How To Stop a Puppy Crying When Left Alone (These 8 Tips Really Help!)

Is your new puppy crying whenever they’re left alone?

If so, you already know that soothing a puppy’s crying isn’t always easy (and how difficult it can be to hear your pup so upset!)

In this guide, you’ll discover the reasons why your puppy cries, and what you can do to reassure them and ultimately overcome the behavior entirely.

Sounds good?

Then keep reading.

Why Is My Puppy Crying When Left Alone?

Separation Anxiety

It’s often normal for a new puppy to cry when left alone… and the crying is more likely to occur during the first few times you leave the house.

Why?

Simply because they have no previous experience to let them know what’s happening… or if you’re ever coming back!

The crying is your dog’s way of alerting anyone around that they’ve been forgotten about.

They’re trying to let someone know they’re alone and need some company to feel safe.

For a puppy to survive (and be happy), they need to know they’ve not been abandoned by whoever is caring for them. Naturally, the prospect of abandonment will provoke a lot of anxiety for any puppy… so they’ll cry in the hope that you’ll notice and return.

Other Unmet Needs

While separation anxiety is a big reason behind a puppy crying… it’s not the only one.

Your new puppy has a variety of needs… and if these needs go unmet… there’s a good chance they’ll cry out to alert you.

These needs could include:

  • hunger (or thirst)
  • fear or anxiety
  • pain or discomfort
  • full bladder

Understand The Cause

While a new puppy is prone to separation anxiety, it’s important to make sure you understand why they’re crying before you attempt to solve it.

Your puppy will whine or cry when they need attention, and this can be because they’re feeling lonely or isolated… but it isn’t the only reason why they may cry.

Sometimes your puppy may cry if they’re uncomfortable in some way (either in pain, or simply too hot or too cold), so this is also something to check for… particularly if they’re alone in their bed during the night time.

If your puppy is restless or bored, they could also whine, too.

But if you’re dealing with a new puppy who’s being left alone for the first time, then it’s likely your beloved pooch is feeling some separation anxiety.

Don’t “Punish” the Behavior!

Above all, this isn’t a behavior that should be “punished” because it’s a natural and understandable response.

Separation anxiety is very common for puppies (and adult dogs, too.)

However, there are a few things you can do to manage the symptoms and comfort your dog when you’re not around.

How To Stop A Puppy Crying When Left Alone

Now, let’s take a look at a few tips and strategies that you can use when your pup won’t stop crying when they’re left by themselves.

1. Teach Your Puppy You’re Coming Back!

Many owners make the mistake of making a big fuss over their dog whenever they’re leaving the house.

While we may think it’s reassuring to a dog… you could be sending the message that leaving is a big deal… and it’s something your dog should be extra concerned about.

This could increase your dog’s anxiety even more.

Just put yourself in their shoes: Your owner has given you lots of positive attention and comfort, then suddenly they’ve just disappeared, and you have no idea where they’ve gone or when they’ll be back… or even if they’ve abandoned you completely!

Making a big fuss only serves to heighten your dog’s anxiety and make it more “noticeable” that you’ve left.

So, try being less enthusiastic when you leave and arrive.

If you don’t make a big deal over it, your dog will be more inclined to follow your lead as well. Try to be calm and casual about the whole thing.

2. Teach ‘Alone Time’ Slowly

Treating your arrival and departure as no big deal is useful… but it isn’t going to take away your dog’s anxiety completely, especially if your puppy has never been left alone before.

The key is to get them used to your absence slowly and gradually.

You can begin by leaving your puppy in a room alone for a very short period of time… just for a minute or so… depending on how sensitive they are at the moment.

When they begin to cry, don’t be too hasty to rush back in, or they’ll learn that crying gets immediate attention, and this could make the problem worse.

Instead, wait until they’ve calmed down, then return to the room without making a big fuss over the situation.

If you repeat this technique and take small, gradual steps, you’ll soon begin to notice the progress.

At first, you can start with just a few minutes, then extend the duration by five minutes each time, until your dog gets used to being alone for longer time periods.

Most important: Your dog will gain experience of you leaving and returning shortly afterward, so they won’t feel so panicked when you leave for longer.

When your puppy understands you’ll be coming back, their anxiety and crying should be reduced.

3. Try Calming Products

There’s a wide range of calming products available designed to ease a dog’s anxiety.

Unfortunately, not all of these products work in every situation, but there’s no denying that many dog owners have had great success with a few of them.

One solution is to try products from Adaptil, who make a range of relaxing items for dogs, such as diffusers and collars. The products can ease stress in thunderstorms as well as help with separation anxiety.

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It may not work for everyone, but these products do earn positive reviews from the majority of owners, and it can work wonders for some dogs.

Alternatively, some dogs experience great relief when they’re wearing an item of apparel that gently restricts them with constant pressure, such as the Thundershirt.

Although they’re often marketed for use during thunderstorms, they can provide relief in a variety of other anxiety-provoking situations, too.

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Tire Your Pup Out!

If your dog has lots of energy and is prone to anxiety, it’s a good idea to take them for a walk before leaving them alone for any period of time.

As you’d expect, this can help your pooch burn off some of that excess energy and make your dog calmer overall. Ultimately, it means they’ll spend more time sleeping instead of crying.

5. Calming Dog Treats

Some owners have a lot of luck with calming dog treats, and again, they can be used in many different situations to keep your dog calm (whether that’s thunderstorms, separation anxiety, or even taking your dog to the vet.)

One option that’s very popular right now is CBD dog treats.

6. Try Food Puzzle Toys

Making sure your dog has plenty of interesting chew toys to play with can keep them entertained for short periods of time, which could make the crying less of a common occurrence.

Of course, choosing toys with a food or puzzle element can make the toy more engaging and interactive for your dog, so it might keep them happier for longer.

It’s always good to have a variety of safe chew toys around so your dog doesn’t become bored while you’re away.

7. Arrange Some Company

If your puppy is crying because they’re being left alone for too long in the day time, you could make arrangements for a friend or family member to look after them or pay them a visit.

You could also consider hiring a dog walker, too.

8. Create Some Background Noise

Some puppies will be happier (and stop crying) if they have a little background noise to distract them while you’re away.

You could leave a TV or radio playing while you’re out of the home.

Even better: Subscribe to DogTV or find a dog-friendly YouTube video that’s specifically designed to hold your dog’s attention and keep them calm.