Tips To Help Dogs Sleep At Night - Simple Guide
It's time to shut-eyes, snuggle up with your dog and fall fast asleep but your furry friend starts to fidget for hours. What's going on? You might have several questions on your mind – “why can’t my dog sleep?”, “how to make dogs sleep?”, “can I give medication to help my dog sleep through the night?” If that's so, let's explore sleeping concerns among our canine friends, including the possible reasons and effective ways for helping them get a restful night's sleep.
How To Make Dogs Sleep: Let’s Help Them Get The Sleep They Deserve
When it’s time to wind down for the night, most dogs are happy to settle in for bed at the end of a long day. Hence, if you notice some restlessness or unwillingness to sleep in your dog, there's definitely some problem you need to pay attention to.
Hence, if you are looking for useful information on how to help dogs sleep at night, luckily, figuring out what's the reason for their failure to snooze isn't usually difficult. Most importantly, there are plenty of ways to help them get a peaceful night’s sleep again.
In this article, we have rounded up all you need to know about dog sleep issues, possible reasons and useful tips to find the right solution!
Some Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Is Not Sleeping Throughout The Night
Dogs that don't get enough sleep at night may whimper, or cry, become lethargic during the day or appear disoriented when doing normal activities. Furthermore, sleep deprivation in dogs can cause a buildup of stress hormones making them become aggressive, develop some behavioral problems, or make them more susceptible to infection.
Hence, before searching for ways on how to make dogs sleep, it is important to find the possible reasons why they can’t sleep well.
1. A New Sleeping Spot
If you have recently shifted to a new place, the change in your dog’s sleeping spot as well as new sounds & smells might be making them uncomfortable.
2. A Recent Adoption
If you have recently adopted your dog, they might be feeling uncomfortable in an unfamiliar environment, thus unable to sleep properly throughout the night.
3. Change in Routine
Again, doggos are not very flexible in adjusting to new situations, environments and routines. So, a new routine of any sort might have made your dog uncomfortable and restless.
4. Worn-Off Bed or Mattress
If none of the reasons listed yet seems legitimate to you, it's time to pay attention to your dog's bedding, especially if they have reached old age and might be suffering from orthopedic pain. An old or cheap dog bed might be one of the biggest reasons for your dog's sleeping troubles.
5. Body Pain
Body pain is one of the most common reasons for dog sleep problems and it might be caused due to an accident, injury, excessive physical activity, arthritis, age, etc.
6. An Underlying Illness
Your dog's sickness can be another major reason for their restlessness and inability to sleep. Check for tummy troubles, respiratory problems, choking, postural problems and other ailments.
7. Tick or Flea Infestation
Even if you have an indoor-only dog, a tick or flea infestation is still possible and might be a huge reason why your dog is uncomfortable and unable to sleep. Check for signs of excessive itching, scratching and chewing of the skin.
8. Skin or Food Allergies
Furthermore, other skin issues and food allergies can also make laying down uncomfortable for your dog.
Storms paired with loud noises, fireworks, being around strange people or pets, boredom and loneliness, etc. will make a dog anxious and sleep-deprived.
Unfortunately, dogs can also have nightmares just like humans. And you can tell that by noticing if they are snarling, growling or crying out in their sleep.
How Much Sleep Does A Dog Need?
According to a study published on PubMed, puppies between 16 weeks to 12 months of age need at least 11 hours of sleep every day. Moreover, most adult dogs need anywhere between 8 to 13.5 hours of sleep every day, including daytime naps and nighttime sleep.
Usually, middle-aged and senior dogs sleep more than adult dogs, making their total sleep time up to 14 - 15 hours a day. However, some senior dogs suffer from insomnia and nighttime walking due to which their sleep time is drastically reduced.
