If your dog:
- can’t sleep peacefully at night without you;
- tries to get into your bedroom, scratches the doors;
- runs around the room from side to side;
- barks, whines, or howls instead of sleeping.
Then this article is for you! You will learn how to help a dog with separation anxiety at night so he can sleep in peace.
What causes anxiety at night in dogs?
What are the reasons why an adult dog may be anxious at night?
- 👉If your dog used to sleep peacefully but then starts getting restless at night, he may have experienced a stressful situation. This could be when you moved or someone close to you died, including your other pets who were his friends.
- 👉This behavior can also develop in dogs that don’t get enough attention, physical and mental stimulation.
- 👉Older or sick dogs may be afraid at night because their hearing and vision are impaired. They’re afraid of the dark and therefore behave this way.
- 👉Rescue dogs are more likely to have panic attacks at night because they’re stressed by separation from their previous owner or possible psychological trauma in the past.
As you can see, the reasons may be different. But you have to train your pet to get along without you for a while and stay calm. How to do that?
What to do?
If your puppy used to sleep with you in bed or in your bedroom, you need to gradually teach him to sleep separately:
- From the beginning, get him used to sleeping next to your bed.
- Then put his bed further away from your bed and closer to the entrance of the room.
- The next step is to put his bed outside the room. Leave the door open for a while and then try to close it. Ignore any unwanted behavior during this time: Howling, scratching at the door, etc. Soon your fur baby will calm down and sleep peacefully.
If your pet is acting excessively restless, hurting himself, shivering, hiding, or has a rapid heartbeat, you should visit your veterinarian. Your dog may need treatment.
If you’re sure your dog has no health problems and is getting enough exercise, then he’s just bored and wants attention. To avoid encouraging this behavior at night, ignore it. You shouldn’t talk to your dog or even scold him, because that will be the attention he’s looking for.
You must understand that you cannot solve such a problem in one day. It will take time. Your consistent action with regular repetitions will be successful.
In this video you’ll learn how to eliminate your dog’s separation anxiety:
Should you let a dog with separation anxiety sleep with you? You shouldn't, because by doing so you will only make your dog more dependent on you. To help your pet, you need to teach him to stay alone
7 tips to make your dog sleep peacefully
There are several tips that can help with dog nighttime anxiety:
- ✅Put your clothes next to your puppy (you can take some old clothes, the only important thing is that they are not washed, but smell like you). The smell of its owner will calm the animal.
- ✅Use calming treats and pheromone sprays as part of your dog’s bedtime routine. These sprays use substances that are close to the mother dog’s pheromones. They are released to calm puppies, so your pet should respond well to them.
- ✅Buy a toy that your dog can sleep with. It should be a special toy for the dog’s bedding. Consider heartbeat toys or heated plush toys.
- ✅Try using a calming bed. Such beds were developed to reduce stress and anxiety in dogs.
- ✅For older dogs or dogs with vision problems, you can turn on a night light at night. This will ensure that your dog isn’t afraid to be alone in the dark.
- ✅Spend time with your pet during the day and get some exercise. A dog that gets enough exercise is more likely to sleep better at night.
- ✅Try to get your dog used to the crate and lock it at night. Check out my website for tips on how to crate train your dog at night and which crate is best for dogs with separation anxiety.
If your dog shows signs of anxiety at night, it’s likely that he’ll act the same way during the day when you leave him home alone. To find out if this is really the case, you can buy a pet tracking camera. This handy device allows you to see and hear what’s going on in the house via your smartphone. I like Petcube’s cameras because they have a 2-way audio feature:
Petcube Bites 2 Lite – $124.95
Smart HD pet camera with treat dispenser, 160 lens, and 2-way audio
If you want to help a dog with nighttime separation anxiety, you should gradually get him used to sleeping apart. Use the calming aids listed in this article and don’t encourage your pet’s unwanted behavior. Over time, you will be able to sleep peacefully.
I also recommend you watch this video:
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