Dogs, just like us, go through periods of transition. They grow in age, height, and weight. With each year added, they can develop various health issues, and sleep is one of them.
Dogs can suffer from sleeplessness for various reasons, such as pain, gastrointestinal imbalance, outside stimulation, anxiety, etc. While you may not understand why your dog doesn’t sleep on time or has a very light sleep, looking for some symptoms can help you dig into the problem.
Keep reading to find out the common problems that can cause sleeping problems in your dog and what remedies can help your dog sleep better.
Determine Why Your Dog Can’t Sleep
Several factors can affect your dog’s sleeping schedule and intensity. It can be health-related, environmental, changes in habits, the age of your dog, etc.
Teams that work with pets, such as Pet Lover Guy, can help you identify the source of the problem so you can find proper solutions. The following is a list of common problems in dogs that cause sleeplessness.
Your Dog’s Diet
One of the biggest reasons dogs have trouble sleeping is their diet not suiting them well. They can suffer from gastrointestinal issues, causing them to bloat up and feel uncomfortable. Inflammations from the diet can heat your dog’s body, and a raised temperature is another reason your pet can have trouble sleeping.
As soon as you see these problems, consult your vet about your dog’s food. You may need to change the entire diet to ease your dog.
Change in the Environment.
If you just adopted a dog, moved to a new location, or got your pet a new companion, it may feel scared and uncertain. A new environment can trigger anxiety in dogs since everything around them is unfamiliar.
You’ll notice that your dog doesn’t sleep well. It starts pacing, is restless, and will refuse to settle even at bedtime. Environmental changes, new faces, and unfamiliar smells can overwhelm your dog to the point that it refuses to sleep.
Problems With the Bedding
Bedding for your dog can be a concerning subject. Your dog may suffer from sleeplessness if you’ve arranged new bedding that it doesn’t like or feels rough to sleep on. Old bedding that has been soiled repeatedly can irritate your dog physically, too, making it unwilling to sleep.
Maybe it doesn’t have a familiar scent, causing skin rashes, or it’s too warm or cold. You can identify this when you see your dog lying down anywhere but its bed and refuses to lie on its pillows.
Changes in Routine
Routine changes can happen for many reasons, one of the most common being your dog’s age or maturity. It will change its sleep routine tremendously and can even flip its potty timing.
Or maybe you had to change your routine due to a new job arrangement that affected your dog’s routine. Getting accustomed to these changes takes time, thus causing trouble with its sleep. Your dog may need your assistance to get accustomed to it.
Your pet is in Pain
Dogs can’t fall asleep when they’re in pain physically or mentally. If you hear your dog whimpering, growling, or hauling, try to find out if it’s due to physical pain. Injuries, flea infestation on its fur, painful disease, or any other underlying health condition can cause pain, leading to sleep deprivation.
Sometimes, underlying trauma can give dogs nightmares. Maybe your dog has been getting nightmares frequently, which is why it refuses to sleep anymore.
Problems related to age can cause sleep deprivation, whether it’s a puppy or an aging dog. Puppies are highly energetic, making them hyper to let off excess energy, thus causing them sleeping troubles.
Aging dogs develop many health issues, such as joint aches, lethargy, cognitive disorders, etc. Pain and neurological issues can wake your dog up frequently, making them very disoriented, which can, in turn, make your pet sleepless.
Lack of Exercise
Every pet needs an exercise routine and an outlet for its stored energy. Lack of exercise can store excess energy in your dog, make them unhappy, and even raise its body temperature, making them very hyper.
If your dog tries to sleep with excess energy, you may notice it waking up with jolts. Lack of exercise can sometimes cause sleep apnea, making your dog stop breathing. All these experiences can make it grow a fear, thus preventing it from falling asleep.
Things to Help Your Dog Sleep Well
If you want your dog to sleep well, you’ll have to go through the process of correcting its routine and various habits. Yes, it’ll take a lot of effort, and maybe you’ll have to lose your sleep trying to fix your pup’s sleep! However, with patience and persistence, these changes will be worth it.
