Let’s be real:
It’s frustrating when your dog won’t sleep through the night anymore.
It makes you wonder… “How to make a dog sleep instantly?”… “What can I give my dog to sleep at night?”.
You have questions. We have answers.
Read on to discover:
- Why your dog has trouble sleeping.
- How anxiety keeps them awake at night.
- Whether sleeping aids are effective or not.
- 13 things you can give your dog to sleep at night.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- What can I give my dog to sleep at night?
- 13 things you can give your dog to sleep at night
What can I give my dog to sleep at night?
You can give your dog melatonin supplements to sleep at night. They can also be given different vet-approved calming aids such as pills or calming treats. A relaxing massage, soothing dog music, a comfy bed, or a heartbeat snuggle toy can also help them sleep better. Cuddling may help too.
13 things you can give your dog to sleep at night
If your beloved pup is struggling to sleep, one of the best options you can give them is melatonin.
This is a supplement that’s also being used by humans as a sleeping aid.
And it may be just what some dogs need to enhance their sleep patterns.
“What does melatonin do?”
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycles of both humans and dogs.
The supplements help in triggering the body to prepare for sleep.
“Is it safe for dogs?”
A study found that our canine companions can safely absorb melatonin supplements.
Scientists also found that it’s effective in reducing anxiety and insomnia.
Another study showed that melatonin has a calming effect on dogs.
Those that were given supplements before surgery were more relaxed.
And they also required a lesser amount of anesthesia.
Melatonin supplements for dogs can be bought over the counter.
But before giving it to your pooch, make sure to get your vet’s approval first.
Not only can a vet advise you if it’s right for your pooch. But they will also be able to provide the proper dosage.
Your vet may also discuss some possible side effects of melatonin on dogs.
AKC mentions the following:
- Upset stomach.
- Fertility changes.
- Stomach cramps.
- Increased heart rate.
Don’t fret though, this is preventable as long as you give them the right dosage.
And make sure that you properly follow your vet’s advice.
Also, here are a few tips to consider before giving your furry friend melatonin.
- Buy from a trusted and reputable brand.
- Choose a product with fewer ingredients and additives.
- Don’t provide them with melatonin that’s meant for humans.
- Make sure that it does not contain xylitol (it’s harmful to dogs).
#2: Relaxing massage
Some dogs have a hard time settling down during the night.
Do you know why? One common reason is that they’re not tired.
If a dog is not properly exercised, they’ll have pent-up energy.
And all those unused energies will cause them to have a hard time sleeping.
Another reason is that they’re feeling lonely. This could be due to separation anxiety.
In some cases, they could also have a hard time sleeping because they’re in pain.
Knowing what’s keeping your furry friend up all night can help you find a solution.
And giving them a massage is one effective way to make them sleep.
It can help an anxious dog to relax and an active furball to calm down.
It can also help lessen the pain of pups that are recovering from injury.
And it’s beneficial to older dogs who are suffering from achy joints.
A study even showed that massage therapy can help reduce chronic pain in canines.
Other benefits of a doggy massage include:
- Improved circulation.
- Reduce muscle pain.
- Strengthens your bond.
- Enhance immune system.
Just remember that when messaging your pooch, you should do it in a calm manner.
According to AKC, the following are steps on how to properly massage a dog:
- Go to a quiet place in your house (this helps your dog to feel calm).
- Start from head to neck (avoid areas they don’t like to be touched).
- Softly stroke the body part you want to massage.
- Press their skin lightly using flat palms.
- Slowly move your hands in a sweeping motion.
- Continue doing this if your pup enjoys it (stop if they show discomfort).
There are also other simple massage techniques you can try.
A simple backstroke is a great way to introduce dogs to a massage.
You can do this by beginning the massage at the back of their head.
Then gently stroke up and down the side of their spine.
An ear massage is a technique your pooch will surely love.
You can easily do this by stroking the end of their ear and finishing it with a gentle pull.
A head massage is another technique to calm your dog.
Since most of the calming points are in the head, this will be an effective way to make them sleepy.
This can be done by running your thumb from the top of your pup’s nose and over their head.
Run your thumb back and forth until they feel calm.
CBD is also something you can consider giving your dog so they can sleep all night.
Although research about this is limited, there are still some studies that show its effectiveness.
One research found that cannabis-based medications can help relieve arthritis.
Which could be causing discomfort to your pup. And that’s what is keeping them awake.
Interesting fact: Study shows that at least 60% of dogs can develop arthritis in their lifetime.
CBD oil is one that’s quickly becoming a popular natural treatment.
It helps in managing a wide range of problems in both animals and humans.
If you decide to give your pooch CBD oil, be sure you’re giving them the right dose every day.
If your dog is a picky eater, cannabis-infused treats can be a good alternative.
They’re just as effective as the oil and it can be more pleasant for your pooch to consume.
Note: Always consult your vet first before giving your dog anything.
“Is CBD safe for dogs?”
One study showed that it’s safe for both dogs and cats.
