We all know that we give up our restful nights the second we become parents – the fussing, the worrying, the request for midnight sips of water, the pitter patter of tiny feet crawling into bed with you at 1:00am each morning. But, it turns out, being a dog mom or dog dad can, at times, involve just as little restfulness.
New dogs and older dogs are typically the ones that get up in the middle of the night (necessitating that you get up too), but any dog, at any age can act as the guilty party.
Fortunately, there are plenty of actions you can take to help Fido and Sassy sleep soundly through the nights. And these include:
Putting them out to go to the bathroom before bed: While humans know to go to the bathroom before they go to bed, dogs can’t really conceptualize this, say the experts at Pawzworld. In other words, if they don’t need to go, they won’t. So, it’s up to you to make them. Either take them for a walk right before bed or put them out in the backyard and don’t let them in until they’ve done their business.
But, beware: New puppies (that haven’t yet developed the muscles to control their bladders) and old dogs (that may be experiencing kidney problems or incontinence) will still get you up in the middle of the night. It’s just one of those things we must accept with pet ownership, though you can always use puppy pads as an alternative.
Making sure they’re active: Dogs, like kids, aren’t keen on going to bed when they’re not tired. But dogs, unlike kids, sleep most of their lives. Still, a dog that spends the entire day sleeping or lounging around on the living room floor might develop some nocturnal qualities due to built-up energy. The best thing you can do is to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise during waking hours. If you can’t do it – you’re at the office all day, for example – then hire someone who can.
Giving them company: Your dog loves you…..like looooooooves you. They love you so much that being away from you can literally keep them awake at night. All sorts of dogs may develop anxiety when kept far from their owners, yet it’s more common in the young and old. The solution, of course, is to let them sleep in your room or, if that’s not enough, in your bed. There’s no shame in sharing your pillow with a pup.
Making sure that they’re not in pain: We don’t like to sleep when we feel off – stomachaches, headaches, sore joints or muscles, and even the sniffles can keep us tossing and turning at all hours. Your dog is no different: If they don’t feel well, they won’t sleep well, either. Look for signs of distress or discomfort and address them accordingly. If you think your dog may have a medical condition, such as arthritis, seek out your vet for help.
Owning a dog doesn’t always translate to uninterrupted sleep but the above can guide you towards dreamland. Not that it matters – most of us will pick wet noses over sound slumbers any day.