Why doesn’t my dog sleep at night?
Did you know that insomnia doesn’t just affect people? Dogs can also have trouble falling asleep. The causes are diverse: from missing their mother in the case of puppies, to some change in the daily routine or lack of exercise in breeds that need a lot of physical activity.
If you are concerned that your dog will not sleep at night, in the following Mypetszone articles we will explain in detail why this problem occurs and what you can do about it.
These are the main reasons for canine insomnia
Dogs use their energy differently than humans, so their sleep needs are different too. An adult dog sleeps about 13 hours a day, while puppies can reach 20 hours when they are younger.
The healthiest thing is that they sleep about 8 hours at night and the rest divided into small naps throughout the day. Therefore, if you notice that your dog is having difficulty falling asleep and is sleeping less than is advisable, you will need to identify the cause of the problem. Some possible answers are :
- Excessive noise: many times we believe that a dog can sleep anywhere, including the kitchen, the laundry room or the living room. Check if these places are quiet at night. If you sleep near the laundry room, does the washing machine make noise? Can you hear the elevator if your bed is near the door? Remember that dogs have much finer hearing than ours and can hear things that we don’t even notice. Silence and calm are as important to him as they are to you.
- Discomfort: as in the previous point, sometimes we take for granted that they can get used to any corner and this is not always the case. Check that it is not excessively cold or hot and that they are not places of passage with constant activity. A comfortable bed or a quiet haven are good options for them to feel comfortable and sleep better.
- Lack of Exercise: All breeds, even the most autonomous ones, need daily exercise to keep their balance. Lack of activity translates into accumulated energy that not only causes lack of sleep but more serious problems such as destructive behaviors and aggressiveness. The daily outings with games and races, so that they get tired, are essential for them to have a good night’s sleep.
- Eating at bad hours: this point has to do with routines. You must accustom them to always having dinner at the same times and never very close to the moment of going to sleep. Try to let them digest before going to bed and avoid excesses at night.
- Illness: sometimes lack of sleep is a symptom of a health problem. If insomnia comes on suddenly and you don’t detect other causes, it may be time to see your vet. Some conditions such as osteoarthritis, encephalitis or heart problems can manifest themselves through lack of sleep.
The case of puppies that cannot sleep
The inability to fall asleep, often coupled with crying, is common with puppies who have just arrived home. Remember that you should not wean a puppy before two months, as they need to spend this period with their mothers to learn the basic behaviors of the species.
When you bring a puppy home, lack of sleep for the first few weeks is inevitable . He has just been separated from his mother and his brothers to go to an unfamiliar environment, would you not feel the same uncertainty?
In order for him to acclimatize quickly, you must establish clear routines from the beginning. Seeing that the days are always organized in the same way, the puppy will feel safe and will relate the night to sleep. In addition, if you offer him the right exercise for his size, he will be so tired that he will soon fall asleep.
It is also important that you have a place of your own, such as a bed or a comfortable, warm and cozy box. This way, he will feel comfortable and little by little he will establish fixed sleep schedules and, above all, he will let you sleep too.
Some tricks to help them are to use a hot water bottle or a hair dryer to keep the bed warm. You can also leave a watch nearby. Both the heat and the sound of the Tic Tac will remind you of your mother, making it easier for you to fall asleep.
Older dogs, especially from the age of 11, also tend to sleep more during the day, something that can lead to sleeplessness at night. In these cases, you should motivate him with exercises or outings at nap time . In this way, you will achieve that they arrive more tired at night and that they sleep better.
Lack of sleep in a dog is not a problem to be taken lightly, as whatever its cause, it will affect its quality of life. Some of the consequences of this problem are more apathetic, irritable and nervous individuals during the day, which leads to unbalanced dogs that can behave in unexpected ways.
Do not hesitate to tell us if you know of any case. Has your best friend suffered from insomnia due to any of these reasons? Have you managed to fix it? How? Your experience can help other people with dogs that don’t sleep at night.