Skip to Content

Help! My Senior Dog is Not Sleeping at Night

Old black dog laying on a red and blue blanket

A good night’s rest is what everyone needs to function normally and, on all cylinders, the next morning. Even dogs need a good night’s rest if they are going to keep up with all the dog duties they perform throughout the day.

When your dog’s sleeping habits change, they may not have the energy to handle all those duties. This change may be indicative of deeper problems you will not be aware of. There are things you can do to help your dog sleep better.

Just keep reading our article to find out those options as well as why your dog’s sleeping habits have changed.

Why Your Senior Dog is Not Sleeping at Night

Shaggy grey and white dog laying in a dog bed

There are several reasons why your pet is not sleeping that well at night anymore. Some are medical and some could be environmental. Then some could be similar to what humans experience when they can’t sleep.

1. Medical Reasons – Many dogs, as they get older, start to suffer from different ailments that will interrupt their sleeping pattern. These medical issues can range from gastrointestinal trouble to urinary system infection.

Then there is another serious ailment, canine Alzheimer’s, or senility, that will influence your dog’s sleeping pattern. This last disease may not reach your pet until they are about 18+ years old but it is a possibility.

Unfortunately, if your pet has canine Alzheimer’s, there is no cure.

Golden retriever with a greying face laying on its side on hardwood floors.

2. Pain – This reason will come from a variety of illnesses that can affect your dog. Cancer is just one disease that will cause your pet a lot of pain at night. Your pet feels this pain more at night because he or she does not have the regular daytime distractions to take their minds off their problems.

Or your pet suffers from seizures. These seizures can interrupt their sleep as well as cause them enough pain to stop sleeping at night.

3. Change in environment – Dogs do not like change. Whether you get a new home, new people living in your home, new noises in the neighborhood, or even a change in your household routine, your dog will be influenced by those changes.

Those new things or changes will have your dog up at night wondering what is going on. Even seasonal changes will affect your dog’s nighttime rest. There are a lot of legitimate and normal activities that you do not think twice about but your dog will, and they will lose sleep over them.

Older black lab laying on a black leather couch

4. Human Sleep Issues – Some dogs do suffer from normal sleep issues that humans do. One of those issues will be sleep apnea but this condition is found in flat-faced dogs like pugs and especially if those breeds are overweight.

Another human condition that dogs can suffer from is nightmares. Some dogs have nightmares just like humans do and those bad dreams will interrupt their sleep just like human’s sleep is interrupted.

You may need to talk to the vet to see what is causing those nightmares.

Treatment for Your Senior Dog’s Lack of Sleep

Man in a blue sweater with a brown terrier mix on his lap

There are different treatments you can do to help your dog sleep better. When it comes to canine senility or ailments, your vet should have the right medication to help your dog relax and get some rest.

Those medications can be filled with chemical ingredients, or they could have natural ingredients. But no matter which one you choose to use; you need to have your vet prescribe the right dosage and frequency.

For non-medical issues, establishing a good routine for your dog is helpful. Dogs do like routines and giving them a new one should help their sleeping habits to return to normal.

Or you can help filter out strange, new noises by providing your dog with a white noise source. Blocking the disturbing sounds should help calm your pet down and get them the rest they need.

The key to solving your pet’s sleeping problem is to talk to your vet. Let them know what your dog is doing so the vet can make a proper diagnosis. It is possible to and may be, mandatory to bring your senior dog into your vet’s office at least once or twice a year.

This monitoring should help your vet diagnose what is wrong and get you the right treatment plan.

Some Final Words

Senior- white and tan speckled hound laying on a bed

Sleep is an essential part of life, even for dogs. They need the rest to stay healthy, energetic and give them a longer lifespan. Helping them get over their sleep issues is being there for your pet and builds up their quality of life.

Talk to your vet and give him or her accurate details of what is going on so you and the vet can get to the heart of the issue and provide the right treatment.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commission when you click our links and make purchases and as an Amazon Associate, this site earns from qualifying purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.