Q: Why has my elderly dog suddenly started to bark when he sleeps in his crate?

Original Question: "I have a 12-year-old Golden Retriever who has always slept in his crate with no problem. Suddenly he is barking the house down. Can you help?" - Lila

Vet Certified Answer | Answered: March 5, 2018 

Hi Lila,

Thanks for your inquiry.

When an older dog starts to demonstrate behaviour changes, it is time to consider a visit to your vet. A behaviour change can be a sign of developing medical issues such as pain, neurologic disease or organ dysfunction. For example, a common cause in dogs, especially when it comes to sleeping and night-time behaviour, is canine cognitive dysfunction – a condition comparable to dementia experienced by older humans. There are a multitude of treatment options for this condition, but it is important to investigate all possible causes of the behaviour change first. Your vet can guide you further on what options would be best for your dog.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Kim Hester

Disclaimer: and its team of veterinarians does not endorse any products or services mentioned. Advice presented by our veterinarians is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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