You’ve had a long day, you’re getting ready to turn in, and suddenly, your dog’s wired for sound. He’s tearing around the house. He’s wanting to play. What can you do when your daytime schedule conflicts with your nighttime dog?
Why is your pup so active at night? Well, there are a few possible options:
Changes In His Schedule
Did you recently move? Have you had guests over lately? You know that those late nights packing are only temporary, but your pup doesn’t know this. He thinks 2:00a.m. is now the time to play! Also, if your guests included small children or people who might have stressed your dog out with loud noises – your pup is probably feeling a little fearful. He’s on edge and having trouble calming down enough to rest.
If this is the case, try playing soothing music for your pup. Gentle pets before bedtime and a quiet noise generator might do the trick. Calming supplements are also an option to help your dog relax and get some shuteye.
If you’ve recently gotten a new puppy or perhaps a dog used to other companions, then the solitary life might be causing some loneliness for your pup. This doesn’t mean you have to go buy four more dogs to keep him or her company. The fix could be as simple as putting your new puppy’s crate in your room for a few nights, just so they can hear you moving around. That way they’ll know they’re not alone. Some pet owners recommend wrapping a towel around a hot water bottle and having a ticking clock nearby. This will simulate the warmth of littermates and the soothing sound of mom’s heartbeat. Your puppy should start getting used to their new environment and routines soon enough and you can move their crate back to its usual spot.
Other Nocturnal Animals
Dogs have excellent hearing so even though nothing seems amiss, your pup can probably hear any critters in or around the house loud and clear. Bats, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, and cats are all nocturnal creatures that might be roaming around or under your house. If your dog can hear them, he wants to go after them; being shut up in the house is keeping him from doing this so he’s whining and pacing in frustration. If you think critters might be roaming around your home, have a pest inspector come out to see if there is evidence of these creatures. Leaving a white noise generator or even an television on low could be enough of a distraction to keep your pup calm.
If your dog used to be a good sleeper but now he’s up and down all night, health problems might be something to consider. Does your dog frequently ask to go out during the night? Kidney or bladder issues might be to blame. Does your dog lick or paw at certain joints? It’s possible the area aches or itches and is keeping him awake. Does your dog drool, smack, or repeatedly wretch? There may be digestive issues going on. Sudden changes in your dog’s behavior definitely warrant a trip to the vet. Your veterinarian can put your mind at ease and also give recommendations for how to help your pup sleep through the night again.
The biggest culprit when it comes to dogs who won’t sleep through the night is boredom. If you’re gone most of the day and busy most of the night, your pup is probably bored and under-stimulated. Try going for an early morning walk before you head out to work. Then take a longer, faster-paced walk when you get home. Give your pup puzzle toys to play with during the day to keep his or her mind active. Right before bedtime, spend some time playing an intense game of fetch with your pup. Get him worked up so he’s more tired out when it’s time to turn in. Also, on the weekends, if you see your pup snoozing a little too much, wake him or her up with pets or playtime. That’ll help them get their sleep schedule in line with yours.
On the flip side, say you’re a night owl yourself and you’d prefer a dog that stays up late rather than waking up at the crack of dawn. There are some breeds out there known to be more nocturnal. However, you’ll notice that many of these breeds are known to be working breeds. Their job was to watch livestock at night. As such, just because they’re night dogs doesn’t mean they’re lazy dogs. Plan to keep these pups busy no matter what time it is. Also, if you have one of these breeds already, many of them are very adaptable to different schedules and can easily be trained to sleep through the night.
Here are ten nocturnal dog breeds:
1. German Shorthaired Pointer
2. Great Pyrenees
3. Anatolian Shepherd
4. Clumber Spaniel
5. Border Collie
6. Tibetan Mastiffs
7. Black and Tan Coonhound
8. Belgian Malinois
So there you have it, some reasons why your dog might be up during the night and some suggestions for combating that late night whining, pacing, and barking. As always, if you’re concerned about changes in your dog’s behavior or if you just want some additional tips and tricks – always go see your veterinarian.
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