If your dog is restless 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 it to be calmer at night.
So, why is my dog restless at night? Possible reasons why your dog is restless at night are that there is an issue with its diet, it’s not getting enough exercise, there is a problem with its sleeping environment, separation anxiety or you might have reinforced the behavior by rewarding it.
There are actually multiple reasons why your dog might be being restless at night and it could be a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.
Why your dog is restless at night
The different reasons why your dog is restless at night will likely come with some clues in the way that it is restless.
Below, I will show you a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.
A problem with its diet
It could be that an issue with its diet is causing it to struggle to fall asleep. It could be the case that it is being fed the wrong diet, it’s being fed too much, it’s not being fed enough, it’s being fed too late or that someone is feeding it without you knowing. A problem with its diet would be especially likely if it has started doing it since there was a change in its diet.
It would help to make sure that you have been feeding it correctly by talking to your vet about its diet. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding it. It would also help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing.
Related: Why is my dog so vocal?
Not enough exercise
If your dog has not been getting as much exercise as is recommended for its breed it could be the case that it is restless at night because it needs more exercise during the day. To prevent this it would help to make sure that your dog is able to get the recommended amount of daily exercise.
There is a problem with its sleeping environment
It could also be the case that a problem with its sleeping environment has been causing it to struggle to fall asleep. This would be more likely if the room it sleeps in is too hot, bright or if there is not an area for it to lie down comfortably.
It would help to make sure that the room it sleeps in is cool, not too bright and that there is an area where it can lie down.
It could also be the case that your dog has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if your dog is restless at night when it cannot sleep in the same room as you and if it starts being anxious when you are going to bed.
You have inadvertently rewarded it
It might also be the case that you have encouraged it to be restless at night by giving it things that it wants when it starts being restless. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it is restless at night then it might be doing it more in order to get more of those things.
Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it starts being restless unless it is necessary and to wait for it to calm down before giving it attention.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog is restless at night.
When your dog first started being restless at night
It would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that your dog started being hyper at night since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as a change in its diet, a change in its sleeping environment, having to go to sleep at different times or getting less exercise.
When your dog tends to be restless at night
It would also help to consider what is different when it gets restless at night.
If you notice that it is not always hyper at night then it could be that:
- It is less hyper when it gets more exercise
- It is less hyper when it is fed earlier in the evening
- It’s less hyper when you have given it more attention during the day
How old it is
It would also help to consider the age of your dog.
If it is still a puppy then it would be more likely that it is restless at night because it needs to pee more often. It would be likely that it will calm down as it gets older.
What to do about your dog being restless at night
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to be less restless at night. Making use of a combination of them will likely work best.
Give it exercise
If your dog is healthy, it would help to make sure that it is able to get the recommended amount of daily exercise for its breed. Doing so should help to reduce the amount of excess energy that it has at night. It might also help to quickly walk it in the evening as well to tire it out some more.
Deal with its separation anxiety
If it does seem to have some separation anxiety it would help to take measures to reduce it.
To do this you could do as follows:
- Make it seem like you are about to go to bed by walking to your room
- Reward your dog for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
- Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by putting your hand on the door handle
- Reward your dog for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
- Actually open the door and go into your room for a few moments then come back and reward your dog
- Repeat the above, leaving it for slightly longer
Ensure that it is getting the right diet
It would also help to make sure that your dog is eating the right foods. You can do this by talking to your vet about its diet and by looking here to see what it should and should not be eating.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been encouraging it to be energetic at night by giving it rewards when it does it. Instead of giving it things that it wants when it is hyper at night it would help to reward it when it is calm and to wait for it to be calm before rewarding if possible.
Consider crate training
Crate training is where you teach your dog to learn to be comfortable inside of a crate designed for dogs.
If you crate train your dog in the right way it will give it a space where it can feel safe. This should help to reduce how anxious it becomes at night and to help it fall asleep more easily.
Take it for a checkup
If you have not taken your dog for a checkup in a while or it has started being hyper at night suddenly then it would help to take it to the vet for a checkup. By doing so you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out the possibility of illness or injury.
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