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Help! My Senior Dog is Restless at Night

Boxer resing on a lounge chair outdoors

A good night’s sleepis important for kids to grow up healthy. It is also important to your dog so that he or she remains healthy, well-rested, and full of energy. A rested dog is a happy dog and you can be a happy owner as your pet won’t wake you up at 3 a.m. to play or to have company.

However, dogs do not always sleep through the night. To learn what wakes them up just continue to read our article. It has the information you need so you can treat your dog’s sleepless nights in the right manner.

Why Won’t My Dog Sleep Through the Night

There are several legitimate reasons why your dog is unable to make it through the night without sleeping. Those reasons do not include someone trying to break into your home.

Here are those legitimate reasons that keep your dog from getting the rest he or she needs:

1. Canine Dementia

Brown dog with a gray face wearing a pink sweater, laying in a dog bed.

It happens in older dogs just like it happens to older people. Canine dementia is very hard to diagnose as there is no set test to identify it. However, sleeplessness coupled with disorientation and confusion will help your vet see what is wrong with your pet.

While there is no cure for this disease, owners can help their pets combat it through a proper diet, supplements, medication, and cognitive activities.

2. Pain

Dachshund wearing a cone, laying on a pink blanket

We all have been there. Pain is one of those items that humans and dogs share. When a human is in pain, they cannot sleep. Their dogs will be the same way. When they are in pain, their good night’s rest goes out the window.

What makes the dog’s pain worse is that they have no distractions until morning. That focus on pain will keep your pet up longer than it should be. The best solution is to help your pet by alleviating its pain through your vet’s advice and treatments.

3. Environment

Man walking several dogs on tangled leashes

If you have moved to a new home, your dog may not feel comfortable. There are too many new things in the house and too many new noises outside. They are just not used to those sounds or the different layout of your home.

Also, if you change your routine at home, this can affect your dog’s sleeping habits. Not only do they need to readjust but you may not have time to play with them as you did before.

A new household member can disrupt your dog’s sleep as well. Change is never good for a dog until they get used to the difference.

4. Canine Sleep Apnea and/or Nightmares

Golden Retriever laying down on hardwood floors

Yes, dogs suffer from both ailments. For the former, it is usually those dogs with a flat face, like bulldogs, bull terriers and so on that get that problem. Canine sleep apnea is limited so if your dog does not have a flat face, this will not or should not be the problem.

Dogs do have nightmares and they do display similar symptoms as humans do. You may have to talk to a vet to see what can be done for both canine ailments. Although, there may be little that can be done for the nightmares.

Dog Sleeplessness Treatment

Blue and white pills

One option you have at your disposal would be medication. There are some good commercial meds as well as natural ones that can help your dog sleep. But do not give any medication to your pet until advised by your vet. Also, do not over-medicate your dog as that is a bit risky.

Then if the problem is a change in the routine, you have to get back to a normal way of living as quickly as possible. Dogs love routine and they need structure so keeping a regular routine is essential.

There is a special collar you can buy called Adaptil collar for dogs that releases a gentle pheromone called dog-appeasing pheromone or DAP. This pheromone helps your pet calm down and get adjusted to what is going on around them.

Then, if there are strange noises taking place outside of the home. Use a white noise machine to cloak those noises. Once that is done, your dog should be able to rest easier and sleep better.

Some Final Words

Black and white dog in a dog bed

It is best to take your senior dog to the vet’s twice a year. Then you can keep him or her informed of your dog’s sleeping habits. This way the vet has current information and should be able to prescribe the right treatment for your pet.

Also, try to keep the environmental issues as close to normal as possible. work with your vet to make sure your dog feels relaxed and at home.

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