Before we answer this ‘how to get a dog to sleep through the night’ question, it is important that we understand a thing or two about a dog’s sleep pattern.
So, dogs have a polyphasic sleep patter which basically means they can sleep at different times in the day. As a result, if your dog has done nothing but take naps all day, it could be difficult for them to sleep throughout the night, just like it would be for you.
So, getting your dog to sleep throughout the night will have to take some conditioning and training. However, before we go into that, let’s find out some other possible reasons that your dog isn’t sleeping the night through.
Possible Reasons Your Dog Isn’t Sleeping The Night Through
Aside the fact that your dog is already taking a lot of naps, the fact that they are not tired is a significant reason why they are not sleeping throughout the night.
It is the same with us as humans. If we are bubbling with a lot of energy, we’ll find it difficult to immediately fall asleep.
In addition to that, it is pretty common to see dogs wake up in the middle of the night to go take a wee.
This is especially so if they are still puppies because the older you are, the easier it is to hold in your wee (if they are trained as dogs). Well, that is until you start to get old but you get the point.
Furthermore, there are some dogs that might not be able to fall asleep because they are lonely. And this is especially true for dogs who have some sort of separation anxiety.
So, they’ll just keep walking about or trying to get anybody to wake up and be with them.
Finally, some medical conditions could make it difficult for your dog to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night. If they are in pain, they’ll find it difficult to get comfortable in the first place talk more of falling asleep.
Now To Answer How To Get A Dog To Sleep Through The Night
Get Them Tired
One important thing is to tire them out. Make sure that when it is time for you guys to go to bed, they actually want to turn in.
You could achieve this by ensuring that they get in their required amount of exercise every day. And by that we are looking at anything between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on your dog’s age and size.
If you are too busy at work and can’t get out during the day, consider hiring a dog walker to take them out.
Set The Mood
Now, even after they’ve been exercised during the day, you still want to take them out for a walk before bedtime. You don’t need to run or anything. Just a leisurely stroll so that they can take in the fresh night air.
Then when you both come back, be sure to not overstimulate them. If you have kids make sure that your kids do not try to start play right before bedtime.
If They Wake Up To Pee
As far as food goes, you could feed your dog right before bedtime if that works for you. However, if the reason they wake up at night is to take a leak, you want to reorganize your schedule. So, you could feed them before you take that night stroll.
The issue here is not necessarily the food but the water. So, if they do not drink water so close to bedtime and you take them to take a leak right before you all go to bed, you might be able to get them to sleep through the night.
Something else we should mention is routine. An important method of training your dog is to follow routine; weekdays and weekends alike.
If you feed your dog, walk them and take them to pee at the same times every day, you can condition their systems to want to do those things at those specific times. It is the same with us as humans.
So, while for dogs it will be referred to as training for humans it might be referred to as learning a new habit. But it is basically the same concept.
Give Them Their Space
The idea of giving your dog their own space is important for both you and your dog. Despite all the love you have for your dog, having them sleep in your bed could be disruptive because either party would affect the other party’s sleep pattern.
Give them their own space even if it is in the same room as you. Eventually, they will come to associate their space to having a good night’s rest.
Also, ensure that the materials you buy are really comfortable so that they are comfortable enough to sleep and do not just toss and turn or give up entirely.
If It Is A Result Of A Medical Condition
If your dog has some sort of medical condition that is affecting the quality of their sleep, the only thing you can do is to inform your vet. They’ll find out what the issue is and prescribe the appropriate medications.