Here’s a list of things you can do to help your dog sleep better.
Revise Your Dog’s Food
What your dog eats will basically determine how it behaves. Therefore, as soon as you find gastrointestinal issues, inflammations, and rises in body temperature, change your dog’s diet.
Consult your vet to revise your dog’s dietary plan. Ensure that you’re giving the right food, and if it’s not suited to your pet, you’ll have to either remove it entirely or replace it with something better, be it raw food, dried food, or dog treats. You can also opt for pre-made dog food that suits dogs for every size and age.
Arrange Better Bedding
If your dog’s bedding feels like a cloud, it will look forward to its slumber time. Besides, dogs with chronic physical problems need special bedding. Get a calming bed for your dog, as it’s very soft, has the perfect density, retains temperature to keep your dog cool, and provides ideal support.
While some calming beds come with removable covers, others need a cover. If the bedding material was the primary cause of your dog’s lack of sleep, consult your vet to know which material should be perfect for your pets to rest well.
Set Up a Bathroom Routine
Dogs have a potty routine just like human babies do. If your dog’s toilet routine is misaligned, it’ll have trouble sleeping, so you must incorporate its bathroom habit into a consistent pattern.
A common issue with potty-trained dogs is holding their bladder until they can relieve themselves, especially at night. Therefore, it’s essential that you train your dog’s toilet habits to match your timing. Besides, take care of how much water it drinks before bedtime. These will reduce your dog’s urge for late-night litter visits.
Increase Its Exercise
Every active animal needs to exercise well enough to let off all the stored energy, and dogs aren’t any different. Letting your dog burn some energy will ensure its body gets in tune with time, as your pet will start feeling exhausted as soon as the day ends.
Besides, exercises like walking, running, jumping, etc., can help release happy hormones in your dog’s body. This will help relieve any anxiety in your pet. Remember, a dog with a happy and healthy body and mind will sleep better and on time.
Creating a Soothing Environment
Just like us, dogs need a calm, soothing environment to rest properly. Reduce distractions, noises, and other external stimuli around your dog to allow it to sleep well. Dimming the lights can also help your dog maintain its circadian rhythm, telling it it’s time to sleep when the environment isn’t bright anymore.
Circadian rhythm is the natural clock of every living being, physical and psychological, that tells us when it’s time to wake up, when to sleep, when you should feel hungry, when you should be active, etc. A dim and calm environment will trigger this clock in your dog’s body to prepare for sleep.
Visit the Vet
Any health and behavioral issue with your dog should call for a vet appointment. If you have had a vet looking after your pet for years, they’ll be familiar with it.
Since they’re aware of normal and abnormal animal behaviors, your vet can quickly identify problems with your dog. You’ll have to cooperate with them as they’ll need a history of food habits, dietary elements, routines, bedding, etc. Only then will your vet be able to provide a cure to help your pet sleep properly.
Brushing and Massaging Before Bed
A relaxing massage and brushing are affection for dogs that can automatically put your dog into a slumber mood. Brushing your dog’s fur and massaging its body can stimulate blood flow and help its muscles relax. Therefore, try this method to calm your dog and help it rest well.
If your dog doesn’t sleep well even after trying everything, you can try calming or sleeping supplements for your dog, which you need to give at least half an hour before bedtime to show their effects. Of course, you must get your vet’s suggestion for it, as they’ll know whether it’s necessary and safe and which supplement should suit your pet.
Just like us, comfortable bedding, a calm and dim environment, the proper amount of exercise, and the right dietary habits can help improve your dog’s health, thus improving its circadian rhythm. Take help from your vet to figure out why your dog doesn’t sleep well, and they’ll also help you cure your pet to sleep better.
Follow these tips, and your dog will wake up jolly every morning due to sleeping well every night. And as a bonus, you’ll sleep through the night peacefully too!