Having a dog can be a tiring, yet rewarding, job. And after a full day of fun and work and more, you want nothing else than to get to bed and sleep. Right? But what if your dog doesn’t sleep all through the night? What if your dog wakes up, starts getting restless, maybe tries to wake you up? Not ideal.
Not to mention that a restless dog that can’t sleep through the night is never a good sign. It could be that your dog has insomnia, or that your dog is suffering from anxiety or fear, or a number of other things which are affecting the sleeping pattern. So for your sake, and for the sake of your dog’s health, it’s pretty important to find a solution!
There are people that claim to be able to instantly get their insomniac dog to perfectly sleep through the night, but often these people are taking shortcut routes, and are risking it by just giving their dog some sleeping drugs that are intended for human use. Do not do this! In fact, do not give your dog any drugs or medicine whatsoever, unless they are clearly classed as dog-friendly.
Now, let’s dive in and look at different things you can do to make your dog sleep like a baby! (But a baby that sleeps through the night, not one that wakes up several times!)
What can I give to my dog for sleeping?
Insomnia isn’t super common amongst dogs, but it can definitely happen, and usually, it is triggered by other factors such as anxiety, stress, or an unhealthy lifestyle. If your dog has insomnia, he will likely be unable to sleep through the night, waking up several times, pacing around the room, whining, howling, or even trying to get to you.
Your top priority should be to identify the issue at hand and to figure out what is causing insomnia so that you can solve the problem at the root. However, this isn’t always easy, and insomnia can sometimes be caused by complex reasons that aren’t easily identifiable. So in the meantime, you will have to find a way in which to treat the symptoms and to get your dog to sleep all through the night.
We’ve already mentioned that you should never give your dog any sleeping drugs intended for human use. However, one exception to this rule is giving your dog some melatonin, as long as it is in the right dosage and with the consent of your vet doctor.
This is an easy solution that is almost guaranteed to make your dog sleep, but we’re not quite a fan of it. Although, if done correctly, it is safe, there are way better and safer options, and you should be using drugs made specifically for dogs. So let’s take a look at those next!
Sleeping drugs for dogs:
Sometimes, drugs really are the best option to alleviate symptoms of insomnia, and the right kind of drug can help your dog retain a healthy sleep routine. However, it’s super important to always double-check with the vet and to make sure that the drug you use is completely safe for dogs.
You should also always follow the instructions and indications for each medicine very carefully, and stop using it immediately if you see any negative effects or reactions!
But let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used sleeping drugs for dogs, that we’ve deemed safe and reliable:
Melatonin for Dogs:
We’ve already mentioned melatonin, as it is a sleeping drug used by humans, but that is also safe for dogs if given in the right dosage and with a vet’s approval. So let’s say a little more about it.
It essentially has a sedative effect on dogs, which can help with insomnia, separation anxiety, hyperactivity, and even epilepsy. And as we said, it’s one of the most commonly used solutions.
It is available in many different forms: liquid drops, tablets, powder, and more, and it should get your dog to sleep all through the night.
However, make sure you’re getting the right dosage amount, and that your dog is approved for its use.
Here is a guide for the dosage:
- Less than 10 pounds of weight = 1mg
- Between 10 and 25 pounds of weight = 5mg
- Between 26 and 100 pounds of weight = 3mg
- More than 100 pounds of weight = between 3mg and 6mg
Rescue Remedy for Pets:
Rescue Remedy for pets is an incredibly popular product used by many dog owners, and it is well known for being a safe and effective solution for helping your dog sleep all through the night. It is a herbal based solution, and it has been designed to relieve stress, inducing sleep.
It can also be used for soothing anxiety, or for calming your dog down when everything gets a little too much or overwhelming.
It is also highly recommended as a solution to keep dogs calm during long trips or journeys, as well as working to help reduce insomnia and help with sleeping patterns. So, all in all, it’s one of the best options!
You can find it here: Rescue Remedy for Pets Natural Homeopathic Drops
And as this solution is made with all-natural ingredients, it’s completely safe regardless of your dog’s weight, and it can also be used on other pets!
CBD Oil for Dogs:
CBD oil is a newer and more recent product that has become increasingly popular amongst dog owners, as it is another herbal solution that can effectively help your dog sleep all through the night. It essentially has a tranquilizing effect, so it’s good for both inducing sleep and for keeping your dog calm through stressful or overwhelming situations.
However, there is also a CBD oil for humans, so make sure you’re getting the version for dogs, or else your pet will end up a little too high on drugs! And as this is a newer treatment, there isn’t as much research in regards to long-term effects and other consequences, so this should be used sparingly and not as a regular method of treating your dog’s sleeping problem.
And as always, make sure you consult with your vet beforehand to make sure your dog can take this solution safely!
There are other medications and drugs, sanctioned for dog use, that can also help your dog to sleep through the night, or at the very least help induce a calmer state of mind.
However, it is very important that you research all of the options carefully, reading all the effects and ingredients, and double-checking with your vet so that you’re 100% sure that it’s safe for your dog to take!
