What Can I Give My Dog to Sleep All Night?
Finally! You are getting into bed after a long day. The prospect of sleeping in tomorrow on your day off almost brings tears to your eyes. “What can I give my dog to sleep all night?” New pet parents are often surprised to discover that a new dog or puppy can cause just as many sleepless nights as a newborn baby.
Suddenly, you are awakened by bouts of whimpering followed by a cold wet dog nose on your face. You turn to check your clock and it’s 2.00 AM Damn! Your dog is at it again chewing at your prospects of a good night’s sleep. As much as you adore your pup, the regular midnight “soirees” gets old pretty fast.
Dog insomnia affects dogs of all ages not to mention the entire family. You can sleep soundly while your dog is crying and you have no idea why or how to help. Here are a few tips to turn sleepless nights from the norm in your home to a thing of the past.
A Dog’s Sleep Cycle
Dogs have a polyphasic sleep cycle. Polyphasic sleep cycles refer to several periods of sleep within a 24-hour cycle. Ideally, a dog sleeps for between 12hours-14hours per day. The sleep cycles are distributed within 24 hours so every daytime nap is included. If a dog spends the entire day napping, it will likely have a tough time sleeping.
Dog insomnia is common among dogs of all ages. Puppies may not sleep well before receiving home training while for senior dogs the source of insomnia is often linked to age-related health conditions. Adult dogs may also suffer sleeplessness from time to time. The most important thing is to establish why they are not sleeping in the first place.
Reasons Why Your Dog is Not Sleeping Through the Night
Various factors can cause a dog to constantly wake up in the middle of the night. Below are some of the most common causes of sleepless nights among dogs.
Your Dog Is Not Exhausted
Dogs spend most of their day sleeping. Dogs that are often left home alone with no activity tend to sleep even more during the day out of boredom. As dogs sleep, they reserve energy to be used up when they are active. If by bedtime all this built-up energy has not been expended, it will cause anxiety in the dog. The anxiety and restlessness will disrupt the dog’s nighttime sleep.
The Need to Go Potty
Some dogs tend to wake up several times in the middle of the night to go relieve themselves. This is particularly common with puppies. The duration over which a puppy can hold its bladder corresponds with its age. For example, a month-old puppy can only hold their bladder for an hour. If your dog keeps having several bathroom emergencies per night you will not be able to sleep either.
Loneliness/ Separation Anxiety
Dogs, just like humans, are social beings. When they are separated from their family, they may experience anxiety which causes sleeplessness. Puppies and newly adopted dogs in particular struggle with separation anxiety the first nights in a new home. Dogs may also feel abandoned if a member of the family they loved leaves. Other than insomnia, other signs of loneliness and anxiety include uncharacteristic behavioral changes like barking, whining, and aggression.
When you are in pain, the last thing on your mind is sleep. Well, the same goes for dogs. Pain resulting from injury or pests will cause your dog to have a sleepless night.
Senior dogs are often prone to health conditions whose symptoms may cause them to wake up in the middle of the night. Diabetes in dogs, for example, is characterized by frequent urination and hydration.
Dog dementia causes a dog to be confused and scared at night hence too anxious to sleep. Other serious health conditions that may interfere with your dog’s nighttime include Canine cognitive disorder, hyperthyroidism, and arthritis. While the symptoms of these conditions occur during the day, they tend to be more pronounced at night. The conditions affect the dog’s ability to lay down for prolonged periods.
Issues with The Bed
Your dog may simply just not like either their bed, or their designated sleep area, or both. If a dog is uncomfortable, it will keep waking up in the middle of the night. Now that we have identified the problem, let us look at probable solutions. So, here are a few ideas.
[Related, check out the Best Dog Beds and Houses]
How to Help Your Dog Sleep Through the Night
There are several steps you can take to help your dog sleep at night. Check them out below.
- Establish a Routine
Establish a doggie routine that includes consistent feeding and exercise time. Routine helps shape behavior. If your dog’s routine allows them to be active, eat properly, and go to the bathroom at the right time, they will sleep well.
Exercise your dog to help them expend all that built-up energy before nightfall. A dog requires at least half an hour to two hours of exercise per day. Dogs also need to be stimulated mentally so, puzzle toys and such activities are necessary. Include both physical and mental activities in your routine. If you are not home as often as you would like, you can enlist a dog-walker or doggie care to help out.
- Proper Feeding.
Proper feeding entails more than just giving your dog some food. So, the next time the question “What can I give my do to sleep at night?” pops up in your mind, remember proper meals at the right time is a start.
Give your dog well-prepared human-grade food to prevent gastronomical issues. Secondly, have a feeding schedule that allows your dog time for digestion and the bathroom before bed. Note, however, that some dogs sleep better on a full stomach. Pick the ideal feeding time for your dog.
- Create a Sleeping Area
Your dog’s bedding should be comfortable and cozy. Get a comfortable mattress or crate and a warm blanket for your dog. If you notice your dog keeps walking away from its bed, try changing the bedding or the designated sleeping area until you find the space they are comfortable with. The sleeping area should not be associated with punishment. Putting a treat on your dog’s bed before bedtime will help the dog get acclimatized with it.
[Related, check out the Best Dog Beds and Houses]
- Create a Calming Environment
Make your dog’s sleeping area as calming as possible. Some music or white noise dimmed lights or darkness will create a peaceful ambiance. Dogs also feed on your energy so, try to be calm while putting them to bed.
[Related, check out the Best Dog Crates and Cages]
- Handle Medical Issues
If your dog’s behavioral changes suggest underlying health issues, check with the vet immediately.
- Massage Therapy
Another thing you can give your dog to sleep at night is a massage. Gently stroking your dog calms them.
- Calming Aids
Calming aids like an anxiety blanket or natural supplements like CBD oil and coconut oil can help calm your dog. However, consult your vet before giving your dog any supplements. You’d also try out these calming dog beds or dog beds for separation anxiety.
Dogs are a joy in the home. However, when they are not sleeping well at night, it affects everybody. Learning the hard way that dogs can have insomnia too can take a toll on you. However, now that you know the answer to “what can I give my dog to sleep at night?” It is time to remedy the situation.