitize them by introducing these stimuli in small doses over time. For example, if they’re scared of thunderstorms, you could start by playing recordings of thunderstorms at low volumes while providing treats and reassurance. Gradually increase the volume over time until they are no longer afraid.

Talk to a Vet or Animal Behaviorist for Professional Help

If you’re unable to help your pet on your own, it may be beneficial to seek professional help from a vet or animal behaviorist. They will be able to assess the situation and provide advice on how best to help your pet overcome their fear of the dark. Additionally, they may be able to prescribe medication if necessary.


Ways to Reduce Fear in Dogs at Nighttime

Dogs can be scared of many things at night, such as loud noises, unfamiliar people or animals, and even shadows. To help reduce your pup’s fear of the dark, here are some tips:

Establish a Routine Bedtime Schedule

Creating a consistent bedtime routine for your pup can help them feel more secure and relaxed. Start by setting a specific time for lights out and stick to it every night. This will help your pup understand when it’s time to sleep and they will be less likely to feel anxious or scared.

Exercise During the Daytime Hours

Making sure your pup gets plenty of exercise during the day can help them sleep better at night. Exercise releases endorphins which can help reduce stress and anxiety levels in dogs. Taking your pup on regular walks or playing fetch in the backyard are great ways to tire them out before bedtime.

Provide a Calming Supplement or Treats

There are several calming supplements available that can help reduce fear in dogs at nighttime. These supplements contain natural ingredients such as chamomile, valerian root, and passion flower which have been known to have calming effects on dogs. Additionally, giving your pup treats with calming ingredients like hemp oil or L-theanine can also help reduce their fear of the dark.

Use Soothing Music or White Noise

Playing soothing music or white noise in your pup’s sleeping area can also help them feel more relaxed at night. The sound of waves crashing or rain falling is especially calming for dogs and can drown out any loud noises that may be causing them fear. You can find many free white noise tracks online that you can play for your pup while they sleep.

When to Seek Professional Help for Fearful Dogs at Nighttime

If your dog is exhibiting fear or anxiousness at night, it may be time to seek professional help. It is important to understand the root of the fear and address it in a way that is best for your pet. If the fear is severe and interfering with your pet’s quality of life, it may be necessary to consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

If Fear is Severe and Interfering with Quality of Life

If your dog’s fear or anxiety at night is severe and impacting their quality of life, then you should seek professional help. A veterinarian or animal behaviorist can help diagnose the root cause of the fear and create a plan to address it. This plan may include medications, supplements, changes in diet, environmental modifications, or behavior modification techniques. Additionally, they can provide guidance on how to best manage your pet’s fear in order to improve their quality of life.

It is important to remember that dogs are afraid of different things at night than during the day. Common fears include loud noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks, unfamiliar people or animals in the home, and darkness. If you think that one of these factors might be causing your pet’s fear at night, then seeking professional help can help you better understand how to address this issue.


Dogs can be afraid of many things at night, but understanding what they are most afraid of can help us to better support them. From loud noises to strange shadows, there are a variety of things that can cause fear in our canine companions. By providing a safe and secure environment for our dogs, we can help them to cope with their anxieties and feel more comfortable during the night. For more information on how to create a safe and secure environment for your pet, visit A Pet’s Home.

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