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13 Real Reasons Why Your Dog Is Up All Night (Updated 2023)

Why Is My Dog Up All Night

While other Fidos are already in dreamland…

Your dog’s still wide awake.

And they seem to have no plans of getting to bed soon.

But you do.

So now you wonder…

“Why’s my pooch acting like this?

And is it alarming?”

Keep reading to find out:

  • 13 bizarre reasons why your dog’s up all night.
  • When you should be concerned by this behavior.
  • If it’s bad for dogs to stay awake through the night.
  • And many more…

Why is my dog up all night? 13 reasons

#1: ‘Midnight madness’

Do you have a young pooch?

And do they always act crazy every night, dashing around your house?

If so, they might be having ‘zoomies.’

Or ‘midnight madness’ for some people since these usually happen at night.

These are sudden bursts of energy in dogs.

And it’s more common in puppies than adult Fidos.

Vets refer to this behavior as ‘FRAPs.’

It’s short for ‘frenetic random activity period.’

And they say that the main cause of this is pent-up energy.

In general, puppies are livelier than older dogs.

That’s why they need more exercise every day. Say plenty of short walks and play sessions.

So if your Fido doesn’t get many chances to use their energy in the day…

They’ll release them at night instead – causing ‘zoomies.’

“How much daily exercise does my dog need?”

It’ll depend on their:

  • Age.
  • Size.
  • Breed.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Personality.

But typically, puppies need 5 minutes of exercise every month of their age.

For example, a 5-month-old dog will require 25 minutes of walks and play.

On the other hand…

PDSA says energetic adult Fidos may need over 2 hours of daily exercise.

Meanwhile, 1 to 2 hours can be enough for smaller dogs who are less active or of old age.

Read also: 7 Real Reasons Why Your Dog Is Hyper At Night + 7 Tips

#2: Diet

Next, if this is a new behavior…

Do you remember any changes in your Fido’s meals?

Now you might ask,

“Why is it connected to my problem?”

It’s because apart from unused energy…

Dogs can also become hyper due to the food they eat.

Like when you have a sugar rush after eating too many sweets in one sitting.

And according to experts, the ingredients that may cause this in dogs are:

  • Fats.
  • Fiber.
  • Sugar.
  • Carbohydrates.

Learn more: 17 Hyperactive Dog Symptoms + 11 Tips To Calm Down Your Dog

#3: Intense call of nature

Like you, your Fido may also need a midnight trip to the toilet.

Usually, healthy adult dogs can hold their poop for 8 hours.

Meanwhile, they can go for 7 to 10 hours without peeing.

But if you have a pup…

Expect that they’ll have more calls of nature every night.

It’s because dogs can’t control these processes yet until they’re 16 weeks of age. 

However, if your pooch is taking more frequent trips than usual…

There might be something wrong.

And that’s why your dog’s up all night.

“What could be the problem?”

First, PetMD says that increased thirst and urination in dogs can be due to:

  • Diabetes.
  • Medications.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Loss of bladder control.

Meanwhile, based on vets, watery stools are a result of:

  • Stress.
  • Infections.
  • Food allergies.
  • Changes in diet.
  • Intestinal worms.

But, if your Fido has trouble releasing their poop instead…

These could be the reasons:

  • Injury.
  • Joint pains.
  • Medications.
  • Dehydration.

Note: Monitor your dog closely. If you notice more signs other than insomnia, consult a vet at once.

Further reading: Why does my dog have diarrhea at night?

#4: Guarding instincts

All dogs may tend to be territorial.

They’ll guard their property (and even their humans) against threats.

But, since no Fidos are made equal…

Some breeds can be more alert and protective than others.

These are called ‘guard dogs.’

And some best examples of these are:

  • Rottweilers.
  • German Shepherds.
  • Doberman Pinschers.

So, if your pooch’s one of them…

They can stay awake all night. Especially if they hear suspicious sounds outside, like:

  • A neighbor walking.
  • Other animals roaming.

#5: They feel uncomfy

While sleeping at night…

You may have changed spots or adjusted the room temperature to sleep comfortably.

But did you know it’s also the same for our furry friends?

Dogs can’t sleep well if they’re uncomfy too.

And usually, the problem’s either the weather or their bed.

If your Fido feels hot, they may constantly pace. Looking for a colder spot, like near the door or in the bathroom.

But, if your dog’s cold at night

They may burrow under the sheets or sleep close to you to get some warmth.

However, if your pooch feels uneasy on their bed…

They may choose to lay on the floor instead. 

Or find a softer place, such as your pile of clothes.

#6: Anxiety

Your Dog Is Up All Night Because Of Anxiety

Does your Fido have flattened ears and a tucked tail?

And do they also avoid your gaze?

If yes, something might be bothering your pooch.

Their behavior makes them seem anxious.

So that could be the reason why your dog’s up all night.

According to a study, fearfulness is common in 26.2% of dogs.

Meanwhile, 39.2% of them are sensitive to noises.

And if you think about it…

It’s way quieter at night than during the day.

