If your Labrador won’t sleep at night you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why it happens and what you can do about them.
So, why won’t my Labrador sleep at night? Possible reasons are that there is an issue with its diet, it’s not getting enough exercise, illness, a problem with its sleeping environment, separation anxiety or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your Labrador has been doing it and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the main reason. There are also a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Labrador won’t sleep at night
Below are some common reasons why Labradors don’t sleep at night and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours does not.
The reason might be that there is an issue with its diet. It could be that it is being fed too late, it is being fed things it shouldn’t be eating, it’s not getting the right nutrients in its diet, it is not being fed enough or it is being fed too much.
It would be more likely to be due to a problem with its diet if it suddenly started staying awake at night at around the same time that its diet changed and if it does it when it eats certain foods.
It would help to ask your vet about your Labradorls diet when you see them next. You can also look here to see what you should be feeding your Labrador. It would also help to make sure that no one else is feeding it things that they shouldn’t be.
Not enough exercise
Labradors are meant to get daily exercise. When they do not get enough, it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be part of the reason why yours doesn’t sleep at night. This would be more likely if it tends to do it when it has not been able to get exercise.
It is generally recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy adults.
Illness or injury
The reason why it has been doing it might also be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as vomiting or limping. If it does seem like it could be ill or injured the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Its sleeping environment is not ideal
It might be the case that it struggles to sleep in the room that it normally has to sleep in. This would be more likely if the room is bright at night, hot or there is not an area for your Labrador to go to sleep.
It might be the case that your Labrador does not like it when it is left alone and being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if your Labrador is able to sleep when it can sleep in the same room as you or if it starts showing signs of anxiety when you are leaving.
Rewarding the behavior
The cause could be that it has learned that it gets rewards for doing it. If you give it extra attention, toys or treats, when it won’t go to sleep, it might do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead of giving it things such as extra attention when it stays awake, try to reward it in the mornings when it sleeps well and to follow the other tips mentioned below.
Stress or anxiety
It could be the case that something is causing your Labrador to become stressed. This would be more likely if it has been showing other signs of being stressed such as pacing, crying or hiding. I have written more about why your Labrador might be anxious and what you can do about it in this post.
How to get it to sleep at night
Below are some options you have when getting your Labrador to sleep at night, a combination of them will likely work best.
Ensure that its diet is right
It would help to make sure that your Labrador is eating the right foods. You can look here to see what you should and shouldn’t be feeding it. If you are unsure it would also help to consult with a vet on whether or not its diet might be causing it issues.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why your Labrador has been struggling to go to sleep or you cannot get it to stop doing it then it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out the possibility of illness or injury and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador.
Ensure that its sleeping environment is ideal
It would also help to make sure that the room it sleeps in is cool, not too bright and that there is an area for it to sleep in comfortably.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that it is able to get daily exercise. If it is a healthy adult, it is normally advised to give it an hour of exercise per day.
Reduce its separation anxiety
It would also help to train it to be less anxious when you are leaving and when you are not with it.
To do this you could do as follows:
- Make it seem like you are about to leave by doing something such as picking up your keys
- Reward your Labrador for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
- Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by picking up the keys and putting your hand on the door handle
- Reward your Labrador for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
- Actually open the door and go outside for a few moments then come back and reward your Labrador
- Repeat the above, each time staying outside for slightly longer
You could do a similar thing in the evening where you get it used to you going to your room at night by building up to it and rewarding your Labrador when it does not show signs of being anxious.
It would also help to make sure that it is able to pee before going to bed, that it does not have to wait too long between meals and that it gets exercise during the day.