If your dog has been walking around at night, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get your dog to stop doing it.
So, why does my dog walk around at night? Possible reasons why your dog walks around at night are that it needs to pee, is hungry, has a problem with its sleeping environment, has separation anxiety, is still young or that it is ill or injured.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the most likely cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Why your dog walks around at night
Below are a number of possible reasons why it has been walking around at night and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
An issue with its diet
The cause might be that there is an issue with its diet. It might be being fed too late, too much or it might be eating things that it shouldn’t be causing it to wake up during the night. This would be more likely if it has been walking around at night since a change in its diet and if it walks around more when it eats certain foods.
Not enough exercise
It might also be the case that a lack of exercise during the day has been causing it to have a lot of energy at night. This would be more likely if it tends to sleep better when it has gotten exercise during the day. It would help to make sure that your dog has been getting the recommended amount of exercise for its breed and age.
Illness or injury
It could be the case that illness, injury or medical conditions are causing it to be in discomfort at night. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing signs of discomfort during the day. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
A problem with its sleeping environment
It might also be the case that it has been struggling to fall asleep due to a problem with the room it sleeps in. It could be the case that it is too bright, too hot, too cramped or too noisy. This would be more likely if it has started walking around, during the night, since having to sleep in a different room.
The cause could also be that it has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and the prospect of being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if it starts showing signs of becoming anxious when you are about to leave it at night and if it does not walk around when it is allowed to sleep with you.
Needing to pee
The reason why your dog walks around, during the night, could also be that it needs to pee. This would be more likely to be the cause if it wants to go outside straight away to pee, if it is a puppy or if it is elderly.
In this case, it would be important to continue letting it out to pee quickly. It would also help to let it out to pee just before bedtime. If it is a puppy, it would help to have some patience since it is likely that it is not yet able to fully control its bladder but it should gradually need to pee less and less at night. If it is an adult, it would be best to take it to a vet for a checkup since it could be due to medical issues.
It could also be the case that something has been causing it to be fearful at night. A possible reason why it might be fearful is that it hears noises, that it does not, like at night. This would be more likely if it only wakes on certain nights or if it only does it when it is in a certain room.
As dogs become old their joints will often become painful for them. The reason why it has been walking around, during the night, could be due to being in discomfort. This would be more likely if your dog is old and if it has been showing signs of being in discomfort during the day and at night. In this case, it would help to consult with your vet about it.
Encouraging the behavior
It could also be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it things it wants when it walks around during the night. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, when it wakes up at night, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not wake up during the night and to avoid rewarding it when it does wake up at night unless it is because it needs to pee.
Things to consider
Below are a number of things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started walking around at night
If it did not always walk around, during the night, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as becoming ill, injured, getting less exercise, a change in the room it sleeps in or a change in its diet.
What is different when it does not do it
If it does not walk around, during the night, on every night, it would also help to consider what is different on the nights that it sleeps normally.
For example, if it does not walk around when it can sleep with you, it might be because of separation anxiety. Whereas, if it doesn’t walk around when it can sleep in a certain room, it could be the case that the room it normally sleeps in is not ideal for it to sleep in.
What to do about your dog walking around at night
Below are a number of options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Get help from a vet
If it seems like it might be walking around, at night, due to illness, injury or a medical cause or it has been doing it excessively, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.
Ensure that it is getting the right diet
It might be the case that there is an issue with its diet that has been causing it to struggle to fall asleep. It would help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet and that it has not been eating things that it should not be.
Ensure that it is getting enough exercise
If it is healthy, it would also help to ensure that it is able to get the recommended amount of daily exercise for its age and breed. If it does not get enough exercise, it will likely have a harder time falling asleep. If it is getting enough exercise, another way to stimulate it would be to give it training.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to avoid giving it attention when it does it unless necessary and to get professional help from a vet or dog behaviorist if it persists.
Let it out to pee
It might be the case that your dog has been walking around, during the night, because it needs to pee.
The best option for you here is to try to give it water a bit earlier in the evenings and to let it pee just before going to bed. This way hopefully it won’t need to pee as much at night. It would also be an option to let it pee quickly in the mornings and then to quickly go back to bed. If it is not a puppy, it would be advised to take it to a vet for a checkup.
Ensure the room it sleeps in is appropriate
It would also help to ensure that the room it sleeps in allows it to fall asleep easily. The room should be not too bright, cool, quiet and there should be space for it to lay down easily.
If your dog is a puppy, while your puppy is still young, you might want to consider doing crate training. This can help your puppy to feel more secure at night.
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