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5 Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Won’t Sleep At Night

Why Won’t My German Shepherd Sleep At Night

Is your dog disrupting your sleep?

Aileen has a German Shepherd named Maki.

He used to have a goodnight’s sleep. 

Suddenly, he became restless at night, making Aileen worried and sleep-deprived. 

Do you have the same problem with your furbaby?

Don’t you worry!

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • The methods to get your fur baby to have a goodnight’s sleep. 
  • 5 reasons your German Shepherd is having a hard time sleeping.
  • The 11 tips on how you can get your dog to sleep at night without disturbing you. 
  • And many more…

Why won’t my German Shepherd sleep at night? 

Age influence, pain, and discomfort are a few reasons your German Shepherd won’t sleep at night. They might have digestive disorders or anxiety. For most, they might hear an interesting and exciting thing outside. 

How to get my German Shepherd to sleep through the night?

Reducing visual stimulation helps your German Shepherd to sleep through the night. You must also increase your dog’s physical and mental stimulation during the day. Plus, providing them comfortable room temperature and bed helps. Some dog owners give melatonin or sedatives, calming aid, and more.

5 reasons why your German Shepherd won’t sleep at night

#1: Interesting and exciting things outside

Comparing humans to dogs, dogs hear sounds at higher pitches or frequencies. In fact, according to a study, 32% of dogs were noise-sensitive. Thus for some dogs results in anxiety or phobia. 

Signs and symptoms of noise phobic dogs

  • Hiding.
  • Pacing.
  • Barking.
  • Panting. 
  • Drooling. 
  • Whining. 
  • Hyper alertness.
  • Shaking or trembling. 
  • Destructive behaviors. 
  • Attempting to escape. 
  • Defecating or urinating indoors.

Hyper alertness due to noise phobia is one reason your German Shepherd becomes restless, especially at night. 

Using white noise and other therapy music can help a lot in reducing their anxiety.

Exposing your dog to the noises and sounds they’re afraid of is necessary for overcoming their phobia. 

#2: Experiencing pain

Your German Shepherd Can't Sleep Because Of Pain

German Shepherds are like humans. They feel pain for many reasons. 

They might be suffering from an infection, arthritis, dental problems, and cancer. Or gland issues, and bone disease. 

Unlike you, your dog is unable to talk.  To determine whether your pet is in pain, you need to look for subtle changes in your dog’s behavior.

Be on the lookout for symptoms that will show that your fur baby is suffering. 

Be alert to these kinds of things to notify your veterinarian as soon as possible. The sooner your pet’s pain is diagnosed and treated, the sooner they heal and become cheerful German Shepherds again.

Signs and symptoms your dog is in pain:

  • Biting.
  • Licking.
  • Yelping.
  • Howling.
  • Whining.
  • Grunting.
  • Restless.
  • Groaning.
  • Whimpering.
  • Periods of sleep.
  • Reluctant to move.
  • Decrease appetite.
  • Lapses in housetraining.
  • Changes in sleeping or drinking.
  • Seeks more affection than usual.
  • Circling, trembling, lying very still.
  • Withdraws from social interaction.
  • Repetitively gets up and lies down.
  • Scratching a particular part of its body.
  • Difficulty getting up from the lying position.

Your vet will explain things after they made a diagnosis. Things such as the risk, benefits, and costs associated with the treatment options. You and the vet will then choose what approach is best for your dog. 

They may prescribe pain killers to your dog. It is necessary to remind you not to use over-the-counter pain meds because most of them are for humans. 

Using this kind of pain meds may cause problems if you use it on your dog. 

You can also buy them orthopedic beds and other beds with heated features to ease some of their pains.

Warning: Never administer pain medication without consulting your veterinarian. Even if you think your pet is in too much pain. 

#3: Anxiety 

German Shepherds are happy and playful. They’re best known for their goofy smiles and cheery welcomes. But, they’re quite anxious creatures. 

A recent study suggests that anxious dog behaviors may be more than widespread. Three quarters or 72.5% of the 14,000 dogs from 264 breeds, displayed at least one anxiety-related behavior. 

German Shepherds with anxiety seek more of your attention and clings to you more often. Plus, some of them may experience difficulty in sleeping during the nighttime.

#4: Discomfort

German Shepherds with the underlying condition may experience discomfort in sleeping. You may find it difficult to determine what causes it. 

A few general pointers are:

  • Fever.
  • Thirsty.
  • Infection.
  • Itchy situation.
  • Too hot or cold.
  • Heart problems.
  • May want to potty.
  • Postoperative state.

Dog medication like Prednisone can cause excess hunger, panting, and thirst that makes the dog restless at night. 

#5: Age Influence

Your German Shepherd goes through a developmental stage just like you do. Your dog’s development influences how much they sleep at night.

Young puppies, especially the very young ones, need more attention. Your German Shepherd puppy needs it during the first few weeks after bringing them home.

Their first nights will be tough because they miss their littermates or mom. Your puppy might become anxious about being in a new place. Plus, with the unfamiliar smells, sights, and sounds.

You need to bring your puppy outside before bedtime for a potty break. Do this once an hour and after your dog eats.

Adolescent German Shepherds have boundless energy. They’re still in their teenage years. Do you remember when you’re still at that stage? The many nights you stay up because you have this unconsumed energy inside you.

With that kind of energy, you need to add substantial physical and mental stimulation. Your goal here is to let your German Shepherd consume most of its stamina. So both of you could have a goodnight’s sleep.

Senior German Shepherds suffer from physical and cognitive problems. So it may be difficult for them to sleep at night.

Bonus: Digestive disorders

German Shepherds need to have a balanced diet so they can live healthy, long lives. Just like you and me, they also need to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. 

