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Can’t Get the Dog to Sleep Through the Night?

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Bo, the cat who can sleep anytime, anywhere, anyhow: Sometimes when you bring that new pet home, rescue or not, it can exhibit trouble sleeping through the night. He is in a new environment, quite possibly scared, anxious, and worried.  Even our dear friend, Bolt, a lovable Yorkie-Poo, likes to keep his owner up at night, and, surprisingly, falls asleep just as his owner’s morning alarm is about to sound.  Why is that?

Here are a few ideas as to why some pets might not sleep through the night:

  • If your pet is not getting sufficient exercise, he won’t feel very tired come night-night time!  If possible, take the dog out for a walk about one to two hours prior to bed time.  Or, at the very least, play a quick game of catch.  If he has unused energy at the end of the day, chances are, he will keep you up at night in an attempt to burn it off.
  • If your dog sleeps far too many hours during the day, which many pets will do if their owners are away at work, settling down at night will become an issue.  Again, incorporate some exercise into your pet’s evening routine.  Then, perhaps both of you will be sufficiently tired to go right to sleep!
  • If you do not have a regular sleeping routine, your pet won’t, either.  Don’t go to bed one night at 8 p.m and the next at 3 a.m.  Try to remain as consistent as possible with your bed time routine.
  • If your dog eats too early in the day, he may want to grab the phone and order pizza at midnight if you are not too careful.  Conversely, if you feed your pet too closely to bed time, he may need a late night run to the backyard to take care of unexpected business.  Experiment with different feeding times to see what works and then stick to the routine.  Trust me…routines are better than being sleep-deprived.  Just ask Bolt’s owner, who, courtesy of Bolt, finally got to bed at 4 a.m. this morning and slept for a record-breaking 51 minutes!  Yeah!  Bolt is sort of in the dog house today for his unruly behavior all night long!
  • If you live in a busy area with lots of background noise, your dog may feel compelled to bark.  Also, just leaving the TV on can disturb him just as much.

Hopefully, these restless nights are few and far between.  The combination of a sleep-deprived owner and a restless dog is not a pretty sight!  In the meantime, I am going to have a word with Bolt.  Hopefully, tonight will be a better night.

(Thanks to for this great information! No thanks to Bolt for keeping his owner up all night!)


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