Your dog was fine and all, but then, one day he just stopped sleeping. He seems perfectly healthy, happy and always ready for action during the day but when the night comes, he just can’t stop barking or whining which wakes you up. Since when can dogs have insomnia? And how come your dog is having it?
While sleepless nights in puppies are quite common, sometimes insomnia can also occur in adult dogs too. And just like in humans that suffer from sleeping problems, your dog’s inability to sleep at night has many potential causes.
So, in today’s article, we’re discussing the most common reasons that might be preventing you and your pup from getting enough amount of sleep. We’ll also suggest things you can do in order to ensure Fido turns back to sleeping healthily.
Vet experts agree that the most common causes of insomnia in canines are: loneliness, insufficient exercise, insects, stress, pain or a health problem. Let’s explain each of them and tell you what you can do if that seems to be what is causing your dog to whine at night.
Loneliness or separation anxiety during sleep-time is especially common in puppies. So if you have just brought a new puppy to your home, don’t be surprised if the little creature is whining and crying at night. They crave your presence because they miss their mother and their litter-mates which is why they are more likely to suffer during the night if you leave them to sleep in a room that is too far from your bedroom. However, some adult dogs can also have separation anxiety and feel extremely lonely at night. s a result, they will bark and get vocal in order to get your attention and send you their message: I’m lonely! Let me sleep next to you!
Try this: If your puppy is sleeping in a crate, try putting it near your bed so that he can see you. With time, you will gradually move the crate farther and farther until your puppy adapts to a new sleeping environment.
Another thing that can make little puppies bark at night is the “fear of darkness”. Although this is quite rare, sleeping in the dark might make their loneliness worse and cause an excessive need to be vocal. Usually, adult and senior dogs are accustomed to sleeping in different conditions, with or without lights on, with ease.
Try this: Obviously, the first question you’d ask yourself is: Should I leave the lights on? And you’re completely right, try leaving a small light on and see if that fixes the sleeping issue.
Lack of Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Lack of exercise and too much energy held within are the most frequent culprits of insomnia in adult dogs. If you’ve been super busy lately and didn’t dedicate enough time to your dog’s physical and mental needs, then the answer might be very clear: your dog is just pent-up with energy and has troubles with falling asleep.
Try this: Exercise regulates sleep, and that is true for either humans or canines or any other animal on Earth. Playing with your dog on a daily basis, as well as walking him at least twice a day will surely help you resolve your dog’s sleeping problem.
Moving, changing the environment, having too many people in the house etc. are just some of the situations that can cause your dog to be stressed out. Therefore, if your dog was suddenly introduced to a bunch of new people, new scents or new sounds (too loud sounds), it is quite likely that too much excitement or fear is making him lose sleep. Fireworks are also a very common cause of stress in dogs.
Try this: You can soothe your dog with calming herbal supplements that will ease his anxiety and make him more relaxed. Adding DAP diffusers or playing relaxing music are also another way to calm your dog before nighttime.
Some people claim that their dogs start whining and acting weird as if they saw a ghost or some form of paranormal activity. But, the truth is that the dog’s ears are much more sensitive to sounds that we don’t even hear. Therefore, your pup might be signalizing you that there are some night-time critters in your attic that you’re not aware of. Check all the places that are more likely to be full of dust, or old boxes. There’s a chance there are beetles, crickets or even other insects or animals that might be roaming around your parts of your home.
Try this: Buy insect and rodent repellents and if the night-time barking continues, call a pest inspector to check your home for the presence of critters.
If none of the above seems to be causing both your and your dog’s sleepless nights, then the reason behind Fido’s insomnia could be an underlying health issue. When dogs are hurt and feel pain, they tend to get more vocal and lose sleep. Check if your dog is showing other symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, itching, bloating etc. Different kinds of health issues could be making your dog feel irritated which sometimes leads to loss of sleep.
Try this: If your dog behaves strangely all of a sudden, bring him to the vet for a thorough check-up.
By: Kristina Lalovic
The author of this article is Kristina, the editor of Barking Royalty, the website where you can find plenty of useful and reliable information about canines. She has always been a dog person and had dogs since her early childhood. She’s constantly researching and learning about the ways to make dogs healthier and happier. Kristina and her Havanese Paco are inseparable pals and enjoy spending time outdoors.
Barking Royalty is a website that cares about your dog’s wellbeing since 2015. We want to make the journey with your fluffy friend as stress-free as possible. Therefore, Barking Royalty has teamed up with veterinarians and dog experts in order to provide dog owners with trustworthy, reliable information for all of their dog-related issues or doubts. Find out more on how to have a long and happy friendship with your dog by clicking on our logo