There are the days when your dog stays up all night barking and whining. The noises get to you making you wonder if there is such a thing as insomnia in dogs.
You are not far from the truth.
Dogs do have sleepless nights like humans. What’s more, lack of sleep in dogs will have dire consequences on their health and overall well-being. Fortunately, you can treat insomnia in dogs using simple home remedies.
In this article, we are going to look at what causes insomnia in your dog. Then we can explore the tips for curing pet insomnia and restore your pet’s healthy sleeping pattern.
What causes insomnia in dogs?
To understand pet insomnia, we first have to know how a dog’s sleeping pattern works. Unlike humans, dogs do not require a constant 8 hours of sleep to function. Instead, canines have short breaks in between their sleep cycles, and that is healthy for them.
A healthy dog requires about 14 hours of sleep. A puppy will need as much as 20 hours of sleep to lead a healthy life.
Whoa, that’s a lot of hours, right?
Remember dogs have breaks in their sleep patterns. So the 14 to 20 hours of sleep is normal for them.
A dog is said to suffer from insomnia if it cannot get any sleep within its sleep cycle. And several things can cause that.
Lack of exercise
A dog that is not regularly exercised will always be restlessness. The unreleased pent up energy will cause it to stay up all night looking for activities to do. Physical activity is the only way to release this pent up energy.
Dogs that do not eat a balanced diet often suffer sleepless nights. This is especially true for puppies that are growing up. Also, the lack of a proper feeding plan causes insomnia in your dogs. If your dog only has one meal a day, he is bound to stay up hungry all night.
All dogs sleep with one ear open. The slightest noise will wake your dog up. Now imagine if you live in an area with constant traffic or construction jobs going on all night. If you cannot find sleep in such a racket, your dog will not either.
Dogs that often suffer pet anxiety will have a hard time sleeping. Anxiety may stem from the dog feeling lonely or neglected. A stressed dog also suffers from anxiety.
A dog with fleas or ticks will no doubt have a restless night of constant scratching. The itchiness can escalate to inflammation which will cause pain.
Ever tried concentrating while feeling pressed? It was impossible. The same applies to a dog that needs a bathroom break. He will whine and scratch at the door until he is allowed to do his business.
Illnesses like arthritis, dementia, or body discomfort can cause insomnia in dogs. Such health issues are common in puppies and aged dogs.
So now for the big question;
What do you give a dog to make them sleep?
Start with a balanced diet – Too much protein in your dog’s diet can cause restlessness, depression, aggression, and insomnia. A dog’s diet should contain 18% to 35% protein. Incorporate other nutrients into the diet like Vitamin B6 and B12, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.
Exercise your dog regularly – Incorporate toys like Frisbees or rope tugs to make playtime interesting. Exercising your dog does not have to be complicated as well. Simple morning and evening walks are enough to release pent up energy.
Reduce noise and distractions when your dog is sleeping – If you live in a noisy neighborhood, consider getting your dog ear protection muffs. A little training is required to teach the dogs how to use the muffs. Once they do, there will be less sleepless nights for them.
Take your dog out to do his business before going to sleep – You will also have to be clear to him that that is the last activity on their itinerary. Since dogs have no concept of time, they can stay up all night prowling about. Establish this routine early and your dog will always know when it is bedtime.
Maintain proper hygiene in your dog – Use essential oils to reduce fleas and other parasites on your dog’s coat. Treat his coat for any other skin conditions that may cause him sleepless nights.
If there is an underlying health issue, take your dog to a vet clinic ASAP. You do not want an aching joint or an inflamed gut to be the reason he does not sleep at night.
Insomnia in dogs is treatable using simple home remedies. Feed your dog a balanced diet and ensure he is exercised.
Ensure he is well-groomed and always check and treat him for any underlying medical issues. If you can minimize distractions around the home, your dog should not have a problem sleeping soundly.