How To Put A Dog To Sleep At Night: 10 Helpful Tips To Let Your Dog Snooze
Thankfully, there are many effective ways on how to make dogs sleep. So, if your doggy is also unable to sleep well and you were wondering “what can I give my dog to sleep?”, here are some tried and tested tips to try before you consider putting them on some sort of medication:
1. Set Up a Consistent Sleep Routine
Dogs need a specific routine and if you've been noticing disruptions in their sleep pattern, it is important to reset their schedule and follow a consistent sleep routine every day.
2. Ensure a Disturbance-Free Sleep Environment
To help dogs sleep at night, it is extremely important to make their sleep spot comfortable and free of distractions.
3. Let Him Sleep Alone
If you still notice disruptions in your doggo's sleep patterns, just let him sleep alone. A family member might be causing disturbances even without being aware.
4. Or Bring Them Closer To You
Conversely, if your dog sleeps alone, bring their bed closer to you to make them feel comfortable,
5. Get a Supportive Dog Bed
Since your dog bed might be a major reason for their pain, lack of body support or discomfort, upgrading the bed is sure to make a huge difference.
6. Tire Them With Some Physical Activity
Getting your dog to exercise and tire a little can help them get ready for bed. So, take them for an extra walk or play some walking/running games with them.
7. Get Them a Sleep Toy
Snuggly toys and dog crate accessories can significantly help with a whole host of dog sleep problems and behavioral issues. Find a sleep aid toy that your doggo will enjoy sleeping with.
8. Try Massage Therapy & CBD Oil
A bedtime massage further helps calm down your dog, slowing their energy and soothing them into a restful state. Furthermore, according to some dog owners, CBD oil is highly effective in relaxing anxious dogs and aiding their sleep.
9. Consider Some Dog-Safe Sleep Supplements
Although calming aids and sleeping medicine for dogs should be tried at the end when normal tips don't seem to work, you can opt for this route 30 minutes before bedtime if your vet allows. You can also try putting a few drops of lavender essential oil on your dog's bedding to create a calming effect and induce sleep.
10. Schedule an Appointment With the Vet
If you've tried everything listed above and none of it seems to help, schedule an appointment with your veterinary care provider and let your doggo undergo a thorough medical examination.
Are Sleeping Medicine For Dogs Safe?
If you are searching for some effective medication to help your dog sleep through the night, please do understand that sleep aids should never be given to dogs without consulting a veterinarian. Although melatonin, L-tryptophan and diazepam are available over the counter for soothing your dog’s stressed out nerves and lulling him to sleep, we’d never recommend self-treating your doggo.
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make Dogs Sleep
Have some questions about how to put a dog to sleep at night on your mind? Here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to the same.
What medicine can I give my dog to make him sleep?
If you are wondering “what can I give my dog to sleep?”, please do not try self-medicating your dog as medicines that work well in sedating human beings can have the opposite effect on dogs. However, you can give melatonin, L-tryptophan and diazepam to your dog after consulting with your doctor and in the recommended dosage.
Can I give my dog human melatonin?
If given at the right dosage after consulting with your veterinarian, melatonin is generally considered safe for dogs.
How do I make my dog go to sleep?
Here are some effective ways on how to make dogs sleep:
- Follow a consistent sleep routine
- Make their sleep spot comfortable, secure and disturbance-free
- Invest in a highly supportive dog bed
- Make them exercise and try massage therapy before bed
- Bring them a snuggly sleep toy
- Check your dog for any illness or pain
Why is my dog waking me up in the middle of the night?
If your dog is waking you up in the middle of the night, they might be hungry, unable to sleep or could have had a nightmare. Furthermore, they could have some illness or pain in their body.
The Bottom Line
Although dogs sleep differently than us, sleep is a vital key to maintaining their overall health just like us. Furthermore, restful sleep helps them feel more rested and energetic for an immediate game of fetch. Although your dog's sleep problem is not going to be magically solved in a minute, you have good chances of making them calm down and sleep peacefully if you use most of the tips highlighted above.
Do you think we missed some more useful tips to help dogs sleep comfortably through the night? Feel free to share your experiences and tips and tricks with us.