Why Are Older Dog Restless at Night?

Why Are Older Dogs Restless At Night?

One complaint we get from most dog owners is that their senior dogs get completely restless at night. Older dogs restless at night can be a cause for worry because a good night’s rest is important for dogs because it helps them rejuvenate and replenish their energy after tiring activities of the day.

Also, restless dog can cause disturbance which may affect your sleep too. So why would your dog get so restless at night? 

There are many reasons as to why a dog may act disturbed at night; it may be a medical condition, cognitive problems or a behavior it developed over time.

Whatever the problem is, you should take some action to see if you’d help. The best place to start would be monitoring your dog for the slightest changes in behavior. 

Here Are Some Reasons Why an Older Dog Would Be Restless at Night 


Pain and discomfort

Pain and discomfort can be as a result of an ailment, accident or bites from pests. If your dog experiences pain, it’ll be easy to know as the signs are evident in the way it acts, scratches the painful part, moans or gets moody. When you notice your dog is in pain, the best course of action would be to consult your vet immediately. However, if you think your dog needs more comfort to make it’s night easier, you should consider buying it a comfortable bed, a fur pet bed perhaps or a dog bed for older dogs. These beds are specially crafted to cushion your dog and relieve it of pains.

Urinary tract or kidney infections

Infections in the urinary tract or kidney may cause for your older dog restless at night. This condition comes with some pain on the dog’s abdomen which just won’t let your pet rest easy. The will be present during the day but it is more noticeable to you at night when you everything is quite and settled. The good news is; most of these infections are treatable if immediate action is taken.


Dogs are also affected by cancer;the abnormal growth of cells within the body causing tumors. Cancer can cause prolonged lack of sleep in old pets. It causes you pet to pant, vocalize, pace or become restless. Unfortunately there is no cure for cancer but there are medications to ease the pain your dog is feeling.

Cognitive dysfunction or dementia

This disease is common in older dogs. Just like cancer, it doesn’t have a cure. However there are drugs which can tone down its effects. Dementia causes confusion, reversal of sleeping patterns and poor adaptability to new environments. Pets with dementia usually sleep a lot during the day and stay up during the night. Furthermore dementia can cause loss of vision which might freak your dog out causing it to remain restless at night. Some dog owners might mistake it for old age, which means you should monitor your pet closely. Even better, there are dog beds for dementia. 


Anxiety and stress can cause you dog to pace up and down all through the night. Anxiety can be caused by pain, disease, strangers or new environments. Nonetheless, older dogs tend to get more anxious over petty situations so this could be easy to deal with, and the vet would be in a position to give your a one-time-off solution. 

Sensory changes

Another reason why older dogs cab get restless at night is because of changes in sensory buds. As your dog gets older, some of its sensory organs begin to wear out. Their vision and hearing organs tend to change which in turn affects their sleep. Dogs use infrared light to see at night, and once this ability is gone they become anxious and restless at night.

How to solve older dog’s restlessness at night


One thing you are probably curious about right now is “what should I do when I notice these signs in my pet?”

Here are some valuable tips to help you find a lasting solution to your pet’s restlessness. 

Observe your pet

Once you notice restlessness in your old dog at night, don’t panic. Instead, keep a keen eye on the pet. It might be a one-time thing, which is normal, or it might be a situation that would require a medical attention. Through observation you will get to know if the dog’s situation is getting any better or if a trip to the vet may help.

Consult your vet

You’ll need to consult your vet if the symptoms worsen with time. Even if the vet diagnoses your pet and finds that the disease is incurable, your pet can still live a quality life for longer under proper medication. There are many medications to improve blood circulation to the brain which when used with a proper diet, the older dog’s health can improve amazingly. Yet still, your vet can give you the best advice on how to take good care of your pet.

Buy a comfortable pet bed

There are many pet beds in the market that can be beneficial to your pet. Orthopedic pet beds are easy on the joints and muscles of older dogs and provide proper orthopedic support. I would recommend them for their top notch comfort and your dog can easily climb on burrow in them.

Exercise with your dog

Exercising with your dog during the day with help it with blood circulation and removal of toxins from its system and can in turn help him or her relax through the night. I recommend that you should come up with a daily routine of exercising your pet. After sunset, he or she will probably be tired such that sleep will be only thing left to do.


So, Why Are Older Dog Restless at Night? Generally, because at old age most animals have their systems defects which translates to frail bodies, little energy and all that makes them susceptible to many diseases. Dogs at old age will definitely experience problems. However if you give them proper care they will be able to live the rest of their lives happy and energetic.