I always ask myself what is better. Leaving some lights on wouldn't prevent the dog to have a nice sleep? Leaving all lights off woudn't make her to be affraid and scared?

  • Unless you have a dog that you have reason to believe is actually afraid of the dark, I don't see why you would leave it on. For our dog, switching the light off is his signal as well that he can go to sleep now and won't be disturbed until it's time to get up. It helps everyone develop a routine.
    – ThomasH
    Oct 11, 2013 at 11:15
  • My dog is 16 years old now.She has poor vision.I have noticed at night if it is too dark she gets agitated and cannot get comfy in her bed. However, if I put a low light on she settles straight away.I guess it's because she can't see well. When she is fast asleep I turn it off. Old age, will come to us all..;-)
    – user3648
    Feb 18, 2015 at 22:48

2 Answers 2


It depends on the individual animal, of course, but the wolf ancestors of domesticated dogs are nocturnal, and dogs have good low-light vision. Most dogs are not afraid of darkness.

For roughly the same evolutionary reasons, most dogs won't be kept awake by light; they've been domesticated to follow a roughly diurnal schedule but their wolf ancestors slept mostly during the day. And indeed many dogs seem to prefer to sleep in patches of sunlight (although it's likely the warmth rather than the light itself they're seeking...)


In lieu of a light, I leave the television on, tuned to an easy-listening music channel and a low volume. This not only provides some light, but a sense of presence or companionship. I don't believe it annoys the dogs, but gives them some sort of noise variable to keep them comforted and to distract from noises outside the house that might create anxiety. I know of others who use a radio. If they are annoyed by the television light, my dogs have been given blankets to duck under for darkness. I do not believe it causes a problem for them.


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