Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Sleep at Night and What to Do

Dogs are a part of the family, but when they aren’t enjoying a sound slumber at night like the rest of you, it can be a worry and can lead to other members of the family losing out on sleep as a result too.

By Guest Blogger, Sarah Cummings

When you bring home a dog, it’s like you’re also taking home a brand new human being. They need that dose of tender, loving care, too. Especially when you already get attached to your dog, you know that you’ve come to love this new member of your family. Yes, dogs are a part of the family, and when you’ve trained them to sleep but they aren’t enjoying a sound slumber at night like the rest of you, it can be a worry and can lead to other members of the family losing out on sleep as a result too. 

When your dog is sleepless at night, it’s normal for you to wonder what’s wrong. After all, unlike human beings, dogs don’t have all the stresses and strains of daily life, so what’s there to be worried about that could be preventing them from having a solid 40 winks? Because dogs also can’t relay verbally what they feel, it can be a difficult task on your part also to appease your dog when you notice them being restless. 

 If you’ve been struggling with a dog that doesn’t quite sleep well through the night, you’re in the right place. Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common issues that could be precisely why your dog isn’t sleeping quite well. 

First, Be On The Lookout For Signs

 Before determining what could precisely be bothering your dog, it’s important also first to touch on the warning signs that your dog may not be sleeping as well as they should. 

 Keep an eye out for these signs: 

  •  Whining  
  • Barking  
  • Pacing late at night 

 Problem 1: Being Lonely 

 For younger or new dogs to a home, it’s very common to find that they might take a while to settle into their new surroundings. They’re almost certainly not going to fall asleep soundly on the first night. 

They’ll need time to adjust, so, given the fact that they’re going to be on their own after being around other dogs, or with their mother, if they’re a pup, they will be feeling lonely. They’ll typically express this through barking, whining and scratching lots at whatever is stopping them from getting to you, such as a door. 

A good tip here is to have a ticking clock in the room near your dog, particularly if they’re young, as it is said to mimic their mum’s heartbeat. 

 Problem 2: Excess Energy

 If you leave your dog at home while you go off to work, the chances are that they will be super-hyper when you arrive home. Not only will they be really pleased to see you, but they’ll also have been sitting and lying around throughout the day waiting for some stimulation, hence the pent-up energy. This is also the reason why, whenever you’ve got the time for it, you should bring your dog out. There are many benefits of walking your dog every day, and this includes giving them that exercise they need. 

If they’re not sleeping well at night this is usually because they’ve not been able to work off the energy from the daytime; after all, they’ve been sleeping lots during the day too! Essentially, dogs require exercise and mental stimulation to be met as a minimum. Depending on the breed, this can be increased for collies and spaniels, for example. 

 To prevent them from being full of beans at night and unable to sleep when you are resting too, consider employing either a walker to take your doggy out during the day who can walk your dog for the minimum general requirement for canines, which is around 15 minutes, The Dogington Post recommends. 

 It’s worth thinking about walking them before heading off to work and when you get home in the evening as well. You can also leave them with some toys that provide mental stimulation while you’re away. 

 Problem 3: A Build-Up Of Emotions 

 Dogs are very sensitive. They might not show it much, or at all, in some instances, but that doesn’t mean they’re not. 

 Merely by having people round to visit you at home can be a super overwhelming experience for them to deal with. Think of it this way; there’s a range of fresh scents, new sights, and first-hand sounds for them to encounter. 

 This can break their very well-drilled routine, which can inadvertently startle them, therefore leaving them unable to relax. If your four-legged friend can’t unwind and is feeling anxious, they won’t be able to sleep. 

 What’s more, this can be the case when they encounter loud noises like those that occur on New Year’s Eve with fireworks, or during thunderstorms. Their natural hormone release associated with the fear they feel puts them at a heightened level of alertness. 

 Help them stay calm in all situations and control their emotions with reassurance, soothing music through or herbal anxiety supplements that are dog-specific. 

Problem 4: Something’s Up Physically 

 Does your dog sleep like a log most of the time? That’s great, but if they suddenly don’t do this and they’re restless, anxious, or just won’t settle, they will let you know. Because dogs aren’t verbal, you have to take note of their action and behavior, as this can often tell you if there’s any physical discomfort that they may be feeling. It can even be an early sign that your dog may be feeling sick, hence you’ll have to see a veterinarian verify your doubts.

 For instance: 

  •  They might be licking an area of their body a lot. If this is the case, there might well be a problem like an issue around a joint or a wound perhaps. They might have a rash or skin irritation that they just need you to notice and help them with. If you don’t see anything visible, try to feel through the area also for any lumps or something that could be unusual. Perhaps when you touch a certain area, it makes your dog twitch.  
  •  If your pooch is drooling excessively and smacking its lips, then they might be enduring issues with their digestion. They could also have problems if they’re standing and the back door constantly and nipping out for toilet breaks more frequently. This is usually an ailment associated with urinary tract infections, bladder, and/or kidney condition. 

 Final Thoughts 

 No one wants their dog to be out of sorts, to be uncomfortable or struggling at all. If your dog is displaying these types of signs then you should pay a visit to the vets, so that they can help you get them treated and have them sleeping in peace before you know it. When your dog is whining or crying through the night, you’d know what this means for you, too. You’re also going to be sleepless yourself, as you’ll be kept on your toes wondering what’s up with your four-legged friend. This article now gives you some of the insights you need to know, in the hopes of also learning how to determine why your dog is sleepless at night. 


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