Is your dog having difficulties sleeping through the night? Did you bring home a new puppy that needs sleep training? Discover expert tips and tricks to help your dog sleep soundly through the night.
Understanding the Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep for Your Dog
A good night’s sleep is crucial for your dog’s overall health and well-being. Just like humans, dogs need adequate rest to recharge and stay healthy. During sleep, your dog’s body repairs itself, strengthens its immune system, and processes information from the day. Lack of proper sleep can lead to a variety of health issues, including obesity, anxiety, and behavioral problems. By ensuring that your dog gets a good night’s sleep, you are promoting their physical and mental health.
Additionally, dogs have different sleep needs depending on their age and breed. Puppies and younger dogs generally require more sleep than adult dogs, while certain breeds may have specific sleep patterns. Understanding your dog’s sleep needs can help you establish a routine that meets their individual requirements.
How to Help Your Dogs Sleep Through the Night
If your dog is having a hard time falling asleep, the following tips will help a lot:
1. Create a comfortable sleeping environment
A separate sleeping area will also train your dog to sleep on its own. The very first thing you should do is get your dog a comfortable bed inside a crate. Most dogs will thrive on an orthopedic dog bed since it diffuses the pressure on their joints. Senior dogs will also sleep better if they have a bed that supports their aging joints. Make sure that the bed is sized properly for your dog.
Crate training will help here, especially for anxious canines.
Putting their favorite toy near them gives a sense of security. But if they are playing with it too much, take is away. You can also line your dog’s bed with one of your used shirts. This will leave your scent around, which is calming for your dog.
2. Establish a routine
Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can signal to your dog that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Dogs thrive on routine, so having a structured evening routine can help them relax and sleep better. Start by setting a specific bedtime for your dog and stick to it every night.
Unchanged:About an hour before bedtime, engage in calming activities with your dog. This can include a leisurely walk, gentle playtime, or a relaxing massage. Avoid stimulating activities or vigorous exercise close to bedtime, as this can increase your dog’s energy levels and make it harder for them to settle down.
Create a calming environment by dimming the lights and playing soothing music. Consider using a white noise machine to drown out any external noises that may disturb your dog’s sleep. Finally, make sure your dog has access to fresh water and a bathroom break before settling down for the night.
3. Limit water intake before bedtime
You should limit your dog’s water intake one to two hours before bedtime. This is to prevent the need for potty trips in the middle of the night. Don’t limit it for more than this because dogs need access to fresh water.
Also, you should schedule the last bathroom break of your dog a bit late at night. For my dog Sherlock, our last potty trip for the day is 10 pm, which is 30 minutes before my scheduled bedtime.
4. Managing Your Dog’s Energy Levels During the Day
One of the key factors in helping your dog sleep through the night is managing their energy levels during the day. Dogs are naturally active animals and need regular physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. By providing your dog with enough exercise and mental enrichment, you can help tire them out and promote better sleep at night.
Start by incorporating daily exercise into your dog’s routine. The amount and intensity of exercise will depend on your dog’s age, breed, and health condition. Aim for a combination of aerobic exercise, such as brisk walks or playing fetch, and mental stimulation activities, such as puzzle toys or training sessions.
In addition to physical exercise, ensure that your dog receives enough mental enrichment throughout the day. This can include interactive toys, treat puzzles, or obedience training. Mental stimulation helps tire out your dog’s brain and can contribute to a more restful sleep at night.
Remember that every dog is unique, so it’s important to find the right balance of exercise and mental stimulation that suits your dog’s individual needs. Consulting with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer can provide valuable guidance.
5. Consider using melatonin for pets
Another option you can discuss with the vet is the use of pet melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our sleep. As the level of melatonin rises in our brain, it makes us calm and sleepy. This is the same chemistry that occurs inside your dog’s body.
Can I give human melatonin to my dog? Yes, but you should consult the vet first. The melatonin pills made for humans are concentrated and must not be given to dogs without reducing the dosage. Some canines may be sensitive or have adverse reactions to this sleeping aid.
