If your dog:
- can’t sleep peacefully at night without you;
- tries to get into your bedroom, scratches the doors;
- walks from side to side around the room;
- 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 and be able to sleep in peace.
What causes anxiety at night in dogs?
Dogs are socialized animals. That’s why they are so dependent on their owners. If the puppy has not yet learned to be alone, and it used to sleep next to you, then of course it will ask to go to your room. This is why many trainers recommend not taking the puppy to your bed.
What are some reasons why an adult dog might feel anxious at night?
- If your dog used to sleep peacefully, but then begins to show restlessness at night, it may have suffered some kind of stressful situation. This could be if you moved or someone close to you died, including your other pets who were its friends.
- This behavior can also develop in dogs that don’t get enough attention, physical and mental stimulation.
- Elderly or sick dogs may experience anxiety at night due to impaired hearing/hearing/vision. They become afraid of the dark, so they behave like this.
- Rescue dogs are more likely to experience a panic attack at night due to the stress of separation from the previous owner or of possible past psychological trauma.
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 to stay quietly. How to do it?
What to do?
If your puppy used to sleep with you in bed or in your bedroom, you’ll need to train it to sleep separately gradually:
- Get used to sleeping next to your bed right away.
- Then move its bed farther away from your bed and closer to the entrance of the room.
- The next step is to move its bed outside the room. Leave the door open for a while, then try closing it. During this time, ignore any unwanted behavior: howling, scratching at the door, etc. Soon your fur baby will calm down and sleep peacefully.
If your pet is acting overly restless, hurting himself, shivering, hiding, or having a rapid heartbeat, you should seek help from your veterinarian. Your dog may need treatment.
If you’re sure your dog has no health problems and is getting plenty of physical activity, then it’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 it, because that will still be the attention it is seeking.
You have to understand that you can’t deal with a problem like this in one day. It will take time. Your consistent action with regular repetition will be successful.
From this video, you can learn about other ways to eliminate dog separation anxiety:
Should you let a dog with separation anxiety sleep with you? You shouldn't do this because you will only make your dog more dependent on you. To help your pet, you need to teach it to stay alone.
6 tips to help 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 important thing is that they are not washed, but smell like you). The smell of its owner will soothe the animal.
- Use calming treats and pheromone sprays as part of the dog 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 for your dog to 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. These beds are designed by therapists to reduce stress and anxiety in dogs.
- For an older dog or a dog with vision problems, you can turn on a night light at night. This will ensure that your pet is not afraid to be alone in the dark.
- Share time with your pet during the day and get some exercise. A dog that exercises enough is more likely to sleep better at night.
If your dog shows signs of anxiety at night, it’s likely that it behaves the same way during the day when you leave it home alone. To see if this is really the case, you can purchase a pet tracking camera. This handy device lets you see and hear what’s going on in the house through your smartphone.
If you want to help a dog with separation anxiety at night, you should gradually accustom it to sleeping separately. Use the calming aids listed in this article and do not encourage your pet’s unwanted behavior. Over time, you will be able to sleep peacefully.
I recommend also watching this video: