Being a canine caretaker, you're well aware of their love for slumber. You may find yourself wondering why they sleep so extensively and if those adorable paw twitches signify dreams. Dogs can sleep almost anywhere, but are there certain beds that offer more benefits?
- Establish a Consistent Schedule A daily routine aids your dog in understanding when it's bedtime. Endeavor to walk them at consistent times each day, ideally before you leave for work and after you return. The same principle applies to meals, feeding your dog a couple of hours before sleep aids digestion. Aim to maintain this routine, even on weekends.
The hour leading up to bedtime should be calm and peaceful. Refrain from excessive treats or stimulating activities. Crucially, ensure your dog relieves itself just before bedtime to avoid midnight bathroom emergencies.
Ensure Adequate Exercise for Your Dog Like energetic children, a well-exercised dog is more likely to sleep soundly through the night. Depending on your dog's breed and size, they should spend between half an hour to 2 hours exercising daily. Generally, larger dogs require more physical activity. A lengthy walk a few hours before bedtime can promote a good night's sleep for both of you.
Avoid Bed-Sharing Consistency extends to your dog's sleeping location. It's beneficial for your dog to sleep in the same bed every night, helping them recognize it's time to rest. As inviting as it may be to snuggle with your furry companion in your bed, doing so can negatively affect your sleep quality.
Research indicates that 63% of pet owners who sleep with their pets experience poor sleep quality. Beyond the disruption caused by movement or barking, bed-sharing can increase the risk of skin infections and exacerbate issues for people with asthma or allergies. Furthermore, if you're restless throughout the night, your dog likely will be too.
Optimize Their Sleep Environment In addition to discouraging them from joining you in your bed, ensure they have a comfortable place to sleep. A high-quality dog bed paired with a cozy blanket can facilitate sound sleep. Consider incorporating a low, rhythmic sound to help your dog drift off, such as a ticking clock or white noise. Minimize external noise and excessive lighting in their sleeping area.
Monitor for Potential Health Issues If your dog continues to struggle with sleep, it might be time to investigate underlying health issues. This could be particularly relevant if an older dog, who previously slept well, starts showing signs of restlessness. Consult your vet if you notice changes in their behavior, appetite, mobility, or sleep patterns. Your vet might suggest medication to help improve your dog's sleep quality.