Getting Dogs To Sleep Through The Night

Getting Dogs To Sleep Through The Night

Getting Dogs To Sleep Through The Night

Just like humans, dogs require plenty of sleep to get through their days. However, humans typically have one long phase of sleep (the 8 hours we get each night), and dogs will sleep 4-6 times per day for short periods of time. They’ll sleep a total of 12-14 hours a day; puppies usually need 18-20 hours a day. After napping throughout the day, it makes sense that dogs will struggle to sleep through the night.

They also might have trouble sleeping due to health issues. This includes chronic pain, Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD, or the dog version of dementia), urinary tract infection, diabetes, and even fleas. If you notice changes in your pup’s behavior or appetite, take them for a doctor’s visit and be sure to keep yearly health screenings. Addressing these issues can help them sleep better.

Sleeping English Labrador Retriever on a black suede chair.
Establish a routine with your pup. Feed and walk them at the same time each day. Feed puppies dinner earlier to decrease nighttime accidents. For older dogs, a full stomach can help them sleep better, but make sure you take them for a final evening potty break right before bed. Some experts suggest no water after 8 pm (if your dog doesn’t have any health issues) to help. They’ll eventually learn that nights are for resting and won’t have to pee again until the morning.

Keep your evenings calm. In the hour or two before bed, avoid activities that will get your pup’s (or your) energy up. If you find that your pup has more energy from napping all day, try to give them more opportunities to exercise throughout the day. You can hire a dog walker if you’re busy during the day. You can walk them, have them do a puzzle, or play with them in the early evening to help. Dogs typically need an hour of exercise per day, but all dogs are different so yours may need less or more time to wind down.

Consider their bed. Give them soft blankets, their favorite toy, or a piece of clothing with your scent on it to help them get calm and comfortable. However, where some dogs prefer warm and soft, others prefer cool and dry. Dogs with arthritis will sleep better on an orthopedic dog bed.

If you have a new addition to your home, it may take time for them to get comfortable to their new surroundings, so turn off those lights and screens. However, soothing music is encouraged. Studies have shown that music can be relaxing for dogs. Try classical music, white noise, or even the basic clock ticking sound.

Additionally, consider crate training your puppy. Keeping your puppy in a crate at night will help with housetraining as well as encourage them to lay back down and go to sleep when they wake up at night. As puppies grow, they’ll develop the muscles and control needed to hold their pee until morning.

American Bulldog sleeping on a red and white blanket
If your dog is still having trouble sleeping through the night, speak with your vet about giving your dog melatonin or CBD to help them sleep. Melatonin is a naturally derived sleep aid that helps regulate sleep and there are special dog varieties. CBD won’t get your dog high, but instead provides a sedative effect, and it’s becoming more widespread for pets.

One final bit of advice is to make sure you yourself are getting good sleep and have good habits. If you wake up in the middle of the night to grab water or go for a walk, this could disrupt your dog’s routine. If you go to bed at a consistent time each night, your dog will know that it’s time for bed. Additionally, sharing the bed with your pup might affect your sleep. You both could end up tossing and turning at night. Take this into consideration when your pup jumps on your bed.

It may take some trial and error to find a situation that is best for them. But that’s what the best pet parents do. We figure out all we can to help make our pets’ lives better. And this in turn will make our lives better as well. We’ll sleep better through the night if our pups don’t wake us up, and be happy and well-rested to conquer the day with them by our sides. Let us know what has worked for your pup in the comments!


  • Do you have any information on how to get gigs

    Do you have any information on how to get dogs ready for a new baby that is due in September?

    Liz on

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