6. Give your dog CBD oil during the day
If you’re looking for a natural way, you should consider CBD oil for dogs to aid sleep. Hemp CBD oil is non-psychoactive, but take note that you should administer it to your dog during the day.
This is because CBD promotes wakefulness, encouraging your dog to move and expend its energy. Come nighttime, your pooch will be ready to doze off after its last meal.
Nevertheless, you should consult your pet’s vet about the safe dosage and specific product. If you find it challenging to administer CBD oil, you can opt for CBD dog chews instead. These are infused with CBD oil and are more appealing to a canine’s taste buds.
7. Rule out health problems
If your dog keeps on having sleepless nights, you should consider bringing it to the vet. Your dog might be suffering from a health problem.
Aside from separation anxiety and fear, dogs can also develop sleep apnea. This condition causes loud and recurrent snoring as well as irritability during the day. What happens is that the muscles surrounding the airway relax, which cuts off the dog’s breathing momentarily. This will wake the dog up, gasping for air. please read here 7 ways on how to make a dog stop snoring
Also, orthopedic pain will keep your dog up at night. This will be accompanied by crying, whining, and restlessness. In this case, the vet can prescribe pain relievers to help your dog sleep.
Can I give my dog Benadryl to help him sleep?
Benadryl can help dogs fall asleep, but you shouldn’t use it too often. For Sherlock, we reserve it on occasions when there’s loud thunder, fireworks, and similar disturbances.
The rule of thumb on Benadryl dosage for dogs is 1 mg for every pound of its body weight. If this is your first time giving your pet Benadryl, you should consult with your veterinarian first.
Do dogs sleep the whole night?
Unlike humans, dogs don’t really sleep 8 to 9 hours in one go. They alternate between long naps and sleeping throughout the night. Don’t worry because this is normal since dogs are flexible sleepers.
Aside from that, a sleeping dog wakes up fast as much as it can doze off quickly. Overall, an adult dog sleeps around 9 to 14 hours in fragmented periods. Meanwhile, puppies can sleep for up to 20 hours spread throughout a day as their small bodies are still developing.
How do I stop my dog from waking me up at night?
I know the struggle of having your dog jumping into bed at 2 am and waking you up. It can get annoying and bothersome over time, which will directly impact the quality of your sleep.
To stop this, you should give your dog its own place to sleep. A comfortable bed in a quiet area in your house will help a lot. You can also give the dog any of the mentioned options above to help it doze off a night.
As a dog owner, I don’t recommend letting your dog get used to sleeping in your bed. This is a recipe for sleepless nights once your pet is fully grown. As much as possible, train your dog to sleep on its own bed by day 1.
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How long does it take for dogs to fall asleep?
Dogs fall asleep very easily. Your dog can lie down and fall asleep in less than a minute. However, dogs wake up and become alert easily as well. They can also snooze in any sleeping position.
This also varies per dog, especially those with existing health conditions and behavioral problems. If you notice that your dog isn’t sleeping well, you should consult the veterinarian. Your canine companion might be dealing with a health problem that requires immediate veterinary attention.
Knowing how to send a dog to sleep will also help you get a peaceful slumber. Like us, dogs also need a comfortable bed and a quiet place to rest. You can also utilize calming aids and CBD oil to help your dog doze off. Remember, patience and consistency are key when addressing sleep issues. With time and proper intervention, you can help your dog develop healthy sleep habits and enjoy restful nights.
Leana is a passionate animal lover and has worked in various roles with animals for over 10 years. With a heart committed to furry companions, Leana has cultivated a rich background in animal care. Her journey started in high school when she volunteered with her local pet shelter. Today, she continues to volunteer by fostering with the local shelters, running a successful pet sitting and walking business, and running this website to give everyone easily accessible pet advice! She is the lead editor on PetCosset.com and runs all of the social media herself.