Other methods of getting your dog to sleep through the night:
Although drugs can be an easy and highly effective solution to your dog’s sleeping problems, they aren’t always the way forward.
Whether it’s because you’d rather not medicate your dog, or because your vet has advised you not to give any of the available drug options to your dog, in particular, there are other routes you can go down in order to lessen the symptoms of insomnia in your pet.
As we mentioned early on, your priority should be identifying the root problem of why your dog isn’t sleeping well through the night, and why your dog is restless or anxious.
Some of the next few methods might help with the possible root problem at hand, but regardless of the issue, they will also help get your dog into a sleepier mood, hopefully ensuring sleep throughout the entire night. These will also work on humans, as dogs really aren’t that different from us!
Here are some alternative ways of getting your dog to sleep through the night:
Giving your dog a massage:
Sometimes, the reason why a dog might not be sleeping well through the night is because of anxiety or stress, which can then cause some insomnia. One way to soothe the anxiety and fears before bedtime is to give your dog a soothing massage.
This can help relax their muscles, getting your dog out of the ‘alert’ state of mind, and encouraging a more relaxed approach to sleep. This way, your dog won’t be as tense, and hopefully will be able to sleep better!
There are many ways to go about giving your dog a massage, but it’s important to make sure your dog is comfortable with the massage, and with the areas that you’re massaging, or else you’ll end up inducing more stress and discomfort!
Music to calm your dog down:
Another alternative method to getting your dog in a relaxed and calm state of mind is to play some soothing music before it’s time for bed. This will create a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, and it could help relieve stress and anxiety, which are often the main causes of insomnia in dogs.
Dogs are very sensitive to sounds and audio input, so music can end up making a huge difference, and could potentially help your dog sleep all through the night overtime! And if you do this consistently, your dog will potentially start associating certain music to bedtime, and will therefore be more prone to becoming sleepy!
If you’re not sure which music to use, then studies recommend playing some classical music! Dogs generally respond really well to this type of music, and it helps even out and slows down their heart rate so that they’re relaxed and ready for sleep.
Cuddles before bed:
If your dog sleeps in a separate room from you, one of the causes for restlessness or insomnia could be a bit of separation anxiety. If your dog is young then there is a higher chance of this being the reason, and your dog might feel lonely or worried about not having you in sight for such a long time.
To solve this, you could either move your dog to your room at night, or you could offer extra reassurance right before bedtime. So basically…lots of cuddles and attention!
This will reassure your dog that you love him and that you’re not going away forever, it’s just for the night because you need to sleep. And the extra dose of love should hopefully be enough so that your dog can sleep soundly all through the night, before asking for more attention in the morning!
(Besides, who doesn’t want extra cuddles with their dog? This is perhaps one of the best solutions out there! Definitely worth a try!)
Making sure the environment is right for sleeping:
A huge factor that could be affecting your dog’s sleep, is the environment itself. If your dog doesn’t feel comfortable or safe, then relaxing will be a lot harder, and this might be the reason why your dog isn’t sleeping through the night. So a good solution is to take extra precautions and steps to ensure that your dog is as comfortable as possible when it’s time for bed.
Start by making sure that the lights are off, or at least dimmed down so that your dog can rest instead of getting distracted by the surroundings. You should also make sure there are no loud noises or distractions, and no movement from the outside.
Make sure your dog is sleeping somewhere where he feels safe and at ease, with no stress-inducing factors.
And of course, make sure your dog has a comfy bed! Although let’s be honest, sometimes you can buy the fanciest and fluffiest dog bed just for your pet to choose the floor rug. But it’s worth a shot!
How to make sure your dog will sleep through the night:
Are there other things that you can do to further ensure your dog sleeps all through the night? Yes, there is!
There are plenty of habits and routines that you can incorporate into your dog’s day-to-day, to help induce that deeper sleep at night. These take patience and regular repetition, but over time they can significantly improve your dog’s sleep.
Here are a few:
A good routine:
Just like how establishing a bedtime routine can help children go to sleep when you want them to, the same can work with dogs. In fact, having a regular routine can help your dog be more at ease not only at night but throughout the day, as there will be no anxiety over what is going to happen because your dog will associate different times of the day with certain activities.
A good idea is to feed your dog all of the meals at specific times, keeping it consistent. If you can, you should also have an allocated time for walks or exercise, and for other different activities. Then, try to get to bed at the same time every night, so that your dog begins to associate that time with sleep, and is ready and relaxed in time.
Training your dog to love their bed:
It’s important to train your dog to associate the bed with the feeling of being relaxed, calm, safe, and ready for sleep.
You should ideally turn your dog’s bed into your dog’s safe space so that there is no stress or anxiety there to prevent them from sleeping through the night!
Plenty of exercises throughout the day:
This one is pretty obvious but if your dog has had plenty of exercises then he will be more likely to actually sleep through the night!
In fact, restlessness throughout the night is usually a sign of a lack of exercise, so make sure you get those walks in!