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How to Calm a Restless Dog at Night: Nighttime Tips

Posted by Jeffrey Powers on
A scared dog looking out the window

As pet parents, we love our dogs and want to keep them happy and healthy. Unfortunately, they can also drive us crazy at times. If your pup gets restless at night, it probably affects your sleep too.

Fortunately, we have some tips on how to calm a restless dog at night, from switching up your routine to creating a better sleep environment and adding some natural remedies to your dog’s daily schedule.

Related: How to Calm Down Hyper Dogs

Why Is My Dog Restless at Night?

If you want to help your dog rest peacefully at night, the first step is determining why they’re restless in the first place. 

The most common causes of doggy restlessness include:

  • Aches and pains: Joint stiffness isn’t uncommon in dogs, especially as they age. If they can’t get comfortable at night, they’re likely to be restless. However, their discomfort can also be caused by something more serious; always talk to your vet if you believe your pet is in pain.
  • Boredom: Have you had trouble sleeping after a day of binge-watching Netflix and downing snack food? Just like us, our dogs need physical activity to get rid of excess energy and get a good night’s sleep. If they’re home alone all day or don’t get enough attention and exercise, that could explain their restlessness.
  • Fear: All dogs want to feel safe and secure, and they won’t settle down at night if they’re scared or anxious. New rescues might need some time to adjust. In addition, if your dog experiences something unsettling (thunder, fireworks, etc.), they might need some reassurance from you that everything is okay.
  • Temperature: Finally, if your dog pants all night long, it’s likely that the room is too hot for them — dogs primarily pant to cool themselves. However, excessive panting can also signal a serious health issue; if a temperature adjustment doesn’t fix the problem, we recommend consulting your vet.

Struggling to sleep because of your dog’s energy at night? See how our calming and wellness CBD chews can help.

Dog laying his head down in bed

How to Calm a Restless Dog at Night Naturally

Once you have a good idea about why your dog is acting restless at night, you can start working to fix the issue.

Tire Your Dog Out

If your pup would rather play at night than sleep, they probably need more exercise during the day. While their age and breed play a role in how much playtime they need, all dogs need some amount of exercise every day.

The AKC offers some general guidelines on doggy exercise routines:

  • One or two half-hour walks
  • Swimming, hiking, and fetching
  • Jogging with you
  • Brain exercises for breeds like Border Collies

However, your dog might have a bad case of zoomies before bed, even with plenty of exercise during the day — it’s nothing a short play session before bed won’t fix.

It can also be helpful to get your dog a pal, especially if they seem lonely. You can test the waters first by setting up doggy play dates or taking a few trips to your local dog park.

Before rushing to get your best friend their own best friend, ensure you have the space, financial capacity, and time to take care of an additional pet.

Make Sure Your Dog Feels Safe 

Giving your pup the best sleep environment possible can help calm their restlessness. 

  • Ensure your dog has a safe space to sleep: A cozy dog bed and comfy blanket or pillow will do it for most pups. Some dogs prefer sleeping in a crate (i.e., having their own personal space), but never force your dog into a crate.
  • Keep their favorite toy nearby: Your dog’s toys aren’t only for exercise and playtime. They also have associations with good memories (much like a child carrying around their favorite teddy bear). It’s also a comfortable piece of their daily routine.
  • Move their bed close to yours: Your dog has a strong bond with you, and if they struggle to get comfy at night, this could be an extremely simple solution. When your pup is close by your side, they won’t feel like they need to get up to check on you during the night.

Related: How to Calm Dogs During a Storm

Meet All of Their Needs

If you feel hungry or thirsty or have the urge to use the bathroom, you probably won’t sleep well until you eat, drink, or pee. Your dog has those same feelings.

So, ensure all of their needs are met before heading to bed.

  • Do they have food and water? Most dogs prefer having access to water during the night, and they might wake you up when thirsty if they don’t have any available. It’s also important that they have a filling dinner before bedtime. 
  • Do they need a potty break? Give your pup one last chance to head outside before bed. However, don’t initiate any playing during this time; it should be strictly a bathroom break and then bedtime.
A young woman cuddling with her dog

Help Your Dog Relax

You know when your mind’s racing in the middle of the night, making it seemingly impossible to relax and get to sleep? Well, while our furry friends don’t have the same worries we do, they can feel stress and anxiety, causing restlessness at night.

  • Try soothing music: The right type of music can help dogs in high-stress situations relax and get to sleep more easily, particularly low-volume classical music.
  • Make time for cuddles: Many dog breeds love cuddle time. If your dog is one of them, spend some relaxing time with them before bed, giving them a little more bonding time before going to sleep. The odds are that you’ll enjoy it, too.
  • Give them a calming snack: Most dogs can benefit from calming CBD chews before bed. If they have trouble settling down, CBD treats designed for restless pups can help them relax and sleep better than ever. Plus, your dog will enjoy the extra bedtime snack.

A restful night’s sleep is vital for your and your dog’s overall health. If they’re keeping you up at night, it’s not ideal for either of you. So, try one, two, or all of these tips regarding how to calm a restless dog at night to ensure you both wake up feeling great.

Are CBD treats the solution to your dog’s restlessness? Many pet owners swear by CBD calming treats; find out why.

Related: Hemp vs. CBD for Dogs

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