Let Sleeping Dogs Lie


Recently, my dog has been getting up several times throughout the night. The first thought is, “he has to pee!” But it happens multiple times, very close together, for that to be the case. So, I went on a google spree and found some interesting reasons about why dogs may not be able to sleep at night.

  • It’s possible that a dog may feel lonely at night, especially new puppies. They are used to being near their mother and litter mates that it can be shocking to be away. If a dog is in a crate, it will result in whining and barking due to the loneliness in there. Adjusting dogs to a crate takes patience, but there are several ways to help ease the loneliness. Try first with the crate close by your bed and gradually move it away. It also helps to put clothes in there that smell like you, warm a water bottle in a towel to mimic a mothers warm and place a ticking clock to mimic a heartbeat.
  • Your dog may have too much energy! If she’s alone for most of the day that means she’s been sleeping waiting for you to get back. Getting to sleep that night won’t be easy, since she’s so well rested. It may help to get a pet sitter, or go to doggy day care in order to keep her stimulated. Another option is going out for walks before and after work and keeping mentally stimulating toys around. There are even apps available that allow you to talk to your dog throughout the day, possibly keeping them awake and stimulated as well.
  • Dogs can hear many things that humans cannot and this may stress a dog out at night. If there are any nocturnal critters walking around on the roof, or under the foundation, a dog many hear this and wake up crying or barking. White noise may help to block out the sound (fan or air conditioner), or hire an exterminator if it’s a big concern.
  • Many changes can cause a dog anxiety, or excitement, and keep them up at night. Any and all newness may stress a dog out and make them unable to sleep very well. If a dog is scared of loud noises, thunder and similar events may also be a trigger for this behavior. Investing in anti-anxiety treatments (medication, herbal remedies, soothing sounds) will help immensely.
  • This behavior could also be an indicator of a number of physical problems. Paying attention to what happens when a dog is up is a huge clue as to what they’re feeling. Asking to go outside often could mean an UTI, itching or licking the same spot may mean a wound in need of attention. It’s always important to talk to your vet when things change with your dog and possibly make an appointment for a check-up.

Ultimately, it seems like this could be a case of the nerves for my dog. I’ve been paying close attention and attempting to create a calm environment for him in order to ease his anxiety.