10 Tips to Help Your Dog Sleep at Night
Did you know that most dogs sleep around 12-14 hours a day? So, if your dog is having a hard time sleeping, there could be some underlying health issue such as being overweight which can cause them to have sleep apnea (a condition where they stop breathing while they sleep), having bladder control issues (if your dog is a puppy or senior dog) that causes them to wake up too early or in the middle of the night, fleas or some kind of itchy skin condition, and so forth. However, the most common cause of dog insomnia is simply pent-up energy and inadequate exercise! Here are suggestions on how you can help your dog (and you) get a good night's sleep.
Sorry, but just leaving your dog in a fenced-up yard where they can run around is not enough exercise. Make sure your dog gets lots of exercise a few hours before they sleep. However, don't do it immediately before bedtime as that could keep them wired up and wanting to play more. Sometimes, simply taking your dog out for a walk or jog around the block or park can be enough to use up their energy and help them fall asleep.
If your dog likes to drink a lot of water, make sure to leave some, but not a full bowl for them before they sleep. Having a full bladder prior to bed is just a recipe for waking up in the middle of the night wanting to go out and relieve themselves. You could also opt to fill their water bowl with ice cubes instead (if the weather is suitable) so that it keeps them busy while they crunch away and gives them enough water to stay hydrated without filling up their bladders too much. Make sure to give your dog a last opportunity before bedtime to go out and do their business.
3. Create a Sleeping Area
If your dog tends to roam around at night, training your dog with a crate can help them get quality sleep. If you use a crate or confine your dog, it will limit their access to the entire house which can help them chill out during the night. Make sure to give them a nice cushion or mattress to give them the right amount of softness so that they can sleep well throughout the night. In addition, you don't want to intimidate or force your dog into the crate or confined area, otherwise they may think of it as a punishment instead. Try saying "Bedtime!" with a smile and toss in their favorite toy or treat into the area you want them to go into. Then, make sure to praise your dog when she complies and then leave her alone. You want to establish this as a positive routine so that your dog will look forward to going into the crate or the confined area every night.
4. Dog Sleep Schedule
If you are a night owl, don't be surprised if your dog is up late at night too. Remember, your dog wants to join you and be with you as much as possible. So, whether you like it or not, you may need to adjust your own sleep pattern so that your dog can also develop a healthy sleep schedule.
5. Midnight Munchies
Ever get that feeling, especially if you're on a diet, where you are tossing and turning in bed because your stomach is growling? Then, before you know it, you're in the kitchen making yourself a bowl of instant noodles with your beloved fur bud up and right at your side. Well, the same can actually happen for your dog. If your dog goes to bed feeling hungry, it could keep them up too. Therefore, watch the timing of when you feed your dog. If you feed your dog too early or perhaps not enough before their bedtime, they may not be able to sleep. You can also try giving them a little treat prior to bed to see if it helps.
6. Dog-Suitable Environment
Just like humans, each of us prefer a certain environment before we sleep. Some like to listen to soothing music, whereas others need absolute silence. Some of us is afraid of the dark and need a night light whereas others need absolute darkness to sleep. If the temperature is too cold or too hot, that can also affect our sleep. The same goes for our dogs. If your dog feels more anxious due to the silence of the night, you can try playing a talk show on low volume for them to listen to. The same goes for the lighting and the temperature. If your dog needs a little nightlight, you can easily install a plug-in one near where they sleep. If the area where they sleep in is too hot, well, that could also keep them up. So experiment around to see what your dog needs to sleep comfortably at night.
7. Pamper Time!
If fleas and other itchy-skin conditions are keeping your dog up at night, give your dog a soothing bath with a shampoo that's specially designed to ease their itch. To get to the root of the problem, make sure to talk to your vet to see how you can help get rid of the fleas. You can also opt to give your dog a good massage prior to bedtime. Who wouldn't like that? If your dog is an older dog, aches and pains may be what's keeping them up. You can check with your vet to see what you can do to relieve their pain. You can also incorporate treats specifically made to help promote your dog's joint comfort & mobility. We highly recommend Petaxin Hip + Joint Support
which contains glucosamine as well as natural herbs and minerals such as organic turmeric and maganese to help promote your dog's joint comfort.
We hope that one or more of these tips can help your dog get a good sleep routine! Sweet dreams!