You’re preparing for bed and suddenly your dog runs across the living room!
It’s as if they’ve just woken up and they’re full of energy.
And all you want to do is go to bed.
After reading this article, you’ll find out:
- Why your dog acts crazy at night.
- Why they think bedtime is playtime.
- 5 easy tips to help calm them down.
- How you’re encouraging their behavior (and how to stop it).
Table of contents
- Why is my dog crazy at night?
- Why does my dog think bedtime is playtime?
- Why does my dog get the Zoomies before bed?
- Why does my puppy come alive at night?
- 9 reasons why your dog is crazy at night
- 5 tips on what to do if your dog is crazy at night
Why is my dog crazy at night?
Your dog goes crazy at night because of the excess energy they have left. They could be asking you to play with them. Another reason is that they can’t fall asleep because they have to pee or didn’t eat well. Other possibilities include being afraid or having separation anxiety.
Why does my dog think bedtime is playtime?
Your dog thinks bedtime is playtime for they want to drain all the energy they have left before going to sleep.
Interestingly enough, they do know that it’s time for bed, which is exactly why they act this way.
Pretty ironic, right?
It could also mean that they know bedtime means no more playtime.
But they want to still be with you, so they’ll try and ask you to play with them.
Why does my dog get the Zoomies before bed?
Your dog gets the zoomies before bed because of surprising jolts of energy.
They want to tire themselves out before going to bed.
The only way to do that is by getting as active as they can.
But, on your end, you also have to think about this:
Did you play with them? Or take them for a walk? In other words, did you exercise them enough today?
Take the time to do all those with your pup.
It’ll be a relief for both of you at the end of the day.
Why does my puppy come alive at night?
Have you ever heard of puppy witching hours?
Though it may sound scary and it may worry you, it’s perfectly normal!
These are the crazy hours between 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
Your dog can get super active and run around your entire place.
They could even hop on some furniture, or grab something they’re not supposed to.
Read on and I’ll teach you some tips on how to control this.
9 reasons why your dog is crazy at night
#1: The zoomies (excess energy)
These are also known as Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAP).
These happen during the day and night.
And that’s completely normal.
For night zoomies, it’s because they want to release all the energy they haven’t used throughout the day.
Expect that they’ll be running around, going in circles, or even trying to jump on you.
Your dog’s zoomies will usually last for ten minutes or so.
It’s best to not stop them from doing this, especially if they’re simply running around.
This benefits relieving their stress too.
Just be sure to keep an eye on them!
Watch this video to see how Bernie explains the zoomies:
#2: They’re struggling to fall asleep
This is where you have to notice your dog’s behavior.
What’s bothering them?
The reason for this is that they might have any injuries or allergies that they can’t control.
Your dog could be trying to address their problem in different ways.
There’s itching and scratching, nibbling on a part of their body, or even excessive shaking.
You’d notice that they’d do those actions every night before trying to sleep.
It’s best to check with your vet so they can provide the proper remedies.
#3: Puppy witching hours
As I’ve said, these puppy witching hours happen between 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
Your dog will act wild before going to sleep.
Like zoomies, this is triggered by too much stimulation.
They could be tired of holding in their energy during the day.
So, they’ll finally let it out!
There could even be times where they’d run at lightning speed towards you.
You have to be ready for some biting or even scratching.
But know that you can regulate this!
It takes some time and simple routines.
Your dog could lead to being aggressive.
It’s your responsibility to help your dog control themselves before that happens.
You might also be interested in: Why does my dog bite my feet at night?
#4: They have to pee
I’d say that this has happened to me more than once…
My dog, Lissa, would let out soft cries and then pause.
Then out of nowhere, I’d see her running around as if she’s just woken up.
My first move was to bring Lissa outside because I was worried about her bumping into the furniture.
But the moment she stepped outside, she peed.
This shows that your dog could act hyper in the middle of the night.
They’re trying to call your attention to let them pee.
You have to understand their behaviors.
They don’t always mean one thing.
For example, your dog could be crazy at night because they want to play.
But in another situation, they could be acting the same way.
Although, it’s because they need to go outside to do their business.
#5: They want you to play with them
Did you spend enough time with your dog for the day?
If you’ve been away from them the whole day, expect that they’ll be hyper when they see you.
You can notice this through the way they wag their tail.
It’s also if their ears are slightly pulled back (indicating friendliness).
They could go get their favorite ball and run right back to start a game of fetch.
Your dog also wants to create a fun and loving relationship with you. So, at times, they’ll be the ones to initiate it.
