Does your dog keep you awake at night? Restless dogs can affect your sleep. Here are 5 tips to help your canines sleep soundly from Andrew Kevan…
Restless Dogs: 5 Ways to Help Your Canines Sleep Soundly at Night
Barking at suspicious moving shadows at night or nocturnal noises makes sense.
But if you’ve noticed your dogs feeling uneasy for consecutive evenings, your pets may be having trouble getting good quality sleep. When canines experience stress, it can increase their anxiety levels which can then cause restlessness at night.
There are many reasons for pets becoming restless. For instance, this can be due to ageing or a sudden change of environment. Although having canine companions guarantees you days of love and joy, it can be quite challenging when you also don’t get enough sleep at night because of your restless dogs.
To enjoy some deep slumber without any interruptions, here are ways to help your canines get sound asleep at night.
1. Set a routine
When you keep things consistent, it will help your dogs recognise when it’s the right time for bed. Consistency is the key to support animals in learning certain behaviours. Just before you and your dogs hit the sack, make the following a routine:
- Always keep the hour before bedtime as relaxed as possible for your dogs.
- Avoid doing exciting activities or giving them excessive treats.
- Let your dogs do their business so that there won’t be a need for any one of them to go for a potty break in the middle of the night.
Dogs don’t have the same reasoning capacity as humans. If you ignore your dogs waking up in the middle of the night, this will soon become a pattern. Don’t allow bad behaviour to happen so that it won’t develop into a routine.
2. Create a good sleeping environment
Make sure your dogs have a good place to sleep to encourage slumber. For a start, give your canines quality individual pet beds with warm blankets for comfort. It also helps to locate their sleeping area in a quiet place to help your pets drift off to sleep with relative ease.
Dogs are sensitive to noise. White noise from the radio or a clock with a rhythmic ticking sound can reduce your canines’ chances of having a good sleep. Do your best to reduce noise and excess lighting in the room where your dogs sleep.
Don’t share your bed
It may be tempting to take your dogs (or one of them) to bed with you but sharing your bed with them can have a negative impact on your sleep. In a research presented by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies at the 28th SLEEP 2014 Annual Meeting, snuggling up with pets in bed increases sleep disturbances and decreases the total quality of sleep.
Besides disruptions through barking and movement, sharing your bed with your pets increases the risk of skin infections. It can also have terrible effects on persons with asthma or allergies. As you’ll be tossing and turning through the night, your dogs will also have a hard time sleeping.
Read more: Pets in your bed
3. Give them plenty of exercise
Tiring out energetic dogs through exercise can lead to sound sleep at night. Depending on your canines’ breeds or sizes, your dogs should have a minimum of 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise a day. Typically, the bigger the dog is, the more exercise is needed.
4. Fix your sleeping habits first
If you’re a bad sleeper who wakes up at even the slightest noise, you can also affect your dogs’ sleeping habits. Dogs can sense their pet owner’s anxiousness so you must first be consistent with your own sleeping schedule before you can help your dogs with theirs.
Speak to your doctor about your troubles with sleeping as this may also be the reason why your dogs can’t get sound sleep.
5. Visit a vet clinic
If your dogs still can’t get a good night’s sleep despite all your efforts, there may be an underlying medical condition. This is usually the case for senior dogs that don’t normally have trouble sleeping. Take your canine to the vet and convey any changes in your dogs’ appetite, behaviour, movement and sleeping patterns.
The vet may give some medications to help your dogs sleep well at night. Don’t ever attempt to personally administer any treatment to your pets without getting your veterinarian’s approval.
Keep in mind that dogs who are restless at night may be exhibiting a symptom of something more serious. As soon as you notice your canine friends having some issues sleeping, visit the vet immediately to address the problem. Never blame your dogs for being unable to sleep as this condition is much harder on your pets.
About the author:
Andrew Kevan has been the Account Manager at Sandleford Holdings since 2016. Andrew is the owner of a beautiful Rottweiler named Lady who is constantly spoiled and loves her Fido & Fletch Large Pet Home.
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