How to Help an Anxious Dog Sleep Better
Even if you have tons of love for your pooch, his anxiousness in the middle of the night isn’t particularly helpful to your sleeping pattern. In this case, the chances of you getting a good night’s sleep depend greatly on helping your canine fall into deep slumber.
A restless dog can be a nuisance especially when you want good quality sleep after a long day at work. To handle this situation and enjoy a quiet night, here’s what you can do:
1. Create a Good Sleeping Environment
It helps to make sure that your beloved pooch has his own comfortable place to sleep in. Instead of snoozing on your sheets, he should be sleeping on a good quality dog bed complemented with a warm blanket. The location of the bed should be as peaceful and quiet as possible to help your pup drift off to peaceful slumber.
- Consider buying a thoroughly cushioned bed as padding can make your dog more comfortable through the night. Introduce your pooch to his new bed by leading him there with treats.
- Place the bed in a warm but well-ventilated location. Your dog should be comfortable enough not to feel too cold or too warm.
- If you can’t find a low-lit area to place the bed, consider using blackout curtains to keep light levels down during the day.
2. Develop a Routine
Setting up a consistent daily routine will help your furry friend recognize when it’s time to hit the sack. Before and after you go to work, try to take your dog for a walk at the same time each day. Then, do the same with his mealtimes and feed him a few hours before bed to help him digest the food.
Stick to a routine so that you can keep the hour before bedtime as calm as possible for your dog. Avoid any exciting activities and giving excessive treats, and ensure your pup has done his business before bed so he won’t need to come out in the middle of the night.
3. Give Plenty of Exercises
Exercising your anxious dog during the day can lead to an evening of uninterrupted slumber. Depending on your pup’s size and breed, he should spend at least 30 minutes to two hours a day for exercise. Generally, the larger the dog is, the more exercise he will need.
A simple long walk for a few hours before bedtime is a good way to ensure good sleep for both you and your dog. You can also let your pup play with his dog toys, but do this inside a pet play pen if you don’t want your dog destroying furniture.
4. Check For Any Medical Condition
If exercising doesn’t work and your pooch is still restless at night, consider helping him with some approved calming aids. These are easy to find, but it’s crucial that you get your vet’s approval first. Canines have a different bodily system and they may be affected distinctly by calming aids.
A dog struggling to snooze may be suffering an underlying health condition. This is usually the case for an older dog who didn’t usually have problems sleeping. Take your pooch to the vet and discuss any changes in his appetite, behavior, movement, and sleeping pattern.
5. Examine your own sleeping habits
Are you sure you aren’t a bad sleeper? Having poor sleeping habits yourself can affect your dog as well. By being consistent with your own sleep schedule, you can help your pooch with his. For instance, if you go to bed at 2 a.m. one night then 10 p.m. the next day, your dog won’t recognize when the right time to sleep is.
Give your dog comfort
A dog who’s full of anxiety and can’t fall asleep, sometimes, only needs your love and comfort to feel relaxed. Try to sit with your dog and invite him to lay beside you. Pet your pooch and speak to him in a calm tone so that he’ll feel at ease.
If your dog isn’t sleeping well or is out of character at night, do something about it. Keep in mind that problems won’t go away if you don’t find out the root cause.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.