But since there’s not enough research that proves this, we still need to look out for possible side effects.
AKC mentions the following:
- Dry mouth.
- Low blood pressure.
Before purchasing CBD medications for your dogs, here are things you need to consider:
- Look for organic ones.
- Buy a high-quality product.
- Don’t choose base on price.
- Make sure it’s free of additives.
#4: Music therapy
Playing calming music is a great way to lull your beloved pup to sleep.
Research shows that most dogs are relaxed by listening to 2 specific genres.
These are soft rock and reggae music.
But if it’s not your doggo’s type of music then try classical music instead.
It’s also worth noting that when playing music for them, try to mix up the playlist.
Playing one song over and over may stress out your pooch.
You can look for playlists and calming music for dogs on YouTube.
Just like this one:
For some of our canine friends, they may find listening to white noise more relaxing.
So turn on a white noise machine and it could be the solution you need to make your dog fall asleep.
Other than helping a restless pup to sleep, there are other benefits of music therapy.
- Calming them during thunderstorms.
- Easing their travel anxiety while riding a car.
- Keeping them relaxed during veterinary visits.
- Combating separation anxiety when they’re left at home.
#5: Chew toys
If you have an active dog who has a lot of pent-up energy, chew toys could be what they need to sleep.
Providing them with toys to gnaw will give them the opportunity to release all their excess energy.
This is especially effective for dog breeds who love to chew.
Some of them are the following:
- Border Collie.
- Basset Hound.
- Doberman Pinscher.
- Australian Shepherd.
This is why it’s also important to ensure that your furry friend has enough exercise.
Both physical and mental exercise is essential to dogs. And it should always be a part of your pup’s routine.
They should be provided with proper outlets to use their daily energy.
Otherwise, they’ll come up with their own ways to use it. And I assure you, it won’t be something you’ll find adorable.
And yes, one of these is not being able to sleep at night.
Aside from burning excess energy, chew toys also have the following benefits:
- Helps with teething.
- Keeps them occupied.
- Reduces plaque build-up.
- Relieves stress and anxiety.
- Provides mental stimulation.
- Prevents destructive chewing.
#6: Calming aids
If your pooch is having trouble sleeping at night, other things you can give them are calming aids.
This is mostly given to dogs who suffer from fear, anxiety, and phobia.
So if one of these is the reason your pooch is keeping awake, you might find calming aids helpful.
Pet parents are divided on whether or not to give their fur babies sleeping medications.
The majority of dog sleeping pills are actually calming supplements.
Which also helps with alleviating stress.
There is a variety of these on the market that are meant to help anxious dogs relax and decrease tension.
But first, you need to know if your pooch is suffering from anxiety.
According to AKC, here are the signs to look out for:
- Excessive barking.
- Destructive behavior.
- Compulsive behavior.
One recommended calming supplement is the Pro-Sense Anti-Stress Dog Calming Tablets.
It’s formulated with 3 all-natural plant compounds.
- Ginger root.
- Valerian root.
It does not contain any harsh chemicals. And they’re easy to consume because they’re chewable.
It also includes antioxidants, which support your dog’s immunity.
I keep repeating this so you won’t forget…
In any situation, consult your vet before giving dogs any calming supplements.
This is to verify that it will not harm their health.
“Are sleeping aids that humans use safe for dogs?”
No, it’s not safe for dogs. This will cause them to have increased heart rates and agitation.
It can also cause their blood pressure to drop which will cause collapse.
Calming treats are another option that you can give your canine companion.
Most contain herbs and vitamins as active ingredients. And it’s helpful for dogs that have a mild case of anxiety.
But take note that this is not a cure for their anxiety. It will only help in reducing the condition.
It’s also better to address the source of your dog’s anxiety before giving them these treats.
Calming treats may also make them drowsy. Which is something that may also be able to put them to sleep.
Premium Care Calming Chews is a treat that’s vet-recommended.
It’s duck flavored and contains natural ingredients. It also helps dogs maintain a normal emotional balance.
If this is something your pooch needs, here are things you should consider:
- Look for veterinarian formulated treats.
- Choose a product based on your dog’s anxiety.
Side effects of calming treats are relatively few. But make sure to stop giving it to them if they show signs of vomiting or diarrhea.
Different dogs may have different reactions to these medications.
So always keep an eye on your pooch for any negative responses.
This is also why it’s important to consult your vet before introducing anything new to them.
#7: Rescue remedy
Rescue remedy is another product to help ease stress and tension in dogs.
It’s free from sedatives and can be added to your furry friend’s food.
During the evening, you can put a few drops of it into their dinner.
And this could make them feel calm and ready to go to bed.
One pet parent said that his Pit Bull had terrible fear and had trouble sleeping.
This is also caused him to be sleep deprived. So she tried using Rescue remedy for her dog.
The night they gave it, the pooch stayed calm and went straight to sleep.
However, don’t make it a habit of regularly giving this to them.
This is only a temporary fix. So make sure that you still address the cause of their sleepless nights.
