Although uncommon, dogs can have trouble sleeping for a number of reasons.
If they do, this may be a sign of anxiety, health issues, or other problems that need to be addressed.
However, if the problem persists, there are some things you can do, including supplements that may help your canine companion (and you) to get some much-needed shut-eye.
On the other hand, you must understand the real needs of your dog and address them before you give them supplements or drugs.
In many cases, the reason your dog is struggling to sleep may be temporary.
For instance, puppies often have trouble sleeping through the night, but it’s only temporary.
That said, there are remedies to your dog’s sleeping problems. Let’s see what we can do to help!
Why Is My Dog Not Sleeping?
If you’re a dog person, you know that most dogs don’t have trouble sleeping at all.
Most dogs are happy to lie down and sleep whenever they feel like it, whether that’s out on the lawn, the dog bed in the corner, or the middle of the kitchen floor.
However, some dogs have a hard time sleeping, or they may find it difficult to adjust to your sleep schedule.
For starters, puppies often have trouble sleeping.
Just like newborn babies, they tend to sleep for short periods of time and wake frequently.
Puppies also struggle when they first come to a new home.
They may cry, which is heartbreaking, but remember that they’ve just left their mother and their brothers and sisters, and are now expected to sleep alone in a strange place.
Once puppies have adjusted to their new home, they typically sleep very well.
After all, they can be very active during the day and need plenty of sleep for growth and development.
However, some puppies may sleep too much while you’re at work and then try to play at night or wake you up.
If they do, you may need to try a few of the things we’ve outlined below.
When it comes to adult dogs, sleeping issues can be due to underlying health issues or pain.
For example, suppose your older dog usually sleeps well but is starting to have problems.
In that case, it may be due to certain conditions, such as a urinary tract infection, diabetes, dementia, or hyperthyroidism.
Be sure to see your vet and be honest about any unusual behaviors exhibited by your dog to help come to an appropriate diagnosis.
There are treatments and techniques your vet may suggest to help your dog sleep and feel better.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that some dogs experience insomnia when their owners are dealing with it.
If you wake frequently and are having trouble sleeping, your dog may wake with you, which can have a negative effect on their sleep cycle.
The good news is that there are a number of treatments for canine insomnia.
Let’s start with those that don’t require medication.
How Do I Get My Dog to Sleep Without Drugs?
If medicating your dog seems too extreme, you have other options.
We recommend you try some of the following techniques before you give your dog any drugs.
Give Your Dog a Massage
One of the easiest things you can do is give your dog a massage.
They’ll love you for it.
All dogs love belly rubs and being scratched behind the ears, but a gentle massage can also help to soothe them.
This technique is especially useful if your dog is having trouble sleeping due to anxiety.
When giving your dog a massage, be gentle and slow.
Remember, the idea is to calm your dog, so avoid the areas where they don’t like to be touched.
Most dogs prefer the back, stomach, neck, and head. Use massage to slow down your dog’s energy so that they can get better sleep.
Cuddle Your Dog at Night
Some dogs have trouble sleeping because they are lonely and may be feeling separation anxiety.
After you turn in for the night, your dog may feel abandoned if they are expected to sleep in another room or by themselves on the floor.
Of course, you can allow your dog to sleep with you on your bed, but this is a personal decision that’s not for everyone.
There’s also evidence that the best rest for you and your dog comes when you don’t allow your dog onto the bed.
Nonetheless, your dog may feel lonely when you’re away.
Young dogs and puppies, in particular, often whine when they can’t be with you.
For this reason, why not bond with your dog with an evening cuddle session?
It will help to calm your dog before bed and hopefully lead to better sleep for all.
Play Calming Music
Studies of the effects of music on dogs have shown evidence that they respond to music similar to how we do.
In fact, a study in the UK found that classical music helps to relax dogs.
Playing soft and calming music before bed helps to mellow your dog and even their heart rate.
Plus, it’s good for you too!
If you do try this technique, it’s best to stick in instrumental music played on a low volume.
For the desired sedative effect, the music needs to be soft and calm.
With any luck, a little music therapy is all you need to lull your dog (and yourself) to a better night’s sleep.
What Can I Give My Dog to Sleep at Night?
No matter what you do, there may be times when you need medicinal solutions.
If you do, here are a few things that are safe to give your dog to sleep at night.
Nevertheless, you should always speak with your veterinarian before giving human drugs to your dog to avoid any interactions with any underlying health issues.
Melatonin for Dogs
Melatonin is a hormone produced in both humans and dogs that signals to the body that it’s time to relax and sleep.
It’s naturally occurring but can be given to your dog to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
If other techniques fail and you know your dog needs better sleep, melatonin is a good choice to give your dog.
You can get it from most pet stores in a variety of forms, including tablets, liquids, and powders.
Many of these melatonin products can be mixed into your dog’s food, making it easier for them to digest.
As far as dosage is concerned, you can find general guidelines online.
However, it’s best to let your vet know before trying melatonin on your dog in case they have any known sensitivities.
CBD for Dogs
CBD has become the next big thing that is commonly used for its calming effects in humans.
Anecdotal evidence has shown the same effects in dogs, so it may help with your canine companion’s anxiety and help them sleep.
That said, CBD is a relatively new supplement, and little research has been done on the actual effects it has on dogs or if there are any long-term health effects to worry about.
Either way, it’s worth noting that, yes, CBD is related to marijuana, but it is not the same thing.
It does not have psychoactive effects, so it won’t get your dog (or you) “high.”
However, it does have a tranquilizing effect on dogs that can help them sleep better.
So, giving your dog CBD may be something you want to consider.
Calming Supplements for Dogs
There are also calming supplements you can get for dogs that include various vitamins and natural supplements that can have a calming effect on your dog.
These herbal-based formulas are often used to help with anxiety and stress but may also help your dog to sleep.
Some Final Thoughts on Preventing Sleepless Nights for Your Dog
As great as some of these remedies are, they’re only temporary solutions at the end of the day.
The best way to get your dog to sleep at night is to take preventative measures that include an established routine, plenty of exercise, and training.
One of the most effective ways to get a human baby to sleep consistently is to establish a routine; the same is true for dogs.
It’s also crucial your dog gets the exercise they need depending on their breed and activity level.
From there, you can try crate training to establish a bedtime routine and to create a safe, comfortable, and appealing place for your put to sleep.