Why Is My Dog Whining While Lying Down? Explained

why is my dog whining while lying down

Dogs can sometimes do things that we’ll struggle (and often fail) to understand. Like lying down and whining. If you’ve also been questioning, “Why is my dog whining while lying down,” you’re probably also worried about its well-being. Whining is actually a way for your dog to communicate with you. Here are some of the most probable explanations for why your dog is whining while lying down.

Why Is My Dog Whining While Lying Down? 9 Reasons

Dog Whining

#1. Seeking Attention

Anyone who has dogs knows that they love attention. If you’ve been too busy with work or too preoccupied, your dog will let you know. And of its ways of letting you know that you’ve been ignoring them is to whine.

This behavior is similar to kids who whine when bored or are stuck listening to adult conversations.

With the whining, your dog is simply telling you to pay attention to them. Take a few minutes to play with them and distract them for a while.

Remember, dogs need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Make sure you’re playing with them and taking them out for exercise regularly.

#2. Stress

Whining is also a common sign that our dog is feeling scared, anxious, or stressed. Usually, the whining will also be accompanied by yawning, lip licking, panting, and a tucked tail.

If you notice such behavior, take the time to find out what’s causing your dog to be fearful and stressed. It could be because of certain changes that have occurred in your household. That is why the experts at DogAcademy recommend that you should try desensitizing and training to make your dog more adjusted.

Separation Anxiety: A Special Case Of Stress

While stress can manifest in various ways, a specific form of anxiety that often goes unnoticed is separation anxiety. This condition arises when a dog becomes distressed due to being separated from their owner or caregiver. Symptoms can include excessive barking, destructive behavior, and even house soiling.

The root causes of separation anxiety can be multifaceted, ranging from a lack of proper socialization to traumatic experiences. Treatment options are diverse but generally include behavior modification, training, medication, and environmental changes. For instance, creating a safe environment for your dog by providing a designated area where they feel secure can be a significant first step. Establishing routines and using positive reinforcement techniques like praise and treats can also help manage this form of anxiety effectively.

Interestingly, hugging your dog may not necessarily induce separation anxiety but could cause stress depending on various factors such as the dog’s temperament and past experiences. It’s crucial to understand your dog’s comfort level with hugging by paying attention to their body language. Signs of discomfort may include tense muscles, visible whites of the eyes, or lip licking. If you notice these signs, it’s best to avoid hugging your dog and consider alternative ways to show affection. For a deeper dive into managing separation anxiety and the impact of hugging, you can read this comprehensive guide on Hugging and Dog Separation Anxiety.

#3. Discomfort and Pain

Most owners would assume that their pet is in pain if they find them whining while lying down, and your hunch may be correct.

Your dog may be in physical distress. If your dog whines every time it lies down or gets up, he is likely suffering from some joint pain due to arthritis. You would also notice your dog whine when going up and down the stairs or when climbing the sofa. Most physical activity can make your dog whine in discomfort.

If this is the case, a trip to your vet is in order.

#4. Saying He’s Sorry

Another likely explanation of your dog whining while lying down is a show of submission and apology.

When your dog has done something bad and you scold them for it, your dog would often issue an apology by whining. It’s an appeasement behavior that is often accompanied by a submissive posture with their gaze averted and tail tucked.

#5. Excitement

This is something that would probably never cross your mind, but whining while lying down can also be a sign of your dog’s excitement.

And you wouldn’t have to guess if the whining is due to excitement because an excited whine is usually accompanied by restless energy. And whining is one of the ways your dog is burning this energy, so expect lots of jumping, wiggling, tail wagging, and playful nudges.

#6. Showing Boredom


A bored dog is an unhappy dog, and it can resort to pitiful sounds just for you to take notice that you haven’t played with them for a while. Your dog will probably do a dramatic sigh and whine combo to get your attention.

#7. Asking For Something

Dogs can’t tell us exactly what they want and need. So they often resort to certain behaviors like whining when they want something.

Try to figure out if your dog needs a potty break, a snack, or a belly rub.

It will probably take you several guesses before finally understand why your dog is whining. Start with your dog’s essential needs and slowly branch out to other things and activities that your dog may want.

#8. Needs To Go Outside

One of the most obvious answers to why your dog is that your dog is telling you it’s time to go out. It may be time for their afternoon walk or they may want to go to the backyard to spend some pent-up energy.

If your dog is properly potty-trained, they may also start whining to tell you that they need to relieve themselves.

#9. Sickness

If your dog doesn’t need anything and has been fed, whining could be a sign that they are not well.

There may be some underlying medical condition that your dog wants to bring to your attention. If you don’t see any other cues for their whining, it’s best to get them checked out by the vet.

When To See The Vet

If your dog’s whining is a more recent occurrence and is happening more frequently along with certain behavioral changes, then a trip to the vet is recommended. If your dog is suffering from some health issue or is in physical distress, their whining may also become louder and more persistent.

Getting expert advice is the best way to ensure your dog’s health and happiness.

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