Dogs can’t really have insomnia, right? It definitely sounds like a peculiar thing but plenty of dog owners have been woken up to their pets stirring around the house several nights in a row, seemingly without end. Of course, we’re familiar enough with insomnia ourselves to usually chalk it up to some kind of major life stressors or maybe just noting it’s time to make a shift toward some healthier habit. In due time, if we’re lucky, it changes.
But tackling insomnia for ourselves is one thing. Finding a way to help our pets through it is completely different. If you’ve noticed your dog isn’t sleeping throughout the night, there are a handful of things that may be keeping them up, from emotional stress to injuries.
This is common for puppies. If you’ve just taken in a new pup, they’re most likely used to being a part of their litter through the night and being close to their mother. Now that you’ve brought them to a new, unfamiliar home, they’re not sure what to make of it all and simply need time to adjust. You can help out simply by keeping their crate in your own bedroom and near wherever you’re sleeping at night. You can gradually move the crate away over time as they start to adjust to their new home environment.
There’s Just Too Much Pent-Up Energy
If your own lifestyle keeps you out of the home all day long this can be a common experience for your dog. They’ve likely been sleeping while you were at work all day and once you come home they finally get to let that energy out. Not only is there excitement that you’re home but now it’s time to eat and probably even get that little bit of exercise they were craving all day long.
The absence of mental and physical stimulation all day means you’d possibly help your pet out most simply by hiring a dog walker to get them out of the house regularly.
Yes, our pets suffer from depression and emotional problems just like we do from time to time. And just like when we’re overly stressed and our sleep starts to suffer so does the sleep quality for our pets when they deal with the same. A new environment or new people in your (and your pet’s) home can throw them off emotionally, adding confusion to their familiar routines. Basically, anything that induces potential fear can trigger your pet’s fight or flight response, keeping them awake and anxious. This is a time when sleep aids and calming remedies, whether natural or prescribed, can help your pet.
Anytime a dog is suffering from an injury you are going to notice irregular behavior, even if the injury itself might not seem so obvious. Are they constantly pawing at a part of their body? Are they pacing painfully or nervously? Have they not been eating regularly?
Sources:Sleep In The Dog
Dog Won't Sleep at Night
Restless at Night in Dogs
Animal Models of Sleep Disorders
Why Doesn’t My Dog... Sleep at Night?
A Descriptive Analysis of a Cohort of Dogs up to 12 Months of Age
Sleep Macrostructure is Modulated by Positive and Negative Social Experience in Adult Pet Dogs