All around the globe Kids are afraid of Darkness. As soon as you turn the lights off, they become scared. Scared of the boogieman, ghosts, and even their own shadow. Have you ever thought about your pet dog? What if your dog is scared of the dark? Can this even be possible? All of us know that dogs are one of the cutest animals who can love humans without any selfishness.

Have you ever seen any signs that your dog is crying or howling when you are going to sleep at night? That might be because they are scared of it being dark. There are numerous things that can cause fear. You would never want your dog to be unhappy. Every pet parent wants their dog to feel safe. It might be that your dog also wants to stay in the light.  Your dog might be anxious when you turn off the light to sleep at night or just for the sake of saving electricity.  If you are a pet parent whose dog shows symptoms of anxiousness, then you are not the only parent.

There are numerous pet parents who have been asking the same question “Can dogs be afraid of the dark?” Dogs do feel anxiety or sometimes even suffer from issues related to sight. If this is the case with your dog then it is a totally different situation for your dog. However, many a time when you want to sleep, your dog might not feel the same way and might want to play.

That is altogether a different issue. If you see your dog walking during the lights turned off it might be that it is anxious about the unknown threat and wants to be close to you. Your dog thinks that it is in danger. You can understand this if you take a thorough look at the dog when it is in dark. It would place its tail in between his legs. If the dog is scared, they might destroy things that they should not. You would see your dog is sniffing or might be pacing around the room. However, the different pedigree of dogs might behave variously. Keep a check of the symptoms your dog is showing when they are in the dark. In this article, you will come to understand the different reasons why your dog reacts when it is dark & how you can help your dog to be relaxed in the dark.

Separation Anxiety

One of the many reasons to why your pet might be scared during the dark is Separation anxiety. Your dog may feel that he is separated from his human in the dark and then the fear triggers the anxiety. So, if you leave your dog in darkness for a long time it might be possible that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. To avoid this situation, keep the lights switched on when you are going out of the house. You don’t have to switch all the lights on. It’s just the place where your dog likes to spend time in the house that should be lighted.  You can contact a dog trainer for help with these situations. They can train them on behavior during the dark. However, if you are not sure you can always consult a certified behaviorist for vets.

Bad Vision

Dogs have better eyesight than humans. So, you might feel that it is weird that your dog is anxious when it is dark. It might be possible that your dog is suffering from sight issues and when the light is Low or not switched on can see less and might cause him to bump into objects in the room, it may be possible that he could hurt and start to cry out of pain. Try consulting a vet and get this problem resolved as it might be related to their vet. You might put a light near the base of the walls so that your dog finds it easier to walk around the hall. Take some time out to train your pet to access the hallway without any injury when the light is out.

Previous Trauma

If you have a rescue dog as a pet then you might find that it gets scared when it is dark. It might be because the dog might have suffered from something which was very traumatic. Such as being alone in the dark for many days. So, when you switch off the light, they might remember their past and get anxious.

Health Conditions

There are many conditions that increase the uneasiness when your dog is in the dark. Sometimes your dog can seem disoriented this is due to Cognitive disorders and should be treated by the veterinarian. Your vet can help ease the disorder, which is very important when they are suffering from these problems.

Tips to Keep Your Dog Relaxed In the Dark

There are something’s which can be done when you find out that your dog is scared of the dark.

  • You might start to keep the light switch on and always try to reassure your dog that you are there for him.
  • You can keep a nightstand lamp on near the dog’s personal space.
  • Motion detecting lights also soothe your dog’s anxiety.
  • Keep the dog in your companionship when in the dark.
  • You need to be calm and composed when you are training him to be in the dark as dogs are good at understanding their parents’ feelings very well.
  • Try giving him a treat when he behaves nicely when it is dark.
  • Get an eye test done for your dog.
  • Never punish your dog when it is behaving weirdly when dark. It would make him more fearful of the dark. Instead, try the above steps to help your dog out.
  • Take him to a park and make him exercise a lot according to his breed and age.
  • Check if the room your dog is comfortable enough for him to sleep at night.

If you still see that the condition is not improving then contact a behaviorist or a vet.


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