Your dog can enjoy a robust immune system.  Give them the right combination of proteins, vitamins, complex carbohydrates, and minerals. 

But, offering them table scraps, many treats, and other foods to eat is a bad idea. Giving them too much can and lead to severe digestive disorders.

The most common signs of digestive issues are:

  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Constipation.
  • Disinterest in pet food.
  • Excessive gas (burping, stomach rumbling, etc).
  • Weight loss is caused by excessive diarrhea and vomiting.

Life-threatening emergency symptoms include: 

  • Dry heaving.
  • Vomiting liquids.
  • Severe dehydration.
  • Excessive panting and shaking.

Causes of dog digestive disorders could be:

  • Worms.
  • Viruses.
  • Parasites. 
  • Bacteria (pathogenic).
  • Causes of dog digestive disorders.
  • Excessive grass consumption.
  • An abrupt change in dogs’ diet.
  • Consuming chocolate (Poisonous to German Shepherds).
  • Bloat (a life-threatening and severe condition. It requires immediate attention).

Having this kind of digestive issue can be intolerable for your German Shepherd. Thus making them unable to sleep at night. 

Warning: Treating and diagnosing a dog’s digestive problems must be nursed. These are top priorities because they will increase the severity of manifestation if you can’t seek medical help. Plus, it will prolong the discomfort of your dog.

11 tips on how to get your German Shepherd to sleep at night

#1: Calming aid

Calming Aid Can Help Your German Shepherd Sleep At Night

When a dog is coping with anxiety issues, they often exhibit undesirable behaviors. An example of this could be a restless night for your dog.

You can give them something to help them calm down. 

Best dog calming aid examples are:

  • Sentry.
  • DogTV. 
  • Adaptil.
  • Zencrate.
  • Pet Tunes.
  • Bach flower.
  • Calming collar.
  • Snuggle puppy.
  • Comfort cuddler.
  • Canine Calm Spray.
  • Calming soft chews.

These are the means that will help you calm them down. 

#2: Visit your vet

In this article, I repeatedly encourage you to visit and consult your vet. It’ll help your furbaby have a healthy and long life. Plus proper exercise, diet, and supplementation. 

Taking your pet to the vet means having their health checked by trusted professionals. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that your dog is healthy. 

#3: Melatonin

According to Dr. Linda Aronson of PetShrink, melatonin works for about 80% of her patients. It can turn their fears into indifference or acceptance in ten to fifteen minutes.

Melatonin is secure to use as long as there is no dependency on it. It will help adjust the sleeping pattern in your German Shepherds who are very active, especially at night. 

This supplement works by resetting your German Shepherd’s biological clock. As stated in tip #2, you must consult your vet for the instructions and dosage before using it on your dog.

#4: Potty before bedtime

Establishing a nighttime potty is necessary. Make sure your fur baby goes outside to potty before bedtime. It will allow you to have a night of uninterrupted sleep. 

#5: Sedatives

Pet parents often long for a sedative for their hyperactive dog. If you’re planning the same thing, have a prescription before giving some to your dog. It may have a side effect on your German Shepherd. 

Sedatives are helpful for German Shepherds who have undergone surgery. Having a full-time rest is necessary for them to heal faster. Sometimes, they need stronger sedative prescriptions. 

Note: Try other tips before considering sedatives as a remedy for your energetic dog.

#6: Eat and drink

Make sure that your pet eats and drinks water before bedtime. This way, you will help your German Shepherd from having a restless night.

#7: Physical and mental stimulation

German Shepherds who lack stimulation may tend to be overly excited or hyper even at night. To address this problem, you need to stimulate them. Physical and mental stimulation helps drain your dog’s energy. 

Here are some activities that you could add to their daily routine:

  • Take your dog for a run.
  • Encourage brain games.
  • Morning or evening walk.
  • Playing with your dogs during the day.

Your goal here is to tire your dog by the evening. This way, you will not suffer from sleep deprivation. 

#8: Cover their crate with a blanket

German Shepherds are 5 times more sensitive to lights than humans. Covering their crate with a blanket helps them sleep better. It reduces their visual stimulation. 

#9: Predictable night-time routine

Having a daily routine for your dog benefits them because they’re routine-oriented. They don’t need to worry about what happens next. 

Here is a night routine you can create for them:

  • Invite your dog to bed.
  • Provide them with a bedtime snack.
  • Tell your dog goodnight and lower the lights. 
  • Take the dog outside to the potty before bedtime.

You will help them have a goodnight’s sleep by having this night routine. 

#10: Comfortable room temperature

You need to make sure that their space has a comfortable room temperature. This way they won’t be restless during bedtime. 

German Shepherds have heavy fur and two coats on their bodies. Thus they like to sleep on cold tiles. Turning on your air-con helps a lot in creating a temperature of their liking. 

#11: Comfortable bed

Your German Shepherd needs a warm and comfortable bed to sleep at night.

Giving them one will prevent them from staying up during nighttime.

It is also a way of showing how much you love and care for them. 

Giving them a comfortable bed is beneficial to you both:

  • It helps preserve your furniture.
  • Your German Shepherd will have their own place.

Your dog will love it as much as they love you. 

Bonus: Use white noise

German Shepherds become restless at night when they hear noises. The best way to buffer the sounds is by using white noise.

White noise contains equal intensity and all frequencies. These can cover up loud sounds that stimulate your brain. Thus a recommended solution for your dog who responds to outside noise.  

Today, white noise is easily accessible to you. You can find it both on YouTube and Spotify. 

Play it the next time your dog won’t sleep at night. It’s beneficial for both of you.