Having a puppy or a dog is a precious thing. It is also extremely gratifying to raise one that also sees you as a family. But it is quite undeniable that your dog can give you an unsettled sleep almost every night.
Dogs are undeniably our best friends; we should not argue about that. However, if their constant need for attention spikes and distracts our sleep at night, then it is a different concern we should tackle. They can act out when they need something, which usually happens during their puppy phase.
A puppy, for example, would give you a few weeks of sleepless nights because he is still getting used to his housing conditions. However, there are also older dogs that cannot even settle through the night due to various reasons.
Here, we explore what can be the reasons why it’s hard to put your puppy or dog to sleep. We will also give some training tips on how to get a dog to sleep through the night.
Reasons and Tips on How to Get a Dog Sleep Through the Night
- Inadequacy of physical stimulation during the day – Dogs that do not have many things to do during the day have a right amount of daytime nap. When their energy is unused during the day, it tends to build upon the middle of the night; hence they are active when it is time for them to go to their crate.
When you can give your pooch plenty of chances to exercise during the day, he will become exhausted, and it would then be more comfortable to put your dog to sleep at night. Depending on your dog’s size and breed, he should have a minimum of 30 minutes to 2 hours of daily exercise.
You can also go outside for a short walk in the evening if you have time to allow him to drain his energy. An evening walk is one of the routine practices you can apply if your time permits, even when your pooch is still a puppy.
- Potty training problems – This is one of the possible culprits why your pooch will not sleep through the night. Dogs will keep whimpering until they can let you know that they need to go to the bathroom to pee or defecate if required.
This instance is especially true for a puppy because a puppy cannot yet control or hold his pee. A puppy still requires time and constant house training to be able to wait longer between bathroom breaks.
Potty training measures also help your puppy to have the last potty break before heading to bed. That way, he would not bug you off of your first few hours of sleep when you have just drifted off.
- Premature hunger – It is also essential to check your dog’s eating schedule because his untimely hunger during the night might be one of the reasons why he wakes up and whines. Intermittent need to eat is common during the puppy phase, too.
You don’t need to feed him his evening meal before you get him to bed. However, you can give him a small amount of puppy food or dog food a couple of hours before bedtime. You can also try some puppy treats for the little ones. Try this out for the first night and see how it works.
- Lack of bedtime routine – Like people, dogs also thrive in having a routine to follow. When your dog has several cues on what he can expect during the day, he will also most likely figure out that it is already time to be on his crate.
When you establish a bedtime routine, make sure that it is consistent until your pooch recognizes what can happen next. You can develop a bedtime routine that involves an exercise a few hours before bedtime, a few treats before bedtime, and a non-excessive playtime as you both go to the room. You can also lead him to his sleeping area or his crate with his favorite toy. Doing so will help him get a signal that it is time for him to doze off.
- Uncomfortable sleeping environment – Again, like humans, your puppy or your adult dog has his sleeping preferences. Some dogs prefer a dimmed room, and others prefer a completely dark place to sleep. Some dogs also prefer a warm and cozy bed, while others want something cool where they can lie down.
Whether your dog sleeps in a crate or somewhere else, you have to designate a sleeping spot for him. The sleeping spot should be comfortable and pleasant enough. You can also give him a blanket that he can snuggle with, and his favorite toy if he has an emotional attachment towards it.
It also helps if you can reduce the outside noise and limit the excessive room lighting if your dog hates too much light.
A dog bed pad is also a great option to add more warmth, especially during the cold season, when your dog wants to be kept warm.
- Unruly evenings – Your dog also takes cues on what is happening to you and his environment. For instance, if you are feeling anxious, your dog will most likely pick that vibe and will act unsettled as well.
Being calm during bedtime is vital not only for you but also for your dog. You may also adjust your environment to be as soothing as possible by putting a diffuser and turning the radio on with white sound.
- Unresolved medical issues – You might not be aware, but your dog may be suffering from a medical problem. However, if your dog is unusually awake at night, you have to check for any soreness on his body.
If you suspect that your dog has an illness or injury, then it is time to bring him to the veterinarian for a physical examination. Your dog might also be suffering from bites of fleas and mites. These parasite bites can undoubtedly make them irritable, especially at night, so be sure to schedule an appointment with a vet. Do not let undiagnosed medical condition keep ruining you and your dog’s nighttime sleep.
Other Helpful Tips
- Know your dog’s sleep cycle – Dogs, like most animals, follow a different sleep cycle different to humans. The sleep cycle of dogs is called a polyphasic sleep cycle, wherein dogs sleep multiple times throughout the day. According to an article by Petful, adult dogs sleep an average of 12 to 14 hours a day.
Larger breeds, like Saint Bernards and Mastiffs, spend a total of 18 hours of sleep. Ultimately, your dog’s sleeping pattern depends on his level of activity.
That said, if you notice your pooch roaming around during the day, it is likely that he would not fall asleep at night. Learning about your dog’s sleep cycle will undoubtedly help you put him in a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid sharing your bed – Sharing your bed with your pooch at night occasionally will constitute a negative impact on you and your dog’s sleep quality. It will not be of help if you allow him to get on your bed, then let him sleep on his bed the next day.
It would help if you made him accustomed to going to his crate every single night that he sleeps.
- Cover your dog’s crate with a cloth – If your pooch is sleeping in a crate at night, we recommend that you cover it with a cloth. You can get any spare fabric you have like a towel, a blanket, or a sheet. However, it would be a lot better if you can have a customized material according to the crate’s size to make sure it fits well.
When the covered cloth fits nicely, your dog’s crate will have a better airflow, will look appealing, and will be less likely to be eaten or destroyed.
- Choose a waterproof bed pad –It is excellent if you will be able to put a bed pad so it will be a lot comfortable for him. It would help if you also chose a waterproof bed pad to make sure spills would not make the bed pad moist, making it uncomfortable to sleep.
- Establish a soothing sleeping environment – You can consider using a diffuser or turning calm music to help your pooch relax for drifting off.
Watch out for your dog’s diet and consider aging. Some dogs do not feel like being active throughout the day because they have a poor diet. It can be that their food does not contain many nutrients needed for their vitality. Of course, when they lie down and sleep during the day, it is likely that they will be inactive but will keep crying and whining during nighttime. Sluggish day time is typical during the puppy phase.
Also, consider your dog’s aging process, especially if he is a senior. Remember, senior dogs like getting up and moving around during nighttime and would typically sleep throughout the daytime.
Dogs are effortlessly trained pets, so getting them to follow your training measures will not be that hard. You have to give your pooch sufficient time to adjust. Do not be drastic with all these measures as they can shock him.
Allow him plenty of time to be acclimated with the entire routine you have planned to set out. Do not worry. Your dog will be able to master all these so you both of you will have an undisturbed and restful sleep throughout the night.
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