Why Do Puppies Cry? Explaining the Blues


Congratulations, you welcomed home a puppy! With their boop-worthy nose and glimmering eyes, it seems like you’re off to the perfect start. Just like newborn babies, however, puppies have various wants, needs, and emotions, but they only have so many means to communicate with us. So, they cry, whimper, and whine until we learn how to give them what they need.

If you’re wondering “why is my puppy crying?” we break down the most common causes of the puppy blues. 


They Miss Their Mom


Puppies are new to the world, and in most cases, away from their litter for the first time. From birth to a few months old, whimpering is how puppies communicate with their mother. They are probably calling for her to come to them.

Not to mention, a big new place may be frightening to some pups. They develop personalities just like people, so if you notice the behavior of a skittish puppy, they may require some extra attention during bonding time. Be patient; as your pup spends time with you, they will grow out of this behavior.


They Need Some Attention


Puppy on couch

With an instinctual desire for companionship, your puppy may cry because they are lonely. Whether they have spent time in the crate or you were away working for the day, your little furry friend is telling you they require attention. It is important to provide your puppy plenty of cuddles and playtime to strengthen your bond—especially within those first few weeks.


They Can Use an Activity


If you’re still wondering, “why do puppies cry,” the answer may be related to boredom. Lots of pent-up energy could mean your puppy is restless and looking to play! They require both mental and physical stimulation as they grow and adapt to their environment.

Try playing games such as hide-and-seek with toys or treats to put your pup’s scavenging skills to the test. This will get them comfortable with different spaces in the house, reward them for using their strong senses, and give you an opportunity to showcase your pride when they succeed. 


They Are Still Getting Used to Their Crate


Puppy in crate

If you choose to crate train, be sure to remain steadfast in your goals when you hear them calling to be let out. Crate training for puppies is most successful when you have them in their space for only short intervals of time. If you console your puppy crying at night, they will grow accustomed to you responding to their whimpers and repeat this behavior. Stay strong; your sleep schedule will be grateful!

Keep in mind, however, that your puppy could also be whimpering because they need a potty break. Leaving them in the crate too long may lead to an accident, so be sure to take them out before you begin training and monitor how much food and water they consume.

If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions, check out our comprehensive guide to crate training


They Are Hungry


Some pet parents believe that crying is a sign of hunger, which could very well be the case if it’s near feeding time. Puppies grow rapidly, however, so try adjusting their feeding schedule with recommendations by your veterinarian. Overeating is best to be avoided, especially when puppies are young. 


They Don’t Feel Well


Whimpers may be a sign that your puppy is in pain or not feeling well. While this is less common, it is important to study their mannerisms and actions that may seem out of the ordinary and use your better judgement. If you notice any drastic changes in their mood, energy, or appetite, it may be time to consult your veterinarian.


Put on a Happy Face!


If you are still wondering, “why is my puppy crying?” then they might simply be communicating with you in the only way they know how. Puppies require a great deal of attention and affection when you bring them home, and not every whimper or cry will have a clear explanation. Just remember that the puppy blues will subside the more they adjust to their new home.

➔ RELATED: Puppy Prep: Planning for Your New Furry Family Member