How To Calm Your Restless Dog At Night
Many dog owners find it difficult to keep their pet calm at night so if you are experiencing this, you are not alone. Your dog being restless at bedtime can be very frustrating so learning how to calm a restless dog at night is important.
Nevertheless, doing this can be hard especially if the cause of your dog’s restlessness is a severe one. You would really need to be patient with it.
Most dogs tend to be anxious and uneasy at night which makes them bark, whine or pace around; some might even get aggressive.
This is more common with older dogs and if you notice any of these constantly, you need to take some immediate steps to alleviate the situation.
However, before we suggest suitable remedies to your dog’s uneasiness at night, let us look at some of the possible causes.
Causes of Dog Restlessness
There are various reasons why your dog may find it difficult to be calm at night. Here are some common reasons below.
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Anxiety is one of the major reasons why dogs act up at night especially the older ones. Different things can make your dog uneasy, you should try to study your dog’s behavior to know when they are anxious and check for the cause.
As dogs grow, they will experience certain body changes which may make them uncomfortable. In such a situation, your dog may find it difficult to fall asleep at night. The best you can do is try and make the environment comfortable for sleeping.
If your pet has dementia, one of the early symptoms you would notice is restlessness at night. Both old and young dogs can get this illness but it is more common among older dogs. Dementia is a serious issue, seeing a vet is advisable for a proper diagnosis if you suspect symptoms of this condition.
Your pet will be restless and find it difficult to fall asleep if it is hungry. Feeding your dog properly and on time can help deal with this.
Problems like canine arthritis can make your dog feel pain in various parts of their body like their joints. This can make your pet very uncomfortable and unable to stay still.
- Fleas, Ticks, And Worms: A dog with fleas will never be at peace and happy. An unhappy dog cannot keep calm. When your dog has a flea or tick infestation, scratching and licking become frequent and it also starts to exhibit various forms of restless behaviors. Moreover, internal worms can cause discomfort so you should ensure your dogs are dewormed regularly. Also, these parasites and also put your pet at risk of more serious diseases if left unchecked.
- Uncomfortable Environment; When the sleeping environment of your pet is not comfortable for it, sleeping becomes difficult. Excessive heat or cold, improper ventilation, wrong bed or lack of a dog bed and even bad odors are few things that can make the place inconvenient or more difficult for your dog to sleep.
- Change of Environment: If you have just moved into a new apartment, there are high chances that your pet would be anxious about the new environment. With time, it would become used to the new place but before then, you might have some trouble getting it to sleep at night.
- Phobia: If your dog is afraid of something, it cannot be calm seeing or hearing it. Generally, dogs tend to have a phobia for loud noises and this can be from your TV, Radio, noises from outside or even thunderstorms. Dogs who have been less socialized also may develop a fear of strangers and can be restless when there is an unusual visitor.
- Excess Sleep; This seems less likely but it could be the reason your dog can’t sleep at night. According to Landsberg on PetsWebMD, dogs tend to be restless and active if they sleep too much during the daytime. Aim to gain a balance of your pet’s sleeping time so that it can be tired enough to sleep at night.
- Over Excitement; When your dog is overexcited, staying calm becomes a problem. Your dog might feel excited seeing you at night if you’re normally away for long hours during the day. This excitement could also be caused by a particular item around its sleeping area. Simply removing that trigger could solve the problem.
- Seeking attention; An attention-seeking dog can be restless and noisy and disturb at night just to be noticed or get some form of attention. This is common if you do not spend much time with your pet like you used to. It could also lead to separation anxiety which is another problem.
- Heat Period; This applies mainly to female dogs in heat or male dogs who can smell the pheromones from a nearby female dog in heat. Heat period in dogs lasts for two to three weeks and during this time, it is common for your pet to be uneasy and whine a lot all round the clock. Dogs can also be aggressive during this time and then settling down at night becomes a problem.
- In need of Something; Your pet might be fond of a particular item and if the item is not close by, it becomes restless. It could be a toy, bone or a particular treat. Providing such an item can be an immediate solution to the situation.
Tips On Calming A Restless Dog
There are several things that you can try to put your dog at ease if it is restless. Some of the more accepted solutions include:
Exercising Your Dog
According to AnimalPlanet, dogs need to exercise for at least 15 minutes every day; adult dogs can go for over an hour. Exercising your dog during the daytime will greatly improve its physical and mental health which will relieve it of stress and anxiety.
Some dog exercises you can try include:
- Hide and seek
- Stairs running
- Playing treat games
Spend Time With Your Dog
Spending quality time with your pet often is something you should be doing. This can help you both bond and understand each other better.
Even though various dog breeds react differently to being left alone, no dog likes it and you need to schedule the time for them. This can also help reduce its overexcitement and make it feel more relaxed when you are around.
Keep Sleeping Area Comfortable
Keeping your dog bed neat and comfortable is ideal to make it sleep better. Using a good dog bed in a clean area and making sure that there are no loud noises that could stress your pet is important. You can play some soothing sounds or dog calming music as well.
Comfort The Dog Yourself
Petting and speaking calmly to your dog are other ways by which you can comfort your dog by yourself at night. Doing this will make your dog feel secure and less anxious, possibly it will even help it to fall asleep.
Using Calming Aids
Calming aids were produced to help relieve pets of stress and anxiety. Getting one for your dog could help you keep it calm. These products mostly contain an active chemical called pheromone.
This chemical helps reduce stress, anxiety and aggression problems in dogs. There are different types of calming aids available and they are:
- Sprays; You spray these dog calming spray around your dog’s sleeping area when it is bedtime.
- Diffusers; There are dog calming diffusers you can use which are to be placed near your dog’s resting area.
- Beds; These specific dog calming beds are specially made for relaxation so your pet can have a good night’s sleep.
- Collars; You can buy these dog calming collars that relax your pet and allow it to sleep. It can be used just like a regular dog collar.
- Vests; You can buy dog calming vests which are known to help pets deal with anxiety.
- Pills; There are specific dog calming medications you can administer to your pet to enable it to relax better.
- Treats; These are dog calming treats you feed to your pet that makes them calm.
Keep Your Dog Neat and Healthy
If your dog is neat and healthy, there are fewer chances of it getting an illness or disease that may affect its behavior. Bathing and brushing your dog daily is recommended as well as making sure it has a good diet.
Train Your Dog
Dog training is important as it has a huge impact on your dogs’ behavior. Training is recommended by many as it stimulates your dog mentally and physically. If you are very busy, getting a dog training collar, dog training system or hiring a professional trainer can help handle the situation.
A properly trained dog will mostly obey and stay calm when told to except beyond its control like when it is in pain.
Develop a Sleeping Schedule
Developing a sleeping schedule can help your dog know when it is bedtime so it can sleep and stay asleep. If your dog is getting too much sleep or too little at incorrect times, it could affect its behavior at night.
See a Vet
If all efforts to keep your dog calm at night seem futile, seeing a veterinary doctor should be your next move. A vet is more skilled in taking care of animals so he can help you find out the specific cause of your dogs’ restlessness and help you provide the right solution to your dog’s specific problem.
Your dog being unable to sleep at night is something you should take seriously.
As explained in the article there could be many causes of this problem and many potential solutions to it as well.
The last thing any person would want is coming home after a hectic day and be unable to get adequate rest because of a restless pet.
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Also, it’s your responsibility as a dog parent to ensure you get your pet checked if you suspect a health condition might be involved.
Whatever the cause may be, making sure that your pet behavior changes for the better should be your goal.
Following the tips in this article should help you learn how to calm a restless dog at night and reclaim your good night’s sleep.
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