December 18


Why Isn’t My Dog Sleeping At Night?

Why Isnt My Dog Sleeping At Night

Dogs adjust to the sleeping patterns of their owners. So, after he has had a few weeks to get tuned in to your routines, your dog should be going to bed and getting up at the same time as you. When your dog changes his nightly sleep pattern it is usually a sign that something is wrong. It may be time for a visit to the vet.

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Dog Dementia As A Cause Of Insomnia in Older Dogs

As a dog gets older, there is an increasing chance of him suffering from dementia. In an older dog one of the most common causes of insomnia is dementia. They tend to sleep more during the day less at night. They can also become agitated and not be able to rest.

Other symptoms of dog dementia are reduced appetite, lack of energy and weight loss. Your veterinarian will be able to conduct tests to diagnose the illness definitively.

There is no cure for dementia, but your vet will be able to recommend medications to make your dog more comfortable.

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Pain As A Cause Of Insomnia in older dogs

In older dogs, the second most common cause of insomnia is pain. Two of the most common causes of pain are arthritis and cancer. Cancer is the number one cause of death in older dogs.

A dog may suffer more at night because there are no distractions. Pain is often expressed as anxiety and your dog may have many of the same signs as he would when he is afraid. Signs of a frightened dog include dilated pupils and raised hackles.

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Causes of insomnia in Younger Dogs

Lack Of Exercise

Dogs normally need 30 minutes of exercise each day. When your dog doesn’t get enough exercise his energy levels build up and he may start wandering around at night.


Loneliness is often a greater problem in a new dog rather than a dog you have had for a while. He may be feeling separation anxiety anyway, and If you put him somewhere by himself at night this could increase his stress levels. Symptoms of separation anxiety include whining, scratching and barking.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is more common among overweight dogs or dogs with flattened faces (brachycephalic breeds)

The symptoms include loud snoring, choking during sleep, sleepiness during the day and irritability.

Dogs can hear things that we can’t and it could well be that his sleep is being disturbed by the sound of distant thunder or a wild animal wandering around in your yard.

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Helping Your Dog Sleep

Insomnia in dogs can a result of a number of different causes. A visit to your vet is a good idea. You can find out if the insomnia is a symptom of something more serious or whether it can be cured by a change in your dog’s diet or exercise regime.

About the author 

Stan Jones

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