Night Light For Puppies: Good Or Bad Idea?

Are lights a good idea when you want to soothe your dog during nighttime or when you're leaving your puppy home alone? Let's find out in this article!

puppy night light

Are you preparing for leaving your dog home alone for the first time and you don’t know if you should leave the lights on?

Or is your dog having trouble sleeping alone and you’re thinking some lights will make the situation better?

Either way, we’ll explore whether lights are good or not for your puppy!

You and your puppy are still getting to know each other – the way it should be in the beginning. Naturally, you want to provide the best possible conditions for your dog. In order to help you, we’re going to take a look at these two situations, when your puppy is home alone and when he can’t sleep, and clarify the whole “lights-on-or-off” situation.

Situation 1: Dog Home Alone

So far, your puppy hasn’t been home alone. However, that day is coming and you want to be as prepared as you can be. So, will your dog prefer to be left in the house with the lights on or off?

First of all, let’s answer the following question:

Can Dogs See In The Dark?

Yes, dogs can generally see when it’s dark. Actually, they even have better night vision than people in low light situations! This is thanks to their special structure called the tapetum, in the back of their eyes, that reflects more light to the retina and gives it a second chance to absorb light.

This means that dogs are better than people at distinguishing something in the dark, for example when looking out the window. This is because their eyes use the small quantities of light, like the streetlights or the moonlight, better than we do in these situation.

However, when it’s completely dark dogs can’t see anything. Just like us! Even thought they can move around familiar places without stumbling on something it’s most probably from memorizing it, so if you don’t move any furniture around in a pitch black room most dogs will be able to move around without problem.

Do Dogs Like The Dark?

Now that you know that it’s in general safe for dogs to be in the dark you’re probably wondering if they like the darkness! This is a difficult question with no exact answer, the best would be to test and see what works for your dog.

As every dog is different we can’t give you a “yes” or “no” answer to this question. A better question would maybe be: “Is your dog afraid of the dark?”

Signs Indicating Fear Of Dark

If you notice any of the following signs when your dog is in the dark, there’s a big chance that your dog is afraid of it.

  • Destructive behavior, such as trash being drug out, chewing on something and tearing something up
  • Signs of abnormal upset when alone in the dark
  • Dog hiding in the bathroom or someplace else
  • Hurt claws, a result from digging or scratching at the door
  • More startled by outside noises during the night than during the day

If your dog was barking when you were gone it’s usually also an indicator that your dog isn’t that comfortable in the dark. Of course, the barking can happen because your dog hates being alone or because he or she has separation anxiety.

This is rather easy to establish. Leave the lights on the next time you’re leaving your dog home alone and ask someone in the neighborhood if your dog was barking or not while you were away. If it didn’t it’s most likely the dark that makes your pet uncomfortable.

We know that leaving your dog home alone for the first time isn’t easy, but after a couple of times both you and your dog will have become comfortable with this and you will know what works best for your dog!

For more tips when leaving your dog alone, check out the video below.

Situation 2: Dog At Night

The other situation when you’re wondering whether your should leave the lights on or off is when your dog has trouble sleeping or he’s feeling somewhat uncomfortable at night.

Will Lights Make Your Dog Feel Comfortable?

It’s not uncommon for puppies to suffer from separation anxiety when they are small. This is completely normal as this is a big change for them.

Even though this is something normal, it’s still not easy to watch your dog be uncomfortable. The good news is that it usually goes away with time, as your puppy grows older and becomes comfortable with its new environment.

Unfortunately, there’s not an universal answer to this. Some puppies find the light comforting, while others don’t notice it at all and the separation anxiety doesn’t seem to go away even with lights on. The best thing you can do here is to try both and see what works best for your dog.

Will The Lights Disrupt The Dog’s Sleeping Pattern?

If your dog is one of those who enjoy light and find it comforting, you’re probably asking yourself if this will disrupt your dog’s sleeping pattern. Will your puppy be able to sleep even though lights are on?

As wolves are some kind of ancestors to the dog, and wolves are night animals, dogs shouldn’t have any problems with sleeping during the day or with lights on. However, this is not an absolute rule, so if you see that your dog goes to another, dark room to sleep the light is probably annoying him or her.

Is It Safe To Leave Lights On?

Apart from being an issue of preference, leaving lights on can be risky for a couple of reasons. First of all, some dogs have a tendency to knock over lamps and therefore cause a fire risk. It goes without saying that candles shouldn’t be left burning under no condition.

Second, light on during longer periods of time are not only quite expensive but are also bad for the environment. So, if your dog likes light, try Eco-friendly light bulbs which last much longer and are friendlier to our planet.

Finally, if you’re leaving the lights on when your dog is home alone, investing in a timer for your lights would be good. That way, the light goes on when it becomes dark outside – they don’t have to be on the entire time you’re away.


Every dog is different – this can’t be repeated enough times! What works for one dog doesn’t necessarily have to work for another dog.

So, whether your dog is home alone or a bit scared during the night, leaving the lights on is an option. For some dogs it may be comfortable to spend time alone in the dark, but others hate it and can show signs of anxiety so you will have to test and see for yourself.

For instance, turning the lights off and going out the house just for a short period of time in order to see how your dog will react is a good idea. That way, you will know what to do when you’re leaving your dog alone for real.

If you choose to leave the lights on, invest in a timer or Eco-friendly light bulbs and do both your economy and the planet a favor. And if your dog prefers the dark – that’s great too – dogs see well in the dark and won’t have any problems!

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1 comment

  • Rosemarie

    Is it better for puppies to be left alone with a night light or without?