As a dog lover, there is no doubt in my mind that having a dog brings many upsides in life. But a problem arises when your dog is not settling down to sleep. In order to get your dog to sleep soundly at night, you must establish a suitable routine, create a good sleeping atmosphere, and make your home a better environment for sleep, because it is essential for both of you to have a proper amount of sleep. By following the steps below, you both will have the right tools to get all the rest you need.
1. Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
With proper training, a crate can make your dog feel safe, secure, and relaxed. Warm blankets can also make a great addition to any crate, providing an extra layer of comfort. Another recommendation (especially for puppies) is to place a clock under blankets, since the dog may be soothed by the repetition of the ticking sound.
2. Get a Lot of Exercise
If your dog is not getting regular exercise, then your task may be simple: tire your dog with activities until the evening. Depending on your dog’s age, breed, and level of fitness, you can take your dog for a walk, play with him, and/or let him do various types of physical activities, such as fetch and even swimming. Just make sure that he spends a lot of energy and don't leave him to sit idly. Even mental games, such as playing hide and seek, can make a difference. Try to avoid these activities one-to-two hours before bed so that both of you have time to settle down.
3. Establish a Routine
Introduce a nighttime routine, making sure that your dog urinates and defecates before bed so he won't need to go out again at night. Feed him a few hours before bedtime to give him enough time to digest his food. You can also take him for a short, quick walk, and then you can begin taking his toys away and turning off the lights afterward. Repeat these steps daily, and he will come to know when it’s time to sleep.
4. Provide Food and Water
Try to feed your dog well before bed so that he won’t feel hungry later in the night. Also, keep a full bowl of water near him in case he feels thirsty.
5. Consider Possible Sleep Disruptors
There may be some other issues disrupting your dog’s sleep. Ask yourself these questions.
- Are you planning a trip or moving to a new place?
Even though we may adapt quickly with these changes, our dogs may need time to catch up.
- Are there any new members or guests in the house?
Your dog knows his family, but sometimes he won’t comfortable with new people in the living space.
- Could loud noises be keeping your pup awake?
If it’s Saturday night, you may be enjoying yourself by listening to loud music or dancing, but your dog probably won’t be getting much rest. Our dogs hear four to five times louder than we do, so additional noise can easily hinder their ability to sleep.
- Have you changed furniture or redecorated?
Sometimes even the slightest changes you make to a room can upset your dog, especially if he had become well accustomed to the original setup.
6. Investigate Potential Health Issues
If your dog is old, sleeping troubles could be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you believe this may be the case, talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s condition, including his current sleeping habits, activity level, and appetite.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the more common causes for poor sleep in dogs, you stand a great chance of getting your prized pup the restful sleep he needs and deserves.
About the Author: Piyush Agarwal is a veterinary from India and contributes articles on various websites like greatdane.co.in.