Spending time with them is important for companionship.
You also have to understand that when they finally see you after a long day, they’ll immediately want to play.
#6: You’re encouraging their behavior
Encouraging your dog to act crazy at night makes them think that it’s fine to often act that way.
Here are three ways to know if you’re encouraging their behavior:
- You’re giving them all their toys.
- As they run, you’re running after them.
- You’re talking to them in an active and playful tone.
I know it’s hard to not encourage their behavior.
Especially if you didn’t spend much time with them during the day.
You’d want to give all your attention the moment you can.
But always keep in mind that you have to control yourself too.
Encouraging their behavior can make them disobedient.
#7: Separation anxiety
Your dog, especially new puppies, always want to be by your side.
If they have their bed, that means they’ll be away from you.
Some dogs have a hard time getting used to that.
Treating anxiety takes time.
Your dog could be going crazy because they know it’s time to sleep.
They could even be barking or crying to tell you that they want to be beside you.
Because if being asleep means that they’ll be away from you, they’ll act out so it won’t happen.
#8: Their diet
Look back on how much you’ve fed them throughout the day.
Was it enough?
They could be acting crazy at night because they’re still hungry.
Even if you’ve set the amount of food intake for them, they could still have an increased appetite.
But, an increased appetite can also mean an illness with your dog.
This is also called polyphagia.
It means some abnormalities with the central nervous system.
Here are some indicators:
- Frequent thirst.
- Weight changes.
- Constant hunger.
- Abdominal bloating.
Check with your vet if you notice these signs.
#9: They’re scared
Notice the environment your dog’s in, what’s more at night.
It could be that there were sounds of thunder or a loud bang.
This could become their usual noise phobia trigger that makes them crazy at night.
Did you know that noise anxiety is more evident in other breeds?
Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Collies are much more prone to it.
These surprising sounds are something dogs can’t entirely understand.
And it could even give them a harder time to sleep
They don’t know where it’s coming from, so expect that they’ll panic or pace around the house, trying to look for it.
You shouldn’t immediately comfort them.
They’ll think that it’s something to be worried about every time they hear it.
So for this situation, you have to make them realize that those sounds are normal.
5 tips on what to do if your dog is crazy at night
#1: You have to be calm
When you see your dog running around, don’t run after them.
They might think you want to play too.
Also, you shouldn’t shout at them to stop.
This may trigger their anxiety.
Instead, stand firm and wait for them to settle.
You’ll see them slowing down in a few minutes.
When that happens, talk to them in a calm tone.
Dogs can sense the way you feel.
When they know you’re relaxed, they’ll feel the same.
If they lay against you, you can also massage or pet them gently.
Remember: It’s all in the way you approach their hyper behavior.
#2: Give them their favorite toy
This is all about diverting their attention.
They relieve themselves through running.
Giving a toy will make them relieve themselves in a much safer and playful way.
You can substitute their running, barking, or pacing around the house with a new toy.
This can also be the routine every night when they get hyper.
Note: Set aside a specific toy just for when they act crazy. This could help remind them that instead of running around, they have a toy to play with.
#3: Don’t apply aromatherapy
Essential oils are wildly popular.
But don’t risk using them on your dog!
Yes, these oils could calm them down.
But they could also cause rashes on your furry friend’s body if applied to the skin.
Some dogs are even able to lick off these oils when you place them on their body or their bed.
This is highly dangerous and it’ll cause some serious allergies.
Read here the risks of using these oils.
And note that “natural doesn’t always mean safe”.
Better use safer ways to calm your dog.
#4: Give them a timeout
If it’s getting out of hand, you need to give your dog a short break.
You can start by saying words like, “enough” or “stop”.
It has to be firm and serious so they notice the change in your tone.
If they still don’t listen, say “timeout”, but with more emphasis.
They have to understand that you’re not happy with what they’re doing.
A timeout could be bringing them to a certain area of the house or in a spacious pen.
But remember, the timeout shouldn’t be too long.
The ideal length is 2-3 minutes.
If it’s longer than that, it could stress them out.
Note: Be firm with your decisions and don’t give in easily.
#5: Give more exercise during the day
A way to lessen your dog’s hyper behavior at night is to exercise them during the day.
This will be helpful for the health of your dog.
It makes them active and lessens the chances of obesity.
It’ll also tire them out during the day.
This will make them want to sleep early so they can get a full rest.
But you also have to know the limits of your dog when it comes to physical activity.
Keep in mind: Don’t tire your dogs out too much just for the sake of them to sleep early.