So at that time, even the slightest sounds could startle fearful dogs.

But besides unusual noises…

Vets listed down other common reasons for anxiety in dogs, such as:

  • Fear.
  • Phobia.
  • Moving houses.
  • Changes in routine.
  • Lack of socialization.

You might also like: 13 Reasons Why Your Dog Freaks Out At Night + 7 Tips

#7: Loneliness

Most dogs are social butterflies.

They enjoy being with people or other Fidos.

So if your dog’s left alone outside or in a separate room…

They may feel lonely.

And it can also happen if you haven’t spent time with your Fido during the day.

Now, due to loneliness, they’ll have trouble sleeping at night.

However, does your Fido always find it hard to be away from you?

And do they destroy things whenever you go outside without them?

If so, their case might be different from simple loneliness.

Your dog may have separation anxiety

A study shows that 22.3–55% of Fidos worldwide suffer from this.

And dogs with separation issues will also display other symptoms, like:

  • House soiling.
  • Overgrooming.
  • Drooling too much.
  • Wanting to escape.
  • Excessive vocalization.

#8: Critters

Does your Fido always stay or look at a specific part at night?

Say at the ceiling or wall?

Experts say that canines can hear sounds as high as 67,000 Hz.

In contrast, humans could only perceive up to 64,000 Hz.

You see, your dog can hear things that you can’t.

So, they might stay awake at night if they hear critters crawling on the ceiling.

And also if termites are moving inside the wall.

#9: Canine dementia

Let’s now move on to medical reasons.

If you have a senior Fido, they might also stay up all night due to ‘CCD.’

It means ‘canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome.’

Or, in simpler terms, the dog version of human dementia.

Vets call it the ‘aging of the brain.’

And this condition usually comes with old age.

But, the research found that CCD is more common in less active dogs.

Also, the chances of getting this are 52% with every additional age.

Plus, the symptoms of CCD get even worse at night.

“Why’s that?”

Due to old age, the dog with CCD will have poor vision.

Thus, they can’t see much in the dark, which can cause anxiety.

So Fido may misinterpret shadows. And they can be easily startled by external noises too.

As a result, the dog with CCD will be restless throughout the night.

And they may show the following signs:

#10: Pain

Dogs have high pain tolerance.

And they usually hide their illnesses from humans too.

So, if your Fido’s in extreme discomfort…

Their behavior and sleeping patterns might give it way.

Thus, if your dog’s in pain, it may be hard for them to doze off at night.

And based on specialists, you’ll also notice these other signs:

  • Limping.
  • Arched back.
  • Trembling muscles.
  • Avoiding stairs or jumping.
  • Difficulty in standing or lying down.

Usually, the pain is caused by physical problems, such as:

  • Injury.
  • Arthritis.
  • Bone problems (e.g., hip dysplasia).

#11: Extreme itch

Scratch here, rub there.

Your Fido spends most of their night like this.

And it’s because they feel so itchy.

It’s normal for dogs to paw at their ears or snouts once in a while.

But if your pooch does it constantly. And it keeps your Fido awake all night…

Then they may have a severe itch issue due to:

Reading tip: Help, My Dog Is Constantly Scratching And Biting Himself!

#12: ‘Narcolepsy’

Dogs may also suffer from sleep disorders.

One of these is ‘narcolepsy.’

It’s a condition wherein the Fido tends to sleep a lot during the day.

But they can’t doze off at night.

According to VCA, narcolepsy is common in young dogs.

And studies found that the lack of  ‘hypocretin’ is the cause of the disorder.

It’s a chemical in the body that regulates a dog’s regular sleeping cycles.

So if your Fido has narcolepsy…

They’ll suddenly collapse on the floor and snooze.

Then your dog will wake up as if nothing happened.

#13: ‘Sleep apnea’

Lastly, does your Fido always snore loudly at night?

And do they often jolt awake while sleeping?

Then, there’s a chance that your dog has ‘sleep apnea.’

It’s a rare condition in dogs.

But experts say that the most affected ones are:

  • Overweight Fidos.
  • Brachycephalic breeds (e.g., Pugs).

Doctors discovered sleep apnea in humans in 1965.

Then in 1987, the condition was first seen in an English Bulldog.

As the affected dog sleeps, a part of their airway collapses or shrinks.

As a result, the dog will suddenly jolt from sleep every 10 to 20 seconds.

Thus, making it hard for Fido to rest again.

Is it bad for dogs to stay up all night?

It’s bad for dogs to stay up all night.

Same with us, sleep is also vital for our furry pals.

On average, vets say that adult dogs sleep 12 to 14 hours a day.

Meanwhile, growing puppies and larger breeds may snooze more than that.

And it’s because sleeping has these benefits:

  • Recharges energy.
  • Sharpens memory.
  • Boosts the immune system (prevents infection).

Interesting fact: A study proved the 2nd one. Experts found that dogs do the tricks faster, like “lie down” and “sit” after a nap. And they performed better than they did without sleep.