Why is my dog scared and panicky at night?


Elsa, a 16-year-old mixed breed dog, suddenly started showing signs of panic and being scared during the night. It came out of the blue. Her owner found it quite distressing to watch poor Elsa panting, shaking and pacing the floor into the early hours. She did everything she could to try and calm her but in the end nobody was getting any sleep!

The vet suggested it might be dementia and recommended medication. Penny was not convinced by this diagnosis as Elsa was fine during the day and this behavior was restricted to night time.


She contacted Mindful Creatures to see if I could help. I did a distant communication from a photograph of Elsa. My initial connection with her showed a few issues that were contributing factors to Elsa’s sudden night panics.

  • Firstly, I picked up that Elsa was concerned about Penny. Had something happened or was Penny worried about something? Indeed, Penny did have something on her mind that preoccupied her at exactly the time that Elsa’s night panics started. They have such an incredible bond that this was not surprising to me. Animals pick up our thoughts and feelings!
  • Secondly, Elsa is already quite deaf but she showed me that her eyesight is failing a bit now. Being the protector of the house, she suddenly felt vulnerable in the dark of night, as both these senses were not accessible to her. For these combined reasons, she could not settle. In fact she was quite agitated by them.

What happened next was quite remarkable

I had a very strong connection with Elsa. She is a wonderful caring soul. Based on the information that I received in the communication, we decided it was time to retire Elsa from ‘night-time guard duty’! Elsa understood the message I conveyed to her and felt relief that the humans would now look after the house at night. Of course, it was important to let Elsa feel that she still had a purpose, so I asked her to continue being the ‘daytime guardian’ as she did this job so well!

On account of her failing night vision, I felt that Elsa would settle better if there were a small light source near her. Penny installed a night light in the room. The combination of these changes resulted in an immediate change in Elsa’s behaviour. There is no more pacing and panicking at night. She settled right back into restful sleeps.

Penny is so happy to see Elsa curled up peacefully at night now. She is even happy to put up with the odd bouts of snoring!

She has also done something remarkable for Elsa…. She has taught her sign language to compensate for her loss of hearing! So now there is a sign for all the important things in her day. Elsa has a great life and retirement is suiting her thanks to Penny reaching out to Mindful Creatures for help. It feels so good to be able to make a difference in everybody’s lives.

This blog was written with the permission of Elsa’s owner. Each communication with Aideen is confidential and the information is not shared unless permission is granted to do so.

Photos courtesy of Catherine Gundry Beck