#8: Heartbeat snuggle toy
If your dog is having difficulties sleeping, a pet toy that they can snuggle with could do the trick.
One that can help them sleep are heartbeat toys. These are snuggle plushies that produce heartbeat sounds.
Giving this to your pooch will provide them with a companion and warmth while they sleep.
It was mainly produced to provide comfort to puppies.
Especially those that have been recently separated from their mother.
But dogs of all ages can also benefit from it.
The SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy is one of the most recommended heartbeat toys.
There’s no scientific evidence yet of the effectiveness of these toys.
And the results also depend on the preference of your pooch.
Calming pheromones could also help your dog sleep at night.
Experts call it dog appeasing pheromones which is DAP for short.
According to PetMD, these are chemical signals that dogs produce to communicate with other dogs.
Nursing dogs usually release this to let their puppies know that they’re safe.
That’s why using artificial products can help comfort anxious dogs. It also makes them feel safe.
In fact, a study proved DAP to be effective in reducing the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs.
Calming pheromones can be given to your pooch through plug-in diffusers and collars.
A popular option for diffusers is the Adaptil Dog Calming Diffuser.
You can easily plug this into an outlet close to your pup’s sleeping area.
There’s also an option of a collar that you can bring anywhere.
Remember that while this may work for your dog, it will not necessarily help in every behavior problem.
Like I mentioned a lot of times, check with a professional before using these products.
#10: Comfortable place to sleep
Whether you choose to have your pup sleep in their own bed or beside you, they must have a comfortable place to sleep.
Giving them a safe and cozy sleeping area is one way to make them sleep all night.
AKC even mentions that a good bed will ensure better sleep for dogs.
And the better they sleep, the healthier they are. Plus, it can also improve their memory.
Provide a bed that’s right for them. Different dogs have different needs and preferences.
If they have their own be, make sure it’s sturdy and they can fit into it.
If your dog suffers from arthritis, you may want to consider investing in an orthopedic bed.
This is especially helpful to older dogs. It can help relieve achy joints.
Also, give them nice blankets to cuddle with. And if they have a favorite toy, make sure they have it beside their bed.
Do you sleep with your canine companion?
In one study, it was reported that 53% of dog parents experience disrupted sleep while sleeping with their dogs.
On the other hand, there are also benefits of doing this.
Check the chart below for the pros and cons of sleeping with your pooch:
|Cure for loneliness.||Disrupted sleep.|
|Feel calmer and safe.||May cause injury.|
|Strengthen your bond.||It might spoil them.|
|Promotes a healthy heart.||Trigger allergies or asthma.|
|Positively impact emotional well-being.||Can make house training difficult.|
#11: Night cuddles
If you don’t sleep with your dog, they may experience separation anxiety when you go to bed.
And they may become agitated if they are lonely. This is especially true if they’re still fairly young.
That isn’t to argue that you should sleep with your pup.
As mentioned previously, it has advantages and disadvantages. And this is a personal choice that only you can decide.
What you can do instead is to give them night cuddles before going to bed.
A night cuddle can help them relax before bedtime
And it can also be a great bonding session for you and your beloved pup.
Doing this can also benefit fur parents. Researchers found that cuddling with dogs can improve our well-being.
Other benefits of cuddling with them are the following:
- Reduces anxiety.
- Beat away depression.
- Improve physical health.
- Strengthen your relationship.
- Make your dog feel loved and secure.
So don’t hesitate to snuggle with them before going to bed. You may find it helpful for the both of you.
#12: Proper sleeping routine
Routine is necessary for all dogs. They’ll be confused if their schedule is inconsistent.
They’ll never know what’s going to happen next. Which means they won’t be able to figure out what they’re supposed to do.
This includes their sleeping routine. If you keep changing their nighttime schedules, they may find it difficult to fall asleep.
The temperament of your dog and the amount of activity they need are things you should consider.
As part of their daily routine, ensure that they do the proper exercise they need.
This is so that they’ll be tired at the end of the day.
They can also fall asleep more easily if they’re eating at the right time.
Being full will make them feel drowsy which would make them want to lie down.
And make sure to make it a part of their nighttime routine to let them go out for a bathroom break after eating.
This is to avoid having them wake up in the middle of the night because they need to pee.
#13: Check for medical issues
Going to a vet is the best way to know what to give your dog for them to sleep at night.
They’ll be able to discuss with you whether the medication you plan to give your pooch is safe for them.
Not only that, but they will also be able to determine whether your pooch has sleeping problems or not.
And if dogs have it, they’ll be able to diagnose the root cause of it.
Did you know that canines can also develop sleeping disorders?
PetMD mentions the following:
- Sleep apnea.
- REM behavior disorder.
In most cases, insomnia in dogs is not as problematic as it is in humans.
But if your pup exhibits any unusual behavior, always consult your vet.
Whining in the middle of the night or persistently pacing are both signs of pain.
And symptoms like bedwetting and heavy panting should also prompt a visit to the vet.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our fur babies.
So, if you’re unsure, always consult the opinion of a vet to set your mind at ease.